Vanessa McCauley and her son, Tristan stop by the Sweet Cheeks display at Nest.Photo by Sarah Walor
When Vanessa McCauley's son, Tristan, was a baby, nothing seemed to help with the dryness and rashes from his eczema. McCauley didn't want to use the steroid cream that her doctor recommended, and mineral oil was making his condition worse, so she started experimenting to find an all-natural cure for her son's skin inflammation.
During the next six months, McCauley's kitchen in Woodland Heights became a laboratory for her eczema-fighting butter. In 2007, she perfected the recipe, and her son's skin condition improved drastically. "He hasn't had any issues like he used to at all," she says of her son, who is now 8.
Soon after McCauley created the body butter, her dad asked if she could make him an aftershave. So she got to work and came up with a concoction of olive oil, tea tree oil, coconut oil and shea butter, an aftershave that moisturized and soothed skin while also preventing razor burn with its antibacterial and antimicrobial components.
Her home business grew organically, and in 2010 she turned her venture into a business called Sweet Cheeks. "I got my LLC, and it was boom, boom, boom after that," she says, "and the rest is history."
McCauley now makes nearly 15 all-natural body products — body butters, moisturizers, lip scrubs and balms, body oils, and even bug spray. She also recently launched a line of candles. Her products have no preservatives, fragrance oils or petrochemicals.
Next on her agenda — all-natural makeup. She recently made a tinted lip balm and is interested in learning how to make all-natural mascara.