Like many inventors and entrepreneurs before them, Indie Lee, Rachel Winard and Valerie Grandury started their companies when they were unable to find what they needed. Despite the gigantic boom in natural and organic skincare over the last five years, these women were unable to find treatments to cure—or even treat—the serious conditions that plagued them, from fallout from a diagnosed disease such as lupus or cancer. So they created their own.
Indie Lee Skincare
“I ultimately made this skincare line because no one should have to say goodbye to their kids because of skincare.”
In 2008, Indie Lee was “your typical corporate type—really Type A personality and always just crazed,” she says. But that year, she was diagnosed with both a brain tumor and rheumatoid arthritis, forcing her to slow down and consider the culprits behind her illnesses. Lee began to analyze the toxins in mainstream skincare lines, arriving at the “aha moment of aha moments,” she says. Her sister’s pregnancy further clarified the point: “I was reading labels and thinking, ‘You are not putting this stuff on my nephew,’” Lee says. She decided to make natural baby products for her sister, which eventually led her to develop an adult line as well.
Lee noticed an immediate difference in her flaky, acne-prone skin. “I looked younger than I did in high school,” Lee says. “But I ultimately made this skincare line because no one should have to say goodbye to their kids because of skincare.” indielee.com
“I was desperate, but I was also fearless.”
Rachel Winard had always suffered from sensitive skin, but when she was diagnosed with lupus 10 years ago—and unable to find anything to soothe her skin—she began to problem-solve on her own. “I went from having crazy sensitive skin to breaking out in hives, rashes and big red welts,” she says. “Everything and anything irritated it, and you can’t mentally get away from it the way you compartmentalize other pains.” Winard read everything she could on natural skin solutions and began playing with raw coconut and sunflower oils along with other formulas in her kitchen. About two years ago, Winard perfected her line, Soapwalla Kitchen, which now offers washes, moisturizers, soaps and deodorant for those suffering from sensitive skin. “I was desperate, but I was also fearless,” says Winard about her adventure. “And I immediately found that my skin felt cooler and calmer.” soapwallakitchen.com
“I’d always been aware about harmful toxins in my diet, but I never realized how much personal hygiene products were exposing my skin to chemicals directly linked to breast cancer.”
When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, Valérie Grandury decided to detoxify her life, inside and out. “I’d always been aware about harmful toxins in my diet, but I never realized how much personal hygiene products were exposing my skin to chemicals directly linked to breast cancer,” she says. “It didn’t make sense for me to put something on my skin that wasn’t natural.” She began working on a skincare line, and after two years of research, debuted Odacité, a line that mimicked the raw food diet she’d adopted.
Grandbury’s products are made with fresh foods, such as white carrot seed oil from a 200-year-old French village and seeds of papaya. They come labeled with an expiration date. Grandbury immediately started noticing fewer irritations and wrinkles and more elasticity and hydration in her skin. “The key is to have results—being organic is a wonderful bonus.” odacite.com