Kelli Palmer has no days off. When she’s not mixing ingredients for her skin and hair care line, she’s running to the post office to ship products.
Since starting Breedlove Beauty Co. in 2016, this is how the bubbly Baton Rouge native has spent most of her time.
And the hustle has paid off. Today, Breedlove Beauty Co. has more than 66,000 followers on Instagram, more than 4,000 likes on Facebook and has been featured nationally on Refinery29.
After Black Friday last year, Palmer was dropping off 100 packages a day to the post office, shipping everywhere from China to Africa to locations around the United States.
Her line includes facial toners, creams and masks, soap, body butters, natural deodorant, organic oils and shampoo and conditioner. The products are made from all-natural plant-based ingredients, such as essential oils, rose clay, shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil and castor oil.
Palmer started making beauty products for herself in 2016. She began in her kitchen, making whipped shea butter and essential oil blends to use on her skin and tightly coiled hair. At the time, Palmer was a communications and media manager at the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication. The beauty concoctions were just a fun hobby in her free time.
But eventually, friends and family wanted to try some of her handmade products, so she started sharing samples.
Once she nailed down a few formulas, she knew she was on to something. She kissed her 9-5 job goodbye, cashed in her 401k and dove straight into starting a business.
“Everything that I got paid to do for other people, I do for myself now,” Palmer, 33, says. “Everybody thought I was crazy when I quit my job, but I just believed in myself.”
Three years later, Palmer makes, labels and packs all of her sweet-smelling goods in batches from her kitchen. She packages them in glass bottles and jars, tags them with her signature recycled brown paper labels and carefully boxes them for their future owners.
Today, her not-so-small business has taken over her home. Her kitchen is filled with measuring cups, whisks and packages of product ingredients. Her living and dining rooms are stuffed with packing supplies and cardboard boxes stacked to the ceiling.
Soon, she plans to move Breedlove into a workspace and warehouse where she can make products, store inventory and develop a full team.
She has big dreams for her brand—she imagines eventually offering her products at wholesale and seeing them sold in national storefronts and department stores.
“You don’t have to work for someone your whole life and then retire,” Palmer says. “You just have to make a decision and go with it. Now I’m able to work from home, provide a living and spend more time with my daughter.”
This article was originally published in the February 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.