A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

Member Spotlight

Taking Care of One’s Skin Conscientiously

WEBA Natural Products Works to do No Harm

Compiled by Jodi La Marco

WEBA Natural Products does skin care right. We sat down with the company’s founder, Lydia Davis, to find out what inspired her to start a planet-conscious skin care company.

What does WEBA mean? WEBA stands for Whole Earth Body Actives. We use naturally-derived ingredients that are good for the planet as well as good for us.

When did you launch your business and why did you want to start a company that creates natural products? I started selling in 2013, but I incorporated in 2016. I’m a nature lover, I’m an animal lover, and I’m a vegan. I decided if I was going to create a product that would meet my needs and the needs of others, it would need to be in sync with my worldview. I wanted to do something as planet-friendly as possible, and I also wanted my products to be cruelty free and free of animal ingredients.

What makes your business unique from competitors? Something that distinguishes us from the competition is that we don’t just want to be about selling products. We want to be about educating consumers. Unless you’re exposed to the information, you’re really not going to be aware of what’s going on. Big businesses don’t want to make you aware of the things that cause environmental destruction. My business reflects my passion for all things natural. Regardless of how big we grow, that will always be at the forefront of what we do.

Why don’t you use palm oil in your products? There are many companies that claim that they use sustainable palm oil, but I don’t buy it. Palm oil is a commodity that has infiltrated every area of our lives. It’s in everything from baked goods to skin care products. As a result, it’s creating a lot of devastation, particularly in Malaysia and other parts of Asia, but also in places where the rainforest is being decimated. I’m hoping to educate consumers to the point where they will see the importance of eliminating palm oil from their personal care products and diets.

How does your company give back to the community? In my prior life, I worked with a crime victims’ advocacy program and dealt with women who were affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. Many of them would end up in shelters. I thought it was really strange not to consider the personal hygiene needs of people in shelters. That’s so important to our sense of well-being and our health. I always have excess product that I wouldn’t want to go to waste so I thought, what better way to donate it than to give it to food pantries that serve individuals who may not otherwise be able to buy good-quality personal care products?

How does your business fit into the larger movement to revitalize the Hudson Valley? The business is always going to be about creating jobs, and about maintaining this pristine ecosystem that we have here in the Hudson Valley. That’s where the zero-waste manufacturing comes from. We want to ensure that we do no harm. We also wanted to start a business where we can create sustainable jobs for people in the Hudson Valley.

What inspired you to start using the Hudson Valley Current? The Current is supportive of community businesses. I believe in giving back and paying it forward. Too many consumers are supporting online and big box corporations that may not be putting back into their communities.

What are your plans for the future? We’re not nationally distributed at this point. We’re still fairly small. We’re currently looking for the right distribution partner so that we can position ourselves in the right markets. We also sell online all over the U.S. and Canada.