We love Lo & Behold, a brand born in North Carolina, woman owned and woman run by the amazing Lizzie Chadbourne. Lo & Behold is made with the purest ingredients to create 100% handcrafted natural body care that feels and smells amazing.
Lo & Behold responsibly sources local and certified organic ingredients and feature original local artwork. In collaboration with Durham nonprofit Partners for Youth Opportunity, Lo & Behold employ high school and college students from families affected by poverty, immigration, and incarceration - helping them gain professional experience and save for college. We hope you enjoy discovering this lovely local brand through this curated conversation with Lizzie about how she built Lo & Behold.
Tell us about yourself. Who are you? What drives you? What brings you joy?
I love being outside. All elements of nature inspire me. Even just a few minutes outside in the mornings makes my entire day better. It is funny to be in the beauty industry now because I grew up as a tom boy, and was always outside. Making products that are totally natural connects my interests and passion. My customers and connecting to people also really inspires me and keeps me motivated.
What inspired you to start your Lo & Behold?
It was a hobby turned to obsession turned to business. I am from NC originally and went to school in Maryland. Right after college I stayed in MD and worked as a teacher. My favorite hobby is creating something from ingredients, I have always loved to cook and make stuff that I use for myself. I started making bread and yogurt and then skin care. I got so excited about skin care and was literally dreaming about it, thinking about experiments all the time. I’ve always had really dry skin and focused on moisturizers because all the natural options I knew about didn’t work that well or didn’t smell that good and weren’t really fun. I wanted to create something that was completely natural but fun with clean ingredients that works really well. Between being obsessed with my hobby and the incredible feedback I got from friends and family I decided to start a business. Green beauty is a huge movement and I wanted to help spread it back in my home state, so I moved back. I missed NC and it felt like if I was going to start a business, I needed and wanted to do it at home close to my family and with my community. When I started I just sold moisturizers and eventually released more products based on customers requests. Everything else that we make is what people have asked for.
What is Lo & Behold’s mission? What is your personal life mission? How do they influence one another?
My personal mission is to be in the moment, slow down, enjoy life and take care of myself and the people in my life. Lo & Behold’s mission is essentially the same. When people use my products I really want them to be in the moment, feel good, and take care of themselves.
How do you incorporate play into your life to create a healthy work/life balance?
I go outside first thing in the morning with my dog no matter what.
What are some of the obstacles you have overcome to pursue this dream?
Internally trying not to doubt myself. It is very vulnerable creating something, putting something out there and trying to then sell the products. Luckily I believe in the products a lot which helps me put my own insecurities aside. It has also been hard to keep up with many friends and relationships since I’m always working on weekends and during odd hours.
What are you excited about right now?
Being interviewed by you! Also I am doing more out of state shows and I am excited to connect with new customers.
What piece of advice do you have for with people entrepreneurial spirits?
Choose something you are completely naturally interested in. Keep it simple. Everything else about business is complicated and so the interest has to be fun and come easily to you.
What would you have done differently when you started your company if you knew then what you know now?
I would try to always have very clear expectations with anyone you work with regarding goals and work style. I also would have started off with more of a vision for the brand and our plan, I sort of just went for it and have had to change and refine things a lot over the years.
Trying to expand into more parts of the North Carolina and the Southeast region. I am focusing on growing the business and strengthening my partnership with Durham Non-profit Partners for Youth Opportunity that offers students academic support, mentorship, life skills- especially financial, and workforce development. L&B is a worksite and I employ 1-2 students a year, their income goes towards college savings. I want to grow our business large enough to have a strong team, with a focus on hiring more PYO students. This summer more students are joining our team and I am very excited. I am very passionate about PYO’s work, they are as involved with each student as possible and make a deep impact.
What’s your favorite product and why?
The facial care products are my favorite. I loved the design process because I got a lot of feedback from a group of customers at the Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market who I consider the “originals.” These women were my first customers, and it felt very special involving them in the product development. In addition I live by these items, when I travel I always have to have my face line. I also love the facial care because it has really helped a lot of folks with their health and confidence. Every time someone tells me how much their complexion has improved, I remember why I do this work and feel really happy.
Anything else you want to share?
As someone who loves outdoors and believes in independent retailers, it feels really awesome to be in TB&C. I feel really grateful to all my customers.
Bonus question: What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
Creating something that you can totally trust that you are putting on your skin and that by using it you are connecting more to yourself and nature.