We recently connected with Mandi Duong and have shared our conversation below.
Mandi, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today One of the things we most admire about small businesses is their ability to diverge from the corporate/industry standard. Is there something that you or your brand do that differs from the industry standard? We’d love to hear about it as well as any stories you might have that illustrate how or why this difference matters.
I love watching craftspeople work. As a kid, we would often visit a historical gold rush town and it was so fascinating to watch the blacksmith forge horseshoes and other pieces. There is something about being in the presence of passion and creativity that fills the soul. I fell in love with the imperfectness of handcrafting. No two pieces are exactly alike. There is always a bit of personalization and uniqueness to each item.
I personally formulate and handcraft all of our skincare products, which is truly where my passion lies. Skin care is often mass produced and formulated by a chemist outside of the company. For me, there is a story, a life, to each botanical ingredient I use, and I want to feel that connection, that essence, as I blend ingredients.
There is so much more to botanical skin care then science. Many botanicals carry a rich history full of medicinal and skin nourishing benefits. There is also potential for an energetic synergy that is best explored by hand pouring and testing.
We aim to support like minded business including the farms that harvest and process the botanical ingredients and the distributors we purchase from. The value of creating with our hands and from our hearts is seen throughout.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I’m Mandi business owner and mom to s punky toddler. I struggled to get pregnant, so I started studying aromatherapy to help my family adopt a cleaner lifestyle. I began making my own products and sharing them with family and friends.
After finally having a baby, motherhood consumed me. I gave up everything to focus on raising an amazing human.
Something had to change and I choose to follow my passion. I started my handcrafted botanical skincare brand so moms could feel confident and safe when caring for themselves through all seasons of motherhood.
Along the way, I started to prioritize myself, gained a renewed sense of self and rediscovered my glow.
Now I empower mamas to get their mama glow without confusion, overwhelm, and the crazy time commitment.
I’m a mom, and things often don’t go as planned, and that’s ok. Some days I am too tired to wash my face before bed, and other days I fall asleep before my toddler. I’m living motherhood with you. I’m all about authenticity. Sometime it is about real life, those sleepless nights and frantic days, and I am here empower you to continue to care for yourself through those moments. No judgement, just love, appreciation, and encouragement.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
Four years ago, I became a mom. After a complicated pregnancy, I was relieved to finally hold my tiny baby in my arms. Super excited to be on this new journey and looking forward to learning and growing with my little one.
But, I was exhausted and unprepared for the emotional toll. I actually had to negotiate with my doctor for an extra few days before the birth. I hand no time or energy to make my own clean beauty products. It was so hard to find clean products without fragrance (deal breaker) or essential oils.
At first, it was out of sight out of mind. But then, my skin started to get so dry and irritated. My hands were cracked and bleeding, but yet, I didn’t want to use just anything on my skin. I was nursing, and very conscious of what I could pass on to my baby. I began to notice wrinkles on my forehead. Ugh, motherhood consumed me. I gave up everything to focus on raising an amazing human. Now I also felt terrible for neglecting myself and knowing it would be hard to reverse the damage.
Something had to change, and I chose to follow my passion. I started my handmade botanical skincare brand so moms could feel confident and safe when caring for themselves through all seasons of motherhood without feeling overwhelmed
Along the way, I started to prioritize myself, I gained a renewed sense of self and rediscovered my glow. Our 5-minute routine was created to help mama’s who are struggling to care for themselves, consistently make time to care for their skin with truly clean and simple botanical products and blissful moments without the crazy time commitment.
Can you talk to us about manufacturing? How’d you figure it all out? We’d love to hear the story.
I formulate and manufacture all of our skincare products. I started studying aromatherapy to help my family adopt a cleaner lifestyle. I began making my own products and sharing them with family and friends. I fell in love with the process and the deeper connection to the ingredients. I have always been interested in botany and the medicinal benefits of plants. Handcrafting helps blend my creative and my technical sides in a harmonious way. I source many of the botanical ingredients from US based distributors, which has been a blessing over the passed few years. I have not had to deal with supply chain issues an long lead times.
Sourcing skincare packaging has been a little more challenging. There is so much to consider, from minimum order quantities, to shipping charges and out of stock products. Mistakes happen, and for a while I was stuck with a bunch of child resistant dropper tops. Unfortunately, I ended up replacing them with more twist lock tops which also leaked. Now, I keep a spreadsheet of all the suppliers I have researched and which products meet our standards and which ones do not.
There is a lot of trial and error when first starting a business and so many lessons learned, but the important part is to document everything and continue to repeat what works.
- Website: https://blyssen.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blyssenbeauty/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blyssenbeauty/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/blyssen/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtHYCB5y7qcjgy2bq1qTaeA
Photos with me and me and products are credited to Organic Media Co. Product only photos credited to Four Lane Photo