MAVEN MADE words Bethany Frazier
BET H A NY F R A Z IER
Maven Made and its owner, Bethany Frazier, are distinctive. Bethany and her botanical-infused skincare and wellness brand abide by socially conscious business practices and philosophies such as organic, vegan, and ethically sourced ingredients; that is not so uncommon. What makes them less mainstream is their unapologetic public stance on issues fueling today’s highlycharged political and social climate. Bethany shares her personal insight on the balance of business and intersectional advocacy. If you follow Maven Made on social media, you might have noticed a shift within the past year. I joke that going vegan last August was the gateway drug to a personal awakening that I wasn’t expecting. This shift has seeped into how I use my voice, how I make business decisions, and how I use social media. I’m continually working to find a responsible balance to start conversations around topics like cultural appropriation, body image, self-worth, or white privilege and also posting about what I love to do: make natural wellness products. For me, constantly posting about natural skincare and the product line is exhausting, and too onedimensional. Although I’m part of the skincare and wellness industry, I refuse to uphold Maven Made’s image solely as an effortless, privileged “indie skincare” brand. For me, it’s a dangerous standard to set. I’ve witnessed much elitism, shame, colonialism, and glorification around the natural wellness movement. Often, I notice a small drop in followers after I post something centered around non-Maven Made content. Many people don’t want to see a conversation around social justice or intersectional feminism from a skincare Instagram account, but some do. I’ve even listed “queer and woman owned” on the backs of product labels. I know Maven Made isn’t going be liked by everyone, and I’m okay with that.
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Establishing boundaries for who I work with, where my products are sold, and what events I participate in is a form of holding myself accountable to what this business stands for. Growing up, I wasn’t really encouraged to create boundaries and to say no, but I’m unlearning this conditioning. No matter how uncomfortable sticking to (or even redefining) boundaries has been, I’m becoming more in alignment with myself—and that’s everything. Through this shift, the authentic and vulnerable conversations I’ve had with other people is a reminder that I’m doing something right, something real. From a business standpoint, it makes sense to worry if this transparency has affected Maven Made’s sales. I don’t think so. In fact, this year I was finally able to leave my full-time job, and sales have increased. I know this is my story; this is my journey, and what works for me won’t work for everyone. I’m still trying to figure it out. I think that’s one of the most beautiful things I can do as a small business owner: to be honest, and to find where you can connect who you are with what you do.
@mavenmaderva · mavenmaderva.com 31