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OUR MISSION

Osmia's mission is to educate and energize conscious consumers who will savor our luxury skin care products in their daily wellness rituals. Our line is formulated with exceptional, natural ingredients, which we hope will inspire people to live in health and joy, with a softer impact on the planet.

OUR MISSION

Osmia's mission is to educate and energize conscious consumers who will savor our luxury skin care products in their daily wellness rituals. Our line is formulated with exceptional, natural ingredients, which we hope will inspire people to live in health and joy, with a softer impact on the planet.

OSMIA

(pronounced OZ-mee-uh)

Osmia, as I use it, means "sense of smell". (It's derived from the medical word "anosmia", which is the inability to smell.) Every Osmia product is made with utmost attention to the scent and its aromatherapeutic benefits. In a broad sense, the word Osmia is also a reminder to notice your life - the color of the sky, the taste of your coffee, the feeling of your child's hand in yours. Because if we don't return to our senses, and soak up all the precious beauty that can be found in a regular old day, we are missing the point.

OSMIA

(pronounced OZ-mee-uh)

Osmia, as I use it, means "sense of smell". (It's derived from the medical word "anosmia", which is the inability to smell.) Every Osmia product is made with utmost attention to the scent and its aromatherapeutic benefits. In a broad sense, the word Osmia is also a reminder to notice your life - the color of the sky, the taste of your coffee, the feeling of your child's hand in yours. Because if we don't return to our senses, and soak up all the precious beauty that can be found in a regular old day, we are missing the point.

HOW WE GIVE

We want to do more than help you return to your senses; we want to help the planet heal herself, too. 

That's why every time you place an order - we plant a tree! 

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HOW WE GIVE

We want to do more than help you return to your senses; we want to help the planet heal herself, too. 

That's why every time you place an order - we plant a tree! 

SARAH VILLAFRANCO, MD

Our company was founded by a physician with a serious passion for plants. In 2012, Dr. Sarah Villafranco redirected her career in emergency medicine to start Osmia, which she sees as her own brand of medicine for your skin, your senses, and the earth. Want to know more about Sarah?

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SARAH VILLAFRANCO, MD

Our company was founded by a physician with a serious passion for plants. In 2012, Dr. Sarah Villafranco redirected her career in emergency medicine to start Osmia, which she sees as her own brand of medicine for your skin, your senses, and the earth. Want to know more about Sarah?

OUR TEAM

A strong team, united in their passion, with the right mix of hard work and hysterical laughter, can accomplish just about anything.

OUR TEAM

A strong team, united in their passion, with the right mix of hard work and hysterical laughter, can accomplish just about anything.

Monika Kincade

Monika Kincade

Production Manager

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Production Manager

Monika Kincade

Monika Kincade

Production Manager

Born in:
A magical little place called Hungary.

A scent related memory from your childhood: 
Rose essential oil. My mom used it as a perfume. She had it in a little wooden container that was hand carved and painted with a little glass insert. She got it from Bulgaria and I was fascinated by the container and the scent.

Favorite essential oil now, and why: 
Still rose - it makes me feel happy, warm, safe, AND it smells amazing!

Three favorite bands: 
If I must pick 3 (although I love so many more than that) my top would be Mumford and Sons, Vance Joy and Kings of Leon.

Your favorite thing about you: 
Being European!!! I'm handy, crafty, strong, can make pretty much anything! I have a true appreciation for our Earth and nature thanks to my upbringing.

Pets? 
A 13-year-old red border collie, Spirit. Also, the cutest Guinea Pig with the biggest personality on the planet, Guinness, she is 3.

Favorite memory of your mom: 
My mother used to make all of my clothes. I would watch her lean over the sewing machine as the needle looped tiny little stitches on colorful fabrics. They were unique and no one else showed up in the same outfit.

Death Row Meal: 

I am not sure I will be hungry... But if I was, Savoy cabbage soup (kelkaposzta fozelek) with grilled Halloumi cheese.

Mary Logan

Mary Logan

Chief Operating Officer

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Chief Operating Officer

Mary Logan

Mary Logan

Chief Operating Officer

BORN IN:

Chicago, IL

A SCENT-RELATED MEMORY FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD:

Mmm. When the sun hits dirt after it rains, it smells like warmth and life that you can breathe in. I would crouch to watch glistening, leftover drops cling to blades of grass and velvety flower petals in our back yard.

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL NOW, AND WHY:

Just one?! Totally depends what's going on right now... eucalyptus, bergamot, and cardamom are a few favorites. But there are so many occasions and so many options to explore! A whiff of rose is divine any time...

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW:

The Weight by international supergroup The Band. 

YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT YOU:

I like a challenge. Not to compete, generally, but to see what the experience of it is like. And I can be very creative when it comes to imagining myself in someone else's shoes, which usually makes me feel pretty grateful.

PETS?

Emmie Lou, an Australian Shepherd who has done all of the math and solved all of the puzzles. I can't quite understand everything she's trying to teach me at this point - I'm pretty stuck on basic commands - but I'll keep learning!

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

Mom is preparing dinner while I'm coloring at a low square table in the kitchen. Steam rises, tomato sauce bubbles pop slowly, the smell of herbs and garlic drifts on humid air. She is humming to jazz from a well-loved tape, taking little dance steps in between the counters to bring the pieces of the meal together at the same time.

DEATH ROW MEAL:

A few bites of salad made with a ridiculous amount of fresh herbs, then: crème brûlée, berries with mint, good canned pears, raw lemon square, pb&j on freshly-baked bread, chocolate gelato, strawberry rhubarb pie, and a salted caramel.

 

Pola Oginski

Pola Oginski

Soap Production Manager

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Soap Production Manager

Pola Oginski

Pola Oginski

Soap Production Manager



BORN IN:

Houston, Texas.

A SCENT RELATED MEMORY FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD:

The scent of burning coal mixed with cold air brings me back to living in Poland.

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL NOW, AND WHY:

My favorite shifts daily! I always love Vetiver and Palo Santo because they feel so earthy, purifying and restorative.

THREE FAVORITE BANDS:

Carbon Based Lifeforms, Little Dragon and Jungle.

YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU:

The wonderment and awe felt towards all the vast facets of life.

PETS??

None which are officially mine...

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

Her ongoing exuberant nature, she's one who always surprises me with deep authenticity.

DEATH ROW MEAL:

Wild Mushroom Pierogies and No Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie!

Ashlie Gammill

Ashlie Gammill

Customer Service Manager

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Customer Service Manager

Ashlie Gammill

Ashlie Gammill

Customer Service Manager

Born In:

Atlanta, GA

A scent related memory from childhood:

The smell of pine trees that surrounded our home in Georgia combined with the thick, heavy scent of humidity that saturated every waking moment in the South.

Favorite essential oil:  

I love the invigorating smell of Mint! It's refreshing, wakes me up, and helps to keep headaches at bay.

What I am listening to right now:

I'm not too picky about my genre of music and tend to listen to a wide variety of everything, especially music I can dance to!

Favorite thing about you:

My sense of humor and empathetic nature, both of which allow me to bond deeply with people and have fun while doing so.

Pets:  

Two adorable pups named Zeek and Zoe, along with a bearded dragon named Beardy by my kiddo.

Favorite memory of your mom:  

Driving cross country from Georgia to Glacier National Park in Montana was by far one of the best times I have had with my Mom.  We camped, hiked, laughed a lot and had a fantastic pancake breakfast at a little Trout Farm we found along the way.

Death row meal:  

Pizza, a glass of Pinot Grigio, and Chocolate Mousse for desert.

Lisa Ellena

Lisa Ellena

Purchasing & Inventory Manager

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Purchasing & Inventory Manager

Lisa Ellena

Lisa Ellena

Purchasing & Inventory Manager



BORN IN:

Longmont, CO

A SCENT RELATED MEMORY FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD:

My childhood backyard had a combination of plum trees, rose bushes, and a big Russian olive tree which I spent many afternoon in... I still love combinations of sweet, green, astringent, and earthy scents, and I think that backyard is where it all started!

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL NOW, AND WHY:

Essential oils have always had a huge draw for me, alone and in all kinds of combinations. One current favorite is ylang ylang blended with vetiver. They seem like polar opposites but dance nicely together with the floral sweetness from the ylang ylang, and the earthy, resinous, woody scent from the vetiver.

THREE FAVORITE BANDS:

I tend to wander all over the soundscape, but lately have been spending a lot of time in the area where The Shins, Andrew Bird and Neko Case reside.

YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU:

I appreciate both artistic and scientific approaches to life, and to problem solving and mysteries!

PETS??

Aesop, a silver tabby cat, has been my constant companion since 2007. Buster, a big sweet 85lb mixed breed dog joined us a few years ago, and the two have figured out that together they inevitably get extra treats when they work together!

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

My mom and I have had a few opportunities to get creative together. We once produced a 12 month calendar that was essentially based on a long standing inside joke only understandable by a select crowd. We made props and characters, set up scenes, took snapshots, and then she had the calendars printed and bound. We laughed and giggled so much during that escapade, and thoroughly entertained ourselves.

DEATH ROW MEAL:

How much time would I have? I would want to include a little of everything! First some honeyed goat cheese with fresh summer cherry tomatoes, and sprigs of basil, on almond crackers. Carrots from a nearby garden, along with some freshly picked baby arugula. Gently cooked asparagus with pecorino, butter, and balsamic. Oh, and a glass of the red wine from Roussion! My Dad's homemade pizza, or pasta, or both! And to finish it off, homemade vanilla ice cream with a dollop of peanut butter, and a slice of angel food cake with cream cheese frosting (the frosting has to be tinted blue per birthday tradition). I don't usually do much dairy, or sugar, but it's my last meal right?

Erin Hardy

Erin Hardy

Brand Content Manager

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Brand Content Manager

Erin Hardy

Erin Hardy

Brand Content Manager

BORN IN:

St. Louis, MO

SCENT RELATED MEMORY FROM CHILDHOOD:

The smell of cinnamon rolls. I grew up with divorced parents and every Saturday morning I spent at my dad's house I was pampered with Pillsbury perfection. It makes me laugh now, but to this day if I catch a smell of cinnamon rolls in the air it takes me right back to Saturday morning cartoons with my Dad.

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL:

Lavender and rose geranium everything.

WHAT I AM LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW:

A little bit of everything: Sylvan Esso, Childish Gambino, and LCD Soundsystem. Always Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, and Zeppelin.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU:

My intuition, my sporadic spontaneity, and my drive to find a solution when I really want something.

PETS:

One very cute goldendoodle named Kimmy Gibbler, AKA Gibbs.

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

Standing up as her maid of honor when she married my step-dad. She was glowing.

DEATH ROW MEAL:

Hops & Pie pizza and a cannoli the size of my head.

Heather Burnham

Heather Burnham

Customer Service Team Lead

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Customer Service Team Lead

Heather Burnham

Heather Burnham

Customer Service Team Lead

BORN IN:

Fort Collins, CO -- (actually in the elevator at the hospital)

SCENT RELATED MEMORY FROM CHILDHOOD:

Cedar. Cedar wood chips were used in the barn and at the horse shows I competed in while I was growing up. To this day I immediately go back to those times when I smell cedar, it is the BEST smell to me.

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL:

Vetiver or Palo Santo. Have you ever smelled our Palo Santo soap!? Need I say more. I never truly knew the smell of vetiver until I started working with Osmia. It has such a calm and grounding effect on me, I can’t get enough!

WHAT I AM LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW:

David Bowie and Dolly Parton are the staples and the 3rd is ever changing.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU:

My easy-going vibe and my adaptability to get along with a wide range of personalities.

PETS:

At the moment I have something like 30 plants at my house. They are basically taking over ,haha! (Considering getting a fish and naming him Tormund ;)) But, the fur babies closest to my heart right now are my parents yellow lab brothers, Floyd and Otis. I have a full fledged obsession with them and LOOOVE them sooo soooo much!

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

I can’t single any memory out, there are just too many! If I had to choose it would be watching Mom make pie, traveling to Sweden, Norway, Africa and Asia with her, or cruising around the states going to horse shows together. All of them are equally important to me and hold a very special place in my heart.

DEATH ROW MEAL:

I don’t think I have enough space for the buffet that I would want to have, but the highlights would be: Mac & Cheese with Franks Red Hot sauce, Soft Ice ( soft serve ice cream ) with chocolate powder from a shop in Copenhagen next to the Little Mermaid, Chicken Tikka Masala with rice, an al pastor taco, and a glass of red wine from the Alentejo region of Portugal.

April Davey

April Davey

Wholesale Specialist

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Wholesale Specialist

April Davey

April Davey

Wholesale Specialist

BORN IN:

Aspen, Colorado

A SCENT RELATED MEMORY FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD:

Waking up to the smell of campfire during the many camping trips we went on when I was a child. Crawling out of the tent, sleepy-eyed, to discover my dad making breakfast and sipping on coffee. He always made me hot chocolate - that specific Nestle instant hot cocoa smell still takes me back. 

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL NOW, AND WHY:

Lavender, always. I’ve loved the smell of it for so long, I can’t imagine replacing it with anything else. It totally centers and grounds me - I wear drops of the essential oil on my neck and temples every single day. Basil comes in at a close second - it’s got such a bright and fresh scent! 

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW:

Fleetwood Mac, Florence + the Machine, Brand New and Beyonce. Stevie Nicks is my soul sister/spirit animal. 

YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU:

I love that I function on a highly emotional and sensitive level. I used to be really embarrassed about it, but I’ve grown to really love that aspect of myself. Sensitive is not an antonym for strong. I’m also not afraid to stand up for what I believe in, or the things that I feel passionately about. If I feel strongly one way or the other, trust me - you’ll know about it! 

PETS?

I have a tuxedo cat named Izzy.

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

My mom is from Italy, so I have a fond memory of us walking along a path near our house there in Agriano, Umbria. I remember picking blackberries with her there on the most perfectly sunny, late summer day when I was a child. I would put every other blackberry I picked into the basket she held - the other ones would just go straight into my mouth! 

DEATH ROW MEAL:

True, Italian-style pizza from Koala Pizza in my mother’s hometown in Italy, vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce for dessert, and a glass of rosé. 

 

Annie Whetzel

Annie Whetzel

Wholesale Manager

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Wholesale Manager

Annie Whetzel

Annie Whetzel

Wholesale Manager

BORN IN:

Da burgh. (Pittsburgh, PA)

SCENT RELATED MEMORY FROM CHILDHOOD:

Antique'ing was a big deal in my family (I'm an only child, so those were the things my parents thought were fun for kids), and there is a really specific smell that antique stores have (and starfruit surprisingly) like musty polished wood; it always brings me back to Saturdays in Western PA.

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL:

I didn't understand the hype around essential oils until I smelled Ylang ylang. Wow. That scent changed everything.

WHAT I AM LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW:

Jason Isbell if I'm cooking and Cardi B if I'm doing anything else.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU:

My complete love of change and new experiences.

PETS:

A tiny 10lb ball of love and fury named Cactus (a dog).

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

Together we taught ourselves how to do headstands on paddle boards. Epic.

DEATH ROW MEAL:

Fried chicken with mashed parsnips and a kale salad with a side of fried broccoli and cauliflower (all originally GF) from Wilder, the most fantastic little restaurant in Portland, OR. I think they only have mashed potatoes now, but it is my death row meal, so I would request parsnips.

Rachel Kading

Rachel Kading

Digital Creative Specialist

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Digital Creative Specialist

Rachel Kading

Rachel Kading

Digital Creative Specialist

BORN IN:

Aspen, CO

SCENT RELATED MEMORY FROM CHILDHOOD:

Sawdust. My dad was pretty handy growing up and was constantly working on our house and I distinctly remember sawdust wafting from the garage on hot summer days.

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL:

It’s a tie between Eucalyptus and Lavender. My Mom is from Australia so Eucalyptus was a pillar in my house growing up. I positively associate it with the time I spent in Aus and all our family over there and I just feel like it’s a very invigorating and restoring essential oil. Lavender is just such a beautiful scent and it’s extremely calming and comforting. It has the power to ground and soothe me and I love putting some on before bed each night.

WHAT I AM LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW:

My solid favorites are Khalid, Mumford and Sons, and the Queen - Beyonce.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU:

My laugh. I feel like I have a unique ability to find humor in anything. It helps me connect to people, enjoy the most out of any situation, and not take things too seriously. I’ve also been told my laugh is very recognizable so it makes me easy to find in a crowd.

PETS:

A sweet angel mutt named Maeby who loves long hikes and as many snuggles as possible.

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

My mom loves to travel and she took us on many trips growing up. Some of my favorite memories have been on long plane rides while my sister sat in the window seat, me in the aisle, and the two of us sprawled all over my mom happily stuck in the middle.

DEATH ROW MEAL:

Ooooh if it’s a morning affair we’re going to Copenhagen for an Onsdagssnegle from Sankt Peders’ Bageri, All-in Oats from Grød, Mormor brunch from Kalaset and a cappuccino the size of my face. If it’s more nighttime then we’ll shake it up with fresh baked bread, gnocchi with truffles, escargot, cabbage and mint salad, and filet mignon accompanied with an IPA, a caramel slice, chocolate peanut butter ice cream, and a slice of nutty buddy pie from American Pie Company.

Amanda Eldreth

Amanda Eldreth

Wholesale Specialist

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Wholesale Specialist

Amanda Eldreth

Amanda Eldreth

Wholesale Specialist

BORN IN:

Christiana, Delaware

SCENT RELATED MEMORY FROM CHILDHOOD:

My third grade art class was being rewarded for our efforts on a project. The reward? The most sought after type of sticker: Scratch n Sniff. While all my fellow classmates exploded with excitement over their "Grape Job" and "Berry Nice" stickers, I realized my "On a Roll" sticker should have smelled like the goofy cinnamon roll depicted, yet I found it devoid of scent. I watched as all my friends scratched their stickers and shoved them at each others' noses, yet no matter which sticker I attempted to smell, I smelled...nothing. That was the day I convinced myself I had not yet learned to smell. It was years later, when I stopped hiding this fact, that I was diagnosed with congenital anosmia.

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL:

Probably something a little more sensory like peppermint. In general, I like that the mintier oils tend to be more a physical sensation so I can pretend I can smell it. Plus I love how refreshing it feels, especially after a hike.

WHAT I AM LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW:

Marianas Trench, Galantis, and The Pretty Reckless

FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU:

I treasure my whimsical imagination. I love to daydream stories for the shapes I see in the clouds, rocks, leaves...anything really. It's something I've cultivated and held onto since my youth and no matter what hardships I've faced in life, my imagination has kept me sane. These days I turn that inspiration into my poetry and creative-nonfiction writing.

PETS:

In total I have an absurd collection of three: StellaLuna, my diva Maine Coon mix, Riley the chunky bunny, and Meatloaf, an adorable Pitbull mix.

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

Peeling what felt like an endless amount of freshly picked apples at our kitchen table. My mom loves to can all our fresh produce and we turned those apples into applesauce, a coveted favorite of mine and my brother. I expected to get dozens of Mason jars full of applesauce...but our absurd amount of apples turned into 6 jars. My mom knew the whole time how many jars we would get but she didn't want to lose my help peeling apples.

DEATH ROW MEAL:

Baked ziti and mashed potatoes. Afterwards, I'll take my just desserts, please, and they'll all be made by Vegan Treats, an amazing bakery in PA. One of everything, but noteworthy are their cannolis, "Chickn" and Waffles Doughnut, and Peanut Butter Bomb Cake.

Greg Raymond

Greg Raymond

Production Specialist

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Production Specialist

Greg Raymond

Greg Raymond

Production Specialist

BORN IN:

Chattanooga, Tennessee

SCENT RELATED MEMORY FROM CHILDHOOD:

The smell of the river before sunrise. Saturday mornings were for fishing with Dad. We woke up well before sunrise and would hit the road. The routine was to stop for chocolate milk and honey buns (he’d drink coffee) and I would sleep in the passenger seat until we made it to the river. There is something so special to me about that first step out of the trunk, right at first light, with the mixed scents of the mighty Tennessee River holding strong in the humid, cool morning air. It’s something between fish and decomposing matter with a hint of excitement and mystery for what the day might hold.

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL:

It’s hard to choose just one! I’d say I favor base notes. Base notes are generally characterized as “fixatives” and have the ability to linger and anchor the lighter notes. My current favorites are Balsam of Peru, Vetiver and Sandalwood.

WHAT I AM LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW:

90’s rock anthems, loads of bluegrass, and any variety of electronic music.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU:

My ability to be creative and problem solve. My father is the ultimate “do it yourself” kind of guy and he taught me independence and critical thinking from birth. His old saying is, “imagine you’re on the moon and you have to use what you have around you to get home.” It was as frustrating and esoteric as it sounds in my youth, but as an adult I can’t imagine any problem too abstract to work through using his simple logic. There is always an answer leading to “your way home.”

PETS:

I love them. I grew up among dogs and cats and birds and lizards and fish and turtles and anything else I could bring home. These days I have roommates with pets and I love them as my own.

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

One night in my early teen years, my mother and I sat up late one night and watched a lunar eclipse together. We sat up and talked about everything. It was the first time I saw her as anything other than a superhero. Through our conversations, I realized she is a person just like everyone else. That being said, she will always be a superhero to me.

DEATH ROW MEAL:

Well… I’d start out with a charcuterie plate and a glass of red wine. Then I’d enjoy a nice cut of flank steak with scallops, steamed broccoli and a baked sweet potato paired with an IPA. For dessert I’d have tiramisu and finish off the meal with a spicy margarita.

Erika Westhoff

Erika Westhoff

Clientele Specialist

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Clientele Specialist

Erika Westhoff

Erika Westhoff

Clientele Specialist

BORN IN:

Glenwood Springs, CO

SCENT RELATED MEMORY FROM CHILDHOOD:

The vanilla-scented ponderosa pine trees of the Southwest captured my nose and imagination as a child. Growing up in Arizona, I spent hours playing at their roots and dreaming of one day being able to reach their branches. A quick note: an average ponderosa's branches are at least 25 feet off the ground, so I still can’t reach them.

FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL:

Vanilla is still my favorite scent and essential oil. It invokes all sorts of sweet childhood adventures and a feeling of pure joy.

WHAT I AM LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW:

I usually decide my favorite bands by decade and I've really been into the 80s lately. So, I've got to go with Heart, ABBA, and Queen.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU:

I love my vulnerability and openness. I used to be very closed-off and it took me a lot of time and self-reflection to get to where I am. Life feels fuller now.

PETS:

My cat Smokey, also affectionately known as my old lady baby, was born in 2002. My parents took me to adopt her after our evacuation from the Rodeo-Chediski Fire was lifted. Six years old me named her Smokey the Bear Cat after the hero who had helped to save our home.

FAVORITE MEMORY OF YOUR MOM:

The kitchen is where multiple generations come together in my memories. My mother and my aunts would mind the stove and oven while my grandmother prepared the next dish. The older grandkids would be stationed at the sinks to help clean as the whole cooking operation took place behind us with military precision.

DEATH ROW MEAL:

One final German-Mennonite meal made by my grandmother, please. It should include verenika, zweiback, and pluma moos at the very least.

Product Testers

Product Testers

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Product Testers

Product Testers

These small people take product testing very seriously. They have tried every Osmia product on their sensitive skin, and have reported that they become very itchy and dry if they use regular soap or body lotion. They both love Night Body Oil and Purely Simple Face Cream. They are compensated handsomely for their work. (We have larger product testers as well, but they do not look quite as absurdly cute in photographs.)

WANT TO JOIN OUR TEAM?

CHECK OUT OUR OPEN POSITIONS

OUR FOUNDER

SARAH VILLAFRANCO, MD

I started Osmia Organics in early 2010, a few months after taking a soap making class. It was not something I planned. At all. But it was love, immediately.

I grew up in Washington, DC. I went to college there. I went to medical school there. I did my emergency medicine residency there. But after traveling to the mountains of Colorado to visit my brother, I knew I needed to move my life here. Every time the plane landed in Aspen, I had a deep, wonderful, settling feeling in my chest….

Shortly after we arrived here, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The worst. Our second daughter was 3 months old when my mom died. We were lucky enough to be there to watch her go. The most beautiful moment I have yet known.

Upon my return, and newly motherless, I had some thinking to do. I knew I didn’t want to work as a full time emergency physician (my mother worked way too much as a lawyer), so I worked part time. After almost ten years of practice, I became unsettled about the course of my career. I liked the work, and was good at it. But the practice of emergency medicine was not what I thought it would be. The paperwork. The dictations. The constant hum of worry in my brain about the existence of human error - that I could miss something with a potentially devastating result. And there was the upsetting fact that many of the patients I cared for had absolutely no interest in contributing to their own health.

One day, while on the phone with my college roommate (a lawyer), she told me she had spent the last year making children’s natural bath products in her kitchen, and that she was starting a company and making a go of it (mytruenature.net). When she said it, it was as if something came into focus for me. I had been obsessed with lotions and potions, as my husband calls them, for as long as I could remember. Why not try to figure out how to make them myself, and make them naturally, using only ingredients that I really wanted to put on my skin? Hence, enrollment in the soap making class.

After that first day making soap, my brain changed. I thought about soaps and lotions and scents constantly. I remembered, or perhaps realized, that I loved chemistry. It consumed me. Like when you fall in love and that person is the very first thing on your mind in the morning and the very last thing on your mind when you close your eyes at night. I even dreamed about it. I still dream about it.

I spent almost two years in a converted storage room in my great friend Judi’s house, figuring out how to make stuff. I let myself out to eat, see my family, exercise, and work a few shifts in the hospital. I made innumerable batches of awful, unusable lotions. I cried over emulsifiers. I exploded a pot of liquid soap. I shrieked with joy when i made my first successful cream. I made my face a living laboratory, and suffered flares of my perioral dermatitis when I used too many products. I took a perfume class with Mandy Aftel, the world’s leading natural perfumer. I took classes with Lori Nova, of thenovastudio.com. I studied all of it endlessly, often long after the girls and my husband had fallen asleep. And, then, I started to get the hang of it all.

In the spring of 2011, I started weighing options: keep a foot in medicine and a foot in Osmia, or shift my weight and jump in. I can’t help thinking my mother was involved in the choice. It seems to me that most dead people, were they capable, would advise most living people to do what they really love. I jumped.

I leased a commercial space in Carbondale. With the guidance of several kind people around the country (or perhaps they could not stand another email from me, begging for advice), I put together a green facility with a small retail space, a soap making area, a perfumery station, and two “clean rooms” (clean room attire required) for making skin care products. We launched the store and the website in April of 2012. This is where we operate today (retail space and clean rooms pictured above).

I love what I do now more than I could ever have imagined. I miss a few things about being in the ER, but, in some ways, feel like I am practicing broader medicine now - helping people choose natural and organic skin care products, encouraging them to nourish themselves physically and spiritually, and detoxifying their medicine cabinets all the while. Guiding people to make healthier choices for their skin, their bodies, their minds, and this beautiful planet seems like a brand of medicine that could really do some good.