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Brenda Brock turns her passion for farming into a successful small business.
Brenda Brock, founder, formulator and CEO of Farmaesthetics, is the daughter of a seventh generation farming family from Texas with roots steeped in herbal traditions. Brenda capitalized on her experience and training to launch her company, which creates, designs, produces and wholesales 100 percent natural, fine herbal skincare products.
Brock’s technical background in chemistry stems from her pre-nursing studies and her employment while in school at the University of Texas at Austin. Her love of folklore, storytelling and writing led to a change of majors and a move to New York City, where she studied and enjoyed a 10-year career as a produced playwright and actress.
If her name is familiar to some, it may be because she enjoyed a four-year role on the ABC-TV daytime drama One Life to Live. She was nominated twice for a Daytime Award as Best Actress.
Despite her acting success, Brenda longed for her rural roots. She gave up acting, moved to Rhode Island, restored an old Victorian farmhouse, and began growing herbs and flowers and making skincare preparations. She put into practice a life-long passion of using the rural traditions of American “kitchen chemistry,” to create a full line of proprietary formulations that also include the sophisticated science of cosmetic manufacturing.
Brenda sold her first herbal products during the summer of 1999 at her friend’s organic farm stand in rural Rhode Island. She created a seasonal line using pristine organic harvests from ocean-side farms. Farmaesthetics products were a big hit with her customers. Brenda realized there was a year-round demand. So she took her “recipes” to dermatological laboratories and successfully re-formulated her products for large batch production while retaining their 100 percent natural status and achieving a certified two-year shelf life.
Brock clearly recognized that she had a business opportunity. She originally raised seed capital from friends and family but soon realized she needed professional guidance to take her passion for natural, herbal skincare products to a successful business operation.
Brenda admits she didn’t know what she was getting into and needed help figuring out her costs and where to store her products. She turned to the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center for assistance. An RISBDC consultant met with Brenda and her husband Bill to develop Farmaesthetics’ first business plan. She learned about cost of goods sold and financial projections. With a solid business plan in hand Brenda confidently met with potential investors and eventually received a loan from Citizens Bank that was guaranteed by the SBA.
Brock admits that the assistance she received from the RISBDC helped her move the business from her kitchen to 250 square feet of space in an old trolley barn in Newport.
Farmaesthetics has since received additional funding backed by SBA to help Brenda grow her business. Today, the business is located in 2,500 square feet in the same old trolley barn in Newport and is the company’s “World Headquarters.”
Brenda’s achievements include being named Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People and Ideas Behind Green Design in Beauty,” and one of the “Five Entrepreneurs at the Forefront of the Natural Beauty Revolution” by Luxury Spafinder. Farmaesthetics products made the cover of Cosmetic/Personal Care Packaging Magazine for their leadership position in “green” packaging design.
Farmaesthetics has also been named to Women’s Wear Daily’s “It List” of “The Green Brands Defining Organic Skincare.” Brenda is a repeat guest on “The Martha Stewart Show,” including “The Entrepreneur Show,” and has been named one of Martha’s “Natural Beauty Gurus.”
Farmaesthetics products are sold in the finest spas and independent retail stores in the USA. The company is now poised to expand their distribution and bring the Farmaesthetics brand to the global market.
For her demonstrated success and growth potential, the U.S. Small Business Administration is pleased to honor Brenda Brock, CEO of Farmaesthetics, as the 2013 Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year.