|PRODUCER OF THE MONTH: Good Body Products|
The origins of Good Body Products started in Chicago in 2010 during a gig of Trish and Chris Thomas’ band, The Natch. Trish was feeling sick and quickly realized that she was not sick but pregnant with their first child, Myla – now six years old. Upon finishing this leg of their tour they headed back to their home in New York City and circled the wagons around what to do next. They enjoyed their day jobs of digital marketing and consulting and their moon lighting in a rock
and roll band but they knew something had to shift. In particular raising a child in a 600 square foot apartment would not be optimal. Trish is from Southern California and Chris from Long Island, NY. Both having fallen in love with New England previously, the couple decided to head to Southern Vermont and make a go of it. Chris’s mother lives in Guilford and is locally known for her work with Green River Aprons, which we sell here at the Co-op. Their day jobs transformed into telecommuting gigs and they migrated north and found a beautiful place to rent in Brookline, VT.
Once in Vermont they enjoyed their life raising their newborn, exploring the Vermont hills, playing music, working remotely and of course experimenting with skin care products. They knew that at some point they would need to carve jobs out of the Vermont hills and their new career path actually evolved from a need their daughter had. Because Myla was getting irritations from traditional diaper rash products they decided to formulate one with clean organic ingredients. It’s not a coincidence that growing up Trish’s Abuela was a Naturopath so Trish had always taken a holistic approach to natural healing and skin care. Formulating a diaper cream with clean and local ingredients such as calendula was essentially in her blood. Additionally, Chris had a passion for organic farming and both of them a knack for healthy eating. They even authored a book on green smoothies when they lived in New York and many of their friends looked to them for advice on eating.
After the successful experiment with the diaper cream they began to ramp up production on many different formulas including ones that centered around organically grown local botanicals. Trish began to work with local herbalists and healers to learn more about the power of herbs and foods. Trish and Chris thank Susan Stanton of our Wellness department for her support, mentorship and knowledge as they got their start. Trish worked with Susan in some of the classes offered at the Co-op and Susan currently serves on their board of advisors. Trish continues to work with Rosemary Gladstar towards becoming a certified herbalist and hopes to complete this work soon.
In 2011 their knowledge, sourcing, and formulating all merged and they began to create many different batches of skin care products. They formed a large test group of local folks and as the positive feedback flooded in they decided it was time to launch as a side business to their day jobs. They purchased 10,000 jars and at the same time, serendipitously, both of their jobs in New York dissolved and they incorporated their business that year. In 2014 they went full force into their new life as skin care creators and began to sell to the public at summer farmer’s markets across the region including Brattleboro, Manchester, West Townshend, and Northampton. In 2015 they won the Strolling of the Heifers business plan competition!
This winter you can buy their products here at the Brattleboro Food Co-op or visit them at the winter Farmer’s Market. Chris and Trish love educating people on the products, the plants, herbs, and the approach they take. They give out free samples and are constantly having people try the sample and then come back. Trish talked about the life changing stories they receive from people who buy their products and see huge results. Chris pokes fun at Trish, explaining how she can be moved to tears when hearing the touching stories.
As we talked about sourcing and formulation philosophy they shared that they prioritize local, 100% certified organic, and United States grown before they look for herbal and plant farmers outside of the region. They believe that focusing on offering 100% organic products with local sourcing whenever possible is key to their products. They source many of their botanicals from Zack Woods Herb Farm in Vermont and want to build a farmer network in Vermont that can support all of their needs. Additionally, it only makes sense to them that they offer products that are clean and free of artificial ingredients/fragrances, sulfates, parabens, silicones, and petro chemicals. They have all the paper work for their products sourcing and are in the process of full USDA NOP certification through VOF, Leaping Bunny Certification, and Non GMO certification. As they talked further about their philosophy both stated that they focus on the healing power of the whole herb as it is more effective. They want to offer products that assist the body in working properly and plants and herbs have so many known constituents and to focus on one piece of an herb or a plant would miss the whole healing beauty. They minimally process their ingredients and aim to use the least taxing ways to extract the herb.
As for the future they are in the process of building out a new facility on their property so that they can ramp up production. They are working through many third party verifications and working to create a farmer collective that can support their sourcing needs. They are working closely with Windham Grows and feel it will help elevate their business in coming years. In addition they are formulating many new products such as beard oil, soaps and CBD oils. In fact they see growth coming in their business solely from the healing power of CBD oils which you can read more about in their recent interview on rollingstone.com. These oils are highly controversial but do not contain any of the psychotropic properties and are solely being used as therapy for a myriad of skin and health conditions that pharmaceuticals may not be able to offer. The future is bright for Good Body Products and if you have not tried their Arnica & Comfrey Joint and Pain Salve or Calendula & Lemon Balm Soothing Salve please do as they offer a natural organic alternative to other over-the-counter options. In fact the Calendula & Lemon Balm Soothing Salve just won Top Hand Cream for 2016-17 from Natural Solutions Magazine (naturalsolutionsmag.com) and is great for chapped winter hands. For more information stop into our Wellness department and chat with Carla and her team.
And visit the Co-op on Feb. 9 from 11am–1pm, and Feb. 16 from 11am–1pm to learn more about Good Body Products from Trish and Chris.