What about harnessing the power of plants to take care of your skin? After a first experience in the construction world, Charlotte Gass left her construction helmet to create Merci Suzanne, an artisan brand of natural, organic, local and zero-waste cosmetics. His goal ? To offer you a beauty ritual consisting of a cold soap, a hydrosol and a vegetable treatment to help you get supple, soft and comfortable skin. Light on this committed project in which the designer pays tribute to both her grandmother and her childhood in the nature of Normandy. Discovery!
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Charlotte and I am the founder of the cosmetic brand Merci Suzanne. I have one rather atypical career, because before you made cosmetics, I have worked in construction† We can really speak of a 180° conversion!
My role within the company? It’s very easy, I do everything (laughs)! Like all designers who embark on the adventure of entrepreneurship on their own, I have all hats on: I am a manufacturer, logistics employee, communicator, seller, accountant and administrative manager at the same time. It is of course very exciting, but just as rewarding. I have never learned so much about the company and about myself since launching Merci Suzanne†
Can you introduce us? Thank you Suzanne †
Merci Suzanne is a brand of eco-responsible cosmetics whose formulas are natural, organic, local and zero-waste†
I design, make and package my cosmetics by hand in Rueil-Malmaison. I prefer ingredients that come from our beautiful country to follow local and ecological approach† Finally, I choose to package my cosmetics in glass bottles, which I want to deposit, to promote reuse and recycling.
Merci Suzanne is the temple of minimalism: we go back to basics with simple, local and effective products in a 100% transparent approach.
I offer a 3-step facial beauty ritual, inspired by Asian women, to take care of us in a natural way. Depending on your skin type, take advantage of the power of French plants.
The ritual is performed in 3 steps:
- The first step is cold soap to gently cleanse your skin.
- The second step is the hydrosol to moisturize and strengthen your skin.
- The third step is plant care to provide your skin with all the nutrition it deserves.
In 2 minutes your skin is supple, soft and comfortable.
Why did you decide to embark on this adventure?
Thank you Suzanne was born from a need to find meaning. With my engineering degree in my pocket, I started working in construction for 5 years. I understood then that this job did not satisfy me and was not in line with my values.
At the same time, I had been eating organic for years, being very careful about what I ate and what I put on my skin. That is why I have been using cosmetics from organic farming for years. When I decided to go even further and start zero waste, I started with solid cosmetics and especially cold process soaps. Then I discovered the great benefits of hydrosols and adopted oils as a facial treatment.
At the same time, during a trip to visit my grandmother, I met Suzanne Jacques, a passionate farmer who grows hemp in Normandy† The proof was there: I want to emphasize the wealth of France for its plants and flowers and to honor the beautiful work of farmers.
If there’s a farmer’s wife I particularly care about, it’s my grandma Suzanne† She has been a farmer for 40 years. I also want to pay tribute to him through this brand.
What message do you want to convey through Merci Suzanne?
It is possible to have beautiful skin without endangering your health or the planet.
I wanted to bring one alternative to traditional cosmetics which in my opinion contain too many harmful ingredients and are not transparent. I know all the ingredients I use to make my products and where they come from. France produces a lot of flowers, clay and sublime oils: why take raw materials far away when we have everything here? It is the certainty of a quality product made next to us: it is much more ecological.
Can you tell us more about your collaboration with Meanwhile Boutique?
Meanwhile, Boutique is a platform that brings together dedicated brands and eco-responsible artisans-makers to offer sustainable, ethical and ecological alternatives in the world of fashion, accessories, decoration and well-being, for women, men and children. Their selection charter is based on 17 values and 5 pillars: waste prevention, craftsmanship, resource conservation, human and social impact and certifications and labels†
By what values of the Meanwhile Boutique charter does your brand come closest?
It’s going to be hard to choose, because I feel close to many of them (laughs).
Zero waste is really part of Merci Suzanne’s DNA. I use as little packaging as possible. I collect empty glass bottles to give them a second life. One of my flagship oils is produced from cores: this is the principle of upcycling where a new raw material is produced from an element previously seen as “waste”.
craftsmanship is also central to my values, as I manufacture and package all my cosmetics by hand. I use the cold saponification method for soaps, a traditional know-how. My products are made within a radius of less than a kilometer because almost all my ingredients are produced and processed in France.
This approach goes hand in hand with preserving our resources† My local sourcing is accompanied by a sharp selection of raw materials: only natural ingredients from organic farming.
You are part of the collective Meanwhile Boutique. Why do you think it is important to unite dedicated creators?
Together we are always stronger than alone in our corner. As a new and small designer, getting famous is the hardest part. It’s a great opportunity for young brands like us to be highly visible.
Mutual help between creators is also very important. Being alone like me can make you feel a little lonely at times. Having a network of creators makes it possible to exchange and find new opportunities.
One last word?
i know how much using cosmetics is a sensory experience† For those who want to try my cosmetics, they are waiting for you in the New Age boutique, at 38 rue du poteau (18e† You can then leave with your beauty ritual. Let’s keep changing the world of cosmetics together!
Do you want to take care of your skin? Visit Meanwhile Boutique to see the artisanal, natural and waste-free cosmetics Thank you Susan!