Network Under 40
Join Network Under 40 on June 21 at AJ’s Good Time Bar, country music star Alan Jackson’s restaurant and bar, located in the heart of downtown Nashville. With
It all started with deodorant.
In 2012, Haylee Young was an emergency room nurse working 12-hour shifts and searching for a deodorant that worked despite the high-stress environment. One caveat: It also had to be free of the aluminum compounds, parabens, and other potentially harmful ingredients found in commercial antiperspirants. After doctors found a mass—which, following a biopsy and few-month-long wait, was thankfully benign—in her left breast, the search was on.
Product trial after product trial, each fell short, until Young came across Twigs + Roots, a small-batch Nashville company producing an all-natural deodorant that actually worked.
“You can have natural products out there all day long, but, if they don’t work, they don’t work. With deodorant, you either smell or you don’t smell,” Young says.
The loyal customer made the jump to co-owner when she and a friend, Claudia Lofton, an interior designer, purchased the company from its original owner and began their transition to a more holistic approach to life and business. Today, they’re working to become a solution in a world brimming with chemically heavy commodities, and they aim to produce the preventive option, rather than the reactive so common on store shelves. Now offering an all-natural deodorant in wildwood and lavender, tooth powder, baby powder, hand salve, all-purpose salve, SPF lotion, and bug spray, the company has also completed a full rebranding of its website and packaging.
“We’re not just trying to sell products; we want to educate the consumer on what’s harmful in the commercial product market and why it’s so beneficial for them to use a natural alternative,” Lofton says. “And we have those daily essential products, products for the entire family.”
A wholly effective option, Twigs + Roots’ beauty staples are also sleek in design, luxurious in touch, and far from the crunchy natural-product aisle the clean movement once was. Additionally, Young and Lofton are able keep prices low in a comparatively high marketplace because everything—infusing calendula oil, heating, stirring and mixing the butters, pouring, packaging, and labeling the products—is done by hand by the female business owners, who take a Saturday every few weeks to cook. “We get ‘Walter White-y’ about it,” Young laughs.
During those eight-hour sessions, the two can churn out about 100 deodorants, 22 powders, 20 baby powders, and a few salves, proving “small-batch” is not just a marketing trigger word. “They are not kidding when they call it a side hustle,” Young says. “Because you hustle.”
“But,” Lofton adds, “it has made both of us stronger in our careers.”