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Touring California Baby's Eco-Showroom and Production Facility

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Photos by Elizabeth Daniels

Just over 22 years ago, California Baby owner Jessica Iclisoy was researching and reading every label in an attempt to live the healthiest lifestyle possible as she went through her first pregnancy. What she found was shocking. Hormones in meat, synthetic fragrances in shampoo and sulfates were all things she knew she and her child could do without. "The more I dug, the more info I got, the more alarmed I became," Iclisoy said. "I went through two pregnancies as a vegetarian." Looking for alternatives became her project and ultimately, a thriving business.

The California Baby product line is founded on the concept of aromatherapy and uses only pure, essential oils for scent. As a completely natural line, you will not find Diethanolamine, sulfates, dyes or numbing agents in the products, keeping California Baby toxin-free. "Any product we have is an alternative to what's out there," Iclisoy explained, "If suncreens are chemical-based then ours are mineral-based."

True to California Baby's green lifestyle, the company's showroom and production facility are eco-friendly. From the building's solar panels to the lunchroom table made from a tree that was reaching the end of its life cycle, Iclisoy strives to operate a clean business and encourages others to do the same. Consumers who are planning their nursery can visit the eco-showroom by appointment and walk away with a list of materials so they can get started at home.

We took a trip to the California Baby space to meet Iclisoy herself, a woman who makes living this type of lifestyle look so easy.

Why did you pick this spot for your showroom and production facility?
"We really wanted to stay very centrally located. Most skincare facilities are out by the airport or out by the City of Industry, I did not want to be out there. I really wanted to be in the city, to have the influence of LA, and not be driving all over. It was a very specific area that we were looking at and we love it. It's a really wonderful spot."

What should eco-driven consumers expect when they visit the California Baby showroom?
"It has an eco-profile. For instance, the floors are made out of cork and highly renewable, the paint is all no VOC, the wood is all FSC Certified, so everything that you see has an eco-profile and it's sustainable. We also provide a complete list so they have ideas on where to get started."

How do you decide what new products to add to the line?
"It really comes from consumer demand. If our customer is telling us, 'It would be great if you had this or you had that,' I want to fill their needs before we fill the market needs. We service our customer, we service our mom, what does she need? Not what we want to sell her. What does she want to use on herself or her child?"

What's new for California Baby?
"We just released a few new products. We just released our hair gel, it's called Jelly Mousse and it's based on starch. So there's no silicones or anything like that. We use tapioca starch and cornstarch as the base. We just added some eczema products and skin protectants, so for people who have eczema or dermatitis. I am just closing in on a chapstick, I don't know why it takes me so long to do products. I really have to love them so I don't rush them out but we are getting close to releasing a new chapstick."

What advice would you give new and expectant mothers?
"Have perspective. Try not to freak out because there is a lot of scary stuff out there. As a company, we never come from the position of trying to scare people, there's no scare tactics. We're always trying to solve a problem. Yes, there are a lot of toxins out there, you need to be careful and you need to pay attention to what you eat but your child is going to be fine."
· California Baby [Official Site]
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