Artisan Spotlight: eden. - Natural Bath & Body From Maine

As its name might suggest, eden is a paradise for natural, hand-milled bath & body products. You'll find all manner of natural goodness there: Dead Sea Bath salts, luxurious hand creams, “scent-sational” body lotions, moisturizing lip balms, and more!

Born in the creative, artist-friendly, seaside city of Portland, Maine, eden’s roots began to take hold in 2007, with the making of an online lip balm recipe for holiday gift giving, and quickly expanded into new products, and new ideas. Word quickly spread about the quality and effectiveness of these creations and--after many years of requests, product formulation, and reformulation—the line is finally available to the public!

Although not a native Mainer, eden’s founder Elise Loschiavo honors the culture that is so prevalent there as home to such natural product pace-setters as Burt’s Bees, and Tom’s of Maine. She keeps a close eye on ingredients, ensuring that all are paraben- and cruelty-free, with no toxic preservatives. To distinguish her from the many others in her area making natural soaps, it was her considered decision to—instead—focus her business on creating other bath and beauty products, and filling a niche. After launching the brand officially just last February, Elise admits the pace has been dizzying.

Juggling two full time jobs, and running her business from a one-bedroom condo keeps Elise hopping. By day, she works in marketing for a regional restaurant chain, and brings that acumen to eden. She’s been successful in securing quite a few wholesales accounts, including Abe’s Market--a national retailer for natural care products. Her goods are also featured on “My fresh Maine”--a new website which ships Maine-made products all over the country. Her best sellers, she reports, have been face cream, lavender lotions, and her sugar cubes and scrubs. She also sells her products at fine spas and independent retailers throughout Maine as well as online via Etsy, selling to customers as far away as Singapore.

To prepare for her first real holiday season, she started production in September and never looked back. Now, she’ll assess what sold best, identify trends, and set her plans in motion for the coming year. One of the things she’d like to focus on is developing custom products and more special order business for weddings, baby showers, or other functions. Also on her hit list for 2012: getting business insurance, trademarking her brands, and building a full retail website.