Online Exclusives

An Inside View

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | April 6, 2011

With bohemian roots, natural ingredients aficionado Nieves Rathbun expands her personal care collection.

For most of her childhood, Nieves Rathbun traveled the mountain ranges of the West Coast led by her bohemian father. After starting out in natural body care at V'Tae Parfum and Body Care custom-blending perfume and aromatherapy blends, she donned various hats at Zia Natural Skincare. Rathbun started making her own products in 2001 and eventually founded By Nieves in 2008.The company creates handmade body care comprised of organic ingredients, and has recently rolled out some innovative new SKUs.

By Nieves’ latest rollout is Face Fix, a clay facial scrub/mask made with organic herbs such as willow bark, comfrey root, licorice root and rose petals. Her products are available online ( and at independent spas and boutiques in California.

Rathbun took time to chat with Happi about her unique personal care collection.

Happi: How did you start the company?
NR: I’ve been in the industry for 17 years. I first became interested in herbal medicine as a teen, started my career in natural body care at V'Tae Parfum and Body Care (in Nevada City, CA) where I managed their retail store and scent bar, I did perfume and aromatherapy blends on the spot with essential oils and fragrance oils, what a great entry into aromatherapy!

I then spent some years at Zia Natural Skincare where I did consumer education and dabbled in marketing and product development. I made the scent for their body butter.

I have continued to educate myself and have studied with Jeanne Rose (founder of New Age Creations, the first body-care company in the U.S. to use aromatherapy and director of the Institute of Aromatic Studies) and Mollie Jensen (another aromatherapist). After a certain point it was hard to buy products. You start to know how formulating works and what the ingredients are and it isn’t very appealing. I wanted products that I could really feel good about using and also of course I wanted results. I started making products for myself and found that my friends wanted similar solutions so after enough great response and results from friends and family I started By Nieves.

By Nieves recently rolled out Face Fix.
Happi: What are the key ingredients in your products and why?
NR: I use simple nutrient rich oils such as jojoba, evening primrose and coconut oil, which are all very stable and have great benefits for the skin. Essential oils like benzoin, cedar and juniper also provide stability to the oil-based formulas as well as providing aromatherapy qualities. Because I don’t try to mix oil and water I don’t have to use any emulsifiers, surfactants or synthetic preservatives. I use organic ingredients wherever possible.

Happi: Do you have plans to expand distribution soon and add more products to the brand?
NR: I have fairly humble plans for expansion I’d like to have more independent spas and boutiques carrying my products, I’d like to have more internet retail orders but I’m not really hunting the big guys, slow expansion feels right to me.
As for new products, I just launched Face Fix (a facial scrub and mask made with organic herbs and clay), which took about two years of research, formulating and testing. I’m still in the afterglow of getting that baby out of the house.

Happi: How has the industry responded to your products? How about consumers?
NR: I’m not really sure that the industry has noticed me, I’m pretty small beans. Friends I have in the industry all love my products, which is very validating. As far as consumers go, I get great feedback. I love getting the glowing emails with lots of exclamation points. It’s also really gratifying when folks have great results and can feel good about their skin, sometimes for the first time in a long time.

Happi: What makes By Nieves products unique from others in the marketplace?
NR: By Nieves products are simple yet effective formulas that produce great results. For an ingredient savvy person, it’s a relief to read the contents and be able to understand what’s in the products. I think another thing that sets the company apart is that I’m very sincere and serious about the natural aspect but I’m not overly sweet about it.

Happi: Do you have a favorite By Nieves product? If so, why?
NR: I love all the products of course, that’s why I make them! But I’d have to say the C Perfect Skin is the most indispensable. It has really improved the health and clarity of my skin. I wish I would have had it in my twenties when I was breaking out worse than my teen years!
More info:

Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Change Is in the Air

    Change Is in the Air

    Doreen Wang, BrandZ ||October 3, 2016
    Technology is changing the personal care market

  • Skin Care of One’s Own

    Skin Care of One’s Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 3, 2016
    Nu Skin’s ageLOC Me—which melds the worlds of smart-phone technology, efficacious ingredients and personalization

  • Proof Positive

    Proof Positive

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 3, 2016
    Testing service providers enable companies to back up their claims and stay in compliance with regulations.

  • Coming Clean on a Host of Issues

    October 17, 2016
    Cleaning Products Conference is set for Nov. 9-11, 2016 in Washington DC.

  • Let the Magic Begin!

    Let the Magic Begin!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 10, 2016
    IFSCC Congress gets underway at Walt Disney World this month.

  • Ogee Opens for Business

    Ogee Opens for Business

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    Banking on the power of jojoba oil, a Vermont-based start-up is the newest player in organic luxury skin care.

  • P&G’s Latest Patents

    P&G’s Latest Patents

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    A look at recent patent and IP related news from the biggest household and personal care player in the US.

  • A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    Julia Comas, Cristina Davi, Elena Canadas, Laia Gonzalez, Raquel Delgado, Lipotec SAU||October 3, 2016
    Lipotec’s Pollushield creates a barrier between skin and pollutants and boosts the antioxidative potential of skin.

  • Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    September 26, 2016
    Organizing Chair Guy Padulo explains why you should attend the IFSCC Congress.

  • Active Agents

    Active Agents

    September 19, 2016
    On the surface, surfactants may seem staid, but the market, and the supplier activity driving it, is bubbling.

  • Expanding Erbaviva

    Expanding Erbaviva

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 13, 2016
    A farm-to-bottle organic brand celebrates its 20th anniversary with a new look, new products and plans to expand in the US.

  • Lauder’s Latest Patents

    Lauder’s Latest Patents

    September 1, 2016
    A composition with NIR light emitting material, a skin care device and more awarded to this beauty business giant.

  • Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    August 23, 2016
    Learn more at Cleaning Products USA, Nov. 9-11, 2016

  • Fro Yo!

    Fro Yo!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 22, 2016
    Project Beauty dishes out Hairgurt, a line of vitamin-rich hair shampoos and conditioning masques.

  • TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 22, 2016
    New curriculum debuting at Bellus Academy helps estheticians treat a population that needs TLC.

  • And Now for Something Completely Different…

    And Now for Something Completely Different…

    August 15, 2016
    Phlur is out to make you rethink fragrance packaging.

  • The Butler Does It

    The Butler Does It

    August 15, 2016
    A new green cleaning product at your service.

  • Individualism IS The American Way

    Individualism IS The American Way

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    Why blue hair and BB creams still thrill US consumers.

  • Red, Black & Blue

    Red, Black & Blue

    August 8, 2016
    No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Americans expect their finances to get bloodied and bruised in 2017.

  • Athletes, Not Objects

    Athletes, Not Objects

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||August 1, 2016
    Dove Unveils My Beauty billboard in Times Square.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    July 28, 2016
    Three-layered hair product from Lauder, palm oil extracts for wrinkle treatment and more in recently awarded patents.

  • Pushin’ the Cushion

    Pushin’ the Cushion

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 26, 2016
    AmorePacific, the creator of the cushion compact, continues to improve its unique product.

  • Senior Skin Care

    Senior Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 19, 2016
    McCord Research and Product Quest Manufacturing roll out new hospital-grade skin care kits for seniors to use at home.

  • An Antioxidant Arsenal

    An Antioxidant Arsenal

    July 11, 2016
    BioRewind is Dermarché Labs' new anti-aging regimen that delivers broad-spectrum antioxidant protection against free radicals

  • Enter Éclair

    Enter Éclair

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 5, 2016
    A new naturals line rolls out in Rite Aid stores nationwide.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    June 30, 2016
    J&J's anti-aging patent, LVMH and cannabis essential oil, transdermal botulinum toxins and more in recent patent news.

  • Start Stuffing The Ballot Box (Again)!

    Start Stuffing The Ballot Box (Again)!

    June 28, 2016
    Vote on the finalists in Happi's reader's choice Anti-Aging Product of the Year contest!

  • What

    What's Next for the UK?

    Sarah Boumphrey, Euromonitor International||June 27, 2016
    Euromonitor weighs in on how Brexit could impact consumer product companies.