We were so excited to begin carrying Pleni Naturals in our Mama Bird Boxes and want to introduce you to their company and founder, Allyson. Pleni Naturals’ products are safe and you guessed it… natural! PLUS they’re packed full of nutritious ingredients, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. So not only do they feel great on mom and baby, but is highly beneficial as well.
Read on to learn more about the company, it’s mission, and what inspires Allyson!
How long did you think about starting Pleni Naturals before launching? Some people have the idea for years while others wake up with a dream from the night before and make it happen. What’s Pleni Naturals story?
I woke up New Years Day in 2014 and just knew that it would be the year I created my own skin care line. Little did I know that New Years day it would take me TWO years of research and development work before I would launch Pleni Naturals! The reason it took so long to launch is simply because it takes a really long time to launch good skin care that is 100% natural and non-toxic! Plus, I wanted to make sure the products were safe for even the most sensitive skin so there was vigorous testing, which also takes a long time. Many ask why we focus on fruits and veggies in the Pleni Naturals products. I believe it makes sense to feed our skin, which is our largest organ, with the same nutrition as we do our body. That is why Pleni Naturals is fruit and vegetable based. Also, fruits and vegetables are wholesome and packed full of nutrients our skin needs such as essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants. In addition, we are also on a mission to change the way kids think about fruits and veggies. That is why we have the cute and colorful fruit and vegetable characters on our packaging. We hope the products help connect kids and the nutritious foods they eat on a deeper level.
How did you come up with the name?
It took me FOREVER to come up with the name! Every name was already taken!:) In all seriousness, it was hard to come up with the right name for the brand and it was also important for me to be able to have the name trademarked. I went with Pleni Naturals because the word “PLENI” in Latin means “full” and each Pleni Naturals products is filled with wholesome and nutritious fruit and vegetable ingredients. When customers see the name “Pleni Naturals” I want them to think, “Oh, that is the skin care line with all the fruits and veggies in it”. I really hope that comes across!
Food is obviously a huge value to you. What’s your kids’ favorite meal to cook with you?
My daughter Rhys is six years old and fiercely independent so we don’t cook together anymore! I’m a bit sad about it for me, but I also embrace her independence. She will cook along side me but has to do her own cooking creations. My son Liam, who is four, on the other hand, loves to be in the kitchen with me. Our favorite thing to do together is make pressed juice. We juice every Tuesday (and most Thursdays) together. On Tuesdays each week I usually put up our pressed juice projects on Instagram stories so if you are interested check it out @allysonjoyowens. My son and I also love to bake together. Usually we make healthy muffins with zucchini, apple sauce, banana, almond flour, coconut flour, etc. Also, at times I have to be creative when it comes to adding veggies to my kids day so we do a smoothie every night at dinner with a big heap of spinach in it. Their favorite is orange juice, frozen mango, banana, spinach and flax seed. My kids won’t drink smoothies in the morning but they will at dinner. Us moms have to do what we have to do to make sure our kids get all the important nutrients in!
Pleni Naturals supports Life Lab. Tell us a little about their mission and how you got connected to them.
Life Lab is an amazing nonprofit located in Santa Cruz, California on the UCSC campus. They pioneered school gardens and established the very first one back in 1979. Today, Life Lab’s work can be felt internationally as schools from all over the world come to Life Lab to learn how to establish their classroom gardens and also are guided with curriculum to help support the gardens. We decided to partner with Life Lab because our values are aligned; we both want to change the way kids think about fruits and veggies! We also feel every child should have access to a classroom garden and hope the classroom garden trend continues to grow so all children have the chance to learn in a natural environment, connect with nature and deepen their relationship with healthy foods.
Tell us about The cucumber + Grape baby oil we include in mama bird box
Have you ever heard of the saying, “What’s good enough for the baby is good enough for me?” It’s true! The Pleni Naturals Cucumber + Grape Baby Oil is fantastic for babies and kids but it also doubles as a pregnancy belly oil and beyond! It’s so important to make sure your skin care is super clean during the pregnancy and breastfeeding months and the baby oil is certified non-toxic, meaning mama can feel at ease when applying the oil on her growing baby belly. Plus the omega 3 essential fatty acids from organic raspberry seed oil and cranberry seed oil are great for keeping the belly area nourished and strengthened, which can be super helpful for preventing stretch marks!
What’s a 2017 goal you have for yourself and/or your business?
On a personal level, I want to do a better job taking care of ME. To a fault, I take care of others before myself and we all know that doesn’t really work! So more yoga and meditation in 2017! On a professional level, I want to continue to grow the Pleni Naturals baby line and launch new products (which are in the works and I think the mamas are going to like it!).
Thank you, Allyson for spending the time to talk with us. We’ve loved getting to know you, your mission, and your company more!