The business of going natural and being sustainable

By Miranda Wood -

OHIO VALLEY — Many people are becoming more curious about what they put into their bodies, as well as what they use on their skin. Though using natural products, such as essential oils, may seem like purely a trend, it is something that has been used for topical and medicinal purposes for centuries.

Kelsi Boyd, a resident of Point Pleasant, started using essential oils about two-and-one-half years ago and it has changed her life. She became an advocate of essential oils and began a business in making all natural, sustainable handmade skin care products. Thus, Silver Market Co. was born.

“It was important for me to use products that are good for me and for the environment,” Boyd said.

She revealed she began using essential oils after trying to find natural alternatives to help relieve her sciatica pain and to help with anxiety. She began her journey into making her own skin care products by researching information about essential oils and their properties.

“Many labels, I came to realize, were heavily convoluted with confusing information on possible pesticides that might be used in the oils, as well as misinformation about the pureness of the oils,” she said. “I always recommend that people research health supplement or natural skin care product. Much of the information I initially received was anecdotal information but I soon started to unlayer real scientific studied information on natural products, like essential oils.”

Boyd further stated, “When people are looking into buying essential oils for personal use, I always recommend individuals to purchase rare oils, like frankincense from a local business or from a reputably source, but if an individual is buying a common oil, such as lavender or lemon, than most oil companies will produce pretty similar oils.”

When it came to the medicinal benefits of essential oils, she said: “Not everyone has the same need when it comes to the medicinal side of essential oils or natural skin care products. Health is individualistic and what works for one, may not work for the other.”

There are several people who are starting small businesses based upon the use of essential oils and natural skin care projects across the country but Boyd is doing it here in Appalachia for her own reasons. She feels running a small businesses in the Point Pleasant and Gallipolis area is a “vital” solution to economics and well-being, adding, small businesses benefit the community they are in, but they also have an effect on a national level.

“It seems, sometimes, people forget to see the big picture of how their lives an impact the world,” she said. “Having diversity in the types of stores that are available to us, as a community is important as well; not only will diversity of businesses help to keep people buying variety of products locally, but it also helps to connect individuals. For example, people from all stages of life that have had a positive experience with essential oils, whether in my products or in other products, are now finding themselves connecting and communicating as where before they may have not.”

Boyd’s educational background is in Appalachian studies, so for her, staying in Appalachia was an important aspect of her business journey and what inspires her to create.

“Making things with our hands is something that is not new to those who grew up in Appalachia,” she said.

By Miranda Wood