Growing up on Long Island, Christopher Krauss struggled with food sensitivities.
“My mother would give the school teacher a week’s supply of carob for me to replace the chocolate she’d use to reward the class with,” he recalled, adding with a laugh. “At the time, I didn’t understand why as I watched the rest of the class nibble on chocolate.”
But his early struggles produced a strong fascination in being health conscious and, a few decades later, a business. Christopher’s Organics launched in October and can be found at Wallen’s Natural Market in Patchogue, Amazon and on christophersorganics.com. It’s an emerging brand; one poised to capitalize on people’s growing concerns for their health and the types of chemicals in the products they use and foods they eat. Krauss spoke with Pulse about his beginnings, future plans and nose for the natural lifestyle.
Tell me a bit about your background.
I am a Long Island native that has always had an altruistic and creative nature. I was raised in an extremely health conscious household. As I grew older, I became fascinated in the holistic approach to life, along with art in all of its vast forms. I studied business marketing and the fine arts—I always had that entrepreneurial spirit within and had been waiting for the right concept to reveal itself. Here’s one of them and I look forward to many more. I hope it can be a positive influence in the world of healthy living.
How did that concept reveal itself to you and inspire you to start Christopher’s Organics?
A few years ago, I had a part-time job working in the nutritional supplements department at a natural grocer. My knowledge of holistic and alternative health products broadened. After trying the full gamut of what were labeled as “natural and healthy” deodorants, I decided to develop my formula for personal use after being dissatisfied with the efficacy of the alternatives. After seeing it well-received by family and friends, I decided to share it with the rest of the world. People deserve a clean and effective deodorant that is readily available in the mainstream marketplace. It wasn’t just about creating healthy deodorant, it was about creating one that works and smells amazing, using only pure, organic, fair-trade ingredients.
What was it about the other products that concerned you?
I take my health seriously and didn’t want to give in to the unhealthy, conventional deodorants, given the links between common deodorant and anti-perspirant ingredients such as aluminum compounds and parabens and poor health.
What makes your deodorant unique?
There’s nothing like it on the market. I wanted to create a healthy, safe and effective deodorant that was whimsical, yet serious in its quality and effectiveness. We use rich, smooth and revitalizing organic essential oils. I also wanted to provide a variety of vivid and full-bodied scents for the entire family to choose from: peppermint, tea tree, lavender, cedarwood and unscented.
What are the ingredients used and what makes them special?
I crafted each stick with the finest USDA Certified Organic ingredients to form an antioxidant-rich blend that prevents odor at the source and soothes the skin. This special combination captures moisture with the arrowroot powder, attacks odor at the source through the antibacterial/antifungal properties of the fair trade organic cold-pressed virgin coconut oil and organic essential oils. The organic carnauba wax paired with the organic beeswax acts as an excellent skin emollient. The jojoba seed oil also conditions and softens the skin, is a great anti-inflammatory and is full of vitamin E. Christopher’s deodorant is GMO free, gluten free, animal cruelty free, aluminum compound/toxic chemical free. It’s free of synthetics, fillers and alcohol and is plant-based. There are no cutting corners here. I believe we all need to love ourselves and that includes grooming clean, not just eating clean.
When shopping for deodorant and other products we put on our skin, what chemicals should people look to avoid and why?
There are so many out there but the ones that stand out to me are aluminum compounds, parabens, steareths, triclosan, propylene glycol, silica, talc, TEA and DEA and artificial colors/fragrances. All of these ingredients should be banned; they are toxic and potential carcinogens. I mean, why cover up with perfumed and toxic/synthetic chemical laden deodorant when you can prevent odor organically? The skin is the largest organ of our body and easily absorbs what we apply to it, so it’s wise to use products made with healthy ingredients.
What are some of your favorite scents Christopher’s Organics offers and why should we love them too?
Personally, my favorite scent is Mr. and Mrs. Peppermint. It’s refreshing and revitalizes the senses, especially early in the morning—it smells amazing! But, really, it’s all about personal preference.
Since I began, the product has been well received for its purpose and quality and because it’s an easy transition from major brands. For example, my brother was able to make a seamless transition from a major conventional brand (Old Spice), which he had been using since his teens, to Christopher’s Tea Tree Lovers organic tea tree deodorant. It has that clean and fresh camphoraceous odor that many men seem to love. I try not to put the aromas in a box and consider all of my scents to be unisex, though.
Our cedarwood (Monsieur Cedarwood) exudes warmth and long-lasting richness with subtle sweet and woody notes.
Lady Lavender has a beautiful, floral fragrance and has the ability to eliminate nervous tension and enhance blood circulation. She’s very popular.
Last but not least: The Unscenteds. Now, basically everything has a scent, even if it’s labeled unscented, but we did not add essential oil to this one so that people who were ultra-sensitive to oils and fragrances could use it. Technically, it has a very mild smell of the coconut base and sweet beeswax. It’s my mom’s favorite.
What is in store for Christopher’s Organics in 2017?
We plan to get into many retailers, from small natural markets to large mainstream outlets. We want to make a good quality organic deodorant that’s easily accessible—anything goes. We’ll also continue to promote and sell our product at a variety of expos and farmer’s markets. It’s a great way to get the word out and closely connect with our audience. We’re very excited for what the future has in store for us!