Lizzie Chadbourne was a teacher in Baltimore when she first decided to turn her passion for skincare — or “obsession,” as she describes it — into a business.
She returned to her home state of North Carolina and created Lo & Behold Naturals, a line of all-natural, plant-based skincare products.
“I definitely was inspired by North Carolina,” Chadbourne said. “When I had the idea of making something more serious, I knew I wanted to do it back in my home state. There’s not that many all-natural brands down here, so I felt pretty motivated about sharing the idea of a healthier lifestyle with people in my community.”
Located in Durham, Lo & Behold Naturals creates a wide selection of skin and beauty products, ranging from face masks to lip balm to bug spray. All of Chadbourne’s products are handmade in small batches with local ingredients and free of fillers such as alcohol and water.
What started as a one-woman operation has become a full-fledged business nearly five years later. Despite being in charge of day-to-day business operations, Chadbourne still helps to make the products by hand. She also employs one full-time employee, two part-time employees and several students from the nonprofit, Partners for Youth Opportunity.
In addition to Lo and Behold’s relationship with Partners for Youth Opportunity, the company also partners with two local artists, Amy Richards Illustration and Davie Paper Co., to create labels and packaging. There are more potential opportunities on the horizon — including the chance to grow natural ingredients at Benevolence Farm, a nonprofit providing work and housing for women transitioning out of life in prison.
While Chadbourne says one of her favorite parts of the job is interacting with people, from her customers to employees to those involved in nonprofits, she also loves the creation and design aspects of her job. Lo & Behold releases two to three new products a year, but Chadbourne continues to dream up and develop fresh new product ideas.
“I’m thinking of new (products) every single day,” she said. “I probably have about 20 years planned out.”
Out of her existing products, she says her facial care set is her favorite. The set includes exfoliating cleansing grains, toner and serum to create a weekly facial care routine. It is appropriate for all skin types and made with all-natural ingredients like calendula, aloe vera and chamomile.
Not only was Chadbourne most inspired while creating the set, but it is also her favorite product to use. Not surprisingly, customers agree, often returning to Chadbourne to claim how much they love her facial set. Chadbourne says she never gets tired of hearing from women who say her products transformed their skin.
“I have women coming up to me like, ‘I don’t have acne anymore!’” Chadbourne said. “There is nothing more satisfying than helping someone feel better about themselves,”
Ultimately, Chadbourne wants to move beyond sales. She wants to transform the way people view and choose natural products.
“My main goal is to make something that is completely natural and plant-based, (with) the purest ingredients you can imagine, and to make it really fun and accessible for people,” Chadbourne said.
“I think a lot of natural products out there, people become interested because they have such a fear about toxins and other ingredients that are unhealthy … I want people to feel like they get to choose something that’s healthier and safer and also just fun to use.”
Featured image via Lizzie Chadbourne/Lo & Behold Naturals