We had the good fortune of connecting with Charmaine Gibbs-West and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Charmaine, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
EssenceTree began when I left my New York City investment banking job and moved to our family farm in Nashville, TN. Enthralled with the medicinal properties of plants and gemstones, I would create personal care products using whole herbs, essential oils and crystals. I would also lead holistic lifestyle seminars for women, teaching them how to use these ingredients to enhance their lives.

Today, we still continue with our “nutrients-first” philosophy. We infuse superfoods and over 15 organic/wildcrafted herbs into our acclaimed skin and hair care line.

As a lifestyle movement, EssenceTree provides avenues for women to actively engage in their own healing and empowerment.

Ultimately, we believe that self-care is the first step to honoring one’s health.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We want the world to know that EssenceTree is not just a beauty brand, we are a movement. We are the only brand that’s dedicated to the whole woman–with products and services in the areas of beauty, health and wealth. This is what I’m most proud of. My vision is to see women, healthy, strong and empowered. And to date, EssenceTree has impacted over 5,000 women.

Our growth has been organic, I left New York City and moved to a farm in Nashville. I fell in love with creating beautiful skincare blends infusing whole herbs, flowers and crystals. At that time, my main challenge was business viability. Did women really desire a brand of nutrient-focused, intentional beauty? Did they care–or were they only interested in smell goods?

My first customers (and focus group) were creative artists at a nonprofit where I volunteered. They loved the products–but I wasn’t sure if the rest of the world would “get it”.

This was 15 years ago. Luckily, today the world is more ready to embrace deeper levels of purpose with their products.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh that’s easy! I’m an easy-going spirit. I love the outdoors and I love fresh superfoods. My mom was just visiting Atlanta from Philadelphia and this is what we did. I took her to the two places I ADORE in Atlanta: The Beltline (in the Inman Park area) and Playa Bowls. The Beltline never disappoints with its beautiful scenery and biking opportunities. Playa Bowls has my favorite food–acai bowls. For dinner and drinks, I love, Del Bar on Highland Avenue. Of course, for shopping for the best beauty products, I take everyone to the EssenceSuite, our experiential boutique. There, we handcraft our products, have a showroom and offer wellness services.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, I give all praises to God for providing me with this amazing destiny, my ancestors for the guidance, and my parents for setting successful examples of entrepreneurship. I also could not do this without my husband, Ken West.

I’d also like to give Whole Foods a shoutout. They were my first business partner and we still have a successful partnership today.

Website: www.EssenceTree.com

Instagram: instagram.com/essencetreelife

Facebook: facebook.com/essencetreelife

Image Credits
Ken West, Shannon McCollum

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