Au naturel: Vendor creates chemical-free products

Common Grounds Open MicEvery Saturday morning, if the weather permits, Jill Boman and her husband, David, toss up their canopy and cover their table with sweet-smelling treats.

When even most natural beauty brands contain harsh chemicals, Boman creates her own products using only ingredients that are safe to eat.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Boman, founder and owner of Happy Stuff, sells her homemade and handmade products to friends, students and natural product enthusiasts.

“I decided I’m not going to buy anything anymore,” Boman said. “If I can’t make it myself, forget about it. I’m not going to use it, because I’m a purist. And I like to make that stuff for other people. I think it’s important for people to not be dependent on the system that’s making them sick.”

Happy Stuff JS April 18, 2015-IMG_0092The Happy Stuff creator sells her products at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market every Saturday with her husband, who helps Boman set up her booth.

Boman has been selling her homemade beauty and household products at the farmers market for three years.

Happy Lips, Happy Pits, Happy Clothes and Happy Hands are Boman’s lip balms, deodorants, laundry detergents and salves.

Brian Rundle, a fellow farmers market vendor, always stops by Happy Stuff to pick up his personal care necessities. Rundle often sends men who are looking for natural products to Boman’s table.

“I send a lot of guys over there who are looking for something like that … especially deodorants are the things they’re most likely to use,” Rundle said. “It’s very good for skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.”

Marengo, Ill., senior Jenna Hill doesn’t usually buy natural products but said she likes the products that Boman makes.

“Her orange-flavored lip balm is my favorite product,” Hill said. “It’s probably better than the manufactured products because it doesn’t have all the chemicals.”

Boman was a homeschool mom and worked in sales in the beauty industry. But when Boman’s youngest child graduated high school, she decided to start her own company in something she was familiar with, the beauty business.

Happy Stuff JS April 18, 2015-IMG_0096“I asked my husband what am I going to do when I’m not a homeschool mom anymore,” Boman said. “I didn’t know what to do with myself. And he said, ‘You know that stuff you like to make? Why don’t you do that?’ So that’s how I started. I started selling at the farmers market.”

Happy Stuff is a new company, but Boman has been experimenting and creating her products for years.

“I’ve been making a lot of my own stuff for years,” Boman said. “Just because I liked it, it’s fun. Through the years, I’ve just been adding other things.”

Boman has also sold her products at The Village Herbalist Herb Shop and Spice Village, but she now happily sells Happy Stuff at the farmers market and Homestead Market.

“It’s just always been fun,” Boman said. “I’m an extrovert. The farmers market is an extrovert’s dream come true because it’s all these people and it’s a friendly atmosphere and friendly camaraderie among the vendors.”

Boman gets her inspiration and ideas from books, blogs, her husband and customers who give her suggestions on what to make next.

Hill said she would like to see Boman make more soaps and body wash, especially because natural products are gaining more popularity.

Stephanie Hanson purchased natural products from Boman during her first trip to the farmers market and was pleased with Boman’s selection.

Happy Stuff JS April 18, 2015-IMG_0087“I use them [natural products] on my little girls a lot and I like to be sure there aren’t too many chemicals and other things I don’t understand in the products I’m putting on my kids,” Hanson said. “This kind of product is perfect for us. I was excited about the boo-boo salve and the mosquito repellant.”

Boman has used local company Deuxtone, a graphic design studio that helps businesses with branding and designs, to help brand the company, which she hopes to expand in the future, but only once she has a larger production capacity.

“If all of a sudden I got a call from a major chain, we’re not there yet,” Boman said. “But I’d love to have a presence like that.”

But for now, Boman is keeping her business small and manageable.

“We’re working on the website this year,” Boman said. “So we’ll have an online presence. We’re wanting to expand.”

Story by: Shannon Barbour | Staff Writer
Photos by: Jess Schurz | Lariat Photographer