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Meet Mariel Thomas of Moonbeam Body Therapy in Spring

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariel Thomas.

Mariel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Moonbeam Body Therapy was born… well… on accident. As a former architecture/engineering instructor, I needed a creative outlet outside of the classroom to blow off steam and ease some stress. I started making soap as a hobby after attending an art show with a close friend, just to see if I could.

My first batch was actually cooked up in my grandmother’s kitchen (don’t tell her I used one of her “good” pots lol) and my family was impressed by how well it turned out! They jokingly called me “Moonbeam” as a nod to my carefree spirit and general “hippie” outlook on life, and it sort of stuck.

From then on, I started experimenting with scent combinations, colors, and ingredients and posted them all on my various social media platforms. When friends and family started inquiring about how to support and make purchases, I laughed it off because at this point it was still just something that was fun to do in my spare time.

Eventually, I realized that many of them had real skin concerns or just wanted to find natural alternatives to products they had already been using. After doing countless hours of research on every type of oil, butter, salve, and scent I decided that I’d give it a shot! I’ve always tried to be a conscious consumer so creating products that were not only natural and kind to the body but to the Earth, was paramount.

What was once a hobby turned into a full-blown business, and thus, Moonbeam Body Therapy was a reality! Focusing on all-natural, environmentally-friendly products that are cruelty-free, Moonbeam Body Therapy is for the Earth-conscious person that believes that treating ourselves doesn’t have to mean mistreating our planet.

Has it been a smooth road?
It absolutely has not all been smooth sailing! I started this company on a teacher’s salary, which we all know is not exactly six figures. I took on summer programs and even sold cheesecakes during the holidays to help fund my research and purchase soap-making supplies.

The hardest part was probably all of the failed products and ideas that I had initially because that meant that the money I spent was down the drain. But I can say that the failures have done nothing but build my resilience as a person and as a business owner. I know that the challenges will never stop coming, but I know that when they do… I’m READY.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Moonbeam Body Therapy initially started as Moonbeam Soap Co. because all I made was soap! When I branched out to the other products, I decided that a name change was in order. Moonbeam Body Therapy is just that… a therapeutic experience that you can give yourself in the comfort of your home without worrying about toxic chemicals and preservatives.

Our specialty is making all-natural bath and body care in the form of soaps, body creme, bath salts, and more. All people are encouraged and welcomed to use my products, but I cater mostly to black women and other women of color because we sometimes deal with different skin issues than our fairer-skinned counterparts.

I grew up seeing all the beauty ads and commercials on tv and in print and never really got a sense that I belonged, so I make it a priority to highlight the beauty of women of color so that younger girls who come across Moonbeam will see themselves and know that their beauty is not only prominently featured, but celebrated.

I’m most proud of the women that I encounter at events who come to me and tell me that they used a product and felt so much better afterwards. As women, we often take on everyone else’s issues and put our needs on the backburner, but actually choosing YOU and doing something small just for YOU? It makes me so happy.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think Houston has a ways to go in terms of supporting those who want to start and maintain a successful business. Our city is absolutely MASSIVE, and the bulk of the resources are centered inside the loop.

Public transit is practically nonexistent, so reaching the various corners of the city can be hard if you don’t have a steady, reliable form of transportation. This leaves many people stuck in their bubble, trying to solicit the same people over and over.

I think we do a great job of highlighting small businesses at the various events in the inner loop, but we could do better at bringing the outlying areas together.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Eloise Ambursley

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