During the weekends in 1998, Suzanne LeRoux frequented a yoga studio near her law school5!M. One Saturday, the studio was holding an essential oils class, and so on a whim, she went. What she thought was just going to be a class she’d enjoy and soon forget turned out to be a pivotal lesson for her mental and physical well-being.
Inspired by what she learned about the health benefits of aromatherapy, LeRoux started using essential oils to relieve stress while studying. When that helped, she began blending essential oils into her skin care routine and stopped using conventional beauty products. For years, LeRoux had struggled with acne, but her skin changed dramatically when she switched from a standard facial routine to a more natural regimen.
LeRoux finished law school and became a practicing lawyer, but she soon realized that she had found her passion in skin care. After work and on the weekends, she learned more about and practiced making holistic, plant-based cosmetics. Then, when LeRoux took a break from her law practice to spend time with her children in 2005, she further refined techniques and finalized formulas she had been developing. Two years later, when LeRoux and her family were ready for her to go back to full-time work, she found it was her hobby that was calling her, not her law office.
Through 2008 and 2009, LeRoux continued to experiment in her home kitchen in Georgia, giving her products away to friends and family, and using their feedback to make changes.
She also spoke with industry experts about whether pursuing holistic skin care full-time was a realistic idea, and was told that her vision for an independent, organic, plant-based cosmetics company was not feasible. At the time, small-scale skin care companies were uncommon, and plant-based skin care was a new concept.
“Everyone was saying natural organics was a trend; it was a fad; it would be in and out in two years. They told us not to invest anything,” LeRoux recalls.
LeRoux did not shy away from her bold idea, though. She knew organic, plant-based skin care worked better than petroleum- and paraben-based products. She had seen the results herself, so she decided to pursue her business concept. By September of 2010, she’d found a licensed facility in Georgia and officially launched One Love Organics.
As demand for her products rose, LeRoux’s business took off. Since its beginnings, the company has moved four times to increasingly larger facilities, ultimately purchasing a manufacturing space of its own. It has won several green beauty awards, including two from Glamour Magazine in 2016—one for best cleanser for the company’s Vitamin B Cleansing Oil, and one for best body product for its Vitamin C Body Polish.
“We just thought this was something that I would do: I’d hand-make cosmetics and send them out, and maybe one day I could replace my law income and do what I like to do,” LeRoux says. “The growth of the company and where it is now was a huge surprise to both me and my husband.”
Today, One Love Organics features dozens of original, plant-based, organic products at competitive prices. The company’s team has grown from one to nine people, including her husband, who joined as the chief financial officer in 2014. Since the start, the products have been free of parabens, silicon, and synthetic perfumes and dyes. Most are vegan, all are plant-based, and all are GMO-free. The company and its facilities are certified cruelty-free and ECOCERT organic, a European organic certification.
LeRoux is still involved in every step of the process—from customer service to production to final products and packaging. She even still formulates every new product that One Love Organics releases. And she still enjoys what she does.
“I used to love shopping for beauty products, but as you get older, you hear about parabens and animal testing and unfair trade practices and all kinds of stuff that made shopping not as fun anymore,” LeRoux explains. “I just wanted to take those worries away and make shopping for beauty products fun again.”