A lot of thought, time and energy are put into the all-natural beauty and personal care products from Pure Essentials, according to owner Rachel Blacklaws. What started out as two friends coaching lifestyle workshops has turned into a successful business with booths that appear around the country at events, as well as a bustling online store.
Blacklaws creates all sorts of products, including essential oils, face masks, dry shampoo, beard balm, and even diaper cream and baby powder. She focuses on making things that improve people’s health instead of interfering with it, and making them accessible to as many people possible.
Pure Essentials has been a vendor at the St. Albert Farmers’ Market every year since 2014, and with a focus on selecting ingredients from countries with ethical and sustainable growing practices, yet still being affordable compared to some other natural products on the market, its popularity continues to grow, meaning there’s no intentions of slowing down.
Q: How did you decide to start making your own products and selling them?
A: It was actually kind of by accident. Just over five years ago, my friend and I were running workshops and showing people how to get chemicals out of their homes and coaching them about ways to live happier, healthier lives.
We would talk about things in the home, and how to make your own products, and people started asking us how to make them and if we would make them. I didn’t really want to at first, and I fought it a bit, but one day I was like, well clearly this is the direction it’s going in, and after that everything kind of grew.
Q: Is there a certain demographic that seems to gravitate towards your products?
A: In general, it’s women between the ages of 25 and 45. I get a lot of moms, but not a lot men. If men do come by, it’s for essential oils, or they own the beard oil and want to restock.
Men will buy online typically, or show up to buy products that their wives told them they want.
Q: With people becoming more health conscious and more aware of what they’re putting on their bodies, have you noticed a difference or an increase in your customer base?
A: I think when we started is when people started to get into it a lot. I used to have to explain more to people about the products than I do now, since people understand it better now.
People know they want cleaner products and why the stuff in the store isn’t as good. There are a lot more options for natural products than when we started; there were only one or two booths when we started, and now when I walk around the market I see a lot more.
Q: What do you think it is that people like about your products?
A: What has always helped my customers stick around is that when we started, we didn’t really want to make things, and when we did we knew we wanted to keep it as affordable as possible for people.
I was a single mom, and I couldn’t afford natural products for my kids, so I get it. It’s always been important that we keep the price point accessible for people, since most people can’t afford lots of natural products.
I think that has always set us apart: we weren’t taking advantage of people, and it’s never been a fad to us – it’s something we believe in.