Entrepreneur Crush of the Week: Gina Patrick
Happy Thursday everyone! It's a cool morning, perfect for sipping hot coffee on the couch and watching the clouds make an attempt to break for the sun after a few days of heavy rain! It's turning out to be a rather nice day!
And I'm about to make it nicer. (Hint: read entirely to find out how to enter a giveaway you won't want to miss! You're welcome.)
I am so pleased to introduce to you Gina Patrick, oil goddess and owner of Virgin Apothecary, a line of skincare products based out of St. Simons Island for the "beauty minimalist." I officially met Gina at Moxie Craft Fest a few weeks ago but spotted her working the Sea Island Market last November. Though I was unable to stop by as I was just passing through, I am so glad I finally had the chance to talk with her in depth about her line and try out some products for myself. Guys, I was so excited to try out her Essential Face Serum that I created an entire "spa night" for myself. When I awoke the next morning, I couldn't believe how "alive" my skin felt! The brand truly speaks for itself but after learning more about Gina and her work, my appreciation for Virgin Apothecary is limitless.
A concept that started about two years, Virgin Apothecary was officially launched in August of 2016. Gina was inspired to create a line of products free of nasty/harmful ingredients after growing disenchanted with conventional skincare products that commonly contain detergents and preservatives such as sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. But like most women (me, included), Gina came to the realization the hard way that ordinary products would never work; she often found herself loading up on products aimed to control an over-production of oil while enhancing her natural beauty but nothing seemed to work. On the contrary, these products seemed to exacerbate her problems. After researching different plant oils and herbs and eliminating her old routine, she found a simpler, more natural routine that revealed secrets about her skin she never knew: she actually had very dry, sensitive skin! Now Gina aims to educate others about healthier alternatives while providing simple solutions. After all, "our skin is the largest organ of our body!" she says. While finding a regimen that caters to your exact needs could take some experimenting, Gina says organic coconut oil (found in most grocery stores) is a great go-to oil that has many uses. It's a great place to start but talking to a skin expert like Gina will help you determine what formulas of oils and herbs are best for your skin.
Let's talk a little bit about the quality of Virgin Apothecary: Every single product is, "all natural, non-toxic, GMO free, cruelty free, with organic ingredients when possible." Currently, Gina creates and stores her products in her home kitchen and office. But creating is no overnight process. For example, after perfectly weighing a mixture of ingredients, soap bars are developed using either a cold or hot process. Each has its separate pros and cons and requires extensive technical skills. After a lot of other steps and running each recipe through something called a Soap Calculator, the soaps are cured for about 6-8 weeks and then sold to consumers. At this time, she offers a wide range of skincare and wellness products, including a natural bug spray, a hybrid (multi-purpose) mist, a face serum, hair oil, beard oil, body oil, body melt -massage butter, lip balm, multi-purpose salve (hands/feet/cuticles), and handcrafted soap. But Gina is constantly working on new concoctions to provide a broader collection of high-quality products to shoppers.
I have become keenly aware of things I put on or in my body over the last several years and am proud to say I am now a devoted customer. I am impressed by Gina's dedication and passion to not only educate consumers but provide a better, simpler way to great skin care! People are becoming more and more health-conscious and it's important they are aware local health pioneers like Gina exist. Humbly she says, "I love all the friends that I have made through starting this new chapter in my life, and I never would have thought to have found such a supportive and gracious community of small business owners! "