Create Your Skincare Story: Native2Nature Skincare

Create Your Skincare Story: Native2Nature Skincare

Teaching skincare and wellness practitioners and budding skincare entrepreneurs how to start or grow their skincare business in my online course, Create Your Skincare Professional Edition, is one of my absolute favorite parts of my job. I love connecting with dedicated and creative like-minded people, and I love teaching them my passion for herbal and custom skincare and skincare business.

Watching a student take an idea and dream into a fully developed herbal skincare brand, and supporting their creative process along the way is one of the most rewarding things I’ve had the honor to experience.

Today, I proudly share with you my student, Tasha Hetke’s Create Your Skincare Story, and introduce you to her brand, Native2Nature Skincare.

Watch Tasha’s Create Your Skincare Story below:

Or Read Tasha’s Create Your Skincare Story below:

Rachael: Thank you for being here, Tasha! Thank you so much, first of all, for being part of Create Your Skincare family, and for taking the time today. 

Tasha: Yeah, thank you for having me. 

Rachael: Such a pleasure. So, you’ve been with the Create Your Skincare family for a while. What’s exciting is that you really went from start, ground zero, to complete finished brand, through the Create Your Skincare program. So, I would love to know, first, how you got into wanting to make skincare. So, can you give us a little bit about your backstory, and how you came to wanting to make NATIVE2NATURE?

Tasha: Sure. So, ever since I was a little girl, I had my own skin issues. I had eczema when I was younger, and then it came back when I was in college. And then, it came back again when I was planning my wedding, go figure. I also am prone to blemishes. So, I’ve always been interested in skincare, not necessarily making it, but seeking it out. I had tried a ton of different brands, and I know so many people say they tried everything. And then, my mom was diagnosed with leukemia, so when that happened, it was kind of a turn from seeking whatever medication, to seeking more holistic care for the entire body. So that’s when I went on the avenue to find something that fit my skin type, that was natural. Not natural, in the sense of walking into Walmart and it says, “Natural” but, natural as in unrefined oils essential oils–but not essential oils from like, you know, Walgreens. 

Rachael:  I just want to take a quick break to mention that in Create Your Skincare, we have a couple students who really are ingredient gurus. They really just seek out the highest possible quality. I see them posting in all of the smaller, like kind of underground ingredient groups, and ingredient co-ops where people are actually going to different countries to buy these ingredients right from the source. They really have become experts on locating the best quality, unrefined, organic, fair-trade ingredients that are possible at this point in time, on this planet, from the humans that are producing them. So, Tasha is one of those people.

Native2Nature SkincareTasha: Yeah, so essential oils, unrefined, all that quality sourcing was super important to me. And I remember … so, to start the class, it is a little bit of a financial commitment. I talked it over with my husband, and I was working a nine to five. And I was like, “This is something that I’m really interested in,” because I still wasn’t finding exactly what I wanted, something that I agreed with, with packaging, or ingredients, or customer service. So then, I decided that I needed to be that person for other people like me, who really wanted to find someone that they could trust for quality, customer service. I try to be the full package. So then, I took the class, and I remember when I was studying, because I would bring my materials everywhere with me, like in the vehicle when my husband and I would go fishing. I would study in the car, and study in the boat. I was really into it, and treated it like it was a college course. I’ve been out of college for years now, but it was kind of fun because it wasn’t something that I was forced to take because I needed a certain credit amount, but it was something that I was really passionate to take. So, that made me want to learn, and it made things stick a lot more than a couple of my college courses. It’s so fun to have a starting point, and just learn from other people, especially through the Create Your Own Skincare program, and having that communication and the Facebook page, and how important that has been for me. Overall, I’ve created my skincare brand because I wanted to really serve the people that kind of were like myself, in the sense of searching.

Rachael: I would love to have you talk about how you got to the NATIVE2NATURE brand, because I know that was a process for you, that we worked together for a long time, to help you hone that down, and come up with the name. When you are making a product that you are trying to market and sell, nobody else can have it. There are also different versions of the name that, if it’s too close, you can’t have that name either. So, that was a super fun process, wasn’t it, Tasha?

Tasha: Yeah, I thought I had a name for like a year, and it’s something that I started on Instagram, and I was like, I’m just going to kind of like dip my toes in the water. And then, I went and I looked on GoDaddy domain, and it was taken. So, it was a process. And then, I talked to a lawyer, and I recommend you doing that, because just the paperwork part of it, and the legal aspects, you can’t know everything. So, yeah, NATIVE2NATURE, honestly, it took me probably … and this is not supposed to be discouraging, but it took me about two years to think of the name, or even longer. I can’t even remember. But, it’s been something that was in the back of my mind. One day I was visiting my brother down in Florida, got up early in the morning, went to the beach, and started writing stuff in sand. I sent it to Rachael. I was like, “What do you think of this? What do you think of that?” So, when I was heading out the door one day, NATIVE2NATURE came to me. It completely agrees with my brand concept because everything in it is native to nature. Right? I didn’t want people to think that I added a bunch of synthetic fragrances or ingredients. So, that was really straightforward. But then, also I was like, “someone’s gotta have that.” And then, I did more research, and I asked the trademark guy to go in and look, and he’s like, “No, I think we’re good.” 

So, trademarking takes months and months and months. So, I would say, if you want to start a brand, and trademarking is important for you, that get on it right away, because it’s definitely not something you want to just leave off. I’m still in the process of trademarking. Everything sounds really good. I’m hoping it goes through. So, it’s just easier to do it beforehand, because I think it can take up to a year. But again, it’s better to do it than never do it, because then, no one can come in and try to mimic you, because if their products are not of great quality, people might then associate that with your name, and you don’t really want to tarnish what you’ve done for your branding. 

Rachael: Yeah, that’s a really important point. And I also just want to point out that even though it did take you a long time, Tasha, to come up with the perfect name, and the perfect logo, and the branding and everything, it’s not like that’s all you were doing for that time. You were still doing massive amounts of research and development, and continuing education, and continuing to post in the group about different things you were working on, and checking with me about percentages, and checking in and staying connected. Just finding the name is one aspect of it, but what I want to communicate to anyone who is considering starting a skin care brand, and they’re like, “Oh my god, what if I’ll never be able to name it,” don’t let that part of it, or the trademark part of it hold you back, because when you have a business, there’s always something to do. There’s always something to do both on the learning side of it, and then the doing side. I mean, how many times have we talked about tweaking when it comes to, okay, maybe that preservative system didn’t work. Maybe that emulsifier didn’t hold the product together. There is a whole bunch of research and development that does go in to making even one product. Even if it’s a simple product that does not contain any preservatives or emulsifiers, and this is an example of that. This is an oil serum that is a blend of beautiful, natural plant-based oils. This has kiwi seed oil. This has red raspberry, rose hip, buriti, elderberry extract, some beautiful essential oils, and then some good vibes as well. So, a product like this does not need to have a preservative necessarily, or an emulsifier, because it doesn’t have any water in it. We teach you how to balance that out, how to balance out these types of formulations, not just with ingredients that work together logically, in the bottle, but also, who are you formulating for? What types of ingredients are going to be best for that person, whether it’s a single person, if you’re custom blending, or if you are making products that are going to be sold online, or sold in a farmers’ market, like I know you’ve done before. 

Native2Nature Outdoorsy Warm Weather SerumDon’t let one little detail that does take a long time hold you up, because there’s always something else you can be doing to fill that time. Honestly, Tasha, if you didn’t do it that way, I feel like you would’ve had a completely different product line. You kind of had to go through that process of finding the name, in order to further refine the brand, and even the formulations. When it comes to the process of being a skincare business owner, you haven’t shied away from some of the harder parts of it. If anything, you’ve dove into them, and you’ve embraced them, while you’re still doing kind of the fun stuff, like the design and ingredients, and stuff like that. So, I’m really excited to see where NATIVE2NATURE goes, and to watch it grow. It really looks, from my perspective, like you’re making your choices very purposefully. So, I’m really proud of you for that. 

Tasha: Thank you. 

Rachael: You’re welcome. Okay. So, I want to get back to Create Your Skincare Professional Edition, and ask you what was your favorite part of that experience?

Tasha: My favorite part of the Professional Edition was I think hearing from the other professionals that you had live, and being able to ask them questions, because a lot of times, I signed up for webinars, but I’ve never really had the opportunity to ask them questions. And Rachael will confirm this–I’m a question asker. 

Rachael: She is. 

Tasha: I’m not afraid to ask questions. I love to learn about it. And I really want to know everything I can know about it because when customers ask me questions, I want to be knowledgeable about specific ingredients. And, even from the marketing standpoint, I want to be able to present myself as professionally as possible. So, in listening to your classes and being able to talk to the guest teachers questions throughout the classes, it was really helpful and useful to me. I also really like using the Facebook tool, just to hop on, because once in a while, I’ll be formulating something completely different or new, I’ll be like, “Oh no, what about this percentage?” That was a really big benefit because you can Google all you want, and you can Pinterest ’til your face turns blue, but until you actually have accurate information about things like preserving, and even the marketing side of things, it’s probably not going to go super far. I wanted to start this like a little side career because some day when we have kiddos, I want to be able to stay home with them, but yet still financially contribute. That is important to me. I feel like through the Pro Edition, it really helped me with the marketing part, and with actually putting things into place. 

Rachael:  I really want people thinking about marketable and purposeful decisions that are good business decisions right from the start, in addition to, “Wow, that’s a really cool ingredient that I want to have in my product, ’cause it’s awesome, and it smells great, and feels great, and oh my god.” Right? Tasha, how many cool ingredients are there that we have … 

Tasha: A thousand, million, trillion … 

Rachael: From this beautiful planet that we share, right? There are so many tempting ingredients out there. So, I really want to help people make decisions for ingredient selections that are not only just really cool ingredients, but also that are like, hey, that actually makes a lot of sense in your product, in the actual bottle itself, with the other ingredients you have in here, but also for your client, for your target customer, and from a marketing and business standpoint as well. 

Tasha: Right. 

Rachael: Cool. So, based on the experience that you’ve had in Create Your Skincare Professional Edition, what advice would you give to someone who is considering taking the course?

Tasha HetkeTasha: So, before I made the decision to enroll, I was on the fence about it. I mean, I wanted to do it, but it was more talking my husband into it, at that point. But then, also, it was something I was super passionate about, and I can tell you for certain, that if I wouldn’t have taken the course, I would still just be making sugar scrubs and putting jojoba on my face and that’s it. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but I wouldn’t be where I am right now, at all, today. It has been a journey, and a process, and if you go into a business thinking there’s not going to be any hiccups, you’re just going to feel awful the whole time, because there’s going to be hiccups. Just kind of what Rachael said, you have to kind of embrace it, expect it. Expect the best, but also prepare for things not going well at times, because you want to keep your positive energy going, and that’s something that’s important to my brand. I make my skin care around Himalayan Salt Lamps, and I unplug all the electronics around me that I can, because I feel that your energy really does resonate, or go into your product. 

Rachael: Absolutely. 

Tasha: So if you feel passionate about doing this, and you’re on the fence, I’d say sleep on it, and if you’re a person of prayer, pray about it, and or talk to a friend. But, I think that so many people miss opportunities that they’re passionate about because maybe society feels the need to tell you, “You won’t make it.” I just think we really have to push those thoughts out of our heads, because you can listen to negative thoughts all day long, but really, it’s the positive ones that are going to make the most impactful  decisions in your life. If you’re on the fence, I’d say, do it, because it’s really not crazy expensive, considering all I got out of it. And again, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I left my nine to five to pursue this. I would’ve done that, I wouldn’t have had the guts to do that. I’m not saying I’m making the same amount of money, but I’m a lot happier where I am. 

Rachael: And you’re just getting started. You have to start somewhere. You are making money, which is something. 

Tasha: Sure, right. 

Rachael: That’s a huge thing. You took that leap. You’re already seeing reward. You’re already growing a following. You have a good head about it. You’re not making decisions based just on impulse. You’re thinking it through. But, you’re also taking risks. You have a good balance of risk and being methodical about it. That is really necessary for a successful business person. So, I see amazing things for you in the future of NATIVE2NATURE. So, where are you at now?

Tasha: I just launched my website. I also just got done formulating my next serum. So, that will be my next product for this next season. It’ll be called Outdoorsy Cool Weather Serum.

Rachael: Perfect. 

Tasha: My niche is for those who like to be outdoors, because I’m outdoorsy, and I honestly didn’t really see it on the market. I’m sure someone does it somewhere, but it wasn’t as popular as maybe like, aging, which yes, people are very interested in that. But, I wanted something for people when they’re outside, that’s going to protect and restore your skin. So, my warm weather is for the warmer weather. The reason why I didn’t called it summer and winter is because for people in California and Florida, their cool weather is still pretty warm, sometimes. 

I chose not to take out a loan for my business, so it’s something that I kind of have to gradually grow, which is okay, because if I were to come out with a big line right away, I think, for my personality, it would’ve been too overwhelming. So, know your limits, and yourself, what you can handle, and what you have time to handle. 

Rachael: I think that’s a really big point, and I’m glad you made that, because you know, a lot of people worry, “Well, how am I going to fund this thing? What if I can’t get a loan? What if I don’t want to take on a loan right now? What if I don’t have anyone helping me?” I’ll tell you, I did not start my business with a loan. I self-funded my business and chose to grow it slowly as well. When you start too big, too fast, many people just end up losing money because haven’t they tested the market, or built an audience. They haven’t done that part of it. You really gain a lot of wisdom from going slowly, because you’re learning every step of the way, and the decisions that you’re making for your spending, are going to be a lot more thought out. I want to reflect back to the Herbal Skincare Summit. One of our teachers, Kevin Gianni, from Annmarie Skin Care, said, “What I would recommend to anyone is start with one, really kick-ass serum, and market the heck out of it, and sell it, and then see what happens, and make your decisions next from there.” I think that’s really sound advice, because really one of the biggest mistakes I see people make when they start these brands is that they just have too many products, and they’re still going for that quantity over quality. I really want my students to go quality, always. Never sacrifice quality for quantity. 

Tasha, is there anything else that you would like to share, either about Create Your Skincare Professional Edition, or NATIVE2NATURE?

Tasha: I guess, my number one advice is go for it. Learn along the way, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you choose to take the course, you are investing time and money into it, and with that, don’t be afraid that your question’s going to sound stupid, or not. Or, just look up my name if you’re a part of the Facebook group, because I ask a whole bunch of questions. Feel free to reach out. So, just go for it, and be confident in yourself.

Rachael: Fantastic. All right. So if you are someone who is thinking about whether this is for you, you’re not quite sure, I do offer complementary skincare business consultations to anyone who is serious in learning more about Create Your Skincare Professional Edition, and joining us in one of our upcoming live semesters. So, you can go to createyourskincare.com and schedule that appointment there, and you can also enroll in the course directly right from that website. 

Tasha, thank you so much for joining me today. I really am just so excited for you. 

Tasha: Yeah, thank you for having me. I appreciate it. 

Learn more about Native2Nature Skincare and connect with Tasha:

Learn more about Create Your Skincare Professional Edition at www.createyourskincare.com.

 

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Packaging for Your Herbal Skincare Business

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Packaging for Your Herbal Skincare Business

“Sustainable.” It’s a word that you hear all the time. On social media. On the news. It’s become a buzzword that has transformed how we go about our everyday lives in a multitude of ways. But what does it actually mean? And, how does it relate to you and your skincare business?

Studies have shown consumers care now more than ever about the effects their decisions and behaviors have on our planet. Waste, pollution, climate change, water scarcity, deforestation, global warming… just a few to name off an ever-growing list of environmental concerns that plague our world today. And the public, including consumers, is taking notice.

Consumers aren’t only focused on their own choices – they’re also becoming more aware of everything around them. This includes everything from the brands they purchase to the companies they choose to do business with. And, also, how products in their households are made, and their consumption of those products. Packaging, specifically, has had a significant impact on our environment. Packaging alone accounts for 40% of all plastic usage, with only 14% being properly recycled. As pollution of our oceans, lands, and air continues to escalate, consumers are looking for products, companies, and business owners they can trust to make positive efforts towards saving our planet. This includes sustainable packaging in our niche of the skincare and beauty industry.

So, what exactly is it to be environmentally sustainable?

Environmental sustainability: A state in which the demands placed on the environment can be met without reducing its capacity to allow all people to live well, now and in the future.

Essentially, sustainability is an effort to live life or do business in a way that is friendly to the natural environmental and is sustainable for the planet as a whole. The overall goal being to protect the earth’s ecological balance.

2017 alone presented a huge trend of eco-friendly and sustainable packaging becoming a priority in the beauty marketing segment. Big brands such as Garnier, Dior, Lush, Tata Harper and more have all made conscious, deliberate efforts to incorporate eco-responsible packaging. International studies by Unilever have found that over one-third of consumers prefer to purchase from sustainable brands, or brands they perceive as making an effort to do environmental good.

With the world of “green living” being so expansive and encompassing, it can be intimidating as a small business owner to know where to start. Will it cost more? Will I be able to find sustainable packaging suppliers that fit my needs? Will I be able to make effective changes? Where do I start?

One of the first areas we can evaluate is the one part of our business that has been proven to be one of the highest contributors to global pollution: packaging. With so much information available today, it can be cumbersome to dig through. Below, we’ll go over some popular “eco-friendly” and sustainable options that you can consider utilizing in your own skincare businesses. I’ve also provided a quick reference rating guide that rates each option in terms of their overall “greenness,” price, and availability.

Here are my top 4 sustainable packaging options for herbal skincare:

1. Bamboo

These frosted glass jars with bamboo lids are available on Amazon.

Little known to many, bamboo is actually classified as a grass. Due to this distinction, the plant has fast-growing qualities (it’s one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, in fact!) that earn it a reputation as a favorable option for renewable or sustainable packaging materials. Bamboo also has a naturally high strength-to-weight ratio, providing the material with a higher compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete. In short, bamboo is a reliable, strong, and green option for packaging. Bamboo is also biodegradable and compostable – making it not only strong, but also a fantastic option for being environmentally conscious.

Bamboo has become a material of choice in the cosmetic industry, with a wealth of packaging options increasing each year. Online retailers provide attractive options such as canisters, jars, tubes, bottles, and more for filling and selling product. Just be aware that many of them still have plastic inside, so look for recycled or otherwise sustainable plastic, or glass insides to your bamboo bottles and jars.

  • Green Rating – ★★★
  • Price Rating –
  • Availability Rating –

1 = lowest score; 3 = highest score

2. Recycled Cardboard

Cardboard lip balm tubes of many colors are available on Amazon.

Most all modern garbage companies, for both households and businesses, have evolved to include a curbside cardboard pick-up due to the high-commodity usage of the material. Cardboard, along with paper, can be recycled to be redeveloped into a number of different products, so even if you can’t find recycled cardboard for all of your sustainable packaging needs, regular cardboard packaging is still an eco-friendly option. Over half of cardboard recycled will be used to make new cardboard boxes, with the rest being downcycled into thinner paperboard material. Utilizing recycled cardboard in your product packaging is not only helping the environment by incorporating a recycled material into your business practices – but also serves as a positive contribution post-sale, as recycled cardboard is biodegradable, compostable, and/or recyclable on the consumer-end.

Creative uses of recycled cardboard have expanded with the increase of needs in the “green living” space. Adding to the list of regularly found recycled products, such as shipping boxes, businesses can now find jars, tubes, and a multitude of shaped containers that are now available in recycled cardboard material for cosmetic products.

  • Green Rating – ★★
  • Price Rating – ★★★
  • Availability Rating – ★★★

1 = lowest score; 3 = highest score

3. Glass

Cobalt blue glass bottles are an easily accessible and attractive sustainable packaging option for your herbal skincare products.

Glass is universally one of the most eco-friendly product options available. It holds the unique quality of being “infinitely recyclable” – meaning it can be recycled over and over and over again, without any negative secondhand effects; such as a decrease in material quality or strength. Glass is also non-porous and impermeable, meaning there is no risk of an interaction between the packaging and the material the glass holds. Glass also has a zero rate of chemical reactions, ensuring that whatever is kept within glass packaging have no negative interactions with the material that would affect taste, aroma, or flavor. This is why glass is the number one option for food and beverage packaging. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ranked glass with a status of “GRAS” – or, generally recognized as safe – which is the highest of FDA standards.

Generally, due to the weight and fragile nature of the material, glass can be considered one of the more difficult and expensive options (especially Infinity or Miron glass), in terms of both product cost and shipping costs. However, one way to combat against this (and a common strategy in the beauty industry as a whole) is to incorporate “refill” programs when utilizing glass packaging. More details about this can be found below in our “Think Outside the Box” section.

  • Green Rating – ★★★
  • Price Rating –
  • Availability Rating – ★★

1 = lowest score; 3 = highest score

4. Recycled plastics

The majority of recyclable plastic bottles still end up in landfills because they are not recycled properly or at all.

Recent Earth Day Network studies have discovered that since plastic was developed in the 1950’s, over 8.3 billion tons of the material has been produced. Unfortunately, 91% of this material is not recycled – even though recycling plastic saves twice as much energy than disposing of it does.

Understandably, there will be times when you may find plastic is unavoidable. Even when we have the best of intentions, sometimes budget, availability, or other outstanding factors can get in the way. However, know that the market is now growing rapidly with recycled plastic options to help control the rapid spread of plastic pollution. While you may not be able to avoid utilizing the material – purchasing plastic containers that are certified as eco-friendly or 100% recycled can still assist in making a difference! These are not as easily accessible in small quantities, but I predict that will change as awareness and demand continues to increase.

  • Green Rating –
  • Price Rating – ★★★
  • Availability Rating –

1 = lowest score; 3 = highest score

Thinking outside the box

Sustainability doesn’t only encompass the materials we utilize for packaging – there are also a ton of other creative ways to accomplish a more sustainable brand. Even the smallest considerations can make a huge impact and contribute towards positive change in the greater world around us.

Here are a few other ways to consider making your products more “green”:

  • Product design – Even details that may seem minor can have a large impact on the overall sustainability and “green footprint.” There may be creative ways for you to change the size of your packaging, for example. Or, changing the shape of your product to achieve more efficient shipping.
  • Selecting “green” partners – Do your best to work with companies or manufacturers who utilize materials from renewable or sustainably-managed forest sources, or are known to make an effort to incorporate eco-friendly practices.
  • Recycled paper – Packaging is only one part of the many pieces that are involved in your business. You can also utilize recycled materials in other areas – such as the paper you use to print invoices, packing slips, and more!
  • Minimize additional elements – As small as they may seem, any additional paper included with your product (leaflets, corrugated information cards, cellophane wrapping) all product excess waste on the consumer-end. Re-evaluate your current product materials to determine if there is anyway to condense or combine to decrease your carbon footprint.
  • Refill programs – Refill programs, most commonly coupled with glass packaging, have become very popular in the beauty industry. Brands such as Blackstones in NYC, M.A.C., fragrance brand Thierry Mugler, LUSH, Kiehl’s, and more. Consumers are encouraged to bring in their empty bottles to either recycle or refill. This not only reduces waste – but can also save your costs on additional packaging for repeat customers!

Is sustainable packaging something you think about for your products?

What solutions have you found either for your herbal skincare business, or for your at-home needs? Please share in the comments below!

Need more suggestions for where to purchase sustainable packaging for your herbal skincare products?

I offer a comprehensive list of preferred suppliers for both raw ingredients and packaging supplies to my Create Your Skincare students. Our next semester of Create Your Skincare Professional Edition starts soon!

Click HERE to learn more and schedule your complimentary Skincare Business Consultation today.

*Plastics photo credit J. MacPherson via Flickr

**This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made after clicking on a link in this post may result in me earning a small commission (at no extra cost to you). These commissions help me continue to bring you top quality free holistic skincare resources and educational events like this. I appreciate your support!

Does DIY Skincare Have a Place in Professional Skincare?

Does DIY Skincare Have a Place in Professional Skincare?

Life is full of polarities, doesn’t it seem? There’s so much “this OR that,” and people get so caught up in whether THIS is right or THAT is right–and the “thises” fight so hard to prove the “thats” wrong and vice versa. Wouldn’t it be nice if in all aspects of life, there was room for this AND that? That both could be right? Or that this might be right for some people, while that might be right for others…right?

Want to know what I think?

I think most people benefit from a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Today, I want to take that idea to skincare–and talk about how we no longer have to have the debate of DIY skincare vs professional skincare. At first, I’ll be honest–I believed what I was taught in aesthetics school that DIY and OTC skincare were less effective, and even were potentially dangerous. But that view changed quite a bit after I dove deeper into herbalism, making my own skincare, and using my own skincare creations on my clients and seeing the results that happened. I talk about that more in this article.

I also wrote a post about professional skincare that was considered a bit controversial among aestheticians at the time (and still is, if I’m being totally honest!), where I debunk the idea that the “professional” skincare products that most aestheticians use in their practices and sell to their clients are more effective, higher quality, and more concentrated than skincare products that are sold to the general public (which aestheticians refer to as “OTC products”, or DIY skincare products. Aestheticians have been sold the idea that only they can sell these products because they are licensed, and therefore can handle and “prescribe” more “active” ingredients which supposedly have a more dramatic effect on the skin. Sorry to tell you, friends, but none of that is actually true, “Professional skincare” is a marketing term, just like “cosmeceutical.” It’s meaningless when it comes to defining the quality of the actual ingredients and formulation. All it means is that these are products that are marketed to professionals, rather than to the general public. If you’re an aesthetician, before you get mad at me, read the rest of that post HERE–because I promise you, it makes a lot of sense.

Chemical exfoliation treatmentBack to my initial point of this post: in professional skincare–meaning in the aesthetic treatment room and retail spa, I believe there is room for both DIY skincare (which I now prefer to call boutique or herbal skincare) and products that are marketed to professional. And quite frankly, if I make a product line and market it only to professionals, I’ve then made professional skincare.

I had the opportunity to shed light on DIY skincare in the professional skincare setting in my latest article in Dermascope Magazine, “10 Things about DIY Skincare.”

Click HERE to read it.

I’ll give you of the 10 things here–you’ll have to read the article to get all the details:

1. Whole foods and plants can benefit the skin.

2. Fresh ingredients are nutrient dense.

3. There are other forms of DIY skincare than kitchen DIY.

4. A properly formulated DIY skincare product can be just as, or more, concentrated as professional products.

5. There is a big misconception that DIY skincare puts people more at risk of developing allergies than synthetic skin care.

6. Not all DIY skincare is safe.

7. DIY skin care that contains fresh food, plant matter, or water must be preserved to be safe.

8. Natural preservation is not a simple topic.

9. Even anhydrous products can become contaminated.

10. The most common natural preservatives found in online DIY skincare recipes are not actually preservatives.

I hope you take the time to read the full article at Dermascope!

But the bottom line is that DIY skincare is awesome, safe, super-effective, and is legal to use and sell in the professional setting. That being said, there are guidelines and laws to follow, and there is certainly a lot of information you need to know to ensure that you’re doing it right in terms of ingredient selection, formulation, safety and stability testing, packaging, and more. If you’re an aesthetician and you still love a certain professional skincare line, then by all means–continue to sell it! But I also encourage you to offer your clients a little bit of DIY too–because you never know when a client might need a little more of this than that.

And I teach you how to create and customize all natural, boutique skincare for your clients in my online course, Create Your Skincare Professional Edition!

If you’re a skincare professional, check out our Professional Edition, and if you’re not a skincare professional but want to make yourself professional DIY skincare the right way, check out our Personal Edition.

You can even start either skincare journey today with a free class HERE!

What’s your experience with DIY skincare in the professional setting?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share in the comments below!

Ode to the Multi-passionate Entrepreneur

Ode to the Multi-passionate Entrepreneur

Are you a Jack (or Jane) of all trades? Or what’s now often referred to as a “multi-passionate” person or multi-passionate entrepreneur? That’s me too, and for a long time, I thought it was a bad thing. So many people (parents, teachers, successful friends) asked me why I can’t just focus on one thing? Why do I need to explore more interests, earn more certifications, pivot in my business when I can just focus on doing one thing really well and make a ton of money? First of all, that’s not necessarily realistic–but second of all, it’s just not my nature. And if you’re reading this, I’m guessing it’s not in your nature too. So today I want to celebrate us multi-passionate entrepreneurs and people, because what I’ve come to figure out is that there are a LOT of good things about being like us.

If you are a multi-passionate entrepreneur, I’m sure you can attest to this: when someone asks you “What do you do?” It’s really hard to give a simple answer.

When I was in both nutrition school, and when I studied marketing, branding, and even PR later on, I was asked to give my “elevator pitch,” which is typically an introductory statement that is typically given in one minute or less, to tell people what I do. And like many other people, I was really tripped up with that, because it’s not easy to say everything that I do. I can’t exactly say “I’m an author, blogger, holistic skincare entrepreneur, skincare formulator, skincare educator, herbalist, Reiki practitioner, health coach, aesthetician, metaphysical minister, qi gong practitioner, speaker, mentor, intuitive, skincare business and marketing coach, copywriter, editor, and curriculum developer.” Not if I want the conversation to continue beyond “What?” or “Oh, that’s nice” (with a glazed over gaze).

I was able, years and years later, able to narrow it down to holistic skincare entrepreneur. OK fine, sometimes I get a little more descriptive, and I say holistic skincare coach, educator, formulator, and author. Those are all different descriptors of what I do. But really, my main thing is holistic and integrative skincare, and I run two businesses that serve people in that world.

But my multi-passionate entrepreneur self didn’t want to be pigeonholed.

Luckily, In that holistic skincare realm–which of course is part of the beauty, wellness, and health health industries–there are all sorts of different offshoots in which holistic skincare can spring into, which is a really good thing, because multi-passionate entrepreneurs tend to get bored easily! If this is you, you know what I mean.

Now, there are certainly some entrepreneurs who find their one thing, and they love that thing enough that they make a whole lifelong career out of it. And that is amazing if that’s you. That’s just not me.

Skincare is my thing now, and it probably always will be my main thing, because I keep coming back to it. That’s how I know that the way I’m meant to deliver my life’s purpose in this world. Whatever that “big plan” is, it’s through skincare. I just had to figure out what within skincare I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.

And before I got to this point, I was one of those people who took a really long time to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. And I hear this from a lot of people who have their own businesses now as well. So I’m just going to tell you a little bit about how I got here.

But before I do that, I wanted to tell you that I now offer a free class called Skincare Business Crash Course. If your multi-passionate entrepreneurial spirit has an inkling of desire for starting a skincare business, or if you already have a business in the skincare world, and you want to see what else you can do with that that might include custom formulation, or having your own signature skincare brand, I can help you with that. Register HERE.

Back to the story of how I became a multi-passionate entrepreneur.

I want you to know that if you are a multi-passionate entrepreneur, it’s great. You’re perfect just the way you are. You don’t have to only focus on one thing, and feel like you’ll never be able to experience all of these amazing other things that you’re interested in and you’re passionate about in your life.

It’s really OK to have a lot of things that you love doing; but the biggest pitfall that I’ve seen, that I’ve observed from other multi-passionate entrepreneurs in my life, both friends and family members, as well as some things that I experienced in the earlier stages of my business, is that it can be a little bit distracting. When you find yourself getting bored with one thing and then moving on to another thing, you spread yourself really thin. It might seem like a lot gets done, but it doesn’t always get done effectively, well, efficiently, or cost effectively.

I tell the whole story of some of the challenges I experienced as a multi passionate person in this video:

Click HERE for a list of things I wish I knew before I started my businesses.

The moral of the story is that I found ways to infuse all of my loves–all of my passions–into my two businesses. They don’t always show up in the same ways, and I am sensitive to the fact that people come to me from diverse backgrounds–but I feel that as women, connecting with the Divine creatrix within is something that is so needed in today’s white male-dominated world.

Being a multi-passionate entrepreneur has helped me create a beautiful life.

Both my businesses are doing very well. And, I’m a mom. I have two girls who are amazing. They’re 13 and 10, and they’re ballet dancers, and one of them I actually homeschool. I actually am able to make time for all of that. I have time for these incredible growing businesses, which are like two other children in my life. But I also have time to be a very present mom for both my kids. I have time to be a very present wife for my husband. I have time for my pets and for my volunteer work. And I also do ballet myself, and I have time for that. I make time for it.

I think that being a multi-passionate entrepreneur is fantastic, because it makes you really good at multi-tasking. It makes you really good at coming up with quick solutions, and making strong connections that might not makes sense to everyone. But when you draw from different strengths that you’ve accumulated through all of these interests, and you’re able to unite them, it makes your thing really special and unique. And it makes you able to offer something that other people just can’t, because it is uniquely yours.

So if you are a multi-passionate entrepreneur, pat yourself on the back. Hug yourself. Because you’re awesome.

You have all of these incredible, incredible strengths and talents and interests and messages that you’re just dying to share with the world. And they’ve been sent to you for a reason. You’re the one who’s meant to deliver them.

But what I want to encourage you to do, instead of getting a little bit distracted and jumping around and having that butterfly shiny object syndrome, instead of just hopping from one thing to the next to the next to the next, see how you can connect them. See how you can make them a logical path. And see how all of these things can be your toolbox.

Are you a multi-passionate entrepreneur too?

I’d LOVE to know how you nurture all of your interests and how they enrich your business. If it’s something you find challenging, I’d love to hear about that too. Please share in the comments below!

 

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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Skincare Business

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Skincare Business

What do you want to be when you grow up? I’ll be honest–I could not answer that question until I was in my very early 30s, when I was beginning to plan what I wanted to do when my kids were old enough to attend school full time. For many moms, the choice is to be a stay-at-home mom (which I did for 7 years, though I did some freelance writing and editing on the side), or go back to work in whatever job or career they had before having kids. But for me, neither of those choices were ideal.

Being a stay-at-home mom is a really hard thing for so many reasons.

For me, the monotony, feeling really isolated because most family and friends lived in another state, and making “mommy friends” was really hard. I never remembered it being that hard to make “regular” friends! But I still felt really strongly that I wanted to be home with my kids, and I don’t regret it at all. For a time, I did get a part-time job (at the Body Shop), but that didn’t last long because I missed my kids terribly, and finding childcare was hard since my mom and husband both work, and I was not at the point where I trusted babysitters. I also REALLY did not like not being in control of my schedule. It turns out that after being out of the workforce as an employee, I did not take well to being told when to do what tasks, when to eat, when to come and go, etc. So I went back to full-time mommying, but not for long–because it was always the plan that I would go back to work when my kids were in school.

Going “back to work” in a former job wasn’t a possibility for me.

I never found a job or career that resonated enough for me to stick with it and call it my own. It all comes back to the fact that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with myself. In college, I changed my major three times before I finally settled on “Architectural Studies with a minor in Humanities focusing on Gender Studies,” which I knew I really couldn’t do much with, but by that point I was so DONE with school (or so I thought at the time), and changing it again would have added years onto my bachelor’s degree.

So after graduation, I looked for jobs in sales–because before and throughout college I primarily worked retail–and was fortunate to get an advertising sales job for a healthcare magazine. But, I quickly changed my mind again, and switched to a copywriting position in the company’s advertising department. I really loved that job (and I still love copywriting and do my own), but alas it was not meant to be, so I moved on again. I had several other jobs after that trying to find my thing–the thing that would not only make me a good income, but also make me feel valued and fulfilled, and like I was doing something meaningful. Long story short, I did not find that, because I really didn’t like working for someone else, selling or promoting someone else’s product, and having a “department” or someone else take credit for my hard work.

No judgment towards anyone who works for someone else–there are many instances in life where that is the best choice–but it was clearly not for me. But I had still had no idea what my “thing” was so my husband and I shifted into family mode, and decided that I would be a stay-at-home mommy for awhile, then figure out the work thing later on. I’m not going to share the rest of the story of how I became a holistic skincare author, educator, and entrepreneur here (I actually share a lot about that in my book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself), because we’d be here for awhile.

But what I do want you to know is that having a skincare business–or owning any business, really–is hard.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s doable–but it’s certainly not for everyone. It’s hard for a lot of reasons because let’s face it–you can be really good at something (for me, it was skincare) but unless you also know how what’s necessary to actually run a business and be both a good boss and a good employee, it won’t work out. I am blessed to have two amazing skincare businesses now–Holistically Haute which covers my private skincare coaching practice and my online course, Create Your Skincare–and I’m also one of the co-owners and co-founders of the Nutritional Aesthetics® Alliance.

Holistic skincare is my “thing” and the work I do not only helps to support my family, but it also sets an example to my daughters that women can lead, and that they can have families and a fulfilling career at the same time. It also genuinely helps people look and feel their best, and start their own skincare businesses if that’s their thing. I love my work with clients, I love writing blog posts like this, I love making custom products, and I LOVE teaching my students (that has become my favorite!). I also love having the time flexibility that a stay-at-home mom might have while still fulfilling my desire to work.

Business is thriving now, but it took me a long time to get here. There are a lot of things I wish I knew before I started, because it definitely would have shortened my learning curve. I recently surveyed my email community, asking what they most want to learn from me, and the majority of who responded said they wanted to learn about how to have a skincare business.

So I figured I’d start by sharing 5 of the things someone had told me before I started my skincare business:

1. You’ve got to be clear on your “why”–and that why can’t just be about money.

You may have seen the now cult online business classic Ted Talk from Simon Sinek, “Start with Why” (and if you haven’t, do take the time to watch it here). And though there’s more to a successful business than just knowing your own why, you do need to know it, because if you’re only going into business to make money, chances are you’ll wind up disappointed–because truly, if money’s what you’re after, it’s much easier to get a job with a steady paycheck and benefits than it is to start and grow your own business.

2. You’ve got to spend money to make money.

This was something I had to learn the hard way because here I was thinking I could just start a blog, then get “discovered” and get a book deal, maybe a movie written about me like what happened to the girl who had the cooking blog about Julia Childs, have sponsors throwing money at me so I’d have funding to start my skincare line so I wouldn’t have to invest a dime. Pardon me while I laugh at my former self for a moment. Starting a business costs money. Developing products and services costs money. Paying for things like websites, social media advertising, shopping carts, email lists (yes, you have to pay every month to send people emails once your list grows over a certain number and if you want to do it in a non-spammy way) all cost money. Then there’s this crazy thing called taxes that the government gets mad if you don’t pay! But not just income taxes–sales tax, use tax, and other taxes do apply. Depending on where you live, you might need to pay annually just to HAVE your business. Even if you run it from your house. And all those things you need to learn to do in your business that you don’t know how to do yet? Yeah, you either have to pay someone to do it for you, pay for the education to learn how to do it yourself, or pay with time spent trying to figure it all out yourself. Is it possible to do it in the cheap? Sure–but not if you’re in it for the long haul.

3.Time is more valuable than money.

My students have heard me say this a lot, but I want you to know it too since it’s something that I REALLY wish I knew years ago when I was doing every single thing in my business myself. And that’s this:

Time and money are similar in that they’re what people most value. But they differ in that money comes and goes, and always comes back again. Time–well it just goes. 

So even though you CAN do certain things in your business yourself, it might actually cost you more in time than it would have been worth in money. Did you know that I actually built the first Create Your Skincare website myself from scratch, with the help of YouTube tutorials and For Dummies books? Membership platform included. No joke. And I was all proud of myself until something broke. Or someone couldn’t access something. And I had no one to call. I could submit a support ticket to the website theme or whatever plugin was giving me trouble–or ask in DIY WordPress Facebook groups or look through support forums. But sometimes I’d have to wait for more than a day for the answer, and then it turned out the answer wasn’t something I knew how to implement. So I’d have to hire someone for a one-time fix, which cost about three times more than it would have cost had I had someone helping me with the site regularly. For everything that takes you forever to do or that you procrastinate doing, there are people who love to do that stuff and will do it fast and happy. That’s better for you and for your customers.

4. Don’t accept free help.

When you start a new business–especially if it’s something that helps other people–people will offer to help you for free or maybe on a barter basis. In the beginning–or even not so much in the beginning, this might seem like a godsend. Like the Universe is paving your way. Don’t do it. Free is never free, and trade rarely works because the value of one person’s contribution will always be higher to the person on the giving end than it is to the person on the receiving end. Plus, value is subjective. Also, just because someone offers to help you for free doesn’t mean that person can actually deliver the quality you need in the timeframe in which you need it. Do yourself–and the other person–a favor and let the exchange have a monetary value. Even if you are bartering services–pay each other for the services when they are rendered. It’s good money karma, and might save a friendship.

Women supporting women5. Don’t go it alone.

Let’s be honest–most people who want to own businesses are control freaks. I certainly am, and most of my entrepreneurial colleagues are too. A huge reason to go into business is to be your own boss and not be at the mercy of someone else. Right? This is why many of us do what I did early on, and attempt to do every single thing in the business themselves. Whether they know how to do it or not. As mentioned above, this is not sustainable, and I really think it’s one of the main reasons business owners burn out and throw in the towel. It’s imperative to delegate the right tasks to the right people. But that’s not all I  mean when I say “don’t go it alone.” Being a business owner can be very isolating. A lot of people just don’t get why you’d ever want to forego things like job security, benefits, company happy hours, evenings, weekends (as I write this at 7:40pm on a Friday night) for something as uncertain as starting a small business. You must have a sounding board of people who get it. People who have been there, have come through some of the hard times already, and can offer you support. It’s also so important to have solid mentors. Mentorship used to be a thing that you could get for free, when someone more seasoned than you would get inspired by you and want to take you under their wings and teach you everything they know. Well, unfortunately, that’s not easy to find for free anymore. Possible, yes–but likely? No. That’s why we have business coaches and masterminds. I work with a business coach and have been for years, and I’m also part of a mastermind group, and I can tell you that giving myself that level of support and accountability is what changed everything in my business. It took this from an expensive hobby to an actual revenue-producing business that in a couple of years, will allow my husband to retire early. It was that important.

That’s why I created the Create Your Skincare Professional Edition.

Because of the huge upswing I experienced from being part of a mastermind, I decided to offer the mastermind model to my Create Your Skincare students in the form of Create Your Skincare Professional Edition. I ran the first round of this version of the course in Spring 2017, and the students who committed to fully to the process all finished with a solid skincare business plan, concrete action steps, their Boutique Skincare Designer certification, and solid knowledge of what it will actually take to have a real and sustainable business. They received instruction on topics like business setup, legal compliance, branding, website optimization, time management and planning, money management, and more. They also formed meaningful relationships with their fellow masterminders, that have turned into friendships. They have their sounding board of people who “get it” anytime they need it, and they continue to enjoy support and accountability within the group format.

You might be wondering, why be in a mastermind with potential competitors?

I come from the “a rising tide floats all boats” mentality. I was taught this way not only in business courses I’ve taken, mastermind groups I’ve participated in, and coaches I’ve hired–but also during my master’s degree research on the Divine Feminine aspects of metaphysics and spirituality.

What I’ve learned is that historically, men compete. But herstorically (see what I did there?) women collaborate. Women only become competitive and judgmental as a reaction to feeling oppressed by a patriarchal society. And they usually aren’t aware that that’s what’s going on. In a time when there was more value placed on the feminine, women gathered together. They prepared food together, they birthed together, they healed together. Regardless of age, women respected each other as equals, and they believed in helping each other.

We are in a time where the world is shifting back to a more collaborative, feminine way of thinking. It might not seem like it now, with all the war, oppression, and uncertainty happening. But it is happening, and the resurgence of feminism, herbalism and natural healing tradition, cooking and gardening, women’s spirituality, and the business model of collaboration over competition is evidence that this is true. I truly feel that women supporting and uplifting other women is the way back to a more peaceful and accepting humanity.

The beautiful thing about skincare is that it is a truly individual thing. What works for one won’t work for others, and one skincare business owner’s story might resonate more with a potential customer more than business with a similar product line with a different story. In Create Your Skincare Professional Edition, I teach you how to design your business for yourself AND for your customers. There is more than enough to go around, and quite frankly, there are more people who need help from good skincare than there are existing skincare brands, so competition amongst each other is really not something my students worry about.

Does that sound good to you?

Click HERE to learn more about Create Your Skincare Professional Edition and either schedule a complimentary Skincare Business Consultation today to see if it’s the right fit for you and your business goals, or enroll to join us in our nest semester!

*”Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May image by John William Waterhouse.
What Happens When Your Intuition is Wrong

What Happens When Your Intuition is Wrong

Intuition is a funny thing. Sometimes it’s like a little bird whispering in your ear, other times it’s more like a punch in the gut.

Sometimes we think we’re listening to our intuition, but we’re not–instead, what we’re actually following is circumstantial or ego-driven emotion. In the practice of metaphysics and many branches of new age philosophy and modern non-dualistic spirituality, we’re taught that we don’t need the advice of others–that all we need to do is set an intention, meditate on that intention, and we’ll get the guidance we need from the Divine. Overall I still think that’s a good practice, but on the other hand, it’s not always possible.

Have you ever had an instance where you felt you were following your intuition…

Your gut, your conscience, your spirit guides, God, whatever you call it–but things still ended up going astray? Or have you ever felt like you were truly using the power of your mind to manifest a specific outcome, but your physical body was fighting back? This can come in the form of digestive issues, chronic fatigue, a massive acne breakout, a back spasm–any or all of the above and then some.

Have you also ever had an instant when you knew you were right about a decision or thought process, yet everyone in your life whose opinions you actually value is telling you that you’re nuts? Let’s be honest, there certainly times in life when you are the only person of sound mind in a sea full of crazy. But there are other times when, if people you trust are strongly advising you against a decision you’re about to make, they are seeing something you’re not because your judgment is clouded by emotion. These are the times where asking for help and being open to the fact that you might not love the advice you get might be what you actually need.

In business, there are times where you make a decision about putting a new offer out into the world, whether it’s a free gift, a new facial treatment, an online course, a live event, a book, or coaching program–and you put a ton of creativity and strategy into it, yet it doesn’t get the response you anticipated? Or you think you have a great idea, but really aren’t sure if it’s what your people will care about enough to make a purchase?

This is also a time where intuitive guidance might be blocked, either by emotion, or attachment to a specific expected outcome (this is often time and money related), or by the fact that many modern business and marketing teachings advise you to “feel the fear and do it anyway,” and that “done is better than perfect.” I do agree that it is better to start than to stay in limbo, and that many business decisions are similar to important life decisions like buying a house or having a baby in that there’s never really the “right” time. So you do it, and just find a way to make it work.

While I absolutely advise connecting to your own Divine inspiration within on ALL matters, it is also important to have your trusted inner circle of advisors to help disseminate and prioritize the guidance you receive at times. These are people, again, whose opinions you trust, and who you actually deem as qualified to give you advice on what it is that you need help with. In other words, don’t take financial advice from someone who doesn’t have their own financial house in order. Don’t take parenting advice from a non-parent. Don’t take marketing advice from someone who’s never successfully marketed a single product or service. You get the idea.

Back to using intuition about offerings in your business:

The most important thing–whether it’s a product or service–you can offer you potential clients is something that they actually need. Whether you’re providing them with information that saves them time and money, solves a problem, teaches them something they’d otherwise have to spend years of trial and error trying to learn themselves, or a product that makes their lives easier, your offerings have to be about what your potential clients want and need.

What’s the best way to know what your potential clients want and need? Well what some people do, is remember back to when they were in that potential client’s same boat–whether it’s a skin or health condition, or other struggle that you once had that you were able to overcome doing what you do. It’s good to have that insight, because it’s more personal, but what happens to us when we’ve been doing what we do for a long time, is that we forget. We forget the rawness of the experience. We forget the nuances. Our memories become the highlight reel of the experience, rather than the rockier behind-the-scenes. What we think we would have wanted in hindsight is likely not something that would have been helpful whilst still in the trenches.

What I recommend instead is asking your readers, your tribe, your audience–AKA your potential clients–for help with this. They are the ones who are currently experiencing or seeking solutions to challenges. They are the ones who have been searching, and who might be feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. Today, that is what I am doing!

Can you help me out with this?

I am so grateful to you and to everyone else who takes the time to read my blog posts, listen to my podcast, engage with me on Facebook, and read my emails, and I care that what I create is something that actually helps you. So I’ve put together a survey of 6 questions that will take you about 5 minutes to complete–and in return, I have a special gift for you as a thank you.

Would you help me out by clicking HERE to take the survey, and share with me honestly what’s been resonating with you, what hasn’t, and what you still would love my help with in the realm of natural skincare? I so appreciate it, and I truly value your opinion!

Your intuition is never wrong…

But you need to be sure that what you’re following IS actually your intuition. How do you know the difference? Pay close attention if what you’re thinking sharply contrasts the messages you’re getting from your body and/or your inner circle. Because that might indicate that what you think is your intuition is actually not. Keep in mind also that sometimes, a decision made that seems to be “wrong” is also a blessing in disguise, and served as an important stopping point or crossroads in your life’s journey. So it ends up actually being “right.” Still, sometimes asking for help is what you need in order to process your intuitive guidance, so you can make the next best decision for yourself, your business, and to help others.

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