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Meet These Eco-Friendly Women Entrepreneurs

Meet These Eco-Friendly Women Entrepreneurs

I thought it might be a nice distraction this week from all the COVID-19 buzz to introduce you to some amazing women entrepreneurs that Piper and Dune is doing business with. All of these women were inspired by their surroundings in New England’s playground of Maine when they decided to launch their health and beauty care businesses. At Piper and Dune, we wanted to make sure we sold products that were as clean as possible. We wanted to find companies that were transparent about the ingredients found in their products and that really cared about our environment and believed in the benefits gained by using natural products. Today, I thought it would be great to highlight three of the companies that fit the profile. These companies are Captain Blankenship, Planet Botanicals and Oyster Lady Skincare founded by Jana Blankenship, Michele Gilfoil, and Abigail Carroll respectively:

 Captain Blankenship

 First up is Jana Blankenship who founded Captain Blankenship. Jana spent her summers in the coastal town of Sorrento, Maine where she vividly recalls the smell of the salty sea air, swimming in the freezing cold ocean, smelling the seaweed, ocean pines and wild roses. Captain Blankenship was born out of her childhood experiences and her desire to create organic beauty products that create a direct link with nature. Her use of cold pressed organic plant oils, flowers, seaweeds, sea salt and organic essential oils are the basis for her products not only because they are natural, but because they are highly beneficial for our skin, body, hair and senses. This women-run business formulates their products with organic and domestically grown ingredients whenever possible. They never use synthetic preservatives, parabens, sulfates or “fragrance.” They use recyclable and reusable glass packaging which makes a positive environmental impact. They pride themselves on never testing on animals and they are fully transparent in every aspect of their business. Give their products a try, we carry a large assortment of products at Piper and Dune.

 Planet Botanicals

Michele Gilfoil is the Founder of Planet Botanicals. Michele grew up in South Portland, Maine and attributes her eco-conscious mission and business acumen to growing up in South Portland in an environment that allowed her to “be outside all the time and appreciate the natural world.” Her upbringing provided her with the foundation she needed to launch Planet Botanicals. Planet Botanicals’ fair trade business is located in Westbrook, Maine. Her vision to create natural, sustainably harvested skin care products is partly driven by her own struggle to find products without synthetic and harmful ingredients after she became suspect to the potential dangers of applying these products to her own skin.That experience led Michele to launch her business in 2003, and in June 2016 she expanded her product mix when she launched the Maine Seaweed Collection; a series of products including soap, body wash and a “Dream Cream” all made with sustainably harvested Maine seaweed which is a fast-growing plant and a sustainable resource. Seaweed contains over 50 minerals and vitamins that she says aid in anti-aging and moisturizing the skin. Seaweed also helps the environment by decreasing ocean acidification caused by excessive carbon dioxide. Planet Botanicals sources their seaweed from local Maine seaweed harvesters and they can see firsthand their process and the impact that sustainable harvesting has on our environment. Planet Botanicals makes great gifts for you or someone on your list, check them out here.

The Oyster Lady Skincare

 After living over a decade in Paris, France, Abigail Carroll became an "accidental oyster farmer" back home in Maine. She was visiting one summer after ending a relationship in France - she did a little consulting. When her client, an inspiring oyster farmer dropped out, she unexpectedly found herself owning the farm. She later earned the nickname "Oyster Lady." She found that Oyster farming is a tremendous workout but it took a toll on her sensitive skin. Having suffered chronic skin issues ranging from cystic acne, to basal cell carcinoma, to eczema, and she wanted to be proactive. She says that she knew from living in France that the secret to improving her skin was in the ingredients found right beneath her workboat! She tried the leading marine skincare brand, but it wound up clogging her pores. She wanted the benefits of marine ingredients but she also wanted clean, travel-friendly, and eco-minded products that were effective and compatible with her super sensitive skin. So, with the help of some skincare chemists, and some local seaweed harvesters, she started making the products herself. At the core of all of her products is their proprietary seaweed serum made with locally-harvested organic Maine seaweed and kelp, which they call "seafood for your skin." Products are scented with their own unique blends of essential oils. Any preservatives are eco-certified. Try one of The Oyster Lady’s products here. The Bladderwrack Hand Balm is a lifesaver for anyone with active hands that get cracked, sore, or chapped.


May all of you be healthy and safe.


Explore What Excites You!

Chris and The Piper and Dune Family


*Seaweed collected by Michele Gilfoil, founder of Planet Botanicals, at Kettle Cove. Photo by Molly Haley
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