Made in New England: Meet Khaki Paquette of Face Food
New England entrepreneur Khaki Paquette recently gave her natural skincare company a major face lift with her re-brand to Face Food, while opening a Natural Beauty Market and Skincare Spa in Newburyport to boot. We got to chat with Khaki about local sourcing, her daily beauty ritual and the ins and outs of going through a re-brand. Read on for the latest in our Made in New England series.
R.K.: How did you start your brand? Anything you would have changed looking back?
I started my brand (originally Khaki’s Bomb Balm!) in 2014 when I was in search of truly natural skincare products that I could use myself. I started by making a simple shea butter balm with essential oils, hence the original brand name. I had been working as an esthetician at the time for several years and became tired of working with conventional skincare products, I wanted something healthier—something I felt good about using personally and professionally on my clients.
Before I knew it, I had a complete line and I started by selling online on Etsy and at my local farmers market. The Etsy shop took off and that really encouraged me to keep going! I moved from my kitchen into a studio space that served as a production and shipping area and a spa to take my clients. It was perfect for the first three years! I continued to sell online, locally and started to do wholesale as well.
This past May, I opened Newburyport’s first Natural Beauty Market and Skincare Spa right in the center of Market Square. I still have my studio location up the street for product production, and the Face Food Beauty Market is an exclusively all-natural beauty store with numerous beautiful skincare, haircare, body care and make up lines as well as, of course, the Face Food Skincare line.
If I could go back and change anything, I wish I could have re-branded sooner, as I felt I’d quickly outgrown Khaki’s Bomb Balm. Better late than never! I have been Face Food now for more than a year and it suits the brand very well.
R.K.: How do you source your ingredients? What are your requirements?
I source many ingredients locally as well as through trusted online retailers. I ensure all my ingredients are pure, fair trade, organic when possible and certified cruelty free!
R.K.: What is the “Face Food Theory”?
Face Food has a couple theories. The theory behind the product line is that natural ingredients and simple formulations provide real results. We are organic beings, therefore our bodies will respond better to organic, natural ingredients. We are also about transparency, no mumbo jumbo; you will likely recognize every ingredient listed on our packaging.
The experience theory is turning your routine into a ritual by shifting your mind and using products you feel good about using!
R.K.: What’s your personal morning and evening beauty ritual?
Morning is a bit hectic for me with a five-year-old old and two-and-a-half-year-old. I’m low maintenance with my skincare in the morning. Since I always do a deep cleansing in the evening, sometimes I take a warm damp washcloth to my face or I spritz some of the Face Food Flower Power Healing Toner for a light cleanse. I’ve been using the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream for a while now and dab that gently around my orbital bones, then I mix a couple drops of the Face Food Dawn Renewal Face & Eye Serum into the Raw Cacao Day Cream with 25% Zinc. I usually get dressed and fix my hair while this absorbs. I always wear makeup and use Face Food foundation, concealer, eyeshadow and mascara (available in store only). I also use Vapour Organic Beauty eyeliner, bronzer and multi-stick for cheeks. My face feels so soft and supple when I leave the house!
In the evening, I use the Face Food Blueberry Green Tea Cleansing Cream to remove all traces of makeup and dirt. This product is so luxurious it’s unreal! It smells like a blueberry coconut dream and the consistency is like a creamy balm that almost turns into a cleansing oil. It gets the job done at taking the day off for sure. I mix it up with my finishing products but I’ve been using the Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum, Good Medicine’s Starry Eyes and finishing with the Face Food Rosehip Lavender Cream. My evening routine is so pamper-y. Best way to end a day for sure!
R.K.: What did you have to learn the hard way in re-branding to Face Food?
That is takes time! I worked with a good friend and talented designer (Vanessa Rossi Design) for a year. There are so many facets from packaging, web, promotional materials, and of course trying to make it a seamless transition for my customers! You don’t want your loyal following to feel like you are leaving them behind.
R.K.: What trends do you expect to see in the New England wellness scene in the next three to five years?
So much collaboration! Cross promotion with people and brands in the wellness industry like pop ups and collaborative classes. That is what I am hoping to really get going this fall at Face Food. I envision yoga pop-ups and educational classes about natural beauty, nutrition and wellness!
R.K.: What other local wellness brands are you a fan of?
I’m a big fan of Ursa Major from Vermont, Kosmatology in Connecticut, Birch Rose + Co in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Organic Bath Co. in Boston, and Thorn & Bloom in Somerville. So many beautiful brands, all which have a great story and amazing integrity! There are some kick-ass women in the Newburyport area too that are doing some amazing things like Sarah Oleson Yoga, Emily Chandra at The Cure Studios, Julie Bokat and Jeanne Carter at Fuel Training Studio, and Elissa Shoreman at Buddhaful Souls Yoga. There are so many powerful and inspiring women around me—it is truly amazing!
R.K.: Where do you hope to see your brand in the next two years?
Wel,l since I just opened Face Food Beauty Market & Spa in May, I have been focusing on the season and just killing it this summer getting the word out! In the next two years, I would love to see the store thriving, my team growing and to be offering a more extended service menu to clients. And who knows, maybe a sister store in another port city!
R.K.: What advice would you give someone looking to start their own wellness business?
Don’t wait for everything to fall into place. If you have a passion for what you are doing, you will find a way to make it happen. Build your support network and just start doing it. Whatever it is, it does not have to be perfect day one; it’ a growth process and you will absolutely get there but not if you don’t make that first step.
R.K.: Here at the WELL Summit we like to say “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” How would you describe your vibe?
So I just saw on Instagram, clean living and clean beauty make-up artist Sammie Kolk wearing a shirt that said, “Making it up as I go” and I knew I needed that shirt. That pretty much sums me up. I think I’m outwardly pretty relaxed and approachable. I like to make people feel good, it makes me feel good. Let’s hang out and say nice things to each other!
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