Brenda Brock, founder/owner, Farmaesthetics
When did you launch Farmaesthetics?
Brenda Brock: I introduced my products as Farmaesthetics at an organic farmstand in rural Rhode Island in the summer of 1999 and incorporated as a business in December 1999.
BB: It started as a summer project. A group of my women friends and growers wanted to farm my friend’s 80-acre organic farm in rural Rhode Island and use the harvests in commerce. We all had little girls at the time, and we wanted them to know that things did not grow on shelves, and to get a taste of industry.
I was the recipient of all the summer harvests and used them and my knowledge of traditional rural formulation to make my herbal skincare preparations—something I have done all my life. I had gifted my friends for years, but until that time, had never sold them or thought of them as a business.
Where did your love of the land come from?
BB: My family’s farm in Bartlett, TX, where I spent holidays, birthdays and summers growing up. In fact, I just returned from a visit. I went back for my Aunt Dora Francis’ 90th birthday. Those talented, hard-working, resourceful, rooted farm women of my childhood inspired me early on to love growing and the traditional ways of tending to one’s health and beauty needs.
Why do you love working with spas?
BB: Hands down, it’s the people. I learned the spa trade from therapists, aestheticians and spa directors. To me, they are among the modern-day healers.
What is the most important thing you want people to understand about plants and skincare?
BB: There is a huge conversation to be had about understanding plants and how they can be used in skincare. And by plants I mean real plants, not pieces of plants synthesized with other constituents, but whole living plants as they are in nature.
One way of looking at herbalism is that it is the process by which we garner a plant’s whole living complexity for use in balancing and sustaining optimal skin health. Plants are alive, filled with vitality and they vibrate with energy. When processed and crafted properly and with care, our skin loves it!
New Product Spotlight The new Deep Lavender Rub is an organic herbal balm for body and soul. Made with certified organic essential oils of ginger, rosemary, eucalyptus and lavender, it soothes dry skin and protects against airborne germs and microbes. $25; farmaesthetics.com