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Week 183 - Skybox Skincare Bar

For the 183rd week of "7 QUESTION SUNDAY" we shine the spotlight on another influential individual from the PNW. Marika Thomas is the owner of Skybox Skincare Bar.

4EVRGRN: Hey, MT! Tell us a little about yourselves.

MT: Skybox Skincare Bar emerged in the realm of skincare to address both the skincare needs of my children, and our family’s financial hardships, I would need to be more creative with solutions. The disparity between what I could afford and the products on the market were huge at the time. We were a family of five in a one-bedroom apartment. I decided to reach out to family and friends in the countries or territories of my parents, Haiti, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. They provided insight on which fruits, herbs, flowers, and grains were good for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, wind burn, hyper-pigmentation, and generalized irritation. Incorporating those suggestions and coupling them with free herbalism classes held on-line and in my community, I began to formulate a whipped body butter or our creme with the base starting with raw goat’s milk. After trial and error, I was able to create a formula that worked for my children. Transforming their once flaky, irritated, and red skin, back to a supple and pigmented state. There is a Haitian proverb that goes, “Di mwen sa ou renmen ep mwen ap di ou ki moun ou ye,” which translates to, “Tell me what you love, and I will tell you who you are.” With a mother’s love, I produced the whipped body butter formula, followed by formulas for bar soaps, milk baths, sugar scrubs, bath salts, and infused oils. To ensure the quality of the product that I had been producing I began growing my own vegetation. I started with herbs, then vegetables and fruit, then grains. My business outgrew our one-bedroom apartment and our small balcony. A need for my products had been created through word of mouth, and small trades shows. My husband and I leveraged our credit, and my background in accounting, and purchased a small farm. Here my family assists me with growing the items for our formulas.

1) Most popular product?

MT: I would say our most popular product would be the bar soap.  Soap is the one medium that I can truly design, mold, and bring to life my personality.  I believe people love using a product that encompasses eco-friendly, organic products, but also has the ability to create nostalgia, or a feeling of connection through the theme it is created in line with.

2) What should new customers try first?

MT: I tell all new customers to take our skincare quiz on our website first.  If you don't know your skin type or how it reacts to outside things like environment, or certain formulas it's hard to shop for things that are catered to you.  All of our products are labeled with the skin type it's formulated for, as well as how it helps.  It becomes a lot easier for people to find and shop for themselves once they have uncovered that information. 

3) Tell us about your zero waste initiative?

MT: Our zero-waste initiative is still in it's infancy but a challenge that I have been wanting to take on since Skybox Skincare Bar was born.  Currently we grow the ingredients in our products by using organic and natural farming measures.  The produce, herbs, and vegetables feed our family, some neighbors, and go into our skincare products.  We wanted to not only find a way to eliminate waste for ourselves, but do so in a way that helps our community.  This inspired change in our growing, feeding of animals, and composting practices. Changes in our packaging from shrink wrapped plastics to paper and recyclable compostable packaging sources for our mailers.  From plastic bottles to glass bottles for all our bath salts, whipped body creme, sugar scrubs, and milk baths.  It's a great way to ensure that we are giving to our environment and not exploiting it.

4) What inspires your creations?

MT: I get inspired by almost anything.  From conversations I overhear or am in, to things I see, things I read, or even memories that are important to me.  They all take me to a creative place and allow me to put together either a vision board, or a vision that includes color, elements such as florals, herbs, milks, and create a picture of the mood I want to create.  Which is why most notice I will create the soap first, and all the other products secondary.  I need the soap to portray the artistic message and feeling, and then the other products carry that through the fragrance.

5) What is one thing you wish everyone did to take care of their skin?

MT: Wash their skin.  I know it seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised who skips washing parts in the shower or the bath, because it seems "less important".  Or those that use wipes and not soap and an exfoliation tool on their face.  Merely being in the water is not enough, your skin loses good oils and attracts outside environmental substances when you sweat, or when you interact with outside objects.  Take the time to wash it properly with soap and water, and exfoliate when you can to rid yourself of dry or callused skin. Not only is it beneficial for your skin, but to your overall health.

6) What makes bath products so well suited and associated with self care?

MT: I believe there has always been a luxury assigned to bath products.  From movies to commercials bath products have been seen especially for women as a tool to transport themselves from their day to day lives to a life of luxury even for a little while.  I remember growing up and watching the Calgon commercials, and the saying "Calgon take me away!" kept the product flying off the shelves because we all want luxury in our lives, and the thought that something as small as a bath provides that was intriguing.  I believe then it was something that we hoped for, but now it's something we know we deserve.  We deserve things that make us soft, or make us feel as if we have a soft life, because the outside is hard.  From a whipped body crem'e, to a sugar scrub, or a soap its a way to bring indulgence in your life, in a way that's not only affordable, but helps you keep in mind that you are worth self care and luxury.

7) Favorite local product?

MT: Yikes! I have so many favorite local products!  For candles Defiant Candle Co.  She's amazing, her scents are amazing, and I just love everything about how she formulates things.  Bonafide Potents if you need some natural goodness to any drink, I swear you can't go wrong!  I have tried a few and they are all amazing! Fruitbat Baking Co, the sourdough bread is phenomenal.  It doesn't matter where they are selling it, if I am nearby I have to buy a couple loaves. 

Take the skincare quiz ata https://skyboxskincare.com/ to fall in love with your new favorite product.

Instagram: @skyboxskincarebar

Facebook: www.facebook.com/skyboxskincarebar