By: Bennett Marcus
Organic Skincare Products
Sometimes you accidentally discover what you didn’t know you needed, and a successful business is born. That’s how Dr. Julia Fedorenko, a naturopath and clinical herbalist, founded True Organic, a line of organic skincare products. It all started when she and her two young children moved from Manhattan to the Hamptons, and her son received a tick bite, despite having used a natural repellant. “I said I had to come up with something more effective because I did not want to use the chemicals in DEET, knowing how detrimental it is to the nervous system,” Dr. Fedorenko says. “I found a tick latched on his hairline, and it was just really inspiration, a kind of desperate act to protect my kids.” She blended her own formula for her family, and the other moms at preschool asked her about it, so she started mixing it for others, and then realized that there was a demand for an effective formula that smells fabulous, is organic, and met her very highest standards – that she would put it on her kids.
As a naturopath, Julia Fedorenko knew which natural ingredients are good for the body, and for the skin, she teamed up with a dermatologist who also happens to be her mother, Dr. Larissa Fedorenko, M.D. “We kind of combine the West and the East,” Julia says. Dr. Fedorenko True Organics is now in its third year, and there are currently three products, the Bug Stick, a sunscreen called the Sun Stick, and a moisturizer, the Skin Stick. The SPF 30 broad spectrum Sun Stick, Julia explains, is “non-nano,” meaning it contains no nanoparticles, tiny particles that can go through your skin and into your bloodstream. The Skin Stick moisturizer works for cracked, very dry skin. “Due to the formula with pure cocoa butter, it’s excellent for pregnant women, to prevent stretch mark,” she says. “It’s very nourishing and therapeutic to skin. We have no artificial fragrances in the formula, so all you smell is the cocoa.”
Bug Stick, Sun Stick & Skin Stick
Disliking the pollution that plastic packages cause, Julia came up with completely biodegradable packaging that is very sturdy, but is actually made out of paper. “If you are camping and lose your Bug Stick, Sun Stick or Skin Stick, it boom, disappears, it doesn’t ruin the planet,” she says. “And when you’re finished using it, it doesn’t ruin the planet by going into the garbage and end up floating in the ocean.” This year alone, using the paper tubes kept over 60 thousand plastic containers out of our waste stream. The company’s products were USDA Organic Certified by Oregon Tilth last winter, and in August – the day before we spoke to Julia, in fact – they were declared “EWG (Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database) verifiedTM,” a program designed the Environmental Working Group specifically for cosmetics. Additional products are in development, and the True Organic brand is sold via the company web site, drfedrenko.com as well as on Amazon and in local Hamptons shops, including Marders and Provisions and will soon be in stores in South Florida.
The company started in Julia’s kitchen, and now a production is done at a factory in Iowa with a dedicated team and very strict quality control. They’ve also added a fulfillment center in New Jersey, and at the company headquarters in the Hamptons, Julia has brought in a talented group of local women to handle the business. “We do a lot of business meetings while the kids are doing play dates,” she laughs. “While we’re driving, we’re talking, we’re bringing the kids, we’re picking up the kids, we constantly give each other a hand of support. We’re basically now like a team of five women driving this sailboat.”