Before Jessica Pritchett became a business woman she was on a mission to get healthy.
The Connecticut native turned New Yorker had loced her hair, changed her diet and lost over 100 pounds. She also began paying closer attention to not only what she put inside on her body, but the products she put on it.
The lessons along the way would inspire Lynn to create LOVR, which is an online health and beauty marketplace specializing in organic and environmentally safe products.
Here is her story:
CB: Tell me about LOVR?
Jessica Pritchett: We’re based in Brooklyn. It’s a organic beauty online marketplace. I don’t hold any products. You deal directly with the vendor. But what I do is curate and source all of the products on the site. All the products are clean, green and not-tested on animals. My goal is to add one to two new products a week.
CB: So how long have you been in business and how did you go about sourcing the products featured on the site?
JP: We launched on August 9th with 18 vendors. And today, we have 39 vendors selling over 300 products. Everyday, people are sending me products. I also like go to trade and beauty shows. Recently I went to Europe and found a lot of great products over there. Generally I try to stay away from products that are readily available because I feel like they already have brand exposure. So I try to stick with the new and interesting products that I know people haven’t seen.
But admittedly, the curation process is really slow. I try everything that goes on the site.
CB: Besides the stuff that is readily available, what other products won’t you find featured on the site?
JP: This is really important because skin absorbs about 60 percent of what you put on it. So I decided that I won’t have products that have paraffin in them. Also, I don’t have nail polishes that have formaldehyde in them. Generally, I try to stay away from products, which contain products that are linked to cancer, reproductive issues or contain neurotoxins.
We do have some products on the shelves that contain beeswax. But all of the products with beeswax we source are actively doing something to address the dwindling bee population issue.
CB: So what inspired you to create this organic marketplace? In our previous conversation, you mentioned that your recent weight loss might have had something to do with it?
JP: Yes. But it wasn’t just my weight loss. It really all started as a hair journey. I’ve been loced for 16 years now and since then, I stopped using chemicals in my hair. When I started working in the field of consumer products, that’s when I really started learning and doing the research into organic beauty.
I was almost 400 pounds and I wanted to make changes.I started running and working out. I’m down to 301 now. I also read a book, “NO More Dirty Looks” and learned about all the chemicals in beauty products that can lead to cancer, etc. So cutting those chemicals from my skincare regimen was the next step.
It was during my weight loss journey that I started to seriously consider doing this as a business. As I see it, I’m customer number one. So I created a business around my new healthy eating and clean lifestyle. And while I’m starting out as health and beauty, I eventually like to turn it into a wellness company where I will do more than sell products.
CB: So how is business going?
JP: We had sales the first day, which I am really proud of. What I am finding now is that people are staying on the site longer, but the buying has been slow. This is particularly true for my U.S sales. Here, people are really skeptical of the word “organic” and “natural,” particularly from companies that are not readily available here. So we’re thinking about launching a shoppable magazine where you can learn about organic beauty while referring back to products that are on the site. We plan to launch that in January.
I also find that people respond better to brick and mortar stores. So we are going to have a couple of pop-up shops here in New York where people can come in and actually touch and sample the products themselves.
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