Founder Highlight: Jen Casey of Dimpleskins Naturals
In 2001 when Jen Casey had her first child, she got more than just a baby.
As a self-described “paranoid, nervous new mom”, Jen was concerned about the chemicals in the widely available baby products. “I was a makeup artist for fashion and film and tv for years so I knew what typically went into a product.” She knew enough to see that even the so-called natural baby products available that “even they weren’t natural enough”.
Jen explains, “I wasn’t happy with most of the ingredients I saw on labels. How are these even allowed on the shelf!? There must be a better way”. So she began to research, thinking “let’s just get back to what great grandma might have used on her baby.” Then she got to work, experimenting in her kitchen. “Once I got the perfect consistency and was happy with all the ingredients and investigated their safety for babies, I’ve never changed the recipe.” she adds.
An Accidental Business
Originally, Jen was just creating all-natural baby products for her own use until her efforts caught the attention of a friend who wanted to sell the products in her gift shop. But things changed completely when Jen’s mom mentioned her products to an old friend who just happened to be the editor of the Globe and Mail’s Style section. When the story came out, Jen was suddenly inundated with calls from stores all over the country wanting to stock her products, which at that point, she was still making by hand in her kitchen! She laughs, “I still had no pricing; I had no labels or anything.”
Her accidental business continued to grow, and Jen says it became like another child. At one point she was still trying to do it all at home, dealing 400 different customers and two young children Simultaneously. And then came the call from a lawyer in New Jersey challenging her use of “Munchskins” as her company name. Unfortunately, this meant she had to pull all her products off shelves and start over with a new name: Dimpleskins Naturals. Luckily, Jen had given her products fun, memorable names like Bum Bum Balm, Boo Boo Goo, and Sweet Cheeks, so customers were not too confused by the change.
As Dimpleskins Naturals continued to grow, Jen realized it didn’t make sense to run it as a one-woman show anymore. She found a distributor in Mothers Choice Products and then found a local manufacturer who could produce her original recipes. This was before social media was mainstream and influencers were household names. Dimpleskins Naturals relied on word of mom. The products became so successful that they began to have copycats, with other brands creating names and labels very similar to her own.
Jen, who is now also a certified holistic nutritionist, explains that many of the products we use daily have potentially harmful and hormone interrupting chemicals that can be avoided. Expectant and breastfeeding moms should especially be aware of the chemicals in the products they use and the food they eat. Jen shares “there are three [types of] chemicals that are easy to eliminate as they aren’t necessary.” Those are artificial colour, added fragrance and parabens. Whatever you put on the skin absorbs right into your body, and can even trigger allergic reactions and other complications, Jen tells us. If you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on your skin.
Jen laughs as she talks about how she constantly hears from moms wondering if their baby will be okay after eating a whole container of one of Dimpleskins Naturals products. She tells them not to worry. “Everything is edible. I had to make sure if the baby ate it, nothing was going to happen.” All her products are in balm form as opposed to a more liquidy lotion because it offers a longer shelf life and a safer product. Once you add water to a product, bacteria can grow quickly, meaning you must use a synthetic preservative. Jen formulates her products with essential oils, beeswax, and coconut oil, which have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. She also favours tea tree oil, lavender, geranium, calendula for their soothing and healing properties.
Dimpleskins Naturals continue to impress moms (and non-moms) with their line of products:
Sweet Cheeks Body Balm is deliciously sweet-smelling moisturizing balm made with lavender and vanilla. It makes a great after-bath or baby massage product, and many customers like to keep a tin of it in their bag to use as a hand and lip balm as well.
Boo Boo Goo Soothing Salve has the healing properties of tea tree oil, lavender, geranium, and calendula. Toddlers love being able to put it on their own owies, so many parents glue magnets on the back of the tin and stick it on the fridge so little ones can help themselves. It’s also beloved by adult customers who have discovered it is amazing for healing tattoos.
Basically Bare Everywhere Balm is completely unscented, with no essential oils. It makes a great lip balm and is perfect for those with allergies as well as those with sensitive, extra dry, or cracked skin.
Bum Bum Balm Diapering Salve is zinc-free and cloth diaper safe – something that can be very difficult to find. Jen tells us she’s also heard from customers that they use it as a lubricant.
Blooming Rose Body Balm, available exclusively on the Dimpleskins Naturals website, was developed for the moms. It’s a luxurious moisturizing balm for the face, belly and body. Rose contains vitamin C to help support collagen production in the skin, key when your body is going through dramatic changes!
Jen continues to run Dimpleskins Naturals but now also works as a holistic nutritionist. She says “Dimpleskins is still one of my babies, but it is a teenager now. The recipes are tried and true and original.” As a new generation of moms discover her products, she stands by the slogan she’s been using for 20 years: never a chemical, never a worry.