Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Interview with the founders
With the launch of Max & Madeleine fast approaching, we wanted to give you a chance to really get to know the company. And what better way to learn more than to go straight to the source? Max & Madeleine founders, Melissa and Carolynn, give us the inside scoop on how they met, their passion for skincare and how a business was born!
You are business partners, but you started as friends. How did you meet?
Melissa: I met Carolynn through one of my best friends, Kelly. Kelly is married to Carolynn’s fiance’s cousin (if you can follow that!), so she would be at Kelly’s house all of the time. It worked out that Carolynn and I got pregnant right around the same time with Max and Madeleine. They are about three weeks apart. Since Max & Madeleine just loved hanging out with each other, Carolynn and I just kept getting together. We realized that we really had a lot more in common than just our kids!
How did skincare become part of your conversation?
Carolynn: A little over a year ago, we started talking about the confusing nature of the consumer product space for skin products. We were frustrated with the large number of different brands out there and yet the complete void in products we could trust, labels that we could decipher and ingredients we felt comfortable using on our kids.
Melissa: Both of my kids, Max & Dean, have very sensitive skin. Dean had an extreme allergic reaction when he was three weeks old and the doctor advised us to use unscented gentle products on his body. My research to find the best products on his body started there.. it was kind of like opening Pandora’s Box. The more I researched about the ingredients, the more I was horrified. So much of what I thought was “natural” and “safe” was just plain toxic. I also found out that what’s not on the label can be just as bad. There could be chemicals hidden behind the word “fragrance” or just not on the label at all. If there is less than 5% of an ingredient in a formula, it doesn’t even have to be listed! It scared me to think that I had been using all of these ingredients on my babies! Both Carolynn and I agreed: we need to stop poisoning ourselves and our children.
So, you’d say you are passionate about natural skincare?
Carolynn: Yes, we are definitely passionate about natural and organic products! I want to be able to look at a product label and understand what my product is made of. I want my products to look and feel fresh, as well as to be nutrient rich. I want to know my products are working without chemicals or synthetic ingredients. The chemicals found in everyday products are making us sick. They are unnecessary. In fact, products made with synthetic ingredients are often less effective.
Why did you decide to start a business?
Melissa: Having a conversation one summer day on my deck (while my son, Max, and Carolynn’s daughter, Madeleine, were playing in the yard together) about what products we use and why, Carolynn and I came to the realization that we both felt very strongly about the harmful chemicals in all of our skincare products. We also both agreed how tough it was to really know what was good, what wasn’t good and what was effective. We decided that day that we wanted to create a solution to that.
Carolynn: There was a natural progression to deciding to make this passion into a business. Why not spend our time, certainly the time we spend away from our kids, doing something that can have an impact and make a difference. And it is just so fulfilling working on this everyday.
What kind of products will Max & Madeleine feature?
Melissa: We are launching with a few items for each member of the family. To start, we have unscented and very gentle products for baby that includes baby wash/shampoo, baby lotion and diaper cream. All three of these products have only the most pure ingredients to nourish a baby’s skin.
In addition we have a shower gel/shampoo for older children along with our teenage skincare line. Carolynn and I were very shocked to learn that a lot of tweens/teens use adult products to cleanse and treat their skin. While products designed for children are not effective enough for teen skin, adult products are designed for adults. We found out that there really just isn’t much on the market for teens and wanted to create a line just for them.
Since a child’s health starts before he is born, products for mom and moms-to-be were a necessity. What we put on our skin before (and while) we are pregnant can interfere with and affect fetal development. We are introducing some great effective products just for them. Some of these products include; deodorants, lotion, bar soaps and a healing body butter. And to pamper mom a little we added in some delicious smelling body scrubs.
All of our products, and the ingredients in them, were carefully formulated and researched to include essential oils and herbs that are healing and beneficial to our immune systems and bodies. As many ingredients as possible are organic and are 100% non-toxic. All of our ingredients have a purpose.
What makes Max & Madeleine products different from other skincare lines?
Melissa: What we truly feel sets us apart is our mission of transparency and health. If you don’t find it on our label, you won’t find in our products. What I mean by that: we are 100% committed to giving our customers only the best and nutrient-rich products we can create without harmful chemicals. We list all ingredients on our labels. All of our products are created with organic ingredients and are made here in the USA.
Wait, so you’re saying you gals created the recipes for these products?
Melissa: Yes, Carolynn and I did some cooking in the kitchen! LOL. When we were trying to decide what products to launch with, we sat down to figure out what areas were most important to us and what products we would use. Both Carolynn and I had some homemade remedies we used on ourselves and our children already, but we wanted to start experimenting. So, we would get together and “cook.” My husband would come home to a big mess and lots of skincare products in my fridge! I think he just got used to our cooking sessions.
Carolynn: We use only the best ingredients for our products: pure, nutrient-rich herbs and oils to craft extremely effective products.
Melissa: We did a lot of research on essential oils, herbs, and natural preservatives. We wanted to include these things in our products. Every ingredient in our products has a purpose. Things like Calendula and Lavender for healing and coconut oil for it’s moisturizing properties.
Carolynn: Melissa and I are very involved in the entire process of product development, ensuring that every product and any ingredient used meets our high standards. We had hoped to launch with many more products, but soon realized that with such discerning quality measures, it was necessary to bring products to market more slowly.
That’s awesome! What can we expect from Max & Madeleine when it launches? In the future?
Melissa: What you can expect from Max & Madeleine is a company that is genuinely concerned and has created some great products free of toxins. We hope to just keep creating products for all areas of your skin, as well as your home. We keep telling people, even making one change makes a huge difference. Let’s start healing together!
Carolynn: We’ll stand by our word and be honest with our consumers as to our business practices. We want people to believe in us, join us, grow with us!
Max & Madeleine launches this December.
Posted in: M&M Blog