Bay Area business solving customers' dry skin issues with body butters

Vanessa Byrd has spent the last decade with one goal: helping customers feel comfortable in their own skin.

She owns Body Butters by Design, and lives by the motto "if you smell good and feel good, you can do good".

"When people walk by you and say you smell good, and then they touch and say, ‘Dang your skin feels amazing,’ I love to be a part of that," she shared. 

As she sells at local markets, one of the first conversations she has with first-time customers is an explanation of body butters.

She explains that body butter is like lotion but is made with only natural ingredients.

Most of Byrd’s products have four or less ingredients.

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"Lotion naturally dries you out, keeps you coming back," Byrd explained. "Body butter, as soon as you put it on, you’re going to feel it absorb straight into your skin. Once it absorbs into your skin, it conditions from the inside out."

Byrd has earned many repeat customers by helping solve their dry skin issues. Creating those solutions is what keeps her motivated after more than 10 years.

Pictured: Vanessa Byrd

"That is the reward that I seek. It is so refreshing to hear that," she said. "There are times when I’m like I’m tired, I don’t want to do this, and right then someone will call me and say literally, ‘You have saved my skin," and I’m like wow, let me just keep going."

While customers are the final ones to apply her body butters, her friends and family are usually the first to try them. Byrd gleefully uses them as guinea pigs for testing new products.

"When I’m trying something, and they’re over here, I’m always like, ‘Come here, let me put this on you’. I would just slather them. ‘How long did it take to absorb? Come here, this is new, what do you think?’" Byrd said with a smile.

Byrd sets up shop every other week at the Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg.

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