Mia Simone Wright had been pushed to her limit. While attending graduate school, she also was supporting her family and dealingwith major health issues. 'I was stressed out and tired,' Wright recalls. 'I didn't like the options the doctors were giving me.' So she took matters into her own hands, learning everything she could about natural health and experimenting with herbs and tinctures to heal herself. What started as a quest to improve her own health has evolved into Mia Simone's Boutique, an online specialty store that sells 100 percent natural skin and haircare as well as body and hair jewelry. Her hair products are designed especially for dry coils, curls, kinks, naturally textured and chemically treated hair. 'If a person has dry or sensitive skin or hair, that's my market,' Wright says. Her haircare line includes products such as Honey Olive Soy Protein Vitamin Ultra Hydrating Conditioning Treatment, Aloe Vera Herbal Leave-in Treatment and Locs Coils Waves & Curls Moisture Rich Styling Soufflé. The 32-year-old Hartford, Conn.-based entrepreneur got her start in the business world during her senior year at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla. She began designing and selling jewelry, using semiprecious gemstones and exotic beads from around the world. Her jewelry collection is called 'Ethnic Elegance.' Wright wasn't always interested in natural products. 'For me, using all natural and organic products wasn't something I did growing up,' she says. Her interest was piqued when she moved to Colorado eight years ago for a sales and marketing position with IBM. She was stressed out and suffered from fibroid tumors and dry skin. So she decided to take advantage of Colorado's huge, active natural health community. 'It was interesting to me,' she recalls. 'I started learning and reading a lot about herbs. I taught myself so much, I thought why not help others.' In 2000, she decided to add natural skin and haircare to her already successful jewelry business.Her first products were 100 percent natural gourmet handmade soaps. The extra-superfatted soaps, which contain natural and organic fruits, vegetables and botanicals, can be used on hair or skin. Next came her Aloe Vera Herbal Leave-In Treatment, which contains ingredients she used to strengthen her own weak hair, which had suffered through years of perms.Two years ago, she decided to let her hair go natural. She has since expanded her line to include an array of moisturizers and conditioners, which can be used on the hair or skin. With each product, she says she thinks about herself and the problems she has experienced. 'A lot of these products I've developed because of my own needs,' she says. 'I knew there were people out there with similar problems.' Wright believes in taking a holistic view when it comes to health and beauty. No matter how good the cream or conditioner, it won't work unless she also focuses on her diet, exercise and stress level, she says. 'I believe we should make sure we're good stewards over our bodies,' Wright says. 'You get one body and that's it.'
Some of Mia' Simone's Favorite Natural Ingredients
Aloe Vera: Components in aloe vera help the skin rejuvenate itself at a cellular level. A natural emollient. Healing properties, astringent, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, E. It also contains amino acids, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, sodium, choline, magnesium, copper, chromium and zinc. It carries the nutrients down through all layers of the skin.
Glycerin: A natural humectant that attracts moisture and retain. It in the cortex of the hair and skin.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Contains Vitamin E. Has soothing, healing, moisturizing and conditioning properties.
Honey: A natural humectant that softens. Honey is naturally antibacterial and hydrating.
Soybean Oil: Moisturizing, softening, conditioning and protective properties. High in Vitamin E and linoleic acid.
Flaxseeds: Very high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Promotes healthy hair.
Tea Trea Essential Oil: Acts against bacteria and fungi.
Ginger Essential Oil: Stimulates circulation, helps improve circulatory problems, is a strong antioxidant with effective antimicrobial properties.
Lavender Essential Oil: Balancing, helps to relax scalp. Helps improve skin problems.
Orange Essential Oil: Contains flavonoids and Vitamins A,B, C, and E. Helps relieve symptoms of dermatitis. Can reduce nervous tension; uplifting, soothing.
Sage: Helps control dandruff and reduce hair loss. Stimulates hair growth and promotes shine in dark in dark hair.
Peppermint Leaves: Helps bring oxygen into blood stream, works to clean and strengthen. Contains Vitamin A and C, magnesium, potassium, inositol, niacin, copper, iodine, silicon, iron and sulfur.
Capsicum: Improves circulation, enhances effectiveness of other herbs, high in Vitamin A, C, iron and calcium. Rich in potassium and contains and Vitamin C, magnesium and phosphorus.
Oatstraw: Powerful stimulate that's rich in body-building nutrients such silicon and calcium. Contains Vitamins A, B1, B2 and E. Improves circulatory function.
Irish Moss: Contains amino acids and protein. Is an emollient and nutritive (something that nourishes or promotes growth and repairs the natural wastage of organic life).
Rosemary: Improves circulation and eczema, stimulating hair growth, helps prevent premature balding.
Nettle Leaf: Invigorates scalp and encourages hair growth.
Lavender Flowers: Helps to relax scalp, helps improve skin problems.
Marshmallow: Soothes and heals skin. Very high in Vitamin A, rich in B-complex, calcium, zinc, iron, sodium, iodine and pantothenic acid. Anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant.
Horsetail: Strengthens hair. Rich in silicon and selenium. Contains silicic acid, which helps circulation, Vitamin E and other nutrients.
Rose Hips: High in Vitamin C, rich in Vitamin A, B-complex, C, E and contain Vitamins D and P, organic iron, silica, potassium, sulphur, niacin and rutin. Helps improve circulation and psoriasis.