We had the good fortune of connecting with Kari Rosas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kari, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
I started Butter Lotion LLC because I was tired of greenwashing. My mission is to offer personal care products that are truly better for the world. The planet comes first in the choice of ingredients, packaging and minimal processing to create the highest quality products. This means free of “natural” ingredients or “safe” synthetics, preservatives, fragrances, flavors, colors, etc. They are fully made with raw, certified organic, vegan and fair trade ingredients sourced from ethical farms all over the world. The result is better for the planet and for you, from sprout to jar.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
When I was getting my Bachelors in Chemical Engineering, I realized that the dangerous chemicals I was working with were also present in the “natural”products I was using and sometimes they were not even listed on the label! Repeated exposure from using these products have very detrimental results on our health. While getting a Masters in Biomedical Engineering I took an FDA regulations class where I learned about the many loopholes that marketing departments in beauty products take advantage of. It is very interesting to browse through the FDA website and read warning letters to big beauty companies regarding unsubstantiated claims. There is a lot of information out there. It would make a great documentary!
Opening my eyes to this information and false sustainability claims made me wish for an honest company that was truly doing the best for the planet first and our long-term health, so I created it myself. It has been wonderful to meet the eco-conscious community in the U.S. One of the people I am most thankful for is Karel Flores, an eco-conscious dancer that lives in New York City. She has been incredibly supportive from day 1. It is great to connect with people like her who put a huge value on sustainability.
It was very challenging to stick to my vision from the beginning instead of building up to it. I learned how to trace ingredients and packaging materials to the source, and learned to formulate products with great texture and functionality without using any synthetics. I kept track of every experiment on a lab notebook and Excel worksheets. I have Dr. Vernon and Dr. Pal to thank for getting me into that good habit! My background certainly helped, but it was not an easy process getting started. My first product was a deodorant that is free of aluminum, preservatives, baking soda, citric acid, sodium hydroxide, any “naturally-derived” ingredients, and it actually works! All other products followed suit. Packaging is also a very important part of the brand. Choosing 100% recycled plastic is important because we can rid the ocean of plastic by bringing it back to circulation. Every other packaging element is recycled as well. Persistence and patience were key in building nothing short of my vision.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is nothing like picking your own produce and feeling connected to your food. The first stop would be organic produce picking at Schnepf farms to cook some great Mexican, Persian, or Asian food. This farm is my happy place. I love their eggplant, tomato and pepper selection. It is also fun to see what veggies or fruits they have in season. Their strawberries and peaches are the sweetest and juiciest I have ever had. You also get to walk a path surrounded by flowers including lavender that smells heavenly. I love the Phoenix dance scene. We would go to the Z Room on Monday night and Latin Night at the Duce on Thursday. On the weekend, we would go to West Fork Trail and explore other dog friendly trails with my dog, Mochi. We would bring our own food to snack along the way out in nature before heading over to a campsite.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I grew up in a middle class family in Mexico City. It was due to my parents’ hard work and sacrifice that I was able to come to the U.S. on my own to go to college. I have my whole family and close friends to thank for encouraging me to start selling the products I have made for them for years. I am also very thankful to Kai, the software developer who created a very functional and customized website that now customers use to shop. Before it was built, I was only taking orders through Instagram and text message. I also have my dog, Mochi, to thank. I have been through very tough times as a first generation immigrant in this country and Mochi has always been there to lick off my tears and remind me that it’s the little things that bring us the most happiness.
Other: Text: (480)442-8505