Happy Small Business Saturday! This year I bring you Stream2Sea creator and founder, Autumn Blum! I am so impressed by all of her products and the fact that I can use them without worrying about the affect on sensitive corals that I swim, dive and surf with. I know that so many of you are water people too, and what a difference a product like this can make for our reefs!
I’m Autumn and I’m a cosmetic chemist, scuba instructor and environmentalist. At 23, I started a little natural skin care company. Always under-funded and boot-strapping, I eventually grew the distribution to include millions in sales through more than 3,000 retail outlets in the US and abroad. In 2009, I sold Organix-South and the TheraNeem brand to a publicly traded company. I worked for them for a few years—it was fascinating learning how the ‘big boys’ operate—and I truly enjoyed most of the work. But I was restless. I’m an entrepreneur. My friends and colleagues all knew this and kept asking what I was going to do next.
I figured it out when by boyfriend said, “I’m going diving in Palau. Want to come along?” Several months later, we were diving off a live-aboard yacht in one of the most remote dive destinations in the world. The water was spectacular, and it was definitely the healthiest coral reef I had ever seen. After every dive, I would watch the other divers shower on the dive deck, washing their hair with commercial products, suds rinsing right overboard. Then they would slather silicone-based conditioners with nasty preservatives in their hair, and a tropical sunscreen or some aerosol-based product all over their body. An hour later, we’d all jump back in the ocean to do it over again.
This can’t be good, I thought. I had read the reports of sunscreen actives being implicated in coral bleaching. I knew the ingredients in these products would never pass muster in a health food store, and I certainly didn’t like the idea of them going into these pristine waters.
When I got home, I started looking for eco-conscious products I might use on my next trip or dive. I found a few varieties in the local dive shops stating reef safe or reef friendly. Then, I read the ingredients and was shocked to find oxybenzone, octylmethoxy cinnamate and parabens in many of them!
Knowing that every product we use on our bodies and in our hair ultimately reaches the ocean, I set out to create the highest quality, biodegradable skin, sun and hair care product line available. I left my job, poured over ingredient safety data, formulated the best possible line I could, partnered with Eckerd College and several labs, and finally brought my EcoConscious and Biodegradable product line to market!
It is my pleasure to introduce you to Stream2Sea, our new line of Ecoconscious and Biodegradable skin and sun care. Each product is safe not only for you and your family, but also for the sustainability of our environment. Our Sunscreen is the ONLY one that has been tested to be non-toxic to freshwater fish, saltwater fish, C. elegans and coral larvae. They are also readily biodegradable in both fresh and salt water. Now all I have to do is tell the world!
Carly Mejeur is a floridian artist, inspired by her ocean hobbies and travels. This Blog is for news, events, and just for fun. Click here for the artist's Bio.