Being a CEO of a brand is hard at any age, but when you're in your mid-20's it seems especially tough. Denise Cartwright is the CEO and founder of CRUDE Personal Care. Crude is an all natural skincare line, that's based in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are down for her product, and we were intrigued by how she started, so we reached out to her and picked her brain.
So Denise what’s your story? Who are you, where are you from?
I’m a Master Esthetician, yoga instructor, and founder/CEO of CRUDE Personal Care from Salt Lake City, Utah.
What made you want to start a skincare line? Is it scary doing your own thing in the world of giants (L'Oreal, Kheils, Aesop)?
It sort of happened by accident. I had given up all facial products for oil after experimenting with the oil cleansing method in 2012. Using oils, I saw improvement in my skin, more quickly, than with any professional product I’d ever used. After doing more research, I realized that all of the soap, exfoliates, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and franken-ingredients we use in skin care actually work against the skin and it’s natural regenerative functions. I saw how backwards the mainstream approach to skincare was and had to remove myself from it. I left the spa I was working at to start giving oil-cleansing facials out of my apartment. Six months later I had a brand, a website, and enough customers to maintain CRUDE as my full-time job. We just celebrated our second birthday and I couldn’t be more thrilled about our growth and position in the industry. When I made the decision to turn my facials into an oil-cleansing product line, I had no fear of the giants in the industry, because no one was offering what I wanted to offer. I started CRUDE because I saw that it needed to exist and didn’t.
As a young business owner it’s important to stay in shape physically and mentally, what do you to keep in shape? Do you have a specific routine?
I like hiking, biking, and climbing, so obviously this is where my love of my York’s come in (I wear The Henry everywhere I go!) And Yoga is my true love. I recently fell off a bouldering wall at a climbing gym and fractured my ankle. Since then my Asthanga yoga practice has become even more important to me. I have to modify and do a lot on my knees, but it’s still a great way to move my body and get an awesome workout despite my injury.
Your brand is called CRUDE, why? What does it stand for, what’s the meaning behind it?
Our products are raw, crude, in their natural form. None of them have more than 5 ingredients and they’re all ingredients you could eat. It also seems a bit crude to people, putting oil on the face. We’ve been taught that you have to strip your skin dry to avoid acne, but it’s actually the opposite. Your skin needs oil to thrive, and soap and detergents destroy your natural oil-based moisture barrier. CRUDE represents the simplicity of our system and ingredients as well as our unwillingness to conform to the current models of beauty and skin care.
What tips do you have for staying mentally balanced while running your own business?
I like to break my schedule up, and have tons of rituals I do throughout the day to keep myself calm and focused. Most days I’m doing breath-work, yoga, meditation, lighting incense, journaling, drinking tea, and playing with my cat in between blocks of work. For meditation, I love the Headspace app and Tara Brach’s guided meditation podcast!
What do you keep in your gym bag?
- CRUDE Everything Oil and Disposable PULL Cloths - Our disposable microfiber cloths make it super easy to oil cleanse after a workout, and the everything oil is a cleanser and moisturizer combined so you don’t have to worry about carrying multiple products in your gym bag.
Manduka Yoga Mat - This mat is on the heavy side, but it’s worth carrying around! It’s no-slip, super durable and hands-down the best mat I’ve ever used.
- Triluna Apothecary Yoga Mat Spray - This mat cleaner smells amazing and works wonders after a sweaty Ashtanga Yoga class.
- Fat and the Moon Deodorant Cream - My favorite! Works really well, smells incredible (not too strong) and doesn’t irritate my super sensitive pits. (I also love her “green man” perfume, check that out too!)
- YORK Henry’s - The perfect shoes for getting to and from the yoga studio, running at the park and for day-to-day cuteness and comfort.
- Outdoor Voices Stirrup Pant - Great for yoga, hiking and lounging! I love everything I’ve gotten from this company and wear these particular pants quite a bit.
- LSTN Earbuds - Love these earbuds for running! Beautifully handcrafted from wood and, a bonus, every pair sold helps provide hearing aids to a person in need through Starkey Hearing Foundation.