Feature Friday: LENUS Handcrafted

Happy Feature Friday!

dsc_3904This week we are featuring Laura of LENUS Handcrafted, an all-natural skincare line! The products Laura creates are full of botanical goodness and essential oil mixes specifically designed to relieve common skin ailments. Although natural products have been getting a lot of attention lately and have become somewhat of a trend, we think LENUS Handcrafted’s no gimmick approach is refreshing. Laura lets the carefully handcrafted products speak for themselves. Read on to learn more about Laura’s healthy and sustainable lifestyle, and how it’s translated into LENUS Handcrafted.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.

logo: I’m a mom to my 3 wonderful boys, former runway model, interior designer by training and natural living enthusiast. As a child I grew up in Soviet Lithuania, later in the newly independent Republic during the nineties I lived and modeled in the capital city of Vilnius while studying architecture. One spring, while on a photo shoot for a national beer commercial I met my husband, who was a Lithuanian American living in Vilnius at the time. We got married a few months later. I was 21 years old.

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Castle Logo: We love all the ethical and health conscious aspects of LENUS Handcrafted! What made you decide to make plant-based products and create your glass take back program?

logo: Before becoming a mom, my husband and I decided to do a cleanse, 30 day smoothie/soup cleanse with all sorts of natural procedures. We felt amazing and ever since then we have been perfecting our sugar free, grain free diet. The cleanse naturally led to other aspects of making life greener which included cosmetics.
Amber glass is a necessary part of my packaging to protect the essential oils in my products from UV light. I’m very conscious of waste in life, whether it’s food, clothing, toys, shipping supplies, party decorations – pretty much everything. Taking back used glass is just a sustainable business practice I decided to pursue to minimize waste.

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Castle Logo: What kinds of products can we expect to find at LENUS Handcrafted and how did you discover you had a passion for making skincare products?

logo: I’ve always been a plant nerd. I love them and yes I do talk to them. After the whole body health cleanse I started reading more on plants’ physical properties, essential oils and natural skincare, and finally made my first batch of face cream. I knew right away that this process encompasses everything I love about nature’s relationships with humans. I started LENUS one month later. Now the collection has grown to over 40 products, all of which I consider basic regiment skincare, addressing most of the steps in a routine. Products range from daily cleansers, toners, oil serums and creams to weekly treatments like masks and scrubs. I also make a few specialty items, like baby butt cream, hair oil conditioner and healing balms.

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Castle Logo: We’d love to hear more about your business journey! What were your first products starting out and how has your business/product line grown since then?

logo: I’m an introvert hiding behind an extrovert mask. My favorite thing to do is observe people, the environment and processes of all kinds. My intuition and observations guide my creativity every day, which is why I started making daily necessities like a face moisturizer. Later on adding more products seemed not only fun, but absolutely necessary, even though it didn’t make much business sense. I stock dozens and dozens of ingredients, because I love working with them and they make my formulas unique and hard to duplicate.

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Castle Logo: Do you have a favorite product that you’re always using or a set of LENUS products that is in your personal skincare regime? Is there a customer favorite as well?

logo: Personally I don’t have a perfect routine, simply because I do have all my products at my disposal. I keep my No69 Creamy Cleanser in the shower and the No09 Foot Butter by my bed side and some hand creams in my car. On dry cold days I apply No91 Face Oil Serum on just in the middle of the day and always slather on the No03 Lip Balm. When time allows, I love to apply No57 Seaweed Honey or No59 Charcoal Honey mask and get in the bath with salts and essential oils.

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Castle Logo: We love that you handcraft these products yourself! What is the process like for creating one of your creams/cleansers/oils?

logo: It all begins with an idea. The inspiration for a product typically arises from necessity. I imagine what would be nice to use, then do research to see what ingredients have qualities to suit that need. I love creating my formulas, which are pretty extensive and involved. After working with biotech companies as an interior designer for 8 years I’ve observed so many manufacturing processes and principles which come in very handy right now. Calculating formulas and ingredient proportions is probably my favorite thing to do. I proceed to making few test batches, refine the formula and continue to labeling the product for final pictures and create the write up for the website. It is very involved, but I love every aspect of the process, because it utilizes all my design, math and marketing skills. Later on it’s picture taking time, which being a designer by training I enjoy very much. All aspect of the process truly fulfill my passion for making things and being in sync with nature for health.

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Castle Logo: What are some of the biggest mistakes people make with their skin or when choosing a skincare product?

logo: Not reading labels is the biggest mistake. They fall for marketing, pretty pictures, maybe even a pretty box with fancy stuffing – all of which large companies invest a ton of money in. That type of business model leaves fewer funds left for the actual product which is suppose to make a big difference in the first place. I focus on the product and sourcing great ingredients, the rest is a stylish minimum.

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Castle Logo: What’s your favorite part about running LENUS Handcrafted and being a business owner?

logo: I am a perfectionist, innovator and a control freak; all are needed to run a business. My favorite part is client messages saying thank you for making the products. That is absolutely the most satisfying and fulfilling thing I experience.

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Castle Logo: What does the future of LENUS Handcrafted look like? Current business goals or any new products you’re working on?

logo: I have a vision of a place: a white modern lab bordering a pool where I could work on my formulas, perhaps an herb garden and a tea room – a place for gathering and enjoying products and do all sorts of mask parties. I love hosting, sharing food and expressing healthy living. Short term goal is to expand, maintain steady client relationships and hire people, perhaps find a business partner.

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Castle Logo: Any advice for other entrepreneurs out there?

logo: Well, do a business that you love, not because it’s trendy. There’s a lot to owning a healthy business, but I consider myself still a newbie. Great results don’t come easy or fast, you’ve got to have patience.

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Check out more from LENUS Handcrafted at the links below:

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