Talking Top Gun with Eco Vita

An organic face cream that's made by hand on a remote island off the coast of Maine? I don't think there's a more 'Maine' product story than that; maybe if it was blueberry scented! Melissa Greene is the creator of this lovely face cream called Eco Vita, formerly About Face. She also runs a MOFGA-certified, organic farm on Deer Isle while being a brilliant clay artist that's been featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2010, Missy and her husband decided that they wanted to diversify their offerings at their farm stand, and since they were outside in the sun and snow a lot, they recognized a need to replenish their skin. Missy then began testing organic recipes with various farm fresh ingredients; eventually, Eco Vita was born.

What has the development process been like?

I started off by reading books about how to make creams and furthered my research by finding and experimenting with different recipes and ingredients. The development process didn’t stop there. We sent our best face cream to a chemist to perfect the recipe and ensure the organic preservative was effective. I wanted to be sure the cream worked well, so I’m testing our new recipe right now and will continue to tweak it; development is never really over for us. We want to make creams for men as well, and to do that, we need to make a cream with less scent, for example.

If you started over tomorrow, would you do anything differently?

I don’t think so. I appreciate that I’ve taken this much time moving forward because people enjoying the product has given me the confidence that I’m moving in the right direction. It’s easy to think the cosmetic industry is saturated and as a result, question if it’s worth it to get involved. I remind myself that I’ve sold quite a bit, even though we have only sold at small venues, and that’s a confidence boost. I feel like I had to be ready to commit to taking this on.

What separates Eco Vita from other creams available on the market?

For one, it's made from all organic-approved ingredients. Organic ingredients are important for customers who don’t want to use unknown chemicals on their skin. Additionally, our ingredient list isn’t intimidating for customers to look at and understand. Our prices are competitive, even less expensive compared to major brands.

Where will Eco Vita be in 10 years?

It may be difficult to say for sure, but I would eventually like to open a production facility here on Deer Isle. I would love to hire a few locals to help run the business while I focus more on the product development side of things. I want to get people involved and ultimately provide my family and me with a healthy income.

For the next few weeks we will be featuring other innovative entrepreneurs from our Top Gun Bangor Class of 2018, so be on the lookout for other write-ups about these fantastic individuals! If you would like to hear more about the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Accelerator, visit our program page here.

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