Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT Starling Skincare!
Four questions with Nathalie Yavonditte and Lisa Larson Murphy, co-founders of Starling Skincare.
Why did you start your business?
We started our business because there were no other natural skincare brands that took into account the needs of people like myself and Nathalie (founders) – with allergies or sensitivities to ingredients commonly used in skincare products. We were both suffering from rosacea and also both had skin that hurt all the time. We were both at our wit's end trying to find skincare that didn’t make our skin problems worse.
The baseline when you have allergies or sensitive skin is your skin hurts and has redness and breakouts. You’re prone to acne, rosacea, eczema, dermatitis, and many other debilitating skin conditions – and often you just don’t feel your best. It’s a real confidence killer.
Our mission was to create the SAFEST and KINDEST skincare line available for these people who need it and give them everything they need to glow again. To help them heal their impaired skin barriers and minimize the recurrence of skin eruptions, inflammation, and discomfort. We offer a simplified arsenal of products that are easy to use in minimal steps – no 8-step routines here. All of our products are gluten-free, peanut/tree nut-free, soy-free, and dairy-free along with all other top 8 food allergens. We also eliminate an exhaustive list of known irritants and toxins.
The thank you notes we get from our customers say it all. Our products are giving our customers confidence, relief (some of them never thought they could have “normal” skin), and ultimately happiness. We are so humbled to be making a difference in our customers’ lives.
What is your best-selling product/service?
Our facial cleansers (Nurture + Calm cleansers) are the best in class, along with our oil-based serum which we call Revive.
Every product we make (by hand) is 100% natural and made with mostly organic ingredients that improve your skin’s health and reduce inflammation.
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
As founders, we are really into supporting local businesses where we can for Starling Skincare. A few that we LOVE are Gilberties in Westport (for natural ingredients that we extract), Butter and Sugar in Stamford (gluten-free staff treats), From Nature With Love in Oxford (ingredients) … they have the absolute nicest staff!!!
Have you "reimagined" your small business?
Funny you should ask! We are actually in the process of doing this right now. With privacy regulations and the astronomical cost of traditional advertising, it’s really difficult for small businesses like ours to grow (we are DTC and e-commerce based). We are bootstrapped, too (no outside funding). That said, customer acquisition is more challenging than when we started (4+ years ago). As a result, we are now creating more external partnerships with natural practitioners and working with them on helping their customers heal holistically. It is thrilling to see that skin is now being looked at as an outward view of internal health and being addressed from a health perspective. This is an alliance we want to fully support in any way we can because the founders both have fully lived through the entangled mystery of trying to figure out why our bodies and skin were not performing the way they should.
We are also in the process of launching a skin consultation arm of our business that will be complete by the end of this week! Starling offers free 1 hour consultations in which we take a comprehensive look at a customer’s skin condition/needs, allergies/sensitivities, current routine/products (with a complete review of ingredients and any potential irritants or allergens) and also discuss lifestyle and how that may impact your skin. After analysis, we give product/routine recommendations and a pipeline to one of our experts any time you need it! The response to our pilot program has been overwhelmingly positive and we are confident that it is making a marked difference for the customers we have helped so far.
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!