Passion. Perseverance. Possibilities: Khaki Paquette of Face Food

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Passion. Perseverance. Possibilities. is a new series from Vistaprint following the pursuits of ambitious small business owners.

Here, meet Khaki Paquette, the owner of Face Food. She started a natural skincare business in her kitchen, and quickly expanded to a brick-and-mortar storefront (complete with an in-house holistic day spa).

“There are definitely times I felt like I bit off a little more than I can chew. And I think, how did I get here? But there’s really no doubt in my mind that I am where I’m supposed to be right now with Face Food.”

She came up with the name ‘Face Food’ because the ingredients in her products are pure enough to eat, and the fact that skincare (like food) can be nourishing.

When people walk into Face Food, Khaki wants them to have “a feeling of ease. A feeling of being taken care of…and I think that’s something that sets us apart as well. We really want there to be a no-pressure sort of feeling for shoppers. We want them to feel like the staff here is really knowledgeable and we’re here to walk you through and help you make some really nice choices for yourself.”

Handmade / homemade

Face Food was born shortly after Khaki had her first child.

“I was actually taking a little bit of time off from the aesthetics world. I had my first-born, who was about six months old, so it was really like an outlet for me as a stay-at-home mom. It was hard…but I feel like it really kept me sane having that balance.”

She started playing around with the natural ingredients she’d grown to love while working on the West Coast – right in her home kitchen. “I started with simple balms and salves, and just kinda went from there.”

Before moving back to her native New England, Khaki spent time in Seattle, Washington, where she was first introduced to more handcrafted, all-natural products. She used this knowledge to create her own recipes, and started selling on Etsy as soon as she had an inventory.

She raised awareness for her business via a Kickstarter campaign, as well as at her local farmers market, where she could talk about her product and hand out Face Food postcards.

A fresh start

Khaki’s Etsy shop took off, and she quickly outgrew her kitchen workshop. She rented a studio that gave her more production space, as well as a dedicated area to see clients and start offering spa treatments.

But she didn’t stop there…Khaki was chasing a brick-and-mortar retail dream.

“Even when I opened the studio space, I knew that wasn’t the end game. I really wanted a place for people to come and shop…for me, part of skincare and makeup is so tactile. The feel of things, the smell of things is so important to me. I can’t imagine trying to buy a night cream and not be able to feel it first or smell it first, or talk to someone who knows everything about it and can tell you whether it’s the right thing for your skin.”

After finding the perfect combination retail/spa space, Khaki set up shop in her hometown. She still has her original studio, now used as a production space for everything that happens behind the scenes (like shipping orders).

Recipe for success

Natural ingredients are at the core of Face Food’s mission. But as the business has grown, Khaki’s needed to outsource some of the work. She worked with a marketing expert to craft the Face Food brand guide and mission statement, which she now shares with her employees.

“I’ve just been really lucky to find people that are really part of a Face Food tribe. We all definitely share the same kind of passion for natural skin care.”

Community is extremely important to Khaki, and she wants Face Food to be more than just a storefront. So, she collaborates with other local business owners to host pop-ups and workshops in her retail space.

Facing the future

As Face Food continues to grow, it continues to evolve.

“I would say Face Food is different because there are so many facets. We’re not just a spa, we’re not just a skincare line, not just a brick and mortar…we’re all of those things.”

Khaki continues to evolve as well, both as a business owner, creative, and mother. She’s built a successful business while raising two young children, and proudly identifies as a ‘mompreneur.’ She credits much of her success to having a supportive partner, family, and community.

“You’ve got to surround yourself with people that believe in you and that will support you and you cannot be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to your community and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much your friends will believe in you and ways to see you succeed.”

Each Small Business Story is unique...just like you and your business.

Learn more about Khaki from Face Food on Small Business Stories, Vistaprint’s podcast. Listen now