April Lancaster, Lancaster Creations
Apr 27, 2015 10:47AM
● By Brandi Barnett
The NaturalistMay 2015
Photos: Josiah Alter
ENJOY: How did you begin making all-natural skin care products?
APRIL: My journey toward becoming an entrepreneur began following a medical diagnosis in 2012. My child and I both suffer from conditions which may be related to chemicals found in widely accepted and used home, personal and baby care items. In November 2012, following years of minimizing chemical exposure, I made the final decision to rid my home completely of commercial products that contained chemical toxicants, synthesized ingredients or potentially hazardous chemicals. In my attempt to replace those items, it became clear to me that if I wanted to live a chemical-free lifestyle, I was going to be forced to produce the majority of my home, personal and baby care items myself. So that is what I did. Over the following year, I chronicled my journey on my personal Facebook page and was strongly encouraged by friends and family to turn my lifestyle into a business. Following much thought and consideration, on October 16, 2012, that is exactly what I did.
ENJOY: What products do you create?
APRIL: I create a wide variety of items, ranging vastly from basic home care items like laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent to personal/body care items like deodorant, vapor rub, sunscreen and shave cream, herbal ointments, salves, balms and body butters to baby care products like baby powder and baby oil.
In October 2014, I attended a weekend at the California School of Herbal Studies and since that course I have been whisked into a world of herbalism and spa bath and body products. I have been distilling plant parts for the past six months and recently I have acquired a copper alembic still which gives me the capability to product plant hydrosols on a large scale as well as essential oils on a small scale.
ENJOY: What is in the future for Lancaster Creations?
APRIL: I was recently involved with a person-to-person micro loan campaign via Kiva Zip and my loan was fully funded, making it possible for me to initiate a retail relationship with Whole Foods Market Northern California as well as Whole Foods Market Southern California. If all goes well and there are no hiccups during my onboarding, the Lancaster Creations Line should be available for purchase at Whole Foods Markets by the end of this year. I will also be launching my line globally on Amazon.com in the coming months.
ENJOY: Do you offer classes?
APRIL: Yes. I offer classes at Whole Foods Market Fresno once every couple of months. You can find the listings on the Whole Foods Market Fresno website or on their Facebook page. I also offer private classes and will be offering a class via the City of Visalia Parks and Recreation this summer.
ENJOY: What do you enjoy most about your business?
APRIL: There are so many things about this small business-owning journey that I love, but I will say above all, even above the elated calls and notes from customers telling me how my product has improved the quality of their life, I mostly enjoy the lesson that I am teaching my children. I am just a stay-at-home mom on a mission to spread the word that chemicals are bad. I have turned my lifestyle into a business that is changing lives, while improving our own. The most satisfying aspect of owning, operating & maintaining Lancaster Creations is the pride of knowing that I have had my two young children at my side the entire journey. Literally. Every new account. Every batch of product. Every delivery. They have witnessed their Mama turn nothing into an organics business with nine retail locations and a legacy of sharing what “The Plants Know.”
KMK Organic Farm Store, Kingsburg • Peeve's Local Market,
Fulton Mall, Fresno • To Better Health, Reedley • Meridian Center For Wellness; DownTown Visalia • The Nest Boutique, Antique Emporium, Hanford • Enjoy the Store, Visalia • Black & Birch, Flagstaff, AZ