Wilton-based Green Girl by wilton field club, a company which produces a line of all-natural skincare and other related products, was created by two women who seem to have green thumbs when it comes to making a new business grow.
Co-founded by Wilton’s Alison Smith and Weston’s Courtney Kilcoyne, Green Girl by wilton field club (in lowercase, as they have named it) is now marking its second anniversary in business.
GOOD Morning Wilton recently spoke with Smith about the latest developments at the company, which now has five employees, including Wilton’s Tracy Corry, the director of sales and marketing.
Green Girl’s Beginning
After being frustrated with chemical-laden insect repellents that easily wore off sweaty kids, Smith experimented with making her own. When she shared her homemade product with Kilcoyne (among other friends and family), the two realized there was a business opportunity for an effective, chemical-free repellent.
Smith, whose background is in finance and retirement planning, sought her own training on skincare product formulation and also consulted a chemist. “[The chemist] helped take my home[made] formula to something nationally distributable,” said Smith, referring to “a lot of testing” required for product safety, claims and compliance before distributing the product on a wide scale.
Building on the success of the bug repellent (which, notably, is a balm and not a spray), the business now offers a full line of all-natural skincare products, including a facial hydration serum, activated charcoal soap, and eyelash and brow enhancing serum, among others. Bundled sets with “spa”, “essentials” or “self-care” themes are also available.
Affordable and Socially Conscious
For Smith, a critical part of the Green Girl concept was affordability. Smith contrasted Green Girl with other products in the “clean beauty” category that she says are simply too expensive for most people to buy for themselves and their families.
Green Girl products were developed to be effective while still affordable. As their website explains, “Our affordable outdoor and everyday skincare products are always formulated with simple, effective ingredients that you can pronounce—listed right on the label and locally produced in Wilton, CT. No added fragrances or chemicals—no surprises.”
Smith believes education is important. “I think [consumers] will always make a natural choice if the price is right and they understand what’s inside [the product].”
As Smith sees it, literacy is the first step toward greater knowledge. To that end, for every purchase made, the company donates a book to organizations that seek to improve language skills and literacy in children, primarily the Read To Grow program (under the auspices of the United Way), but also select local organizations as requested by the company’s customers or retail partners.
Environmental consciousness is another foundation of their mission. Smith says secondary packaging has been largely eliminated, in an effort to reduce waste, and plastic is avoided whenever possible. A lip product is packaged in a metal tin, for example, instead of a plastic tube. Going forward, Smith expects innovative new materials will be used for some of their other packaging.
The company also takes pride in “championing local businesses.” Smith points out the company actively promotes the local businesses that sell Green Girl products. “We often have more followers [on Facebook and Instagram] than they do,” said Smith, giving examples of social media posts that help drive customers to those local businesses, such as the one pictured below promoting Local Soul for “unique and fabulous” holiday gifts.
In addition to sales on its website and other online retailers (like Amazon), Green Girl products can be found in over 40 independent local and regional stores. Wilton stores include The Well, Village Market and Local Soul; and not too far away are The Angel Cooperative, Black Rock Pharmacy and more in New Canaan.
Smith spoke excitedly about gains the company has made in distribution. Beyond the Northeast, the brand is now being carried in over 40 Harvest Market farm-to-table concept grocery stores across the country.
Where Is Wilton Field Club?
You won’t find the Wilton Field Club on the same circuit as the Weston Field Club, the Lake Club or the Riding Club; it’s not an actual place. The name was a spontaneous creation inspired by an area club where the founders often used their earlier bug repellent formulas.
The company’s branding has evolved with the name “Green Girl” for the facial and body skincare line; the lip and bug products are more informally categorized in what Smith calls the wilton field club “camp line”.
Smith revealed there are about 30 new products in the pipeline this year, and says the company might be expanding their product line “through acquisition”.
Smith offered one example of the new products in Green Girl’s future: “We are rolling out essential oils blends that are called Scents of Self and also diffusers. The Scents will… translate to our soaps and sprays.”
With such ambitious plans, Smith says “[we are] hopefully expanding staff as well.”
The company is considering opening a retail location in Wilton that would also serve as headquarters.