By Glen Vaughn-Petersen
One Grandview businesswoman is becoming a known face in the DIY Kansas City skin care scene.
Specializing in homemade skin care products like soaps, body butters, and lotions, Nicole Paul’s business, Nico Nine, is committed to making quality products with all natural ingredients while also teaching others about the merits of all-natural artisan skin care.
Coming from a family of eight other siblings(she is number nine, hence the name Nico Nine), Paul grew up hearing stories about small home-made remedies from older relatives, such as the use of castor oil for skin softness or the use of browned flour to cure diaper rash.
During her menopausal years, she’d developed acne which various major market skin care products were not healing. Paul began to experiment with more natural remedies from an unlikely source.
“Something told me to get on Pinterest, and I got on and just started looking for home remedies. That’s when I started putting stuff together,” Paul says.
When some of the recipes and ideas she found on Pinterest began to work better than store-bought products, Paul dove even further into researching all-natural remedies.
She began making soaps and lotions from “all-natural butters, milks, and oils including shea and cocoa, mango butter, buttermilk, coconut milk, all-natural sea salts, clay, dried organic herbs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables”, according to Nico Nine’s website.
She also began experimenting with scents, holding different smells to her nose at once to create a unique scent. Her most popular is Bow Ties & Bourbon.
Nico Nine currently has 22 varieties of body moisturizers, 61 varieties of colorful artisan soap, eight varieties of exfoliating scrubs, and lip balm. The full and growing list of options can be found at www.nico-nine.com.
The business side was the last thing on her mind, as the idea for Nico Nine “came to me because I needed to take care of my skin problem and it just so happened to also help others with their skincare problems,” Paul explains.
Paul’s business has expanded since she sold her first product seven years ago. While she has been busy selling products at craft fairs, she is also in talks with a major grocery retailer.
All products are made by her and sold with the help of her family. Her son, Nick, and two of her great-nephews have been trained to help with the business—whether it’s the actual process of creating the body butters, oils, and soaps, to running booths and vendor stops at different places and events like farmer’s markets.
“It’s teaching them all the things they need to learn about entrepreneurship, and it’s giving them the chance to see what it’s like to have your own business; to get out there and have to grind to
In the end, Paul says her success hearkens back to that major decision years years ago. “Switching to handmade products was not only safe and healthier, but one of the best changes I’ve made.”