#Crushinit: Cosmetics Crushed With Love

As reported in Casa London Magazine, February-March 2017

Natural homemade cosmetics are all the rage these days but can be tricky to get right. Charissa at Crushed With Love makes a great range of products, from foot scrubs to bath salts, bath bombs, shower bombs, and loofah soaps. A self-confessed lover of the Purdy Natural story (that you’ll find in our last issue), Charissa first had the idea to sell some cosmetics to help pay for a bowl of fruit for her kindergarten class. Now her business is booming, so we sat down with her for a chat to see where it has all gone right.

Crushed With Love- BalmCasa London: Let’s start with the name, where did it come from?

Charissa: It just kind of came out of nowhere, I started off doing bath bombs and on the top of it I was using crushed lemon peels and lime peels dried out. I was trying to think of a name that was kind of catchy and was to do with the business, so I thought “well I am crushing things on top and I’m making them with love”. So it became Crushed With Love. I wasn’t sure about it at the time but I am glad I stuck with it! Now some people have started saying “Crushed is here” or “you’re crushing it”- using the name in a way I had never even thought of.

Sounds like a company hashtag in the making! #crushinit
Casa London: When did you start getting involved in making your own soaps or bath bombs?

Charissa: Well last Christmas I made some food and hand scrubs for my sisters in law, my Mom, and my Grandma, so that was the first time I made a homemade product. Then I saw someone making bath bombs online, so I thought I could do that too!

I thought “I just made some scrubs, so maybe I should try some bath bombs, and see if people would buy them.” That was in February, and then I just kind of went for it. I was scared to post it online because I hadn’t told anyone. I hadn’t told any friends or family; I hadn’t even told my husband! But I was having fun taking the photos and setting it all up, so I just went for it and put it online.

Crushed With Love- Bath SaltsCasa London: Was there a particular reason you wanted to start making your own products? Was it just curiosity? Or were you fulfilling a lifelong ambition?

Charissa: Last Fall I was on my maternity leave and I was just thinking, “I’m a full-time kindergarten teacher and I am at a school where sometimes kids won’t have the proper lunches, or sometimes they’ll have a big enough lunch but they don’t have any fruit or veggies. So I would give them an apple or a banana or something from my lunch, because we try to have the morning snack as something healthy, like fruit or yoghurt.
It was one girl in particular, who would come up nearly every day and tell me she didn’t have a healthy snack- it’d be like Oreo cookies or chips.

My first though was I’ll make some lip balm, but I didn’t know how to make enough money for fruit from that, so the idea got kind of forgotten. Then in February when I made the bath bombs, I thought I could make some money from this and use it for the bowl of fruit for my classroom.

Casa London: So you got your bowl of fruit then?

Charissa: Yes, we did! We always have apples, and kids will sometimes just randomly grab an apple when I’m reading them a book. And I always think- “well they are eating something healthy, so it’s fine, I’m not going to get upset about that.” I knew I wasn’t going to make a ton of money, but at least there would be a supply of fruit in the classroom! That’s how it originally got started. It’s just nice to have it there. It’s something that I enjoy which is definitely a bonus.

Charissa’s bath bombs are a little bit special, she used baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salts, coconut and grape seed oils- meaning they are 100% natural. A lot of bath bombs don’t have coconut or grapeseed oil, so they can make your bath feel that little bit more luxurious.

Crushed With Love- SoapsCharissa: You can massage the oils into your skin while you’re in the bath- it’s great for the winter coming up. They can help with dry skin from the cold! My daughter loves the bath bombs, so if there are ever any leftovers, I will make a few little ones for her.

And for those of you who prefer showers to a bath, you’re in luck! Shower-bombs have been one of the Crushed With Love’s best-selling items, and they are great for you if you have a cold or flu. They have peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemon essential oils, to open up your pores and senses on a cold winter’s day.

Casa London: What is your favourite product to make for Crushed With Love?

Charissa: I do love making the soaps, because I feel you can be more creative with them, and each soap you make looks different. I just made lavender soap in a mould yesterday so I am waiting to cut it, and I am always excited to cut it, because it’s like a piece of artwork, it’s the product I enjoy making the most but they are time-consuming. I actually make it in the garage, and when the kids aren’t around because I am using lye- it’s quite dangerous to make soap, so you need eyewear and gloves.

Soaps can be made using a hot or cold process; the hot process soaps can be made in a matter of hours because the soap is cooked, whereas the cold process can take 4-6 weeks before anyone can use it because of the saponification and curing process.

Charissa: The cold process is really beautiful and you can do a ton of design because it is thinner, hot process is more of a rustic look. It depends, some people prefer the design and some prefer the chunkier, less deliberate look. I would love to be doing this full time, but I guess I will just see where it goes.

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