Creativity – In the Studio with Suzanne LeRoux of One Love Organics
In this series on The Southern C, I like to introduce our readers to some of the great Southern creative minds we run across on our social network and at The Southern C Summits. These individuals are the artists, designers, makers and doers that are shaping our landscape with their vision and ingenuity. Go behind the scenes to get a glimpse into their studio, read what they are working on, discover the path that led them to this moment and find out what motivates and inspires their work and lives.
The subjects and their niche may vary but many share the paradoxical traits of creative individuals – they daydream, observe, ask big questions, people watch, seek new experiences, view life as an opportunity for self-expression, take risks and bounce back all while following their true passions. We hope you will be inspired as we spotlight the creativity that abounds in our region. According to Einstein, “Creativity is contagious” and this is one thing we are happy to spread.
This week we meet Suzanne LeRoux, the creator behind award-winning beauty favorite One Love Organics. A believer in alternative healing, so much so that she decided to formally study holistic nutrition, herbs and aromatherapy in addition to her day job as a lawyer, it was from these studies that One Love Organics was born. After five years of moonlighting as a beauty alchemist, Suzanne took up the cosmetic arts full time. She uses her creative eye, lawyerly analysis, high standards for efficacy and charming Southern drawl to march past the “marketing hype” and uncover what is truly beneficial to skin, health and beauty.
Equally busy outside the office as a mom, Suzanne is also an advocate for healthy, happy families—so the company also supports non-profit organizations that help families thrive. Sounds like a Southern creative through and through!
Describe your brand and how you got started:
I created One Love Organics to offer a simpler approach to beauty. After the birth of my two sons, who are 20 months apart, I felt an overwhelming need to simplify everything, including my beauty routine. I wanted to get back to the essentials. For me, the essentials needed to be effective, pure, safe for my whole family, of the highest quality and serve multiple purposes to earn a spot on my bathroom counter.
For example, I dreamt of a cleanser that was great for my face that I could also use in the tub with my babies. I imagined a moisturizer that worked not only for me, but also my husband and my boys. We focus on a few supreme products, not up-selling a medicine cabinet full of mysterious jars. Women have really responded to and appreciate our honesty. You really don’t need a bunch of “stuff” to look great and have a truly effective routine.
Describe a typical day at work:
At One Love Organics, we produce our products in micro-batches every day, so our time revolves around prepping, making product, shipping and following up with customers and retailers. I am always working on new formulas, too. My passion is to make product and that is why I started the business. I love the creativity and feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day.
How has your background influenced your business and work?
I was raised in rural south Georgia by parents who owned and operated both a farm and a small chain of pharmacies so I learned early that hard work, perseverance and calculated risk were necessary for the entrepreneur life. Throughout my life, I worked hard and played hard but it wasn’t until I was in my mid-thirties that I decided to make a living by doing what I really loved-formulating and producing beautiful skin and body care products and teaching others to appreciate their own unique beauty.
A lawyer by trade, I use the research and analytical skills gained during my early career to determine what is beneficial to the skin and what is not. I don’t simply accept conventional wisdom when it comes to developing our one-of-a-kind-formulas, but instead choose what is truly the best way—often the road less traveled.
Favorite biz tool, app or resource?
I love Instagram! It allows us to tell our story with a picture and connect and engage with our customers easily and quickly. The beautiful images also inspire me to produce and create new things.
Where do you find inspiration or what motivates you?
I have always believed in the power of a well-executed beauty ritual. Indulging in self-care is how I made it through college and law school with my sanity intact. I loved it so much that I embarked on formal studies in aromatherapy, integrative herbology, holistic nutrition and cosmetic chemistry while practicing law full time, just for fun. It was my husband, Chase, who encouraged me to focus my passion, expertise and business skills on developing a skincare brand. Thanks to Chase’s love, support and encouragement, One Love Organics was born.
The rare day off – what do you do to unwind and leave it all behind?
My ideal day off is spent hanging out at the beach with my husband, two boys and our dog, Maggie. I give my all during the week and for years I have worked so many hours. It is a great joy just to relax and have “nothing” to do.
(a sampling of press for One Love Organics)
Best business advice you ever received:
Approach your work with faith, diligence and humor.
For more of Whitney’s Southern Creatives Q&A’s click the names below:
Whitney Wise Long, co-founder of The Southern C and The Southern C Summit, loves to connect with Southern entrepreneurs and learn more about their creative endeavors. This series – “In the Studio With” – offers her the perfect opportunity to do so!