When Theresa Gebbinck’s son was young, a variety of allergies made many commonplace products – household cleaners, soaps and skin care items – unusable.
In response, Gebbinck began creating her own products, soon finding them more enjoyable to use and seeing positive results for her son. Others followed – a Vancouver clinic heard that a cream that Gebbinck had developed was helping one of their patients who suffered from a chronic condition, and requested business cards to provide others with similar symptoms.
Compared to those products packed with fillers and unpronounceable ingredients, Gebbinck feels strongly her natural products are simply better for our wellness, and the environment as well.
Happy accidents make for happy customers
Today, after 25 years of producing her own natural skin and cleaning products for her family, friends and others, Gebbinck has thrown open the doors on her own shop: Abbotsford’s Peace & Harmony Naturalz.
“I was considering distributing online only, and was looking for a small space just to manufacture my products. Every time I thought I found a place, something happened to keep it from going through, and then as I was driving around the block, I saw this ‘for rent’ sign. I made the call, met with the owner and here I am,” she says with a smile.
Haven’t visited yet? Here’s 5 reasons why you should!
1. Local supporting local: Alongside Gebbinck’s own unique lines – everything from body creams and bath products to cleaning supplies and anti-aging creams, shoppers can browse a variety of home, gift and wellness items from other local artisans and producers as well. “I really want to support local, so I’ve done the research and we now have five or six different artisan products in my shop from around the Fraser Valley,” Gebbinck says, pointing to the hand-crafted jewellery, local honey, decor signs crafted from reclaimed wood, and bath bombs, specialty serums and scrubs.
2. Go-to Gifts: In addition to individual items, custom gift-baskets are also available – fill with products for the home, bath or personal care. “Men love it too,” Gebbinck says. “They can buy gifts, but there’s products for them, too. And if they’re not sure what they’re looking for, we’re happy to help.”
3. Improved air quality: Beyond products for the skin, essential oils and eco-soy and beeswax candles are also favourites, free of toxic chemicals that cause other candles to burn black. (And for air quality in the bathroom, ask about her renowned “Derri~AIR Freshener – it really works!)
4. Right from the source: No matter what the product, Gebbinck is keen to hear how her products work for people, or if people have any questions. “I use all my own products,” she says, “but the foaming face wash is one of my favourites.” Looking ahead, she hopes to add bulk refillable packaging for her most popular products.
5. It feels great: “‘It feels so good in here,’ or ‘It smells so good in here,’ are the two most common things I hear when people come into my shop,” Gebbinck says. “I love coming into work because it’s my happy place and I love how people feel good when they come in as well. I am grateful to be in Historic Downtown Abbotsford along with all the other unique businesses here. I am located between Tha Rhealm Dance Studio and M8 Cuts Barbershop…two amazing businesses.
“I am blessed!”