During my birthday celebration last week (I turned 41 on Friday), I had the idea to publish my first blog for Tap Tap Organics. I was inspired because birthdays aren’t only a time to celebrate getting older, it’s also a time for reflection.
As I near almost two years since I started my zero waste skincare line, I wanted to share my thoughts on some of the most common questions I get from customers, friends and fellow entrepreneurs.
If you’re inspired to reach out after you read more about me and Tap Tap Organics, I’d love to hear from you. I’m always looking to connect with more members of the community and learn from your stories.
What does Tap Tap Organics mean to you?
I’m so proud of having grown up in Costa Rica, one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world. I grew up appreciating our beautiful beaches, jungles and our rich wildlife. So when I decided to create a zero waste skincare line, it made perfect sense to draw inspiration from the beauty and mindfulness of Costa Rica.
Tap Tap Organics embodies the values by which I try to live, and it represents the love and pride I have for my Costa Rican roots.
What inspired you to start Tap Tap Organics?
The moment I became aware of the true importance of safe, natural skincare ingredients was when I was pregnant with our first daughter. I was eating clean and being more careful of what I put in my body than I’d ever been before.
And then, I discovered the impact of what I was putting on my body. The light bulb went off when I would read on labels that a product was not recommended for pregnant women. After digging a little deeper, I learned skin is incredibly efficient at absorbing what we put on it. Within moments, the chemicals in our skincare products are in our blood stream. When people seem skeptical, I always point out that’s why nicotine patches work!
Around the same time, I discovered the zero waste movement after reading Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. I had already witnessed the devastating amount of plastic and trash on our beautiful beaches. So after reading her book, I decided that living a zero waste lifestyle was something I had to do.
On this journey, I couldn’t find natural skincare products that were also zero waste. So I started making my lotion by following recipes in books and online. I always had enough to give away to friends and they absolutely loved it. After about five years, I decided to officially start Tap Tap Organics while I was on maternity leave with our second daughter.
Needless to say, one thing led to another and what started as a simple Etsy side-business became a growing line of natural skincare products that’s also zero waste.
What has been the biggest lesson learned since you started?
To follow my intuition. When I was first deciding to launch the line about two years ago, it wasn’t clear to me whether people were aware of the global plastic and waste crisis. I received advice that I should downplay that aspect of the brand and just focus on the organic ingredients.
However, being zero waste was one of my core values, and I felt strongly about keeping it that way. I’m glad I did because I’ve seen a huge shift in the last 12 months. The awareness has greatly increased and people are already well informed about the issue.
What has been the most rewarding?
Definitely connecting with customers who have a passion for the zero waste lifestyle and spread our mission with their friends. Most recently though, Tap Tap Organics was included in Mother Magazine’s self-care gift guide, it felt so good to get recognition from the community that I respect and admire.
What/who are some of the brands/people you admire and why?
I really admire Bea Johnson, who is considered one of the pioneers of the zero waste movement. She never compromises on her lifestyle. I have a long way to go compared to her, but I love the motto of needing a lot of people to be imperfectly zero waste rather than just a few being perfect at it.
Some local brands I love are Tartine Bakery and Heath Ceramics. Both have women co-founders, grew steadily over time and have a deep appreciation for artisanal, handcrafted products. I am also a huge fan of Dandelion Chocolate and not just because I love chocolate! They source their cocoa beans in a very sustainable and responsible way, working closely with producers in countries like Costa Rica. I’m modeling them by sourcing wild-harvested coconut oil from Costa Rica and trying to use as many ingredients as I can from Central and South America.
What’s the biggest difference in your skincare routine from your 20s/30s and now? What’s stayed the same?
The main difference now is that I only use products with a short list of natural ingredients and avoid plastic packaging.
I think in my 20s, my skin was more forgiving. If I didn’t wash my face at night, didn’t get enough sleep or didn’t drink enough water, I wouldn’t really see the impact -- unlike now.
I was also surfing a lot in sunny Costa Rica, which probably wasn’t great for my skin. In my 30s I focused on sun protection, mineral based daily sunscreen and wearing hats. I started applying my Regenerate Beauty Oil religiously in the morning and evening. It’s so silky and quick absorbing, and I love that it’s full of antioxidants and vitamin C. I’m able to repair and truly regenerate my skin with this product.
Today, I’ll continue the same routine but also aim to get enough sleep because I see what a difference it makes. Healthy skin is also well-rested skin.
What’s on your New Year’s resolution list for 2020?
For Tap Tap Organics I want to focus on collaborations and partnerships. Small businesses can only succeed if they rely on each other. I’ve discovered a wonderful community of female entrepreneurs, makers and business owners. I also get asked a lot if I have a brick and mortar shop. So those key partnerships, with brands that have similar values, will help grow the line.
I also plan to launch a couple of new products and have been testing and tweaking the ingredients.
Personally, and now that our daughters are a little older, I’ll prioritize time for exercise, date nights and gatherings with friends. There’s a lot that gets put on the back burner when you have small children, especially as a mom. I do believe we can’t have it all, all at once. Rather it’s about continually adjusting as you go through the various phases of your life. I love setting New Year’s resolutions because the idea of a new year offers a fresh start.
Thanks for reading!