26.2.10

Inside the Heart & Soul of Pangea Organics: Part Two

A week back from Boulder, Colorado and I'm still inspired by listening to the thoughts and ideas of Joshua Onysko, founder of Pangea Organics. Founded 10 years ago at the age of 23, Joshua now owns the largest handmade cold process soap company in the U.S. Pangea is not your average soap company. It's the leading manufacturer of organic, sustainable, handcrafted and cruelty-free skincare.

You can listen to
Part One of my audio interview, posted earlier this week.

In this 23-minute interview (this is part two)
Joshua talks about:
  • Living inside Pangea's first three facilities;
  • The importance of balancing your career and your personal life;
  • Why being palm-free is important; how 95% of all ingredients used in cosmetics and skincare are imported and how one of Pangea's missions is to source 50% from the U.S.;
  • Raising capital;
  • Being ahead of the organic wave in the U.S.;
  • How it took five years for Pangea to post profits;
  • Why he expects it to take until 2015 for the U.S. natural industry to weed out inconsistent brands and be filled with authentic, organic products
  • How and why Pangea's ingredients are food grade
  • This year marks Pangea's 10-year anniversary in April and how Joshua views the celebration
  • One of the biggest challenges that he faces today (hint: he had to cut 72% of his stockists.)
  • What going mainstream by selling to Sephora in 2009 has done to his business.
One of his messages to soapmakers in the U.S. is to create a high quality product to raise the bar (my pun) on the quality and sustainability of ingredients used in handmade bath and body products. "If you're out there making skin and bodycare products, know that if you put a poor product together, you're not doing the industry any good. Because people are going out there and having a bad experience with this gooey, separated mess and associating that with organic. So if you're going out there and make an organic product, make it work better than everything else on the shelf. Don't sacrifice quality for one ingredient you don't want to use."

Be inspired and take a look at Pangea's research and development mission. There are three key factors that have to come together before their product will hit the market: everything has to be natural, it has to be food grade, and as many organic ingredients as possible. Once these three factors come together it then must be an efficacious product that outperforms everything else on the shelf. For example, the reason Pangea hasn't introduced a haircare line is that there is not yet a surfactant on the market that meets their environmental and quality standards.

All business aside, perhaps one of the best suggestions Joshua gives to bath and body company owners is a philosophy on how to view life. "Focus on the small victories and view every day as a gift. There's challenges and there's weaknesses, but there's also these moments, these small victories that happen every moment, every day that you have to focus on."

Enjoy!

~Marla

2 comments:

stella smith said...

I loved the article, I hope you don't mind but I copied the last paragraph. Live every day..
Love,
Mom

Marla Bosworth said...

Glad you enjoyed, Mom. :) They are good words to live by.

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