I love Emily Stencel's all-natural body scrub line Perk Naturals. The uplifting scents wake me right up in the morning and the natural exfoliants leave my skin soft and smooth. Smitten with Emily's lavender and lemon body scrub, I sat down with the young Hamilton based entrepreneur to talk about natural and vegan skin care and her plans to make you fall in love with your skin.
What did you do before launching Perk Naturals? What inspired you to start your natural body scrub line?
I was a recent marketing grad and planning to take a job in entertainment after school. One day before Mother's Day I was putting together a gift for my mother. I loved making beauty products so I made her a lavender and lemon scrub and put it in a cute vintage crystal jar. I also made a citrus soap, lavender soap and a hair mask. I packaged them all in cute burlap and branded them (of course my marketing side came out). When I gave it to my mother she thought they were from a boutique. I realized I had a flare for making beauty products. Shortly after my sister asked me to make something for her birthday. That’s when I came up with Coffee First. The coffee scrub worked amazing and helped to get rid of the tiny bumps on her arms, which was Keratosis Pilaris. It was then I decided not to take the job in Toronto and to study organic beauty instead.
How do you decide on the ingredients in your scrubs and the scents? What are the benefits of the natural ingredients found in them?
I wanted my products to have multiple uses and offer great results. I tested for months until I found the perfect oil or sugar that would help different skin types and skin problems. It took months of creating hundreds of products to find the perfect combination for each.
What is your own personal daily skincare routine? If you had to choose, which of your products is your absolute favourite?
Now that’s a hard question! I honestly use my line all the time! I use Coffee First on my problem areas. If I see a breakout about to happen I will give myself a facial. I use Citrus Mistress to shave my legs. Since it’s dry right now I will use it use it for dry spot treatments as well. I use Pucker Up in the morning and at night to avoid chapped lips. I’m also a big fan of rosewater toner.
What is the single best piece of beauty advice you have received?
Egg whites are everything! A secret of mine is to use plain egg whites as a facemask. How much more natural can you get?
You live and create in Hamilton. How would you describe the creative community here? How has the city or community played a role in your business endeavor?
This city is amazing! It’s full of creative and inspiring people. I am so lucky I live in Hamilton and get to be a part of it. I got involved in the Start Up Company program with the Small Business Enterprise Centre and I have met so many driven entrepreneurs.
Perk Naturals has a new product coming out next week! Follow Emily's Facebook page for updates. You can buy her products through her Etsy shop online. Or locally at La Bichette, Girl on the Wing and Del la Sol Yoga Studios. Plus, on Saturday, December 13 she will be doing demonstrations at Girl on the Wing, and the following Saturday, December 20, she will be at Del La Sol. Drop by to meet Emily, learn about her products and to take home some samples!