Have you noticed the Airstream gleaming in the sun in Jess’ Quick Lunch parking lot for the past week? You know, the one with the dandelion and withSimplicity sign? If you have somehow resisted the urge to go check it out then I am here to tell you that you must go see it. Really, you must.
This little trailer is one of the cutest things I have seen in a long time. It has been beautifully renovated and decorated to perfection. The only thing more charming and inviting than the Airstream is the charismatic and lovely owner of it – Irina Dovganetskiy. I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to withSimplicity (first of many to come, I’m sure) and was fascinated by what she has created.
Inside you’ll find make-up, candles, body scrubs, face washes, chapsticks, lipsticks, and so much more all home-made by Irina with organic and natural materials. She also has a few products (nail polish, accessories, and a line of men’s products) that she has brought in from other people who have the same vision as she does.
To say that I was impressed by Irina would be an understatement. I mean, I pat myself on the back when I make dinner taste good and here she is cooking up her her own brand of make-up. Not only is her work impressive (and something I could never dream of accomplishing), it’s also highly important – don’t even get me started on the harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances that lace so many beauty products out there today. Her mission to create a “clean and green beauty” is one that I think Harrisonburg will love.
So do yourself a favor, and check out this magnificent little shop. I’ll let Irina take it from here…
When and how did you start on this journey?
ID: About three years ago when I had my last baby I decided to quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom. So I started playing around with making chapsticks and scrubs, just making it for friends and family for Christmas. And people started to really like it. My sister gave it to someone at a spa near her and they asked her if I could make some for the spa. So that kind of boosted my little ego. In January of 2015 I started doing little markets and shows. I started slowly with the Etsy shop, online, and with friends. The community was great! People were coming back and supporting me and buying stuff. So I thought, ‘OK… maybe I could expand.’ I always wanted to expand more into make-up. I really started thinking, ‘maybe I could have a little store front.’
ID: My husband was really, really supportive. He was my cheerleader.
To package the products it would be me, my husband, and two of our kids shrink wrapping and packaging – so family was a big support. Plus the little shops like Sarah at The Lady Jane were really encouraging. She really encouraged me to follow my dream.
ID: It’s something I always dreamed about but really didn’t think I could actually do. Even after the Friday grand opening I can hardly believe we really did this – is this really happening? It all started out with a chapstick…
Tell me some more about the products you make.
ID: I use organic and natural products. I don’t use any preservatives or chemicals. It’s all organic oils and butters. For the coloring we use Mica, which is a mineral. And I also use botanicals. I try to get away from fragrances, artificial colors, and just do it more clean and safe. I mean, I have a nine year old who loves playing with make-up and I want to make sure it’s safe. I’m trying to stay with more clean and green beauty.
What is your favorite product?
ID: Actually, I think my foundation. That was a hard one to create but I think it’s one of my favorites because it’s very light. I don’t like heavy foundation. I didn’t even use foundation – I used powder until I got my own.
ID: I’m really, really excited. I always wanted to have a job where I could love going to work. And that can be inspiring – hopefully I can inspire other girls to go for it and not be afraid of failing. I told my husband that if it fails we’ll turn this back into a camper and go camping.
Go visit withSimplicity for yourself!
Business hours (as of this post) are Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-7pm.