Meet Our Makers: Steel Birch
Steel Birch enhances our shop offerings with their amazing products that range from body scrubs to lip balms, and they now have a chic new all-white look to their branding! We love having them in the store, so we wanted you to learn a little more about the company. Read on to hear the incredible inspiring story of Steel Birch!
Founder’s Name: Courtney Weisel
Courtney, tell us about your story and how your company came to be:
While living in Manhattan in 2010 I worked for a celebrity dermatologist where I gained deep insight into the world of skincare from one of the best in the field. I was engaged in the skin concerns of the rich and famous, the latest aesthetic breakthroughs and complex cosmetic procedures. I was also introduced to costly, chemical ridden product lines manufactured by large corporations. This gave me an appreciation for clean beauty products and sparked my desire to begin creating my own formulations. Despite enjoying my position and my love for the fast NYC lifestyle, I neglected other aspects of my personal health with frequent late nights and excessive drinking.
Fast forwarding a bit through some twists and turns, life lead me (and my now husband) to Charleston. I struggled to find my place in the beauty field here at the time, and I ended up settling for a position as a bartender downtown. Over time my alcohol abuse developed into alcohol addiction. In 2016, I came to a place where I had to choose between getting sober or facing an imminent early death at 28 years old. Despite how obvious that decision may seem, in my sickness it was the most difficult decision of my life. Thankfully I chose the former. After 3 months of treatment, I began to rebuild my life.
I vowed to cherish my health and wellness alongside my sobriety, and reestablish what connected me to the world... what made me happy and alive. I always loved creating. Anything from art, poetry, decor to my own products - but getting sober gave me a stronger urge to create. With that passion, a goal to rebuild a better life for myself, to help others, and with my awareness of toxic “luxury” products out on the market... Steel Birch was born.
By definition, steel is strength, bracing for what is ahead; and the birch tree is a symbol of new beginnings. The name represents my journey, and any one else’s journey to better themselves despite life's difficulties. My products are created with the name’s heart beat, out of my absolute gratitude for life, beauty, nature, and what is still ahead. I formulate with powerfully effective and ethically sourced ingredients from the earth. I know life can be busy, messy, and sometimes really ugly... but your skincare should be simple, safe, effective, an absolute treat - nothing less. I passionately create each product to empower women, help them to feel that they are cherished and beautiful, and to provide safe and effective results they can be confident about.
Who is another local maker you admire?
I am a huge fan of Katie and Shane over at The Restored Board Design Co. Shane’s woodworking pieces are flawlessly beautiful, and Katie’s photography and eye for design is spot on. They are both uniquely talented, and together they are a power couple to admire.
What’s your favorite Charleston Restaurant?
I’m a Thai Food junkie. A meal from Taste of Thai in West Ashley never disappoints. (If you have never tried Thai Iced Tea, you should!)
What is your favorite song to jam out to while you create products or look for inspiration?
Most days I tune the dial to podcasts... I love the thrill of a good story while I paint or formulate. Criminal is my go-to favorite! It’s about true crime and the interesting people involved... I always find myself saying “wait, that really happened?!”
What is your favorite product you offer right now and what was the inspiration behind it/why will people love it?
I just released Moon Silk Calming Night Mist, and it is definitely my new favorite. It’s a lightweight calming lotion mist for bedtime, infused with lavender, vetiver and silk protein. I don’t know about you, but I take my wind down time seriously. I have an internal check list to complete until “I am comfy now”...like putting on PJ's, a mug of herbal tea in hand and essential oils diffusing... but I was missing a quick and easy solution to moisturize my skin once in bed. I formulated with essential oils that I’ve found to be the most effective and relaxing. I made Moon Silk as an easy to apply moisturizer that quickly absorbs and deeply hydrates, and because I love going to sleep with touchable, silky skin.
*Steel Birch Donates 5% of their profit to The Steel Birch Recovery Fund, helping individuals in financial need get local treatment for Alcoholism/Addiction
images c/o Aneris Photography