One of the coolest things to come from the Internet (well, you know, other than revolutions and Justin Bieber) is the democratization of women-owned businesses.
Women helping women (whether by patronizing each others' businesses, carving new pathways in niche industries, succeeding in new and enlightened ways or just providing new products, new ideas, inspiration and need-to-know-now information) is really the final stage of feminism—and it is glorious to witness.
And, as an aside, it's pretty dang special to be a part of it all.
Jeanne Kissman is one such woman in business. She's inspiring women to take better care of themselves—sans chemicals, thank you very much—and serving as a shining example of following and living in one's own bliss. Her passion for her Plum Hill
, a line of all-natural body care products that she started in 2005 by accident (got to love that green light theory of the universe: when things are right they just go, go, go!), is palpable.
Here, she talks about the wonder of watching her beloved line go from being used by her friends to being featured at the 82nd Academy Awards' gifting event, her favorite Plum Hill product and the new ones she's recently launched (FYI: Do not miss the Tamanu Oil
—it's like magic!).
THE FAMILY GROOVE: Why did you start your business?
Jeanne Kissman: Plum Hill
was never intended to be a business—just a hobby. I made products solely based on the need for relieving dry skin for family, friends, co-workers and myself. In May of 2005, as demand grew for a product that was effective and affordable so did the business concept for Plum Hill. Coming from a pacific climate then to Salt Lake City, UT, and ending up in Eagle, ID, I wanted a product that really worked and that wasn’t outrageously expensive. After years of research, trial and error and tons of individual feedback sixyears later Plum Hill has grown leaps and bounds from being featured at the 82nd Academy Awards to a TV spotlight and magazine articles.
TFG: Tell us about the name.
JK: I have always loved the color eggplant, and at the time our family was living in an old remodeled farmhouse on a hill at the time it just seemed like the perfect name. Eggplant and sage are Plum Hill's signature colors.
TFG: Your tagline is "Be your own kind of Beautiful." How does that motto influence your products—or vice versa?
JK: Being your own kind of beautiful for me is that you have to feel and look beautiful not only on the outside but on the inside as well, it is YOU that counts. Through Plum Hill products, I try to empower people to feel better about themselves by providing a product they feel good about using everyday.
TFG: Your body care line is all-natural, paraben- and cruelty-free. Why is it so important to choose natural skincare?
JK: Why add ingredients that don’t need to be there to be effective. Just remember what you put on your skin absorbs into your body. I personally don’t use products that have ingredients that I can’t pronounce. I also believe it is important to know what you are putting on your body as well as in your body.
TFG: What's your favorite product in your line?
JK: That’s a tough one. Every product in my line I formulated to the needs and request of customers for dry skin. I would say every single product in my line is my favorite, but one product that I can’t live without is the Sugar Body Scrub
TFG: What's your proudest moment as a business owner?
JK: I have a couple proud moments. The first being when my customers come up to me say “thank you” for making such a fantastic product that really works. Then, of course, it was when Plum Hill was featured at the 82nd Academy Awards last year. Getting to know and help Cloris Leachman, Gil Marinin (from Dancing with the Stars
) and models from Dolce and Gabbana find the right skin care product from my line, was a very proud moment for Plum Hill.
TFG: What's new for 2011?
JK: This year, 2011, is going to be great year for Plum Hill. The first being that the prices will remain the same. Plum Hill launched three new products in 2010, including our 100% Pure Tamanu Oil
, our Nourishing Body Crèmes
. After returing from the 82nd Academy Awards, we added the same gift set
that the celebrities received. It’s a great way to try our products.