Karen's Botanicals is in its 14th year of business. We specialize in quality organic solutions for women and men who desire natural products for themselves and their family members. We formulate luxurious face and body care products, which are plant based nutrition and therapy for both the skin and the spirit.
We buy from organic farmers and wildcrafters whose work supports the earth's natural vitality. Karen's Botanicals never adds harsh chemicals, commercial fragrances, or colorants to our skin care products. We believe we can find everything we need for beautiful skin from the natural world. The results are exquisite and effective formulas that are fairly priced and gentle enough for the most sensitive of skins. We seek 97% organic, or wild-crafted with approximately 90% of our raw ingredients certified organic. Our suppliers maintain extremely high standards through direct relationships with farmers, properly controlled storage conditions, and laboratory analysis of many products. No commercially prepared cream or oil bases, synthetic fragrances, coloring agents, parabens, petroleum derivatives or harmful chemicals are used.
Karen's Botanicals seeks to become ever better stewards of the garden we've been placed in by using safe bottles and jars. We use packing materials which are recycled and by using the least amount of packaging possible, and using the most earth friendly shipping materials possible. We pay attention to the smallest detail surrounding our handcrafted products, looking for every way possible to improve both our products and performance.
We are PETA certified Cruelty Free and never test on animals; we use only consenting adults who are friends, family, and customers. We never considered testing on animals. The idea is just terrible. Many of our products are vegan, made with only herbs and plant oils, extracts and butters. You can feel good when using our products. We protect you, our furry friends, and our earth.
I love what I do. Daily meeting the challenge of creating safe personal care products, which are organic, natural and safe for the world's sweetest customers provides me with an awesome purpose in my life. I am Pam Mitchell, owner of Karen's Botanicals. I purchased Karen's Botanicals from, Karen Palcho. This experience has been for me about a healing of both body and spirit. Karen has been such an inspiration to me, she is so real and unbelievably talented in so many areas. I don't think there is anything this gifted woman can not achieve. She has been both kind and generous to me, and my gratitude for her is continuous.
My involvement in the beauty industry never surprised my Mother. My earliest memory of discipline resulted from an effort to imitate Mother's evening ritual involving jars and white stuff. She found me with an empty jar of vapor rub which I had smeared into both face and hair. This was followed with another episode with little safety scissors. I was standing in a pile of curly hair, hair which belonged to my 5 year old playmate. I had chopped her's and my own long curls into a short stubby clumps. Mother paid for two trips to a quality salon, apologized profusely to the neighbors mother, and entertained with this story for the rest of her life.
A southern girl, I was graduated from Barry University. Currently, I reside outside Atlanta, Georgia, with my husband, where I indulge equal passions for organic gardening, making luxury soap, bath oils, and natural skin care products. I love to read and search for antiques. I like to breathe fresh air and hate traffic so we live in the country on a very small farm my husband and I are building together. It has been with the greatest joy to “take on,” Karen Palcho's fine work of producing safe, and effective skin products. She has returned to her first career as a professional artist and now a producer of Quality Beer.
Starting with toners and astringents, I have made my own skin care products and perfumes since college, and experimented widely with cosmetics making. I had taken a job in the skin care industry for a private label cosmetic company, which manufactured everything from cleansers to mascaras. It was a low paying summer thing before entering school in South Florida, but I learned so much about skin care, and work ethics. Finding a real connection with this work, I enjoyed this business and toyed with the idea of remaining in this industry and stayed for three years. The “natural, or alternative health,” movement was not yet mainstream. The commercial cosmetics industry was modern, and exciting. Better living through chemistry was the manta and our company's chemists took the greatest pride in the most exotic of chemical concoctions. The idea of these modern, “advances,” as potentially harmful was an outrageous concept. Sadly, we know realize that many of the ingredients were so harsh, and contained items now shunned within organic circles.
Our role is to create healthy alternatives to the chemically laden choices of the past, and to help as many people as possible to improve their lives and seek healthy solutions to personal care issues.
While I thought my career as an herbalist began in childhood, in fact it started long before I was born. As a girl growing up outside of Philadelphia, I concocted "huckleberry finn water," an infusion of tap water and wild-berry-flavored life savers, and made "honeysuckle dew elixir" for my dolls. While living in Alaska in the '80s, I infused the yellow buds of the cottonwood tree in olive oil to make the analgesic Balm of Gilead oil. As a gardener, backpacker and trained forager, I learned to find, grow, and use plants to make natural food, beauty, and health products. But not until traveling to a small village in what is now the eastern Slovak Republic did I realize that my passion for botanicals was bred in the bone.
In 1993, I went to the Slovak town of Stropkov in search of the gravestones of my paternal great-grandparents. An old woman in the graveyard seemed to understand what I was looking for and excitedly rushed me out of the graveyard, straight to a ceramics studio in town where she quickly produced a woman named Edita. As I was a potter myself, I was suddenly very curious. After examining the papers I had brought—copies of my great-grandfather's birth and baptismal certificates—Edita peered closely at my face, wrapped her arms around me and cried, "you are my family!" With the help of Edita's granddaughter Denisa, who spoke English, we figured out that Edita's grandmother was the sister of my great-grandfather, Jan Palcso, who like many Slovak men in the mid-1800s had immigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I was born.
To find living family instead of gravestones alone was cause for celebration. But we were not simply related; we were living parallel lives. Edita's daughter and I were and still are not only lifelong art teachers, but we make art that has remarkable similarities in style, subject matter and symbolism. Denisa and my father both worked in journalism early in their professional lives. Edita and I were working ceramists, and we both made botanical products from the fruits of our abundant gardens. An even more remarkable moment came during a visit in 2002 when I learned that Edita was descended from a long line of female herbalists. At the time, I was making herbal creams, lotions, and medicines as a serious hobby and thinking of trying it as a business. Learning about this part of the family history was the magic spark that inspired me to formally open Karen's Botanicals.
As far as we know, the herbal practice began with Zsuszanna Palcso, Edita's great-grandmother, who made herbal medicines in the 1850s for which people traveled from far and wide. Zsusanna's daughter Anna added a successful wound cream to the line, but it almost stopped there when Anna became involved in raising her children. Edita remembers customers being upset to find that her mother, Anna, had forgotten the recipes. Karen's Botanicals, which I created in honor of Zsuszanna Palcso, is my way of continuing the family tradition of using ancestral herbs to create botanical products for beauty, pleasure, and health. I am inspired by the serendipity of our family connections, and by the passions that bind us together.
Today we continue to honor the practice of Karen's ancestors by creating the same exquisite and all natural body care products. Our natural body care products are inspired and informed by traditional and contemporary herbal wisdom, and formulated with deep appreciation for the healing potential of the natural world. Our motivation being a loving concern for those we serve.