When Tempal Grace Hitt first started making her own natural lotions and soaps in 2005, she did not intend to start Grace Green Beauty
— she was doing so out of necessity. Her first child had skin and health troubles, and nothing seemed to help. Hitt, who has a background in beauty and is a trained cosmetologist, couldn’t find the kind of skin care products she knew would be the most beneficial for him.
Tempal Grace Hitt, founder of Grace Green Beauty
“I spent endless amounts of time reading about and trying to find a natural product that would work,” Hitt says. “But I found that it simply did not exist. I was educated in raw ingredients and essential oils and really just what nature can provide, but the reality is it’s not out there in a jar, and here’s why: because most of what’s out there is wax, water and then a little bit of the ingredients that I want.”
So she ordered about $500 worth of the active ingredients and became a mad scientist in her kitchen. Hitt reversed the process and ratios of the industry standard by basing her products on “the good stuff,” and minimizing fillers and stabilizers.
“Instead of using a ton of wax and a ton of water and a little bit of the good stuff, I use a ton of the good stuff, everything specifically sourced, and then I use a little bit of the stuff that actually creates the emulsion, which as a result is a super-duper delicate, nutrient-rich product," she says. "And from that, it works.”
The special creations worked — her son’s eczema cleared up. Soon, Hitt was sharing her products with friends and neighbors while continuing to learn more about the chemistry and processes of creating products. After many years of sharing her products and people asking to buy them, Hitt decided it was time to start an LLC — she realized that she had a business.
By November 2014, Hitt officially launched Grace Green Beauty’s online store
as a holistic being beauty and wellness line. She also started selling her products in Whole Foods
, Dorothy Lane Market
and several salons and spas.
By August 2015, Hitt was a full-time stylist and mother of three, all while trying to grow her business and maintain her own high standards for her organic, food-grade products. That’s when she knew it was time to take the leap into running Grace Green Beauty full-time.
A year later, it was time to make another leap, and Hitt decided to apply for Artworks' Big Pitch presented by U. S. Bank
“It’s been such a great opportunity for me to meet potential investors, and even to meet potential partners,” Hitt says.
For Grace Green Beauty, the competition and mentorship is not only a way to make sure the business’s plans and financial strategies are on track, but the prizes — up to $20,000 in business grants — would allow for a meaningful expansion of the company’s offerings.
Hitt plans to launch a full natural facial service that would be available at local spas.
“It’s the first ever that I know of that would be a truly holistic and organic facial,” Hitt says.
The facials will be a new direction for the company, but Hitt has branched out beyond the products themselves before. Grace Green Beauty has a community outreach arm, including projects like Grace Gives Back; Grace Grown, which teaches children to germinate acorns while re-using the beauty line’s glass jars; and Giving Grace, which allows people to nominate someone in their life who needs or deserves some grace.
For Hitt, the concept of “grace” guides her business, but goes far beyond that.
“It is a lifestyle for me, it’s how I choose to live,” she says. “It’s about wellness and it’s about grace, and grace means many things. It means showing favor, it means all kinds of different things, but for me it is a lifestyle.”
ArtWorks Big Pitch Presented by U.S. Bank is a 10-week mentorship program that culminates in a pitch competition Oct. 6 at Rhinegeist. You can purchase tickets here.