The Good Stuff Botanicals, an herbal remedies company based in the Flathead Valley, is now supplying a natural organic cream for use on newborn babies at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
“Especially with newborns, you don’t want to be putting anything harmful on the skin, like products that contain alcohol,” said Good Stuff co-founder, Maranda Johnson. “Those babies are having a hard enough time adjusting to the world without us adding to the problem.”
Last year, Johnson and her husband gave birth to a son, Everest.
The couple used Good Stuff’s main product, Gypsy Cream, as a cure-all for any skin problems they or their baby had.
Eventually, the couple gave a jar of the cream to the staff at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the medical center. Staffers realized the cream was exactly what they needed — it helped prevent and cure diaper rash and helped soothe the irritated skin of babies without adding any potentially harmful chemicals.
“A lot of what they were using before just wasn’t working the way it was supposed to,” Johnson said. “The Gypsy Cream worked every time, and did exactly what they needed it to do.”
THE COMPANY was founded over seven years ago, when Maranda’s husband, Michael Johnson, developed psoriasis in his early 20s. He tried everything to soothe his skin, but found nothing worked. Doctors continually recommended steroids, but Johnson wanted a healthy, natural treatment for his skin condition.
He met Maranda at the right time. Determined to find a natural cure for the psoriasis, Maranda began researching, concocting and creating a variety of creams.
After two years, the couple developed their Gypsy Cream, made from hemp seed oil, mineral water, shea butter, aloe vera and beeswax, which helped to clear up Michael’s skin.
Friends and family became curious about the cream and the couple couldn’t keep their discovery a secret. They were quickly doling out Gypsy Cream to everyone they knew.
Soon, those who tried the cream reported back that it helped nearly every skin condition.
Not just a cream for basic dry skin or cracking elbows, Gypsy Cream also cleared up acne, eczema and gout symptoms, healed cuts and burns and even took the pain out of a jellyfish sting.
“Our favorite thing to say is, ‘Just slap some Gypsy Cream on it’,” Michael said. “It really works.”
The couple even used the cream on their dogs to cure sand ticks.
A 4-ounce jar of Gypsy Cream generally lasts people four to six months, according to Johnson, and people see results in a matter of days or weeks.
Three years ago, the couple took their discovery to market and began selling Gypsy Cream at farmers markets and trade shows.
They even got the product into the organic-products section at the Kalispell Rosauers store.
Since then, the business has grown astronomically. The couple attends three different farmers markets each week in the summer and has their product in over 17 stores in Montana and Idaho. Their facial products can be purchased and experienced at salons such as Lashout in Bigfork.
Since that first cream, the couple has continued to create products and now has lines for skin, face, hair, lips and even beards.
“People will tell us, ‘Oh, you should make a deodorant’ or ‘I wish you would make shampoo’ and we think, ‘Why not?’” Michael said. “We already use a natural toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo at home. We’re in the testing phase for those right now.”
THE KEY to their successful products lies in the natural ingredients.
“You absorb 60 percent of everything you put on your skin right into your bloodstream,” Maranda said. “So whatever you put on your skin, you should be OK with putting in your mouth.”
“You can eat all of our products,” her husband chimed in with a laugh. “It won’t taste great if you spread it on a cracker, but it’s all natural.”
Good Stuff Botanicals considers all of its products “skin food” and only uses organic ingredients, steering clear of genetically modified food, parabens, sulfates, chemicals and alcohol. The couple goes to great lengths to make sure they’re using the most pure, natural stuff.
Their hemp is from Canada, the witch hazel from Oregon, and the beeswax from Glacier Country Honey. The cocoa butter is shipped from India and the shea butter comes from a women’s group in Ghana.
“Our products work with your body chemistry, not against it,” Micheal said.
While neither has a background in herbal remedies — Michael studied art and philosophy in school, and Maranda worked in graphic design — their passion for natural products has helped to continually grow their company.
“This grew out of a want and need for products that were natural and a passion for the organic cures,” Maranda said, adding that each product goes through a long research and testing process before it goes to market.
For more information, visit www.thegoodstuffbotanicals.com.
Reporter Brianna Loper may be reached at 758-4441 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michelle Losleben reaches for Gypsy Cream, Good Stuff Botanicals’ signature cream, during a facial for client Kari Zavala at Lashout Salon in Bigfork. The salon has used Good Stuff products for several months.