Coco Business Inspiration : GENbotanicals

Here at House of Coco we are becoming more aware of the importance of using herbal ingredients on our skin. Maybe it’s something to do with us getting older, who knows! Cue the arrival of a brand that we recently stumbled across, GENbotanicals. A brand which has a great ethos, so much so that we had to go along to find out more.

Here, we speak to the founder about how it started, plans for the future and so much more…

When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
While teaching a class on herbs and their benefits for the body, a woman asked “Can I use herbal ingredients on my face”. I answered, yes, of course, with the right ingredients and formulation.” So, in 2008, GENbotanicals started with a simple cleansing oil. As an herbalist, it had to be entirely botanically based, organic, and effective for most skin types. Several of my friends and students tried the cleanser, loved it, and so began my skin care line.

Whats your background?
 My background is diverse. I am the co-founder of GENbotanicals and have always lived among the cornfields and rivers of rural Illinois. My first love is raising my two young boys. My second is classical ballet, in which 15 years of dance training gave me a physical strength and discipline I still rely on today.

I grow beautiful botanicals gardens and teach about the benefits of natural skincare.  While studying herbals and plant biology for nearly 10 years , I also mange three very nice restaurants in my hometown.

How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
GEN is a family team with 3 full time employees and a large support staff. I am co-founder and face of GENbotanicals as marketing manager. Debbie Smith, production specialist, formulates all of the GENbotanicals product line. Chris Hoffman, a GEN partner, manages our packaging design, shipping and general manufacturing of the company. We maintain a loyal and varied support staff  that includes friends, herbalist consultants, aromatherapists, naturalists, and women of all ages who contribute to our final product formulation.

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If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
No. We are a small, independent family business with a commitment to organics and handcrafting. We are very proud of our exclusive skincare line just as it is currently

What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Our hardest challenge has been in reaching our demographic – men and women who just want good skincare. We do not follow trends, nor promote any standardized concept of beauty other than just being yourself. In a cultural environment that promotes younger, flawless, and anti-aging, our concept of skincare  has met some difficult challenges.

Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I’ll take on anything, even if it seems impossible at the time.

2016 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
Currently, we are an ‘unknown’ company at this time. Our focused effort this year is to expand the GENbotanicals skincare line in the United States and Great Britain, further developing our niche.

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To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
We have received a warm welcome and attention from our efforts in Great Britain. We couldn’t be more excited about this. Vogue, Glamour, Elle, and Brides magazines have been wonderful to work with, and have presented our skincare line with enthusiasm and in its best appearance.

Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
 I don’t usually wear a lot of make-up, preferring a natural look, however, I never leave the house without my hydrating mist to re-hydrate throughout the day, a good moisturizing hand lotion, Essential Skincare Lavender Bliss, is a definite must-have, and my signature scent. I love my Rose, Ylang Ylang and Jasmine essential oil blend, a drop or two is a little romantic and energizing for the stresses of the day.

Style means….?
Being myself, feeling good about myself, I love to get dressed-up every day from classic, to elegant, maybe casual, or a bit of grunge, whatever the day feels like.

If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
My distressed jeans, easy and comfortable, they are my favorite go to item.

Favourite love song?
An oldie but goodie. My favorite love song is Anne Murray’s ‘Could I Have this Dance’, and I have been known to sing it to that special person in my life. For me, it says everything.

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Best place for a coffee?
My own kitchen, definitely. I am a coffee connoisseur and making my own blend is a daily ritual for me.  With the blend, the aroma, the bit of flavoring I become a true artist in my kitchen.

Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Easily, NEVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF OR YOUR DREAM. It has been my motto through the worst of times in both business and life. Also, take the ‘supposed failures’ as opportunities – really. I have both learned and created more from what  didn’t work rather than any projects that came easily to me.

Guilty pleasure?
It has to be shopping, I am a dedicated shopper. I am fortunate to live in a small town and surrounding towns that still have independently owned shops and boutiques with really unique items. I love taking a day to walk through and browse.

If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
 I would love to spend 24 hours in my own home with my two boys. I often feel I don’t get enough time to spend with them, so, at this point in my life my time would be spent happily with them.

In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
Currently, I feel that our best expansion plan will be to do more direct customer contact. I enjoy the face to face talks with our customers to better understand their needs. So often in business I think that we try to second- guess or tell women what skincare products they need. Skincare is individual, every customer is different, and I have found that by sitting down and talking with my customers that they know exactly what they want and how to use it in their routine. I believe this strategy will give us insight into really customizing our product line.

Find out more…

You Can find out more about GENbotanicals luxury skincare line at, and join us on FaceBook and Twitter with direct links from our website.

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