We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Sarmiento and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
One of the biggest issues with the beauty industry in the US is the lack of regulation on cosmetics and personal care products. The registration process with the FDA is a voluntary one, and the system is more for record-keeping than actually granting any sort of approval for products. On top of that, products can’t even be registered until they are already in commercial use. It is the solely the responsibility of the businesses themselves to make sure their products are safe for use. That is why it is so important to read ingredients and know what it is you are applying to your skin on a daily basis.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Heya! My name is Brooke and I am the founder of BEE-OCH Organics. I’m a pretty eccentric person and it shows in my mission to expose the giant lie that is the “beauty” industry. It was clear from day one that in order to set my personal care line apart from others (due to greenwashing and the loose use of “organic” and “natural” wording) it was important to get one of the most difficult certifications for a business – USDA Organic Certification! My company has been certified since 2015 and every one of our finished products has a 5 step traceback system allowing you to trace every ingredient along with handling practice all the way back to the original time and place of growth and harvest. Pretty cool! I got to where I am now with the support of my family and friends (they were my biggest supporters and first customers) and also the wonderful folks in the Colorado community, from the market event coordinators to the people who come out in full force to support small and local business. I also can’t forget all my “friendors” who are always there (even if only virtually lately) to inspire, support, and understand this crazy thing called entrepreneurship. One crazy tidbit is that I was actually on the health care path for the majority of my life. It wasn’t until I was told “no” for letters of recommendation into medical school by my professor when I approached him 5 months pregnant because “the PA curriculum would be too rigorous for a new mother”. Psshhh. What now, BEE-OCH? 😉
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ok, you’re going to think this is funny, but as an Iowa girl, I was fascinated by the free mall ride when I first moved to Colorado for college and it’s one of the first things I took my friends to do when they visited lol. Nowadays though, an itinerary would look more like a trip to the top of Mount Evans (I don’t care who you are or how many times you’ve been there, it is absolutely breathtaking), a Pepper and Slightly Stoopid concert at Red Rocks, a walk through the Horseshoe Market, Firefly, or Denver Bazaar, hopefully some tree runs at Keystone, throw a pole in at sloans lake, lunch and cocktails at The Fed Bar & Grill, go BEE-OCH spotting at our amazing local retailers, and last but not least catch a Rockies game!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that have contributed to the success of my business. The first being my husband who encouraged me to pursue entrepreneurship full time, all the while picking up the slack until I had income. The next would be my family who always encouraged the idea, but were also my first customers! From there, I can’t miss all the event coordinators that make it possible for small businesses like mine to connect with the community (the list is long and I don’t want to leave anyone out, but you all are to thank for making it happen!). Last but not least is you, the people of Colorado! You are so incredibly supportive of small businesses and if it wasn’t for you, BEE-OCH would still just be an idea. Thank you!
The bee butt pic was sent to me by a friend a while back, but I don’t know who took it.