Ever since I transitioned to green beauty and learnt about the ill effects of chemicals and toxic ingredients used in conventional products, I wanted to switch to non-toxic baby products for my daughter. While I did try some other brands in the past, Pleni Naturals stood out for its unique concept and cute packaging. It was so much fun to know more about this adorable baby line while chatting with Allyson Owen, the lovely founder behind this kiddie line.
Greenchicgirl: Most of the organic skincare line start their business with skincare line for women and then gradually move on to men and babies. But you started Pleni Naturals directly with a baby care line. Why?
That is such a great question! I often ask myself that question, ha! In all honestly, it probably would have been a better business decision to launch with a skincare line for women but I started Pleni Naturals when my two little ones were babies and that is where my heart was during that time. Plus, I had a difficult time finding a children’s skincare line where I could check off all of the boxes 1. great texture 2. performs well 3. non-toxic 4. smells great but not too overpowering and so on. We feel Pleni is a skincare line where we can check all of these boxes and when you purchase from our brand ALL of the products will be great – not just one hero product here and there.
Greenchicgirl: You have two small kids. How old are they? How do you balance your time with the kids alongside running your business?
My kiddos are getting so big! My son is 6 yr old and my daughter is 8 yr old (going on 12 ;). I don’t believe there is balance! It’s really hard! Sometimes work takes priority and other times the kids’ needs take priority. It really just depends on what is going on. Sometimes I have to stay up super late to work and sometimes I get to read to my kids for an extra 20 minutes. Sometimes I crank out a ton of work in a day and other days a big chunk of my day is spent volunteering at my kids’ school. No day is the same! Also, Pleni Naturals is a brand that isn’t carried everywhere because, at this point in my life, I want to create and make available great skincare; but I also want to be the one to drop off and pick up my kids from school. I do not want to sacrifice my time with the kids while they are this young. But we do have growth plans for sure! And my mantra to myself is, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Greenchicgirl: From your ingredients to your packaging, it’s quite evident you love vegetables and fruits. How did this interesting and unique concept of creating baby care line with vegetables come to your mind?
I love this question so much! When I was purchasing skincare for my babies, it seemed like the theme for most of the baby lines focused on ingredients like lavender, chamomile and calendula. Don’t get me wrong – I love these ingredients! But I love other ingredients too, and since our skin is our largest organ and we absorb so much of what we put on it, food ingredients like fruits and veggies made a lot of sense to me. Plus, no other lines were really focusing on fruit and veggie based skincare for babies and kids so I saw an opportunity and took it! Additionally, it is our mission to deepen the connection with kids and the healthy foods they eat – that is why we have the fun and colorful fruit and veggie characters on the packaging. Yes, there is broccoli in the wash, yes, there is cucumber in the baby oil! Isn’t that neat?
Greenchicgirl: Are your kids equally passionate about vegetables and fruits as you’re?
I wish! No, they are kids. They like fruits and veggies and appreciate them – and I obviously offer it to them all the time. Plus I model for the kids and eat lots of fruits and veggies myself. It will continue to catch on for them!
Greenchicgirl: I love the cute packaging of your products. In fact, my daughter loves it. It’s simple yet fun! What was your vision about the packaging of your products and how difficult (or easy) was it to come up with it?
My designer Katharina is super talented. We go way back to when I was creating skin care products for another brand. We hired her to do some graphic design work for us and I knew that if I ever launched my own skincare line I would want to work with Katharina again – and I did! Katharina had an illustrator colleague/friend draw the designs and “Kat” brought them to life. We had a few sketches that were a bit wonky but we clearly worked it out! It’s hard to pick a favorite character! We wanted the graphics to reflect what is in the bottle so when a parent is shopping they can easily see easily from a visual standpoint what’s in the products. And when the kiddos use the products, we want them to enjoy the silly and colorful characters and appreciate that fruits and veggies not only nourish our bodies, but also our skin!
Greenchicgirl: You recently moved from California to Colorado (and I know shifting is a massive undertaking). Was it a business decision or personal?
I’d say both! California is super expensive and a hard place to own a small business (especially in Silicon Valley, where we lived). Boulder, Colorado offers an amazing outdoor lifestyle, the people here are friendly and health-conscious plus there are many health-conscious brands born right here in Boulder. We are in very good company. And BONUS – my husband got a job transfer! It was all really meant to be.
Greenchicgirl: When you’re not busy working on new ideas for natural skincare products, what do you love to do? What are the things that keep you occupied on day-to-day basis?
Right now I am busy decorating our new house! That has been really fun. I’ll post some photos when we are done and tag the eco-brands we selected when purchasing furniture, etc. Plus, the kids keep me very busy on a day-to-day basis. I’m also trying to carve out some “me time” and take yoga classes and go on hikes, which I love! We also just started stand up paddle boarding, which is incredibly fun and I highly recommend!
Greenchicgirl: Pleni Naturals has 3 baby care products. Do you plan to launch new baby care products? Or do you plan to launch your skincare line now? What are your future plans with Pleni Naturals…any sneak peek for us?
We have so many products in development right now! Quite a few for our skincare range (which I can’t wait for you to try) and a few in our children’s line. I am even starting to think about products for pre-teens. It may take a while to launch all of these products but we will get there – all of our products are non-toxic certified through Made Safe® and the process to certify products takes a while. But it is worth it for businesses take measures and make sure our products are safe to use on our bodies and also safe for our environment.