Mind Your Business: Spotlight on Essential Wipes
Two years ago, Cassandra Davis and her partner Joshua Graner started Essential Wipes, a simple specialty wipe using natural ingredients. It has taken off! Already, they have filled more than 10,000 orders and are waiting to hear if NASA will pick them up as a contractor. On a recent autumn afternoon, Davis invited me into her cozy home in the hills of Ashland, poured some tea, and pulled out a container with some small discs, about half the size of a hacky sack.
Rogue Valley Messenger: Wow I’ve never seen one of those.
Cassandra Davis: This is our flagship product, the Essential Wipe; it’s compressed bamboo. It’s infused with five essential oils: Copaiba, Lavender, Ylang ylang, Niaouli, and Palo Santo. Each one has a different therapeutic property anti bacterial, antibacterial, antiseptic, cleansing to the skin, nourishing, and smelling good. After putting about a tablespoon of water on it, you unroll it to about an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet. Go ahead and use it.
CD: (laughs). I’d suggest inhaling it first. Our motto is “smells good, feels good.”
RVM: I’m not sure I’ve wiped my face with a wipe in awhile. Should people use them frequently?
CD: Our main competitor is water and soap. You can use it once a day. For extra refreshment, on a hot day, infuse it with cool water. On a cool day, infuse them with warm water.
RVM: What is the advantage of using it once a day?
CD: Well gosh, for one, the essential oils are just good for your skin. And, so if you have Psoriasis, Acne, Eczema it can help. It is used as a skin cleanser on a regular basis. If sometimes I don’t want to wash my face before going to bed, I use an Essential Wipe to clear out the dirt and oil from the day.
RVM: It’s almost Halloween, could children use these to take off makeup?
CD: Totally. They help, but don’t hurt the skin.
RVM: Some of those things also have medical solutions, how does this fit in?
CD: It’s a supplement. This is a supportive product; it may enhance any other solutions. We’ve had great success. My partner is a Chinese doctor and has experience as an EMT, he has the science, biochemistry, and therapy behind this. He actually formulated this to be beneficial to the skin.
RVM: Were any of these new to you?
CD: Yeah, yeah, I wasn’t familiar with Niaouli, or Copaiba. Copaiba is pretty cool. It’s from South America and comes from a tree that is tapped, like maple syrup. It’s used as a folk remedy for infections and it’s a key part of the base of our blend. It pulls the oil away from the skin, so it actually helps clean the skin.
RVM: (After trying it). It feels nice, doesn’t feel harsh. It has a slight tingle, but not burning on my face.
CD: It’s really diluted. We’ve done a lot of work to find the right formula in the wipe itself, and when you add the water, it dilutes itself.
RVM: Where do you make them?
CD: Right there, in what used to be the library. But not for long. We’re in process of contemplating a new space. We’ve been in a build, measure, and learn part of our business, focusing on our brand and preparing for growth. We’re hoping to have some production staff, and an office manager. It’s a step by step process, after that a lead sales person and procurement.
RVM: Do they have an impact on the environment?
CD: The bamboo is renewable. They easily compost in a month. The oils have no petrochemicals. And, most people use less water when using a wipe versus cleaning with a towel and a faucet. Our introductory product, a tube of 10, it’s really small and compact and can fit in a purse, backpack, or yoga bag. We’ve designed it where we have a bigger package of fifty and you can refill it and use less plastic. We see that you could have a stash wherever and whenever you need them.