Alright friends, we’re back with another edition of our Meet the Maker Feature for the new year! We spoke to today's maker back in 2020 and if you saw our last video, "Our 7 Favorite Quotes from Makers in 2020", you'll already have a brief introduction. So get ready to (re)meet KC McDaniel, the owner of Conscious Goods. She makes 100% all-natural home and body products with an emphasis on sustainability. Of course, you can check out a few of her products in our shop.
Let’s start with the most important question: How are you doing in 2020—both personally and professionally?
As a single mom working from home with 3 children remote schooling, two of which have special learning needs, it’s been a lot. But, we have a lot of family support and that is more than many people. The financial strains are stressful but Conscious Goods has been able to pivot to more online sales and started offering local delivery.
Taking 2020 in days and moments. And right now, all our needs are met and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities coming in the future.
‘Conscious Goods’ isn’t just the name of your brand, it also seems to be the thesis of the brand. How does Conscious Goods stand out against other “conscious” brands?
It stands out in the depth of how we make decisions. From the sourcing of ingredients, packaging and shipping materials, every tiny detail has a lot of thought and love in it. That’s why we use fair trade ingredients and why every single-use product is in 100% compostable packaging. I obsess about every tiny detail to make it easier for our customers to feel good about what they buy. What I want from other brands is to buy something I can feel confident isn’t causing harm to others, so I created a brand that does just that.
So in addition to being a businesswoman, you’re also a lawyer. Is there any cross pollination between the two skill sets when it comes to your business?
It has helped having that background in little ways and with knowing what we can or cannot do. Sometimes it hinders me because I want to do something that I know I probably could get away with, but I am such a stickler for following the law, that I won’t do it unless I know I am following the rules.
You’re doing something really interesting right now where you’re donating 100% of the profits of your most popular item—your bath bombs—to social justice efforts. What was the background around that decision?
My normal reaction is to protest and to take my children along to be socially active. This year, that was uniquely challenging. We’re in the middle of a pandemic and there was so much violence to protestors from the police. I was convinced not to protest in person and felt very helpless, sitting in my comfortable home not doing anything. So, this felt like something that I can do.
You’ve mentioned that the idea for Conscious Goods started because you wanted to provide all-natural products for your kids. Are they still a part of your process? Is your mom still helping with graphic design?
My mom acts in more of an advisory role with design and planning. We are so close already and this is now OUR business together, although I do all the day to day running of the business and financial/future planning. My kids are still a part of the process to some extent, because kids are brutally honest and offer unique perspectives. Now that they are older they are more helpful with production, carrying boxes, setting up for markets, etc.
You have an impressive amount of variety of products on your website. Where do you get ideas for new products and is there anything that you’ve wanted to do that hasn’t made it onto your site yet?
The product I love to make, but has not made it to production yet, is Beeswax wraps. I love them so much but they are labor intensive and I just haven’t had the extra bandwidth to bring them out yet.
The ideas for my products come from specific needs from my family or friends. Everything Oil came from a sore shoulder, Healing Waters bath bombs came from when I had the flu in 2016 and medicine wouldn’t get rid of my body aches, so I made those and they made my body feel good. There are similar stories for every product.
Like many makers this year, you’ve started doing local deliveries. How has that been going? Is it something you think you’ll keep doing post-pandemic?
I will keep up local deliveries at least through 2021. It’s a nice option for local customers and to be able to deliver chilled goods like Elderberry syrup and Cru Bom Raw Chocolates.
For us, there are some days where we miss in-person markets and days where we are actually comfortable with the “new normal”. Where do you fall when it comes to the lack of in-person markets this year?
I miss in person markets. I am so grateful that I have been able to transition to local delivery and more online sales, but I miss people. I have gone back to the Barton Creek farmer’s market on Saturdays to reconnect with customers because I missed it so much.
Do you have any favorite makers?
- Cru Bom Raw Chocolates @crubomboms — If you haven’t tried it, do, like now.
- Lola’s Babies @lolasbabies — Awesome baby gifts & custom masks
- Lys Santamaria @lys.artist — Beadwork jewelry & fantastic masks
- Opal Dreams Jewelry @opaldreamsjewelry — Stone jewelry and custom pieces
- New Origin Shop, @neworiginshop — Of course (Seriously love everything you do)
What do you love most about Conscious Goods? What’s your vision for the business 5 years from now?
What I love the most about Conscious Goods is how our products help people. Because I made everything to solve a problem, like sore muscles, eczema flare ups or dry skin, they were all designed to be ultra nurturing for even the most sensitive skin. I love to hear from customers how a particular product has helped them. The ultimate reward is knowing something that I made has brought some relief to another person.
My vision for Conscious Goods is that it is a source for people to purchase products they know will be effective and consciously made. Both for our products and those of other female makers.