How Kosmerta came to be
My entire life, I have had very sensitive, eczema prone skin. As a child, store bought soaps would cause me to break out into rashes all over my body, so from a young age doctors told my parents to only use the gentlest cleaning agents on my skin. As I got older, I became more concerned with the ethics of the products I consumed. I wanted products that were made without killing animals, and were safe for the environment. I switched to natural soaps made by other artisan soapers- and found many had the same negative reactions on my skin as the store bought soaps. I remember in high school, friends would ask me about the bright red dots on the insides of my arms. It was eczema from the "soothing" natural oatmeal soap I switched to. In winter my hands would be bright red from handwashing.
When I was 18 I decided to start making my own soap. I wanted products I could use without a skin reaction, but that I also knew were made without the killing of animals or destruction of the environment. Over the years I've tweaked and altered my recipe until I found the perfect blend.
I decided one year to gift my family and friends bars of my fancy soap, and after hearing their exciting feedback about the wonders it did for their winter dry skin, I decided to start selling my soaps. My goal is to give everyone with sensitive skin, and dry skin options for gentle, ethically sourced products. (It does hurt if they look and smell good too!)
I create all of my products by hand, and I research my suppliers before using them. All of my products are 100% vegetarian, meaning they are made only with plant-based oils and fats. Many of my products are vegan as well, but some contain honey which I source only from local beekeepers. By sourcing local, I know that the honey I use is from bees that help pollinate the agriculture in my community, and not from bees kept in a factory. All palm oil I use is sourced only from suppliers who are approved by The Roundtable On Sustainable Palm, a non-profit organization that works with farmers to create a fair-trade supply chain of palm oil, harvested from sustainable, controlled growing conditions.
What happened during 2020, and outlook for 2021
For those of you who don't follow my social media, you may be aware that that the Kosmerta Shop took a long pause during 2020, but may not be aware why. Initially the slow production was due to supply shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The "Spring Collection" which had been tentatively announced early in the year was delayed until late spring as I searched for sustainable palm oil sources.
In June of 2020, just a few weeks before the anticipated summer release, tragedy struck my family when my Significant Other suffered sudden, life-threatening medical complications caused by autoimmune disease. For these 2 months I needed to shut down the store as our family handled the circumstances of his transplant and early recovery. As a transplant recipient, my SO is one of the most at-risk groups should he contract Covid-19, so following his transplant we immediately fled our home in Baltimore County where there was a high number of cases. We were able to stay with family in a more rural area, but I wasn't able to bring any of my soaping supplies with us which lead to the lack of actively on the shop for most of the rest of the year.
I was able to go back to Baltimore a few times during the late summer and fall to wrap the finished soaps for the Summer Collection and bring them to our family member's house. It was during this time I made the infamous soap cupcakes you may have seen on my social media. These cupcakes never made their way to sale. I don't believe I was in the right mindset while making them, and they appeared rushed and unfinished to me. Not something I would be proud to sell.
Over the last 8 months my partner's health has improved, and we have retrieved all of our possessions from our old home. Going into 2021 I feel this experience has made me stronger as a person, and strengthened the bond of our family. I feel confident now to continue Kosmerta operations as usual, and to continue to make the perfect sensitive-skin safe artisan soaps for those who seek them
I am so thankful for all of my friends and family who encouraged me, and helped me make it this far, and I look forward to seeing Kosmerta grow.
Owner of Kosmerta