How Melnaturel Started

Practically since she can remember, Mel has had an interest in cosmetics.

As a child, Mel would wait anxiously for her mom to look away so she could sneak into her bathroom to play with her makeup. She remembers saving all her money so she could buy a new color of nail polish or the latest flavor of Lip Smackers.

“I always wanted to be this Barbie princess,” Mel, short for Melissa Wilson, chuckled decades later as she looked back. “I was the definition of girly.”

Who knew that years later Mel would start her own skincare company? Mel sure didn’t. Although she’d always dreamed of someday owning her own business, it hadn’t been cosmetics and skincare that she’d had in mind.

The type of gal who searched endlessly for the right products in the perfect combination to make her skin look and feel great, Mel was constantly trying new products – but not always just for the fun of it.

Mel struggled with acne throughout middle and high school, and into her 20s. Mel’s skin was left scarred and damaged into adulthood and she was still without any solutions.

“I was really self conscious back then,” Mel said. “I think a lot of women who suffer from acne can relate to that.”

She tried topical treatments, oral medications, Proactiv, zit zappers and countless other products that all held promises that they would work. But none did. It wasn’t until she was 21 years old that she finally realized what had been causing her acne – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The root cause had been a hormonal imbalance that entire time. Tired of “the endless fight,” she realized she needed to try something different.

A problem solver and a DIY-junkie, Mel researched natural options she could make at home and began experimenting. It turned out that the commercial products she’d been trying were filled with harsh chemicals that were actually setting off her hormonal acne.

Thus, the products that would later become Melnaturel were born. But how did the business start? As silly as it sounds, a Facebook post and Mel’s underlying passion for marketing. She is Marketing Manager at Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Mel was busy making products for her sister and a friend one night when she decided to create a brand for her products for fun. She came up with the name “elnaturel,” not taking any of it too seriously. But she showed her sister and, much to her surprise, it was a hit. As long as she added an “M” to the front of the name for her name, her sister told her.

“I was not making a business, this was just a funny name,” Mel said. “But I also had this feeling – I felt like it was about to be something bigger.”

She posted on Facebook to see if any of her other friends were interested in the extra products she had made, complete with the brand. The products worked for her and her sister and friends liked them, so why not offer it to a broader audience?

Interested they were. Soon, she had sold all the bottles she had made and committed to making more. She had herself a business, and the rest is history. Today, Mel remains motivated to share her products – that actually work – with women everywhere.

She hopes with all her heart that they’re left feeling good about what they’re putting on their skin. But not just because of an improved outward appearance, but also because they find satisfaction in using products made naturally and ethically by a small-town, Midwestern girl living in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

“I wanted Melnaturel to make people feel more confident in their skin but also in what they’re using. And to feel like they’re supporting something cool and to have pride in what they’re using. Using something that’s female-made and handmade; something local. I want them to feel pride in something that comes from the heart and was made with some love. By buying from me, they’re supporting my dreams.”

Melissa Wilson