(photos by Shelby Brakken Photography)
We are so excited to feature Rebecca Kaihani as our Portland Girl Spotlight this month! She is funny, warm and the brilliant creator of the ever popular Hillockburn Farm (you’ve “Oooooohhhhhed and Aaaaaahhhhhhed” her amazing soaps if you’ve been in our studio lately!)
Everyone, meet Rebecca!
Rebecca Kaihani: Owner and Founder of Hillockburn Farm
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
The dreaded “about you” section…. Born and raised in the PNW, dog lover, candle lit dinners and long walks on the beach…. Oh! Wait! This isn’t a dating profile, I’m married!! Now I’ve gone and made things awkward!
Better get back on track. I am the Founder/Head Maker of Hillockburn Farm and we make all kinds of natural body care products. From soaps to lotion, lip balms to salts and scrubs…we do it all.
Hillockburn Farm pretty much started on its own…I never set out to be a business owner, it just started growing and growing…and growing.
My husband and I were struggling to have a baby when I started looking at all the nasty chemicals that were in all the body care products we were using, so I threw it all away! I was going to make my own stuff, I mean, how hard could it be…right? Wrong! Totally hard!! UGH!!
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It took months to get things figured out to the point we had a fairly usable bar of soap. During those months, my husband and I suffered several miscarriages and, after the last loss, I refused to get out of bed. For weeks. I was depressed, constantly crying, had gained a ton of weight, totally lost direction, motivation and every sense of myself was gone.
Until one day I peeled myself out of bed and got in a long overdue shower…to find we were out of soap! Honestly, when it rains it pours right? That was it! I knew I had a kitchen full of everything I needed to make all kinds of goodies. So I did! Partly out of annoyance and partly because I knew I couldn’t go another day with being sad. I’m fairly sure I’d long since used up all the sad days allotted to one person.
Some kind neighbors offered to buy some of my products (probably out of pity, but whatever) then we were invited to sell our soaps at a local neighborhood pop-up and would you believe we sold out? I’m fairy sure they knew my backstory, so I started doing other local events (where nobody knew me) and kept selling out…fast forward a year and we are in nearly 50 locations all over the country!
Needless to say I am a firm believer that good things can come from the worst situations!!
What kind of a “Portland Girl” are you?
A little bit country/A little bit rock-n-roll
Favorite quote or motto?
Words to live by: Good Thoughts-Good Words-Good Deeds. AKA, Don’t be a jerk 🙂
What is your biggest outlet for your creative expression?
I’m sure it sounds cheesy, but coming up with new products has become the greatest creative outlet for me. I joke that I should wear a wizard hat when I start in on creating a new product. The mixing of scent combinations, using unique ingredients, trial and error, a little bit of this, a little bit of that… it engages all my senses…sometimes I come up with a winner… sometimes it’s a total dud!!!
What 1 food and 1 beverage could you not live without?
Popcorn WITH Sour Patch Kids and of course good old fashioned H20. I would die without it! Literally and figuratively!!
No, seriously, I drink a TON of water every.single.day.
What is your favorite part of living in Portland, OR?
I’m a sucker for a great cup of coffee…and the fact that there’s possibly a million coffee joints in this town is right up there on my list of favorite things about PDX.
What is your current self-care routine, and why is it important to you?
Since starting and running every part of my business, my self-care/me time has become a thing of the past. But the one thing I do make time for is washing my face.
It forces me to slow down, if only for a few moments and to totally focus on me (and not getting soap in my eyes).
I use a charcoal soap as it not only cleans, but the charcoal goes the extra mile and helps draw out any remaining dirt, oil and toxins. If I’m feeling extra fancy, my Clarisonic gets busted out for a super deep clean.
How can our readers get in touch?
We love Instagram, but feel free to shout at us anywhere @HillockburnFarm or email HillockburnFarm [at] gmail.com