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25 Who Made Naturals Beautiful
(excerpt)
O'rya Hyde-Keller
Christine Spehar


9/1/2004 4:59:26 PM

NFM honors many who have given us a more natural way to clean, color and primp

James Hahn and Diana Kaye
Co-founders of Terressentials. In 1996, Kaye and Hahn started a natural products mail-order company, based out of a former sheep farm in Middletown, Md.
Years in the biz: 13
Trigger event: “We started as a mail-order catalog selling natural products, but we found it hard to find products that met our standards: organic products without synthetics, artificial colors and detergents. So we decided to make our own,” they say.
Mission: “Education, education, education. We’ve spent 15 years of our lives reading research, interpreting it and translating it for our customers. The majority of people, once they’re educated, can’t go back.”
Proudest accomplishment: “Raising awareness about the nature of personal care products and what they’re really doing to people’s bodies. Teaching the public that it really does make a difference what you’re washing your hair with or rubbing into your skin. We don’t use any ingredients that aren’t on the national organic list. We have more than 100 products that we make using simple, edible foods.”
Thought you wouldn’t make it: “We’ve never been to a point where we thought that, but we are consistently aware that because of what we make, things are far more difficult for us. When so-called natural products retail for $3 a bottle and our organic product is $12, and when a customer walks into a store and the clerk says both products are natural and organic, which one is the customer going to choose?”
Growth concerns: “We’re concerned about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s double standard with organic food and organic personal products. The word organic is being totally degraded. If it’s really organic, it should be called organic. If it’s being made with synthetic products—well, maybe they can call it natural. That word’s already been stolen.”
What you use: “Our own.”

O’rya Hyde-Keller is a free-lance writer based in Madison, Wis. Christine Spehar is a free-lance writer in Boulder, Colo.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 9/p. 40, 42-44, 46, 48, 50, 52

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