How It Began

Our Story (3 minute read) 
Five years ago, my husband Scott and I embarked on a journey to find a better solution to what we call the “sunscreen dilemma”. As a family of five that loves surfing, the beach and being outdoors, we struggled to find adequate sun protection that would stay on our kids as they played in the ocean and pool. As is the case with most kids, they rubbed their eyes often which removed the sunscreen, and they would come home with red welts under their eyes. We did our best with the rest of the body, using rash guards and spraying them down whenever we could get them to sit still for a few moments. At that time, I began to research better options, and became horrified to learn about the ingredients that are in the products I had been slathering all over myself and my kids. Countless studies have shown links between synthetic sunscreen filters and cancer or endocrine disruption. So, we started looking at natural, mineral-based sun protection, but these thick, pasty options were undesirable. We were on a mission to find or create a solution that would be pleasing and effective to use. 


As happenstance would have it, Scott went on a surf trip to Indonesia and returned home with information that would change the trajectory of our efforts and become the catalyst for the inception of a new path for us. While in the Mentawai Islands, Scott suffered a severe case of sunburn which led to his discovery of a locally crafted, bark-based paste that not only assisted in healing his burns, but also shielded his skin from the sun’s strong rays. Upon his return, we sought to replicate this miracle formula, and, after much trial and error, we cracked the code and our first product, Every Day Sun Shield, was born.  


From there, I went down the rabbit hole of looking at every product in our bathroom and researching the ingredients and their implications. This passionate and “slightly obsessive” mindset eventually led to the creation and launch of Meadow & Bark - a premium plant-based, whole-body wellness line that is luxurious to use and effective in its mission of providing safe, complexion-enhancing skin and sun care. 


We officially launched in 2020 and opened our living lab & retail atelier in our hometown of Long Beach, NY where we have gained much love and support from the community.  Scott grows the lion’s share of the plants and flowers that serve as the basis for our handcrafted formulations, utilizing whole plants via a unique solar extraction method. With that, we have created a proprietary blend, the Phyto-Lumen Complex, that is constant throughout many of our serums and moisturizers. He is also the “master distiller” for the herbaceous and floral distillations that serve as the base to our pure and potent aqueous-based products. 


The countless hours of research, failing forward and mentorship from others has empowered us to do what we do. I spend most of my time creating, batching, and working with 3rd party labs to test and validate our proprietary formulas. To date we have more than 20 SKU’s ranging from cleansers, serums & moisturizers to masks and sun care products. We are learning a ton from running a manufacturing, e-comm DTC & wholesale business - and we are loving every minute of it.


The proudest moments are when our customers share stories of how we helped them avoid toxic skincare solutions, often when they were at points of desperation. Also, in knowing that our non-toxic, environmentally sound products make for an enjoyable and pampering ritual in their day. 


Earlier this year, we began to collaborate with other retailers and have landed partnerships with The Ritz Carlton along with regional spas and boutiques. Our points of distribution are expanding to some very cool locations like St. Thomas, St. John, Hawaii, Santa Barbara, Philadelphia, Montauk, Greenport Long Island, Seattle, Minneapolis, Soho and more. 


Our mission is purpose-based through and through - we actively support women’s empowerment and environmental organizations. We are inspired by the work we are doing with the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center, where a % of our sales goes directly to the women in Nicaragua who are protecting the nesting sea turtles and releasing baby hatchlings back into the ocean to help maintain ecosystem balance. Another % goes to various other charities in the same spirit. Our packaging is sustainable UV resistant glass and bamboo, and we offer recycling incentives to our customers. We strive for perfection in this area and realize that there is still much to explore and do to help others while improving our processes.


So that's how we got started. What a beautiful journey it's been so far.


We truly hope you love your experience with Meadow & Bark!


xoxo, Marisa 


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