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  • Maker Spotlight

    April 03, 2024

    Maker Spotlight

    We love this part of the job, because we get to shine the spotlight on people who make good products and add more good to the world. Even though we ask each of our makers the same 6 questions, we learn something new — every time. You might too.

    This month we interviewed Mona Samaan-Ockenden, Creator & CEO of Mona Moon Naturals, about her thoughts on eco-living in general, and how she got started creating small-batch products to nurture both mind and body.

    Mona Moon Naturals is a line of body care products created from natural, non-GMO, paraben-free ingredients that are recognizable and safe. After her sister was diagnosed with an estrogen-based breast cancer (LCIS-lobular carcinoma in situ), she began the eye-opening and upsetting research about harmful chemicals used in many body care products. Mona quickly found that many ingredients in traditional body care products were toxins that altered hormones, triggered allergies— and could cause cancer.

    Safe deodorant was a particular struggle to find, so she began to make her own and shared it with loved ones and friends. Because of its popularity, Mona Moon Deodorant Paste is her star product, and it comes with an important message:

    “While applying, take a moment to check under your arms and breasts for lumps and bumps and reach out to your doctor if there are changes.” #pastewithpurpose

    Mona hopes that in our lifetime, every toxic chemical is banned from our skincare, foods, cleaning products, and more. But she does more than hope — 10% of her profits are donated to a local organization, the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, that supports families dealing with cancer.

    So, without further ado, here's our Q & A with Mona:

    What's Good: What does being eco-friendly mean to you?
    Mona: To me, being eco friendly means to be mindful of our choices in life and how it impacts our planet.

    What's Good: What's your biggest climate change fear/concern?
    MonaMost alarming to me are the shifts in weather patterns and changes to our ecosystems. We have to leave our planet healthy for future generations.

    What's Good: If our readers could only do one green thing, what would it be and why?
    MonaBring a travel coffee mug when you go to the coffee shop. I recently read a stat that globally, 500 billion disposable cups are used each year. That’s a lot of unnecessary trash ending up in our landfills.

    What's Good: What's the biggest 'bad habit' YOU have as it relates to eco/sustainable lifestyle that is a challenge for you? 
    MonaI’d like to be better at composting.

    What's Good: What started you on your eco-journey?
    MonaDuring a college internship, I had to spend a few weeks literally going through garbage as it arrived at area landfills and then also spent time at the recycling facility. We sorted garbage into categories like food, diapers, plastic, glass etc. so they could what was being thrown away. If I remember correctly, it was when recycling just became a law and let me tell you it was eye opening.

    What's Good: What is your favorite aspect of the eco products you make or one in particular?
    MonaMona Moon Naturals creates products with clean ingredients that come from Mother Nature and we select containers (when possible) that we hope will not end up in the landfill.

    Thanks so much, Mona, for believing in the importance of all-natural skincare, and for being a force of good for those whose lives are affected by breast or gynecological cancers. You are What's Good.

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