Sisters create, sell skin care items
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Two sisters have launched a line of skin care products out of their kitchen and are selling it online through a store on Etsy.com.
Smora Handcrafted Skin Care started when Christa Raszkowski took a class in Minneapolis to learn how to make natural skin products.
“And they weren’t exactly what I liked, but it was fun,” said Raszkowski, who coordinates neuroscience research projects at the University of Minnesota.
She taught her sister, Robyn Raszkowski, a school psychologist, who ran with the idea and started developing recipes.
“I had no idea there were so many people in blogs and the Internet making their own products,” Robyn said. “So I started researching and reading a ton as far as what was out there and just started coming up with our own creations.”
Kitchen converted into makeshift lab
Robyn’s Sioux Falls kitchen now serves as a partial laboratory and creative space. The sisters have developed soaps, lip balms, a body butter and a sea salt scrub. After giving products to friends, the two were encouraged to sell them. They started offering the merchandise through Facebook a year ago and launched the Etsy shop last fall.
“We couldn’t complain (about the response) at all, and hooking it up with the Christmas shopping season was perfect timing,” Robyn said.
The product scents include orange rosemary, lavender oatmeal and honey, patchouli, peppermint rosemary and orange clove. They are made with natural butter and oils — the name “Smora” is a nod to their Swedish heritage and means “buttering” — and they have teamed up with an urban beekeeper in Minneapolis to buy wax and honey.
Coordinating while living in separate cities
The sisters continue to live in separate cities and talk often as they coordinate their growing business.
“We would talk in the morning before we went to our normal jobs (during the holiday season), be texting during lunch and it would be 5 to 11 p.m. a lot of nights we were working filling orders and shipping,” Christa said.
They might pursue doing business at a farmers market, but also like selling at house parties and shows.
“With a product like this, it’s fun to have people feel it, smell it, try it,” Christa said.