Bainbridge skincare business starts small but is looking big

It all started in the family kitchen. The idea for HANA Organic Skincare, however, really got cooking on Bainbridge Island in 2011 when founder Karen Ries began studying herbalism.

Karen Ries and Natalie Berry’s line of skincare products are made with natural

It all started in the family kitchen.

The idea for HANA Organic Skincare, however, really got cooking on Bainbridge Island in 2011 when founder Karen Ries began studying herbalism.

Ries, a long-time sufferer of sensitive skin, was interested in the medicinal properties of plants and realized during her course of study that eliminating chemicals, perfumes and other toxins in beauty products made all the difference when it came to taking care of her body. From this realization, HANA Organic Skincare was born. All ingredients used in HANA’s products are pure, organic and as close to their natural state as they can possibly be.

The company began with Ries experimenting in her family kitchen, using medicinal plants from her garden. She eventually moved her laboratory into a studio and created the full-scale business.

Friend and colleague Natalie Berry was ready and willing to help her create an online store.

“There was no need for an interview,” Ries recalled. “She (Berry) stepped in and helped with the rebranding and launching of the store. There is a mutual trust and respect between us [which makes] working together easy.”

HANA Organic Skincare creates a full range of face, lip and cheek products that are made with natural, organic ingredients. The goal of the company is to create products that are effective without damaging the skin with irritating chemicals. All elements of HANA products are organic, gluten-free and non-GMO certified. They are one of the 26 natural skincare companies in the nation to receive non-GMO certification, and they received a score of 0-1 on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database. EWG is a business that focuses on encouraging companies to be environmentally friendly. They rate the safety of many skincare and beauty products, with the highest (and worst) score being a 7-10.

All of the company’s products — from Ries’ favorite, Gentle Cleanser, to Berry’s favorite, Lavender Grains — are handmade by Ries in small batches so that they will retain their freshness and quality. The ingredients of each batch are monitored carefully.

“You’ll never find any harsh chemicals or additives in our products currently or in the future,” Berry said, “We really do believe in using only pure and simple, organic/biodynamic ingredients.”

Presently, the majority of HANA products are sold on Bainbridge Island and in the Hamptons, but Ries and Berry look forward to expanding the franchise. Many of HANA’s biggest customers are international, from the UK to Australia.

“The market for green products has really expanded these past few years as consumers become more interested in non-toxic environmentally and socially conscious health and beauty products,” Berry said. “One day our goal is to have a few international e-commerce retailers who can cut down the expensive shipping and customs fees.”

For more information on the HANA product line, check out



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