Published on May 19th, 2012 | by Becky Striepe9
Eco-Friendly Craft Kits from Herban Crafts
Ever wanted to make your own beauty supplies but wasn’t sure how to start? A couple of my favorite crafters are launching a line of DIY beauty craft kits, but they need your help to get started!
Karen Lee of Eco Karen and Mary Kearns of Herban Lifestyle are teaming up to launch Herban Crafts, a line of craft kits to help folks make their own eco-friendly beauty supplies.
Not only are the kits eco-friendly, but they want to “do well by doing good,” and the company will help unemployed women by training them and teaching them job skills as they help assemble the kits. Here’s the promo video all about the line they’re starting:
Karen was even kind enough to answer a few questions about what they’re up to!
Crafting a Green World: How did you two start collaborating?
Karen Lee: We met a few years ago through Team Eco Etsy, where we have interacted on several small projects over time. We realized that we had a lot in common in terms of our backgrounds and interests. One day, Mary spoke about her idea for a monthly DIY kit subscription business while I spoke about green handmade gift subscription idea. Next day, we both thought about becoming partners and called each other! And the rest is history.
CAGW: Why craft kits?
KL: Herban Crafts kits teach people how to make their own non-toxic personal care products. The kits are not frivolous useless crafts that become junk after the thrill of making them is gone. The end product is practical, educational since they are made with all natural ingredients, and if you want to, you can make more with our refills. The kits are designed to appeal to people who love to create, are interested in Do-It-Yourself (DIY), care about their health, wellness and the environment, and are more likely to buy products that benefit social causes than similar products that don’t. Each kit includes recipes and ingredients that allow users to create a variety of organic herbal bath and body products, as well as information on the properties of the various herbs and other ingredients.
We believe learning to make your own products is an empowering experience. And we see earth-friendly craft kits as a great way to promote self-sufficiency while also promoting the the health and wellbeing of people and the planet.
We went beyond just using recyclable materials. The ingredients in our kits are ethically sourced, cruelty free, and many are certified organic. Packaging materials are ALL recyclable, compostable, reusable, and biodegradable. The box is made from 100% post consumer product and is specifically chosen because of its reusability and recyclability. There are NO PLASTIC in any of the packaging material and glass and tin containers are reusable or recyclable. We take sustainability very seriously and we made sure that we used materials that we would let our own children use.
CAGW: I love that you guys are focusing on social consciousness as well at environmental consciousness. Can you tell me more about the job training aspect of Herban Crafts?
KL: Herban Crafts’ mission is to help address the problem of unemployment, a contributing factor to homelessness, by offering a hands-on job and social skills training program for unemployed women with the goal of fostering economic independence. Our ultimate goal is to be able to place these participants in permanent positions at companies in the local community.
The trainees will work with our Job Skills Faciliator team includes Masters level social workers, to learn basic job skills such as punctuality, resume writing, interviewing techniques, positive work attitude, and teamwork. Self-Empowerment sessions and personalized coaching will provide a holistic approach to further trainee’s personal growth. The goal of these structured sessions is to encourage open dialogue about personal challenges and develop strategies for dealing with them. In addition to the structured programming, spontaneous conversations that arise during the hands-on training will be used as opportunities to help trainees’ develop strategies for dealing with personal challenges. The process of working with organic ingredients will offer an opportunity for trainees to learn about health and wellness, and the group structure will create a social support network.
The program, which utilizes elements from evidence-based job training programs, is expected to result in increased basic job readiness skills, work self-efficacy, internal locus of control, perceived social support, and decreased depression for the trainees. Upon graduation from the program, trainees will receive a certificate of completion, a resume, job references from Herban Crafts staff, information on how to stay connected with their peers, and an Herban Crafts kit.
For a broad overview of the program and why we are passionate about the helping the unemployed homeless women, you can check out Mary’s recent presentation at Global Health and Innovation Conference.
CAGW: Anything else you’d like to share?
KL: As a social enterprise, we want to ask people to get involved in helping out people. We strongly believe that people will feel empowered in knowing that they helped in funding a socially responsible company like Herban Crafts. So we started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo which which will end on May 27, 2012. And then, a new campaign on StartSomeGood will start on June 1 to July 1. It gives people a chance to be part of the startup of a company with a socially conscious mission.
CAGW: Thanks again Karen, and good luck with the campaign! 🙂
KL: Thank you for inviting us!