Healthy Skin, Happy Baby
Carolyn and Josh, partners in business and life, share with us the story of Duckish, a line of baby necessities formulated with natural ingredients for skin.
- Can you tell us more about Duckish’s approach to bath, body, and baby products? What do your products deliver, and how do they do it?
When it comes to ingredients, we like to keep things simple but focus on quality. Something key for us is to skip any component that doesn’t have a purpose or is just a filler. The idea is to give people concentrated, worry-free bath, body and baby care products that work. For example, for our body balm sticks, we’ve combined an incredibly concentrated moisturizing formula with a unique delivery mechanism to allow you to put lotion exactly where you need it. You just pull the cap off, twist the stick up and apply. And because it’s solid, it won’t spill or leak in your bag. The same logic applies to our bath bombs. We’ve replaced the artificial fragrances and fillers you usually get in a bath bomb with essential oils and moisturizers to make each bath extra special.
- Your business has a unique origin story. Can you tell us about how you formed a family and a business in one fell swoop?
The short answer is by accident! I met Josh in a class over a decade ago. At the time, starting a business was not on the radar. But we both had the entrepreneurial itch and wanted to build something of our own. After a few years of research and tinkering with recipe development, the products I was making for myself and friends snowballed into the line of bath, body and baby care that today is Duckish. And in the middle of our business finding its legs, Josh and I had a little boy in 2016! He came with us to shows and meetings for quite some time and was why many customers came by our booth in the early days.
- What was your first major inspiration for building this company?
After my sister had a baby, we had a chat about baby products, including diaper cream. We noted how baby products can have not-so-great ingredient lists, which is crazy to me as you’re putting them on newborns, and how natural products are often costly. My research revolved around creating a diaper cream in a twist-up stick with great ingredients that made it easy to apply. I had a lot more time then! Once I had a diaper cream that my sister and the other new parents in our lives were happy with, it made me think of how I could try to make something that would deal with the eczema patches I’d struggled with for years. That’s what led to the development of our mini body balm sticks and really how Duckish came to be.
- What are the most challenging things about running your business?
Finding enough hours and energy in the day to balance between work, family, and my sanity is always a considerable challenge. Our business isn’t just one thing: we’re not just a formulator and manufacturer; we’re a wholesaler, an online store, and an employer. There are a lot of balls to keep in the air! But we’re always thinking about the best ways to grow Duckish and how to continue helping people feel great in their skin.
- What are the specific challenges of creating “effective, worry-free, natural” products?
The easier, cheaper route would be to add fillers like water and harsh preservatives to products and call it a day. We spend a lot of time thinking about and testing how we can create products without that stuff, which means customers don’t have to worry about what’s inside, and they get way better value for their money. The downside of this creation process is that it takes a long time and is often more expensive from a product development viewpoint. We also spend a lot of time thinking of better delivery mechanisms for the products we create, which is why we landed on easy-to-use sticks for our moisturizers and well-proportioned cubes for our bath bombs.
- What’s your vision for the future of your business?
Right now, we’re in the process of developing new products, including shampoo and conditioner bars, deodorant, and body wash bars, along with some fresh baby products. The idea for the near future is to offer complete bath and body lines for women and babies. In the long term, we remain committed to providing the best products and creating opportunities for women. We’ll continue to partner with women-focused organizations, create jobs within Duckish and support our community in as many ways as we can.
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