There comes a time when you get recommended a brand, time and time again, and finally, give it a go. That's what happened with The Granola Goat. I had been seeing it non stop on my IG feed, but had so much skincare, I figured I'd pass on the products. And then to my surprise, she had 50% off all products the month of July, and of course, I caved. There wasn't much left, but I think the right products found me.
After hanging out with Ashley of The Green Bunny, she told me I was missing out on not trying the brand sooner, so if my opinion isn't enough for you, you have 2 now. But this isn't a post about the products, but the maker herself. This weeks episode, we have Liz of The Granola Goat.
Typically I don't ask about a company name, since the site usually explains it, with that said...how did the brand name come to be?
I think it was about 20 years ago that someone first called me a ‘granola girl’ and I loved it. Finally, a fresh spin on ‘hippie chick’, you know? I started making skincare for myself eight or nine years ago, and it was a very granola thing to do. When my daughter convinced me to start a business selling my creations, I knew it had to be granola. This was in early 2015, and we were just about to head into the year of the goat, so it seemed like the perfect pairing. Plus, I love me some alliteration.
Your products are always vegan. Does that mean you, yourself, live a vegan lifestyle, or you just want to make sure you are steering towards that audience?
My family and I are all vegan, but the vast majority of my customers are not. I love that my vegan folks can shop with me and know that not only are all my products free from animal products and testing, but also that they are supporting a family that aligns with their beliefs. And my non-vegan customers may not care if I use animal products or not, but they’re my customers because they love the products. That’s a great thing, too.
What does natural skincare and items in general, mean to you and why do you focus on making your products as natural as possible?
For me, natural is more than just something that was not made in a lab. Natural to me is when something is as close as possible to the way it was when it was in the earth. I started making skincare for myself because I had never been able to find a moisturizer for my face that didn’t burn. Whether you believe parabens are safe or dangerous, they burn me. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. I started using oils since they don’t require preservatives (none of your cooking oils have preservatives because bacteria just doesn’t like oil) and it was hard to find a blend I like, so I decided to just make them myself! I had such great results that I decided to learn more and try more, and every product I made from natural, quality food ingredients was better than anything I’d bought. In my home, vinegar and baking soda perform as well as anything else, and they do it for less. I’m sold on natural all the way around.
What is your favorite ingredient to work with and why?
That’s got to be rose petal powder. Not only does it smell amazing, it changes from a lovely pastel pink to a bright magenta and when you get it wet. It’s incredible for skin, it’s relaxing to smell, and it’s mesmerizing to watch it transform. So nice.
What has been one skincare item, from your line, that has completely changed skincare for you?
Speaking of rose petal powder, my Radiance cleansing powder has been the most amazing thing for me. I always used soap on my face and I thought that really tight feeling was normal. I also thought I had dry skin for many years. When I heard of cleansing powders, I was intrigued simply because it was such a foreign thing for me to see. When I started making and using cleansing powders, I saw a change in my skin almost immediately. When I researched more, I found out how bad soap is for your face and I haven’t looked back. Turns out, I didn’t have dry skin after all.
For beginners trying out your brand, what are the top products you recommend and what benefits do they have?
I think The Amazing Face is a great place to start. It’s my flagship product and by far my most popular. Because face oils are so user-friendly, they are a great way to dip your toe in the green beauty pool. It really produces this glow the first time you use it. At first, I credited it to the sea buckthorn berry oil and it’s orange hue, but I use that gorgeous orange oil in other serums and it’s still The Amazing Face that seems to be an instant face changer.
Outside of your own brand, what other brands and companies do you use and support?
I love supporting small brands. If I can email the actual person making my products, I’m totally in heaven. Since I make so much myself (much more than I actually sell), I don’t have a ton of products I need to buy. I suck at making deodorant, so I love Meow Meow Tweet and Twinkle Apothecary for their awesome deo sticks in paper tubes. I also love Schmidt’s for their glass pot deo – I get the unscented, melt it a little, and add my own blend of essential oils for a custom scent. I’m a fan of reducing waste, and one of the easiest things I’ve done is switch to un-paper towels. I have a drawer in my kitchen full of bar rags, knitted dish scrubbers, and also a bunch of cute cloth wipes from The Creekside Kid. Claudia, the maker, is a fabulous human and makes really incredible goods – her bamboo facial rounds are so luxe, and so much better than cotton balls that end up in the trash.
What has been one life lesson that has continuously been necessary?
Shit happens. It’s so true. But you just have to keep going. Good shit happens a lot more than bad shit. I can’t count how many mistakes I’ve made and how many times things just seem to go wrong. I’ve even thought about just ditching the whole business before. But then I get an email from someone telling me they were able to stop the acne medication they’d been on for seven years (for real), or one from a woman who had never realized that you can have results from a product that isn’t lab made. It just never crossed her mind to try something simple. These lovely people keep me going and make me so proud of the community we build.
What is one overrated thing (TV, food, drink, clothing), that you can't seem to understand the hype behind?
Ugh. Those damn mermaid/unicorn/dragon lord (is that a thing?) frappuccinos. Why, America? Why? (Am I guzzling a cinnamon horchata almond milk frappuccino right now? Maybe. Ok, yes.)
What are some of your favorite IG accounts, magazines, websites, to read and follow?
This is going to be exceptionally boring – I don’t spend a ton of time on non-work related media, but when I do, it’s typically research. I love IG accounts like Learning Herbs, magazines like Willow and Sage, and websites like Hello Glow. I know. Can’t win ‘em all.
What is one food you could eat every day, and never get sick of?
I’m the type of person that tries a new recipe, loves it, and makes it every day for a month. Then gets sick of it and never wants it again. But you know what I’ve never gotten sick of? Ever? Cookies. I’ll pass on cake and pie and ice cream, but cookies are my Achilles’ heel.
If you got your aura read, what do you think it would say about you?
It would definitely say that I worry too much! Ironically, when stressful things actually happen, I stay cool. Unless someone is dying, I’m usually very, “WTF over, NBD” about things. However – things that might happen, stress me the French out and I have a hard time not worrying about them.
Where is one location you have always wanted to go to, but just haven't made it yet?
I’m really in love with being outdoors. I love the sun on my skin and seeing the natural beauty that just exists with no intention of being anything other than what it is. All my favorite places are based on the ability to get out and explore, but the one I’m dying to see and haven’t yet is Banff National Park in Alberta. Wow. If I don’t get there soon, am I even living?
What 3 TV or movie characters, do you think epitomize you as a person?
I feel like I connect with The Dude from The Big Lebowski in a way that I’ve never connected with another person in my life. But I’m probably also a little Mr. Roper from Three’s Company (ok, a lot – I think I’m hilarious too) and I strive to be more like Lisa Simpson.
Lastly, what is one thing you wish you could do, with no repercussions?
Cocaine. *drops mic*
How freaking awesome is Liz? I bet you wouldn't think such a vivacious character would come out of such a simple brand!
But that's what I love about doing this series, you get to truly know who's behind the brand, making your items, connecting with you on social media, and slowly changing your life!
How is The Granola Goat going to change your life?