Growing lavender on Garman Organic Farm in Middletown beginning this spring is one more step in the expansion of Farmaesthetics that founder Brenda Brock delights in, as her line of green, sustainable skin care products continues to blossom.
The 100 percent natural products are now being used in wellness centers for patients whose skin is under siege from cancer treatments. Retail is the biggest growth channel, with the addition of 15 Urban Outfitters shops, including five in New York City, one in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco, selling Farmaesthetics products since December.
Spas are continually added to the customer list and online sales continue to grow. The Farmaesthetics shop on Bellevue Avenue in Newport has seen a substantial increase in sales – an estimated 30 percent increase in 2013 over 2012, on top of 50 percent growth at the shop the previous year.
“The business is at a trajectory of significant growth,” said Brock. The Newport-based company has eight full-time employees, including the new position of operations director, as well as six part-time staff, in addition to Brock, and two contractors in public relations.
“We’re prepaying for the crop of lavender and other herbs Garman Organics will grow for us,” said Brock, who started selling her natural skin care products from a farm stand in 1999. The roadside stand got so much response in sales and so much encouragement from friends that she got help writing a business plan and turned her plantings and investments from family and friends into Farmaesthetics.
The product line continues to expand, sometimes with the season, such as winter-related products that bring a bit comfort during the chilly temperatures. There’s Deep Lavender Rub as well as Warming Oil: Aetheric Bath and Body Oil. There’s also Vapor Bath Elixir, with a “heat-producing essential oils of ginger, rosemary and eucalyptus to relax and release upper-respiratory tightness due to colds, allergies, stress or asthma.”
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