One of the consistent traits among clients at The Accelerator is a drive to solve problems and fill a void in the market. Cindy Allyn turned her own need of wholesome skincare products into a company called Farmbody Skin Care, and the company is rapidly gaining momentum in the Hudson Valley.
“I started the business out of necessity,” Allyn said. “I have a lot of allergies, and I’m allergic to nuts and certain preservatives that are used commercially. My skin was literally peeling, and I was getting really itchy hives. The amount of skincare on the market that is nut-free like my products and free of the preservatives I’m allergic to is a very narrow field. It really started out of necessity, so I could help myself.”
Soon, however, she wanted to start helping others as well. Allyn, who still works a few days a week at an organic nail salon but is working on transitioning full-time to Farmbody, had nail clients who had a variety of health conditions that made skincare difficult.
The first product she designed for others was an all-natural balm that was specifically meant for people going through cancer treatments. They would get very dry skin and splits in their fingers, and the skin would get thinned from radiation and chemotherapy. The balm was successful in reducing redness and splits.
“The original Save Your Hide body butter I made for people with cancer is special to me,” she said. “The texture amazes everybody who tries it. They’ve never felt anything like it. It feels like velvet on your skin when it’s dry, and the hydration lasts all day.”
Allyn, who has two employees, has been making her skincare products for several years now, and continues to expand her product line because, as she says, she believes “there’s a better way” to get high-quality skincare than by using many of the mass-produced chemical-reliant products you’ll find on the market. Additionally, she is committed to supporting and working with local farmers and businesses.
“I’m combining farm ingredients as much as possible from our area, along with beer, cider or distillery ingredients from our area to enhance my line,” Allyn said. “There are so many breweries opening up in New York State and I want to collaborate with them, have their products in my product, and then they can sell it at their breweries. I want to use what’s already here, combine those ingredients and make it into something else to celebrate New York.”
Many of the wineries and breweries like to have other products for sale that are commemorative of their brewery and give people something to purchase in their gift shops other than alcohol and T-shirts. Allyn has started making liquid soaps, shower gels, hand soaps, shampoos, conditioners, shaving soaps and aftershave with beer – a full line of grooming products.
“Beer is naturally antibacterial,” she explained. “It’s what people drank when they couldn’t drink the water. So we don’t need chemicals in our hand soap to make things antibacterial. Also, the B vitamins in the barley, wheat and everything else that goes into beer are magnificent for your skin and hair. People with acne can benefit from our acne wash because of the deep-cleansing benefits of what’s in beer.”
Allyn is also focused on working with local tattoo shops with her tattoo aftercare product.
“There’s a definite need for tattoo aftercare, because no one in the area is making anything handcrafted that gives people that care they need,” she said.
With every sale she gets, Allyn feels like she’s getting closer to her goal of making Farmbody Skin Care her full-time venture. Through The Accelerator, she has obtained access to resources she not only would not have had before, but never would have even known about.
“It opens doors to finding out about other programs,” Allyn said of her Accelerator experience. “Just the knowledge that there are programs in New York that help businesses, that’s something I’ve become more aware of through the Accelerator. There are so many things that the average person doesn’t know that are there to help you grow. So, for example, I found out about a class that is for micro-manufacturing, and I’m taking that.”
Of course, old-school sales tactics have also been helpful.
“Taking the product, going out to businesses, introducing myself and asking for business… developing wholesale accounts face to face has been a very effective strategy for me.”
With a partnership with the Accelerator, an admirable drive for success and a commitment to working and staying local, Allyn is looking forward to taking Farmbody Skin Care to new levels.