By Tracey Porpora
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the mother-daughter duo who put their heads together to come up with a venture that would be both profitable and enjoyable.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.
Although they are years apart in age, the mother-daughter team of Kathleen and Elizabeth Hemmerle found themselves in the same place, at the same point in their lives.
“We both wanted more,” said the younger Hemmerle, Elizabeth.
At the time, Elizabeth, who was pregnant with her daughter, Ella Rae, had just left her job in the skincare industry — and Kathleen had been laid-off from a job in the retail industry.
“I knew it was time to dive into something more meaningful. I wanted to show my daughter you can make something of yourself without having to work for someone else. And, all at the same time, do something you love and make a difference in someone else’s life,” said Elizabeth.
That’s when the pair put their heads together to come up with a venture that would be both profitable and enjoyable.
After Elizabeth’s baby shower, the idea came to both of them at the same time.
“Back in October for my baby shower, my mother and sister made handmade soaps as favors. Afterward, my mom came to me and said, ‘Let’s start making soaps, and see if we can sell them’,” recalled Elizabeth.
“We had a bunch of ‘earthy’ gift wrapping and packaging that my mom had collected through the years but never used, and that’s what we wrapped our first batch in,” she said.
After the first soaps were made in February, there was no looking back for the two entrepreneurs.
“From there, we made body scrubs and then started working on skincare. … It [Dragonfly Apothecary] really happened before our eyes, and we sometimes feel like we are living a dream. We just love natural beauty, and it’s in our nature to share that with others,” said Elizabeth, noting they operate the business from their Prince’s Bay home.
TAPPING INTO CREATIVITY
In addition, the mother and daughter are happy they can tap into their shared penchant for creativity.
“My mom and I both needed that creative outlet — with a dash of financial security,” said Elizabeth.
“My mom and I knew we wanted to share with other people ‘the things we love to love’ — care products that smell good, feel good, and work good. As a young girl, my mom always taught me how to take good care of my skin, and it’s a passion we’ve shared together — always swapping products and recommending things to each other,” she added.
And the main aspect of what they want to share is all-natural products — from facial toners, to clay face masks and mists.
“My mom has always been creative and enjoys natural beauty. As for myself, after having worked in the skincare industry for several years and later becoming pregnant, I realized even the ‘naturally based’ products weren’t really all that natural. And, so together we went on to create products you can feel good about,” said Elizabeth.
FINISHING EACH OTHER’S THOUGHTS
The mother-daughter bond is so strong between both Hemmerels that they finish each other’s thoughts.
“We’re both go-getters and neither one of us like to sit still. We’re always innovating, thinking up more ways to package something or more ideas for gift-sets or products,” said Elizabeth.
“We both possess a lot of love. We love each other. We love our family. We love natural living. And we love beauty products. It is this love that fires our passion,” she added.
DRAGONFLY APOTHECARY AT A GLANCE