I am thrilled today to be doing a Small Business Spotlight on Shack on the Rock and it’s owner Traci Cornell!
Traci Cornell is a small business owner of products that are crafted with naturally derived ingredients. She is a wife and mother of 3 boys. Having grown up in the City, she finds Country living to be an adjustment but one worth making.
Kylie: Traci, can you tell us about your Small Business and what your mission is?
Traci: Shack on the Rock started out like every side hustle does. Looking for a way to supplement my family’s income. However, I wanted to be sure that it was something I loved. One day a good friend invited me over to watch her make soap. I instantly fell in love with cold process soap making THAT day! From there, I researched, practiced and gobbled up every resource I could get my hands on. As time went on, I branched out to other products. As I grew more experienced, a result of that was growing more aware of how many ingredients were in products that didn’t sit well with me.You see, I believe that while eating organic is important, it is equally important, perhaps more so, to be careful about what your skin is consuming. The saying goes that 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed straight into your blood stream. Even if that statistic is off by even half, that isn’t good. That means those toxins are by-passing God-given filters like your saliva, digestive acids/enzymes, and your Liver.
Just straight into your blood. Here’s another example that women often don’t think about; I, personally, have a long lasting love affair with fragrance. From the time I was young, I adored the magazine samples of expensive perfumes. I would tear them out of the magazines and place them in my dressers and closets (mostly because I couldn’t afford to buy them on my babysitting salary). Every product I chose, down to my shampoo, was largely in part to how good it smelled! Scent has always played a HUGE role for me and I don’t think I’m alone in that. Of course, little did I know that it likely was harming my body, specifically my endocrine system. You see, I struggled with infertility for years and a large part of that was due to hormone imbalances. In fact, I once heard of a story where a women who loved a certain brand that specializes in great smelling products, was trying to get pregnant. Her Doctor told her to eliminate ALL scented products, both personal & cleaning items for 3 months, which she did. She conceived shortly thereafter. Again, if there is just an inkling of truth to this story, why would we risk it as women? Research shows that Synthetic Fragrance can have a lasting, damaging effect on our bodies. That’s bad news for men and children but it’s a huge no-no for women who have a multitude of hormones fluctuating in a tightly choreographed dance sequence every month. So the first thing I did was switch from using Synthetic Fragrance to Essential Oils. My business took a hit, because like me, many women buy product based on how good it smells and Essential Oils limit you on what you can create/offer fragrance-wise. Since then, I have discovered 100% Certified Plant-based scents that are derived from Essential Oils and Other Organic plant matter. This has opened up a whole new world for me AND my Customers!
Traci: My ultimate goal is to be able to offer products with versatility, that smell amazing, and are as close to plant-based ingredients without compromising in performance. I want my customers to feel good about using my products. I want women to grow more aware of the dangers lurking in many of their products. Lots of money is spent on marketing/advertising to women because we are the MAIN shoppers for our homes and families. However, most of those products are not created with our health in mind. (though we are beginning to see a shift in that direction more and more)
Kylie: Shack on the Rock is such a unique name, what was the inspiration behind it?
Traci: I actually prayed long and hard about what to name my business. My biz name is inspired by the Casting Crowns song “The American Dream”. It’s about a man that works all day, neglecting his family, so he can achieve the American Dream of wealth. I heard that song and instantly knew that if I had a business, I wanted it based on debt-free principles. I wanted a business that I could grow from home so that I wouldn’t need to sacrifice time with my family. Perhaps something my family could even participate in.
Kylie: Of all the products you have created, what are some of your favorites and why?
Traci: It took me years to finalize my favorite products so narrowing them down to just a few is hard for me to do. I ADORE the creative variety that Cold-Process soap allows me to achieve. I liken it to cooking/baking/decorating a cake from scratch! I also LOVE my Solid Shampoo bars because they are so eco-friendly and how gently they wash your hair without stripping and leaving hair greasy.
There is the uniqueness and versatility of my Lip & Body balms too! You can’t find them anywhere else! As my business grows, my hope is to offer more multi-purpose products as a way to keep costs down for families. I remember when I was a Teenager, one of my favorite products was Max Factors Lip & Blush stick (I think Cody made one too). I loved that my hard earned babysitting money could buy one product that performed in two different ways! It was like getting two products for the price of one! (because it was!)
Kylie: Do you have any new products coming up to be watching for?
Traci: At this time, I am just looking to expand my Certified Plant-based scent blends so my customers can have more natural fragrance options to choose from!
Kylie: Are your products available in any brick & mortar stores? And where online can your products be purchased and readers connect with you?
Traci: I only offer my products at two actual brick and mortar stores. The Hello Sunshine Market (a fantastic little clothing boutique in Granby, Mo.) is owned by two equally fantastic moms, Sarah Kimbrough James & Andrea Wald. They started there business with the same debt-free principles I believe in. The second shop is “Forage” in Grove, Ok. It’s owned by Krista Sampson and she is an equally amazing mom of 3 boys! Her vision is Farm to table and helping her local community! Otherwise, I can be found at the Neosho Farmers Market, the Handmade Holiday Market in Nov. and of course, I am online. I have an Etsy shop right now and I am in the process of building a Website to establish more of an Online presence. I can also be found on Instagram (I’m experimenting with that one), Facebook and Pinterest.
Thank you again to Traci for stopping by to visit with us today and sharing more about Shack on the Rock!