BUSINESS FEATURE: Hornet Mountain Natural Products

Michele Dean
By Michele Dean
September 23rd, 2010

More and more consumers are choosing sustainable natural products for their homes, gardens and pets. It was once difficult to find such products, but we now have a number of Boundary area businesses that cater to increasing conscious consumption. Hornet Mountain Natural Products, headed by eco-entrepreneur Astrid Kihl, is a Grand Forks business that offers skin care products, make-up, and sustainably produced fashionable organic clothing.   Searching for products that would not irritate her children’s sensitive skin introduced Kihl to the Keye’s Skin Care line. Impressed by the purity of the product, Kihl became a representative for Keye’s three years ago. All hypoallergenic, these products are ideal for anyone with sensitive skin issues such as eczema, acne, and rashes. Kihl eventually added to the products that she carried, driven by the desire to provide consumers with options that were not harmful and are sustainably produced.   Kihl thoroughly researched each product she considered adding to her line, which brought up some questions for her about the ingredients commonly used in beauty products.   “My concern with the beauty industry is that isn’t regulated in the same way that food is,” says Kihl. “This industry uses hazardous chemicals that are skin irritants, and are required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada to be handled with gloves and a mask. These chemicals are being used on our skin, in our toothpaste, and in our hair on a daily basis. There hasn’t been enough testing done to insure that that they are safe; no one knows what these products can do when used in conjunction with other chemicals, which consumers do on a daily basis.”   Kihl encourages consumers to do their own research about the products lining their shelves at home. Environmental Working Group, a lobbying organization in the United States, produces “The Skin Deep Report” (www.ewg.org/skindeep) and lobbies against air pollution, as well as chemicals in cosmetic products. They also provide consumers with an online database where they can look up the products they are using to discover ingredients and possible health hazards connected to those ingredients.   Another factor for Kihl in determining which products she will carry is ensuring they are sustainably produced certified fair trade, or made in factories that have third-party certification for social and environmental responsibility based on recognizable standards.   “There are a variety of certifying bodies that inspect factories to ensure that they are not leaching chemicals, not polluting the air, that employees are paid a fair wage and paid overtime and have decent working conditions and workplace safety is observed,” explains Kihl.   In addition to skin care products and natural cosmetics, Kihl carries alternative fiber organic clothing, including Nomads and Indigenous Designs. Kihl looks for comfortable, fashionable natural clothing that is sustainably produced.   “I look at the full circle and want to know that all products I provide my customers are produced responsibility and are truly natural and produced with consciousness. My goal is to provide a store that does the research for the customer. Often a product appears to be safe, but has hidden ingredients which are questionable.” Kihl notes.   Kihl hopes to promote natural lifestyle values, and connection to nature through the use of organic, natural ingredients. Kihl and husband Dave Carlyle, reside in the peaceful North Fork valley where they garden, raise poultry, and home school their two children on an acreage overlooking the Granby River.     When not locating great new products for Hornet Mountain Natural Products, Kihl spends her time painting on canvas, skiing, and mountain bike riding. She recently participated in the RBC Whistler Gran Fondo race, a 120 kilometre ride on the Sea to Sky highway from downtown Vancouver to Whistler Village.   Products and contact info can also be viewed online at www.hornetmountain.com, and can be ordered via email or a phone call. Kihl delivers in Grand Forks, so there’s no shipping fees.  

Hornet Mountain Natural Products will be at the Illuminescence Wellness Faire at The Pavilion, 136 Sagamore Ave. in Grand Forks on Saturday, Sept. 25 where other local businesses and individuals will also be sharing information and displaying products related to health and wellness. Hours for the faire are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Categories: General