Who to Know in RVA : Maven Made

photo by  Alexis Courtney

As we become aware of the real ingredients in our home and beauty products, we desire to find brands that are conscious and innovative in creating safe cleaners, bath, and skincare. Many people are turning to holistic products, essential oils, and natural at-home remedies. But with this, comes time and money to research new brands, pay for new product and test what works best for our own individual use. Enter Maven Made. 

Maven Made is co-founded by local Richmonder, Bethany Frazier. All mindfully-crafted and tested, her natural beauty products + story are one of first-hand experience and innovation to bring blends that actually work for a range of skin types. With ingredients that are natural, safe, soothing and smell amazing, Maven Made has created a line of useful products and loyal fans. Here, you'll hear from Bethany on how the brand begun, items to try, important product facts and other sustainable secrets!

How was Maven Made started?

The framework of Maven Made started in 2013 and was really the outcome of a personal problem I couldn't find a solution for. For years I struggled with cystic acne, I tried Accutane and had a rough time with the harsh medication and also simply hating my skin. A light kind of flipped on (that would be my intuition kicking in) and I abandoned my prescription and all the harsh topical treatments, cleansers and creams in addition to cutting cords with other things in my life I felt were weighing me down. With a clean slate I started researching and formulating an oil-based treatment facial serum (the same one I sell to this day). A month passed and my skin started to transform. I was finally nourishing my skin rather than stripping it with toxin-filled products. This whole experience had lit a fire so I continued creating more products with natural and ethically-sourced ingredients including the room and linen spray to a headache relieving roll-on serum to a nutrient-packed soft sugar scrub. Since its launch, Maven Made has gone through a few transitions but it's now in a place that feels so aligned and is blazing a path to expand in some exciting ways (I've even named our new kitten Maeve). In addition to an online store, the product line is on 17 store shelves and has expanded to hands-on workshops.

For a new Maven Made customer, what product/s would you recommend trying first? 

For those who like the idea of sampling or don't want to commit to just one product, the "best of" trio sampler ($16) is always a winner. It comes with miniature versions of the bestselling Sleep Serum, Headache + Tension Relief and Facial Serum. Each are perfect to tote in a bag and are TSA friendly (perfect for traveling). Plus, they're damn cute.

I'll also mention the Facial Serum is the Maven Made "gateway drug" and for good reason, it's made with a super-powered combination of oils like jojoba, geranium, carrot seed and evening primrose to work with nearly any skin type. It softens lines, lightens scars, fights acne, controls oil and brightens skin tone. It's the product that gets the most feedback and praise.

What do you want people to know about the ethical + natural side of the beauty/skincare industry? 

There's so much that we've been unaware of and its time to make (easy) changes! It's been devastating and incredibly frustrating to discover our FDA doesn't regulate skincare/beauty products whatsoever and many chemicals in these products we've been blindly putting on our skin have the potential to do severe damage to our bodies, especially women. Off the bat, 99% of cancerous breast tissue contains parabens, a chemical preservative used in the industry to inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold in products. Parabens (Methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, ethylparaben, polyparaben and isobutylparaben) can be a disaster to our endocrine (hormonal) system and have a direct link to many cancers but even so, parabens are in lotions, fragrances, moisturizers, foundations and more. The simplest way to become aware is to look and investigate the ingredients listed on anything your putting on or in your body. If you're putting something on your skin, it is absorbed into your bloodstream, that was my eye opener.

Speaking of absorption, I am a big believer in energy transference. Whatever condition or frame of mind the person is in who made your shirt or harvested the lavender for your bath soak, in the end, you are absorbing that same energy. This is why I use the term mindfully-crafted when I refer to Maven Made products, in short, I don't make products when I'm feeling funky, pissed off, etc. I want to be in the best mood possible when I'm formulating and making products because I don't want my customers to absorb any bad juju. I take this pretty seriously.

What does sustainability mean to you? 

Over the past year, I've woken up to sustainability practices and formed friendships with those who are like-minded. I've also realized how wasteful I was and that was a hard pill to swallow (from buying too much to using store plastic bags). Sustainability to me, means taking a step back and evaluating our output of waste, where we can be gentler to the earth, and where we can be more minimal in our life. Now that I'm aware, its easy to become frustrated when people want to give me meaningless crap or when I witness blind wastefulness. It's been a powerful learning experience to balance activism with acceptance. 

Part of the responsibility of embracing sustainability is finding what works for you. It's a gradual process. For Maven Made, it was a no-brainer to introduce a bottle recycling program so customers trade in their empty bottles (which I clean and sanitize for future products) for a discount. 

What is one thing you’d like people to know about Maven Made? 

I truly feel my alignment with Maven Made is not to focus on my image, fame or making a crap ton of money. It's about opening the door of awareness about natural ingredients, how wonderful they are for your body and ditching the toxin-filled products we're putting on our skin (and into our bodies). Even if you purchase other natural wellness products (there are so many amazing ones out there) getting others turned on to natural products that actually work is my ultimate goal. The financial abundance is a byproduct of authentic alignment to this whole concept.

What do you love about the RVA community? 

For some reason this question makes me emotional. I love everything and am so damn lucky I ended up in Richmond and have the support and self love to start Maven Made through the magic of this community. I love the people who have had my back during a few mistakes I've made, I love seeing new makers enter the scene and ask questions without ego or embarrassment, I love seeing familiar (and new) faces at events and feeling like I'm part of something so special. I love the products (and beer, of course!) and experiences this city creates at a local level. I know that whatever path Maven Made takes, I have support from this community, customers and advocates.

Where can we find you next? 

I'll be buzzing around this city the next couple of months and you can always find updated events, popups and workshop on the website here, but here's what I have in the books:

10/20 *new* Astrology Product launch at Boketto Wellness
11/4 NOURISH retreat
12/1 Tapped & Wrapped Holiday Market at The Veil
12/3 Christkindmarkt at Blue Bee Cider
12/8 Vegan Pop-up at Hardywood Park Brewery
12/17 The Brunch Market at Urban Roost

Follow along with Maven Made on Instagram : @mavenmade
Check out their website here.