Sarah Vanderheyden (BES ’13) built a clean cosmetics business on a local farm and distillery that has become a prime destination on southern Ontario’s culinary scene.
Vanderheyden created the cosmetics line, which is free of synthetic dyes, petroleum-based oils and artificial fragrances, from an apiary at Willibald, a sustainable farm, distillery and farm-to-table restaurant in Ayr, Ont. Vanderheyden’s husband, Jordan Vanderheyden (BES ’13), operates Willibald with his brother, Nolan (BASc ’16).
Vanderheyden founded Boosh to fulfill her need for clean makeup that wouldn’t aggravate her sensitive skin. She operates out of a renovated milking parlour in a barn on the Vanderheyden farm, where she hand-makes lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm, including a unisex balm using Willibald’s gin botanicals.
Conscientiously packaging her products enables this graduate of the resources and sustainability program in Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment, to reduce her impact on the planet. Her cosmetics come in aluminum tubes that customers can either refill or recycle. Her packages ship by letter mail to save space, reduce waste and decrease emissions from delivery trucks.
Lately, Vanderheyden has been spending more of her time at Willibald, preparing hand sanitizer, filling orders, answering the phone and making deliveries in the Waterloo region. She includes a free travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer with every online order of her cosmetics, and she takes part in virtual markets to help customers support small businesses from home.
Vanderheyden’s business partner and mentor is her mother-in-law, Linda Vanderheyden. “From the moment I met Linda, it was clear that we both shared a passion for health,” Vanderheyden says. “I have the utmost gratitude for her willingness to teach me what she has learned in her pursuit of wellness, as well as being a successful woman in business.”
Banner photo by Brie Pointer. Story photo by Aaron Wynia.