Seed to Bottle
“Sourcing determines how effective a formula will be, as well as our direct effect on the health of our planet. Sourcing defines who we are as a company, and in many ways defines who I am as a human being – I can’t imagine anything more important to both the heart and science of our formulas than sourcing.“
Headquartered in Petaluma, north of the San Francisco California Bay, the Laurel “Barn” sits nestled in the historic downtown along the Petaluma River. With a handful of partnering regenerative, organic and biodynamic farms within 100 miles of their apothecary-lab, Laurel’s namesake line captures California’s hearty terrain and natural abundance in each and every bottle. In the practice of mindfully sourced beauty, Laurel relies on her own manufacturing and production capabilities for every step.
It starts with the seed.
In the Winter, Laurel meets with their partnering farms to discuss how much plant material they project for the year ahead. With over 150 plants in the line, this is no small feat, and under or over-projecting can mean significant loss for the brand. Luckily, because many farms are local to the Bay Area, Laurel meets on their land to cultivate close relationships and develop a clear understanding of the conditions, capacity, and culture of the farm. For the few ingredients that thrive in tropical climates, Laurel sources from overseas and is in constant communication with the growers and artisan purveyors throughout the growing season.
After harvesting the plants, the materials arrive to the Laurel Barn in raw form and are assessed by our plant-loving production team. Laurel’s sommelier nose is the true test for each and every ingredient that enters the Barn. With skill and swiftness, she can decipher the year of harvest, harvesting conditions, storing conditions, processing conditions, and of course adulteration- with just one whiff.
Other than its odor, a telltale sign of purity and quality is color. While cosmetic suppliers offer botanical extracts that are clear or white, indicating a lack of antioxidant potency, Laurel’s raw, unrefined ingredients produce a rich palette of vibrant hues. Their unwavering commitment to purity and quality ensures that pre-preserved, chemically refined, or otherwise processed ingredients are unwelcome in the Laurel Barn.
Laurel’s in-house manufacturing guarantees the most stringent oversight to ensure the freshest, most efficacious products for your skin. As plant materials are exposed to light, heat, and oxygen, the antioxidants within them begin to turn into free radicals, thus losing potency. This degradation process is inevitable for all plant ingredients, but the degree to which these materials maintain their integrity through strict quality control is what sets Laurel apart.
This mindfulness practice continues with every house-made infusion and plant extract, each composted stem and hand-filled bottle. We hand-pour each Balm and measure out each Mask by the spoonful. Each bottle gets hand-polished as we chat around community tables – the element of the human spirit can be felt in our products.
From start to finish, what happens from “seed to bottle” is a love story, a preservation of the brilliance and intelligence of Nature. Laurel’s calling to protect Mother Earth begins with the integrity of each ingredient and relationship with each human harvesting hand. What happens from seed to bottle can’t be summarized in a tag line, a certification or even these paragraphs- but we hope this begins to paint a picture of how much this process means to us. It is slow farmed beauty, with mindfulness and intention in every step.