Sarah Wright Olsen, On Launching Her New Family-Friendly Organic Skincare Line, Going Vegetarian, Plus Mom-Guilt!

You recently launched a skincare line…tell us everything!

Yes, Baeo! A direct-to-consumer organic skincare line for the entire family with only four products: Bare Face, Bare Butter, Bare Suds, and Bare Kiss. Within a few days of our official launch, we were sold out! We decided to launch with baby and family first, but are in development on a line dedicated to women and one for men plus wellness! We’re taking this time to learn the business and our customer before we launch the next category. Plus, we test all of our products so as for allergies and everything’s verified USDA organic—a certification that takes a considerable amount of time.

When I was pregnant with Wyatt, who is five now, I did a full overhaul and detox on my home. At the time I found it nearly impossible to find an organic skincare line that I connected with as well as had an offering for the entire family.

Simultaneously I had a friend that was making skincare and cleaning products from her home, and they were the cleanest products! Therefore, we started to brainstorm what it would look like to formulate based on her recipes and create an organic, plant-based, eco-friendly, line offering products for the whole family that also gives back to charity (we’re a partner of Baby-2-Baby). And so we began! Over the next few years, we created all of the formulations ourselves as a female-run business (two moms, one professional and four kids!). Plus, we do it all ourselves from packing to shipping all with handwritten notes out of our LA office!

What’s the story behind the name Baeo?

After going through several different names that were all taken, I was in the shower one day, and it came to me like a bolt of lightning! It should be BARE(!), bare everything because it’s super clean and pure. In the end, we landed on Bare Essential Organics and BAEO for short.

What does it mean to get an organic certification?

Our boutique manufacturer assists in the USDA certification process and to obtain the certification all of our ingredients must be organic. They look at our formulations +  ingredients and decide based on that information.

How do you manage your working commitments and being a mom?

I believe the key to raising kids anywhere is a strong support system—especially when you live in a big city like LA with no family (my mom’s in Arizona, and Erik’s parents are in Iowa). We’re incredibly fortunate to have a handful of close friends that had babies around the same time as us, plus my Baeo business partner’s kids go to the same preschool; therefore, some days I pick up her kids, or she picks up mine. We lean in a lot to help each other.

It’s crucial to be able to count on people in that way and have friends that you can lean on when you don’t have family around otherwise it can be isolating. I also have a fantastic nanny that helps with my kids—she’s like having a sister wife, I love her so much!

Plus, as a bonus, running my own company is helpful too! Because, sometimes your two-year-old needs to come to the office on launch day with hundreds of orders coming in and amongst all of the chaos, opens a bunch of the lip balms all over the sofa! Guess that’s the definition of being a working mom—you make it work!

You have to build your tribe. Many people don’t live near their families; therefore it’s important to become friends with moms and help each other out!

Do you think it’s important for kids to see their mom working?

Yes and no. Being a mother in and of itself is a huge job. If you’re a mom that stays home with your kids and is able to be involved in their school events and activities, that’s so important and wonderful! But, it’s equally great for a mom to have a job that she’s passionate about.

Personally, I’m extremely grateful to have a job that allows me to both work and pick-up my kids up from school!

Growing up, my mom worked really hard for 25 years to build a dental practice, while my dad was a pastor—a job that allowed him to be at home with us most of the time. It was amazing to have both influences in my life—the support of my dad at every school function plus a strong working-mom role model! Sadly, I lost my dad when I was pregnant with Esme, which was so hard to be both pregnant and lose my father at the same time. He was sick for a while with early onset dimension at 54 years old. It was unexpected that he died so young, but he had been in pain for many years from different things.

Do you prioritize self-care?

For the last couple of months, while preparing to launch Baeo, I neglected myself. However, typically I do yoga, plus I workout at home with this incredible app called Every Mother. It’s organized by issue (I had separation in my tummy after both pregnancies) and checks in with you on the daily. I’m also a big believer in the power of essential oils and use them for everything, from my neck to my feet. If any of us start to feel the slightest bit sick, I cover us all in essential oils.

I also enjoy a bath alone. And, I started reading again! A few girlfriends put together a book club and it’s such a pleasure to read something unrelated to work—it taps into a different part of your brain and feels like a vacation!

What was the decision to become a vegetarian family?

My husband and I had been thinking about it for a while and the more research we uncovered about the planetary impact of eating animals the more we wanted to go meatless! We told our kids that we’re going on a “new adventure.” Fishetarian, my son, calls it. It’s been hard for him to give up meat and has asked to have it once or twice when we’ve been out somewhere. Typically though, after a bite or two, he usually feels like he’s had enough, and we leave it at that.

I grew up on a farm eating meat and cheese. However, that was the idealistic way to eat meat, straight from a farm. It’s never felt right to go to the grocery store and buy meat wrapped in plastic. Even though it went against everything Erik and I experienced growing up, when we finally decided to pull the plug, it felt so right. I thought I was going to miss bacon, but in the end, I don’t!

These days there are so many options and amazing recipes out there for vegetarians.  The Minimalist Baker, is a great site of which I’ve made a number of her dishes. Plus, my kids love this sweet potato hash I make with kale, garlic, onions, and a fried egg on top and I also make a lentil loaf which is like a meatloaf, but not.

What can we look forward to with Your Zen Mama?

Teresa is pregnant, which has been very exciting! Therefore we’re doing a ton of Vlogs that focus on pregnancy while Teresa is in the early stages of hers. For 2019 we’re ramping up our activations to meet our audience and the people that are contributing to the YourZenMama community. We have two in the works as of now! A meet & greet wherein we invite some of our audience, and another event featuring women in our community talking about wellness, balance, and mom life. We have a few exciting things coming up in addition to all of this, but the ink is not sign yet, so we can’t speak about it!

Besides Baeo and Your Zen Mama, any new projects coming out?

In January I begin filming a new Netflix show called: Spinning Out!  

And, I have a film coming out in the new year called: The Place With No Words, with my partner in Your Zen Mama, Teresa, and her husband. It’s a fantasy independent movie with a sweet story directed by Marc Webber, Teresa’s husband. It’s really stunning. Erik, Teresa and I are all in it, so it was great fun to make as well!

Any Advice…

Don’t be so hard on yourself! Mom-guilt is a thing and I struggle with this too. It’s OK to work and it’s OK NOT to work, but in the end, all our kids really need is love.