When Gwyneth Paltrow started following local skin-care line Maya Chia’s Instagram account last year, founder Susanne Norwitz was over the moon. “I reached out to her lifestyle brand, Goop, to provide samples of our product,” says Harvard-grad Norwitz.
Having worked for two decades in corporate communications for brands like Kashi and Kellogg’s, she’d launched the Charleston-based beauty business in December 2014 after learning about the health benefits of chia seeds (they offer antioxidants aplenty and a hearty dose of omega-3 fatty acids). She supplied samples of her Supercritical Omega-3 Chia Oil, and Goop named it among their nine favorite face oils on the market. That was just one of many accolades the line has garnered over the past year, including shout-outs from Glamour and Martha Stewart Living.
Norwitz is now focused on what’s ahead for the business, which sells face and body oils, cleanser, and balm online and through brick-and-mortar shops nationally and locally (including Ooh! Beautiful, Pink Dot Beauty Bar, Urban Nirvana, Whole Foods, and Woodhouse Spa). She recently unveiled her newest product: an anti-aging face oil that contains chia oil and astaxanthin—a powerful free radical-fighting ingredient—and additional offerings are in the works.
A look at some of the skin-care company’s stats:
- 100 percent of products are made in Charleston and are free from harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, and colorants.
- It takes close to 2.5 pounds of chia seeds to produce less than one cup of Maya Chia’s oil.
- The enterprise is developing three new offerings, but the specifics are still a secret. Of Maya Chia’s net proceeds, 10 percent benefit Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala, which aims to improve education, health, and economic conditions in the region.
- One of their biggest social media moments yet? ”We were tagged on Instagram by ridiculously gorgeous Sports Illustrated model Damaris Lewis,” says founder Susanne Norwitz. ”It was so fun to see that she was using our line!”