When Marnie Scott first made lip balms in 2009, she just wanted to gift them to her massage clients for the holiday season.
“I researched how to make lip balm, and it was a lot harder to find than [it is] now,” said Scott. “Now, I swear a TikTok video would show you how to do it.”
But when her friend, who owned Home Porch Gifts in Sioux Falls at the time, insisted that the shop needed a product like that, Scott looked into the possibility.
“I started with a few of my lip balms and my body balms, and they sold well downtown,” she said.
Eventually she decided to sell online to friends and family, and now Marnie’s Naturals offers over 50 homemade products online and for wholesale.
“It grew nice and slow,” explained Scott. “I never had to borrow money for the business. I just let the products grow, take that money, invest it into another one.”
Scott prioritizes natural ingredients in all of her products. One day while looking over the ingredients of a Bath & Body Works lip balm, she was shocked by how many she didn’t recognize.
“It’s just very simple. Our Body knows what to do with it.” – Marnie Scott
“If our body recognizes what it is, it’s just easier. Most things just have a handful of ingredients.”
Those ingredients can include things like a base oil, essential oils, magnesium, and witch hazel.
The Marnie’s Naturals lineup includes products from body balms to natural remedies to skin care and more.
A Little Local Help
When Scott decided that running all parts of her business was too much, she hired Ajla Sundstrom of Palm and Poppler to take care of the website and make it more functional. She also made the Marnie’s Naturals logo. Since then, Scott says her sales have almost doubled.
“My Loosen. Up. was one of my first products after the lip balms,” said Scott.
This balm is reminiscent of Vicks VapoRub and uses a mix of essential oils to relieve common cold symptoms with an application to the neck, back, chest, under the nose, and even the bottom of feet.
“I’ve used that for years on my kids,” explained Scott, saying that she made some of her products for much longer than Marnie’s Naturals has been around. “It was just the ‘stuff in the jar.’”
Scott’s best seller is Heal. Up., and the list of ailments that customers say it has helped remedy is continuously growing.
Made with lavender, chamomile, and tea tree oils, Heal. Up. can help with things like razor burn, sunburn, diaper rash, bug bites, cuts, scrapes, and zits.
“I’m hearing back from cancer patients who are using it for chemo burn,” said Scott. “I sell that to tattoo shops and natural parenting stores.”
One of her personal holy grail products is her Magnesium. Lotion., which she wasn’t planning on selling but now is one of her most popular items.
“We’re in a stressful society, and when we have stress in our body, we are depleted of magnesium,” Scott said.
Magnesium. Lotion. helps things like insomnia, restless legs, charley horses, muscle pain, and headaches.
Scott recently started taking herbal classes online to set up for her newest products.
Scott’s products can be found in these locations across the state.
+South Dakota Art Museum
+Wild Child Boutique
+Staple & Spice Market
+Thrash’s Living Art
+The Rustic Lily
“I want to try hair care that will involve herbs, so these online classes should be helpful.”
Her kids have even helped out making and labeling their own products.
“It’s really fun letting them have a little part of it because they get to see that you can do anything,” said Scott.
Though her son has decided it’s not for him, her daughter Serena loves being involved.
Serena makes Hey, Cutie., which is a nourishing cuticle and nail oil.
“She put it together, named it, makes it, and puts the money away for college,” said Scott. “She shares it on her social media and has really enjoyed the process of designing, making, and marketing her product.”
Each word of most product names is separated with a period, something that Scott feels reflects hers.
Scott says that much of the Marnie’s Naturals mission shines through just in that naming of her products.
She explains, “It’s the idea of the moment of silence and letting your body take care of itself.”