ABOUT CASSY BURNVOTH
Inspired by her personal journey with clean eating, mechanical engineer and Whole30 alumnus, Cassy Burnvoth created FATCO when she realized that what she desired in her skincare just wasn't available. The connection between food and well-being led her on a quest to find skincare products developed for the same benefits. To her, feeding your skin was just as important as feeding your appetite — all about healthy, nutritious choices. Starting from hand-crafting her own products in her kitchen to launching her brand in select Target stores, Cassy sat down to share with us all about FATCO and how she built her business. She's discussing her most memorable moments, biggest entrepreneurial lessons, what it means to be "Nose to Tail," and just how she transitioned her "creative outlet" into a full-time passion project. With a little one on the way in July 2019 and her husband, Tim, in charge of operations, this female-founded business is a growing family affair both in the home and office. Fall in love with FATCO, just like we have, and learn why "Fat is Your Friend."
"The foods that we consume play an integral role in our overall health, which includes our skin health. This is why we are so excited to be partnering with Model Meals; because eating quality, nutrient dense food is the first step to having truly gorgeous skin!"
Hi Cassy! We are so excited to be sharing FATCO with our Model Meals, Whole30, and Paleo community. From humble beginnings in your kitchen (we can relate) to now, tell us how FATCO came to be.
I first read the book "It Starts With Food" back in 2012, and did my first Whole30 that same year. I can honestly say that switching to a paleo diet completely changed my life! I felt better and had a ton more energy, and my skin health drastically improved! As I started paying more attention to the foods that I was putting into my body, I also started paying a lot more attention to the products that I was using ON my body. I started taking a deeper dive into the products I was using on a daily basis (shampoo, body wash, makeup, etc) and realized that many of these products were full of toxic chemicals and dangerous ingredients. So, I started making many of my own personal care products. Soon after, I started learning about the benefits of using grass-fed tallow topically, and realized that this was an ingredient that no other companies were using! So I started integrating tallow into the products that I was making, which I was sharing with friends and family, and people loved them! And just like that, FATCO was BORN!
When we originally launched in 2014, we launched as Fatface Skincare, but rebranded in 2015 to FATCO after a minor trademark dispute with another overseas company also named Fatface.
What was your motivation when you got started?
In the beginning, I really just enjoyed making personal care products as a hobby. It was my creative outlet, since my day job as an engineer provided very little of that.
But as I began to learn more & more about the personal care industry, I realized that the options for truly-clean & safe products were extremely limited! So when I decided to launch the brand in 2014 and begin selling my products online, I did so because I wanted to make these products available to EVERYONE...because there was (and still is) a genuine need for truly natural, truly safe personal care products!
What do you mean when you say “nose to tail?”
“Nose to Tail” is the philosophy that if you’re going to kill an animal, then you should use every single part of it and not allow any of it to go to waste. This means using the parts of the animal that would normally get tossed in the trash during the butchering process (like the bones, the hide, the internal organs and the fat) for other uses.
You’re certified Paleo. Why Paleo?
Even though many people associate the word “paleo” with a diet, many people consider it more of a lifestyle switch. Your skin is your largest organ, and it absorbs everything that you put onto it. This means that in a way, you are topically “feeding” your skin every time you use a skincare product. And just as with food, the products you use are either healing your skin, or they are damaging it.
The Paleo Foundation only certifies brands & products that are food-grade, are nourishing to the skin and the internal systems, and are devoid of potentially harmful chemicals & ingredients. This mentality has resonated with me personally for a very long time, which is why we are so proud to be Paleo Certified!
You offer a wide variety of products. Tell us about those.
Our product line contains facial skincare products, like Cleansing Oil, Face Cream, Face Oil and Toner. We also sell body care products, like our Stank Stop Natural Deodorant, Body Butta, and a few different flavors of our Fat Stick, which is our all purpose moisturizing stick. Our Baby Butta is similar to our Body Butta, but is free of essential oils and was specifically formulated with your little ones in mind!
Tallow is amazingly healing & nutrient dense, making it great for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. We have lots of moms who use our products on their little ones with eczema and have seen amazing results!
Do you have a favorite FATCO product?
It’s so hard to choose a favorite! But my top 3 are definitely our Fat Stick (because I always carry one with me wherever I go), our Stank Stop Natural Deodorant (because let’s be honest, no one wants to be “the smelly girl”) and our Cleansing Oil for Normal Skin (because I am so passionate about the power of the oil-cleansing method)!
What advice do you have for someone interested in switching their beauty products. Where do they start?
I recommend starting with our Cleansing Oil. Switching to the oil cleansing method about 7 years ago completely changed my life! I used to suffer from extremely oily & acne prone skin. I had read a few blogs on the oil-cleansing method, and even though it felt VERY counterintuitive (I thought “whaaaaat? My skin is already so greasy! why in the heck would I want to wash it with more oil???”) I decided to give it a shot and I am so glad that I did!
Essentially, oil-cleansing allows your skin to re-balance it’s own natural oil production, while moisturizing & nourishing your skin with natural, healthy oils. Many people use harsh soap-based cleansers that over-cleanse the skin, which can result in the overproduction of sebum (oils in your skin) and can often cause many common skin issues. I am such a huge proponent of the the Oil Cleansing Method! We have 3 formulations (one for Oily Skin, Dry Skin, and one for Normal or Combination Skin) so that everyone can find one that’s perfect for them! I also like to point out that our skin changes with the seasons, so your skin might desire the “dry skin” formula in the cold winter months, but it may need the “normal” version in the summertime.
But, in addition to using high-quality products like FATCO, I also really like to stress the importance of a clean and healthy diet and lifestyle. The foods that we consume play an integral role in our overall health, which includes our skin health. This is why we are so excited to be partnering with Model Meals; because eating quality, nutrient dense food is the first step to having truly gorgeous skin!
As an entrepreneur, share with us some of your biggest lessons throughout this journey with FATCO.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you and believe in what you are doing. If the people in your life don't believe in what you're doing as much as you do, it will eventually become toxic and stifling to your success.
- I wish I had asked for more help early on. I learned a lot of things on my own, and it stunted our growth in the beginning. There are TONS of people out there who want to help you and see you be successful...take advantage of that!
- Not everyone is going to “get it." At FATCO, we understand that our products aren’t for everyone, since many people have differing opinions around the use of animal byproducts. And that’s OK! If your brand has a strong point of differentiation, there will always be people who might disagree with what you’re doing...and that’s OK!
What is your funniest or most memorable moment throughout your business journey?
My most memorable day in the last 5 years was definitely seeing our products on store shelves at Target! We launched 4 items on-shelf at about 500 Target stores in January 2018, and that was by far the best day in our 5 years in business! Being a small business owner is hard work, and when you see your products on the shelf at a major retailer like Target, it really does make it all worth it!
What’s something that you could share with us that not everyone might know about you or FATCO?
I think many people would be surprised to hear that we are a very small company! I think that once your products are available at a large retailer like Target, the assumption is that you are a huge company with lots of employees...but we are quite the opposite! My husband Tim is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the company, and I manage most everything else. We work very hard, and are constantly busy...but we both love every second of it!
Is there anything else that you’d like to share with the Model Meals/Whole30 community?
Life is about to get even busier for this small, family run business since we’re preparing to welcome our newest mini-team member in July! Tim and I will be welcoming our first child, a baby boy, sometime around July 1st, so I’ve been slathering my belly with our Baby Butta (did I mention that grass-fed tallow is amazing for avoiding stretch marks!?) and I can now say from first-hand experience that this stuff WORKS! We’re so excited, and are really looking forward to what the future holds for FATCO!
Congratulations on your newest addition and we cannot wait to see what this next chapter holds for you both personally and professionally at FATCO! Thank you so much for the opportunity to share your story with our community.
Tell us in the comments- what has worked for your skin? Have you used any nose to tail products? Did this information help you? We’d love to hear from you!
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