When nominees at the Academy Awards next month open their swag bags, they will discover a touch of Minnesota.
Essence One, the Minneapolis-based natural body care and beauty line, paid a fee to include a $61 package of body oil, bath salt and aromatherapy sleep products.
“The expectation is that the celebrities will use it and give you a shout out,” Lauren VanScoy, the company’s founder, said Tuesday. “I included my story with the bag, which I hope will help.”
VanScoy started the business in 2016 after suffering anxiety and depression after the birth of a child. She wanted to supplement healing by using natural mental health therapies.
“Essence One has provided a way to share how important it is to keep our immune systems strong, our stress levels low and our spirits high,” she wrote on EssenceOne.life.
That includes partnering with Maple Grove High School to sponsor its mental health awareness club with resources, materials and support. VanScoy doesn’t hesitate to associate her company with breaking the stigma of mental health. In a Deals & Steals segment on TV’s “Good Morning America” last year, mental wellness was briefly mentioned.
That 30-second appearance on GMA catapulted VanScoy’s business from about $150,000 in sales in 2018 to more than $500,000 last year.
She now offers products in nearly 50 stores across the country with her full line sold online, in Six for Good in Rosedale and Smith+Trade Mercantile in Stillwater.
“Lauren has a great story to tell,” said Kelli Kaufer, who owns Smith+Trade. “She’s local, philanthropic, and passionate about her herbal natural-based products. People want to connect to the product because of her story.”
At the beginning of February, Essence One products will be carried at Crateandbarrel.com and in 18 of its retail stores, including Edina. Bath and body products will be part of the home furnishing retailer’s introduction to spring wellness.
“It’s a new thing for Crate & Barrel, but I don’t know if it’s seasonal or permanent,” VanScoy said.
Her store in Rosedale called Six for Good features six female artisans, anchored by Essence One. The store carries all of the nearly 100 products in the Essence One line, including a new line for men that VanScoy said is usually purchased by wives and girlfriends. The store will close temporarily from March to mid-April until Rosedale’s leasing office finds it a new location within the center.
Two more major outlets for the brand will also happen later this year, including the line being added by national retailer based in Minnesota and a subscription gift-box company.