Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868

Home-based business capitalizes on demand

DALLAS -- Ashley Kahl and Katie Newman call themselves "crunchy mamas."

Ashley Kahl, left, and Katie Newman label tubes of lip balm on Jan. 11. The pair's affinity for natural products led to the creation of their own business to produce them.

Photo by Amelia Liggett

Ashley Kahl, left, and Katie Newman label tubes of lip balm on Jan. 11. The pair's affinity for natural products led to the creation of their own business to produce them.

January 22, 2013

DALLAS -- Ashley Kahl and Katie Newman call themselves "crunchy mamas."

"Crunchy Mamas -- it's kind of like a term for granola ... crunchy, hippie mom," Kahl said.

As such, the stay-at-home moms have been making their own toiletries and beauty products out of natural ingredients.

Kahl said initially, it was an economic choice: she could make toiletries for less than she would spend at the store. Later, however, she became convinced her products were healthier. She had the peace of mind of knowing each ingredient.

Newman, Kahl's sister-in-law, had also been making homemade products for some time for many of the same reasons. They began to share ideas.

"There are so many bad chemicals in the stuff we use everyday," Newman said. "We kind of slowly started saying `Let's make our own.'"

"We were on the phone swapping recipes for toiletries," Kahl added. "It was actually really embarrassing how often we would call each other."

The word spread and it didn't take long for Newman and Kahl to make another realization: A lot of people would like to use all-natural products, but don't have the time to make them.

"That's when (we discovered) that people would pay us to make them for them," Newman said.

They named the business "Crunchy Mamas" and started selling their lip balms and other items last June. It wasn't long before they launched a website, serving local and out-of-state customers.

Their product line includes: various flavors of lip balm; hand sanitizer; "Crusty Foot," a foot balm; a vapor rub; "Baby Butt Balm," for diaper rash; and "Smelly Face," a face moisturizer. Prices range from $3 for lip balm to $19 for Smelly Face.

Kahl and Newman, who both live in Dallas, are still in awe at how quickly the business has grown and the support they've received, especially from local customers and their families.

Newman said their children volunteer to help label products -- with varying degrees of success -- and gleefully take them as gifts to teachers. Kahl added their husbands, Dustin Newman and Stephen Kahl, are just as supportive.

"They are having a lot of fun, too," she said. "The `Crunchy Man-mas,' that's what they call themselves."

The pair say they will unveil new, creatively named products soon, including: "Morning Breath," a mouth wash; "Bug Off," an insect repellent; "Scabstick," for cuts and scrapes; and the self-explanatory "Nipstick," for nursing mothers.

Newman and Kahl said they will let the business grow naturally and let the products speak for themselves.

"We put all the ingredients on the label because we are confident that it works and it's good stuff," Kahl said. "I think it's important for people to know what they are using."

It's All-Natural

What: Crunchy Mamas.

Product line: lip balms, vapor rub, face moisturizer, foot balm and hand sanitizer. More products will be available soon.

How to order: www.crunchymamasgoods.com.

Of note: Crunchy Mamas uses no chemicals, preservatives, dyes or artificial fragrances. Local orders are personally delivered each Friday.

For more information: crunchymamas@hotmail.com.

Hot Jobs