It was just over a year ago that Joshua and Brad left the comfort and security of their full-time jobs and founded Little Barn Apothecary. Before taking the plunge, Joshua worked in the luxury beauty and skincare industry for 16 years, while Brad worked in hospitality and brand management – a mix of backgrounds perfect for what was to come. Meanwhile, both had a passion for organic, natural products and felt that there was a void in the market. “It was difficult to find organic products that were both transparent in ingredients and practices and were also modern and affordable.” Taking things into their own hands, Brad and Joshua spent their free time experimenting with and creating products for personal use. Eventually, they began sharing their creations with friends and family who kept wanting more.
In January 2015, Brad and Joshua founded Little Barn Apothecary, originally as a weekend project to take up their free time. They planned to go to markets on the weekends and build the brand on the side while working full-time. However, the products were so well-received, that in only 5 weeks, they both quit their jobs to meet demand and give this a real shot. Was it scary to quit and go all in? “Absolutely.” This whole time, their bosses had no idea what they were up to, so the decision came as a quite a shock.
From the beginning, each step of Little Barn Apothecary’s process has been handcrafted. Joshua and Brad personally do everything from experimenting with new ingredients and scents to designing the labels (which are crafted from stones rather than paper to remain eco-friendly) and shipping the products. As they continue to grow, this is not going to change. “While there may be more bodies in the office, every product will still be handcrafted and personal; the process will remain the same.” Just recently, Little Barn Apothecary brought on a couple of interns and moved into a new space with only Joshua and Brad working from their home up until this point.
With the long hours and tremulous work required, what keeps them inspired? Receiving positive feedback from their consumers and knowing they are making quality products that they are passionate about and people love. But it’s difficult to choose any favorites, since “each product serves its own purpose.” The coffee and mint scrub has become popular due to its refreshing and invigorating scent, while “the charcoal face wash has acquired a cult following”. You you won’t find any sets of matching Little Barn Apothecary products, since each product features different ingredients to serve a different purpose, something beauty customers aren’t accustomed to yet. But rest assured, all Little Barn Apothecary products are complementary.
While the duo wasn’t expecting such an overwhelmingly positive demand for their products, they are not looking to slow down any time soon. In addition to constant product innovation, new partnerships and coverage, they are also hoping to open up a storefront this year which will not only feature Little Barn Apothecary products but also a mix of local lifestyle products that align with their own. Although keeping up with demand has been their biggest challenge yet, it’s not a terrible problem to have.
We are so excited to partner with Little Barn Apothecary as a brand we love and offer their products both in-store and online. We’re sure you’ll be as obsessed with them as we are!
WRITTEN BY NURAIN ALICHARAN
PHOTOS BY CHRIS BURDEN