S.W. Basics

American Made Since 2009

Adina Grigore

Brooklyn, New York
S.W. Basics makes truly all-natural, sustainable skincare with only 5 ingredients or less, perfect for people with sensitive skin.

Tell us about your business.

After I finished nutrition school, I started an organization called Sprout Wellness. Part of what we did, besides holistic nutrition counseling, was to teach workshops on DIY health topics. One was “Kitchen-Cabinet Skincare.” The products were ones I had been making for myself for a while because I have super-sensitive skin, and they were a big hit. People started writing me saying, “I know you taught us how to make it, but could I just buy it from you?” So I started selling. Next thing you know, we’re in Martha Stewart Living, Vogue and O Magazine. Mind-blowing.

What makes your business stand out?

Our products are really designed for sensitive skin. The idea is: the less that goes into your products, the less likely they’ll be to irritate your skin. So we make everything as simply as possible, using only 5 ingredients or less. And everything’s organic, fair trade, or sourced from small, family farms. All the time customers write and say that, before they found us, they couldn’t use any products without having some kind of reaction, and now, for the first time, they’re happy with their skin. Hearing that feels pretty amazing.

What's the best business advice you've received?

My business partner (and fiance), Adam, got some great advice from his dad, who owns a small general contracting business in Memphis. One day, his dad said, "Just remember: All businesses are the same business." That really struck us. From day one, we'd been committed to making products that are good for the environment and healthy for the customers who use them. But what Adam's dad said reminded us that, even though their logos aren't on the product label, the companies we choose to do business with are as much a part of the finished product as ours is. Our customers aren't just buying from us, they're buying from our label printer, and our bottle manufacturer, and our ingredient suppliers, and our warehouse. Meaning, if those companies aren't up to our customers' standards, they shouldn't be up to ours. So that's our favorite piece of business advice because it reminds us just how big of a responsibility we took on when we decided to make products and slap our name on them.

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    Oct. 17, 2014

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