Today we're talking to our founder, Mia, about her unique journey to DIY, what she's learned along the way, and why she is so passionate about sharing what she's discovered with consumers.
(psst! Keep reading to the end of the post for details on how you can win a free box from My Lemon Crate!)
Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Mia, and I’m a mother of 4. We live in a beach town in South Florida, nestled away from the hustle & bustle. We love traveling and are big time foodies! My husband is from England, so weekends are almost always spent watching the Tottenham Hotspurs and then out exploring with the kids.
What got you interested in non-toxic/natural living?
When I was pregnant I became hyper-sensitive to smells (as many pregnant mamas do). I was frequently sick with hyperemesis gravidarum and spent a great deal of time in a hospital bed. I couldn’t tolerate smelling laundry soap and cleaners made me sick to my stomach.
I wondered how on earth these products that were meant to “clean and disinfect” could make my body have such a reaction- and what was it doing to my children and soon to be newborn baby. My lungs would feel tight and burn at the smell of my once beloved bleach and my skin would itch and become red when my mother would launder our clothes at her house trying to help out.
I began researching the products in our home, those that I had come to trust, and started studying ingredients. It only takes 26 seconds for chemicals in personal care products to enter your bloodstream, and most consumers trust that their preferred brand and products (even those marked organic or all natural) to be the best they can be. I learned a great deal about the toxins and chemicals that are saturating our grocery store shelves and decided that I wanted to know more and do better.
What inspired you to create My Lemon Crate?
I began with the intention to send kits to my family and friends to educate them on what lies behind your medicine cabinet doors and in those under the sink cleaning products. Having grown up in an Army family, our network is spread out worldwide. I wanted to share what I was learning in easy to assemble recipes and take the guesswork out of having to find the ingredients, make it look pretty, and function as a staple in the home.
I realized that we have meal kits for people who want to eat better but don’t have the time to research recipes or source the produce or spices, we have gift boxes for dogs and makeup fans, but there isn’t anything on the market to help people transition to a more non-toxic lifestyle.
My Lemon Crate represents the desire for consumers to be in control of the products they use on a daily basis at an affordable price. Giving consumers the power over their products grants them the ability to make lifestyle product choices with keen insight into what active ingredients are and how they affect whole body health.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up with a cup of black tea with milk, fill the diffusers throughout our house and then it’s off to my office to spend a great deal of time behind my computer researching ingredients, finding small batch artisans and shops, and of course testing recipes. Each day I fill orders that come in from our website or Etsy shop. I host classes for local wellness seekers, I am a leader for the Holistic Moms Network, and of course am on Mom duty constantly.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part is the emails I get with people thanking me for providing them with useful products, introducing them to essential oils, and personally it’s the impact that these products have made on our family wellness.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of amazing other entrepreneurs and small business owners that are in the wellness market, plowing their way trying to educate and empower others as well.
What is your favourite DIY recipe?
My most used product is the all-purpose spray- a versatile mix of essential oils that quickly cuts through dirt and grime and the only spray I have in our home and office to use on everything! My favourite recipe though is the clay masque that was featured early on in My Lemon Crate. It is a base of bentonite clay with Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood & Frankincense.
What do you wish more people knew about DIY/non-toxic products?
There are 100,000 chemicals on the market today that were grandfathered in in 1976 in the Toxic Substance Control Act. Simply put, these chemicals have not had any safety testing and we know very little about their side effects. Of the chemicals tested, toxic labeling is only required if 50% of animals tested die! Under the TSCA manufacturers are protected by trade laws that allow them to keep their ingredients a secret [from the book Fearless by Sarah Harnisch]
DIY/Non-toxic products are just as effective as any store-bought alternative; Every natural product or essential oil you are using is a chemical you’re not.
Where would you like to see My Lemon Crate in the next 5 years? The next 10 years?
I would like to see My Lemon Crate grow exponentially in 5 years. I would love to expand my community of essential oil lovers/users and get oils in every home- we have added a page directly from our website to make the process easy. It matters where you purchase your products from and when you purchase from us, it’s more than just a crate- you’re getting a community where you can learn and share and talk to people that are interested in similar things. I would also like to offer a refill program on carrier oils and raw ingredients.
Within 10 years, I’d like to have an entire team of people working alongside of me and expand to more countries. Our charitable donations would have made a tremendous impact and we would be partnered with the artisans that we have supported to further create lines of non-toxic and sustainable products.
What brought you to a natural lifestyle? Share your story with us for a chance to win a free diffuser necklace! Let us know via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or share with us on Instagram by tagging us in your story using #mylemoncrate !! We’ll be reading all your stories and giving away 1 free every week. :)
(Currently, the giveaway is only open to US residents, but we'd love to hear from you regardless of your location!!)