WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS | MIRROR LAKE ORGANICS
The year 2008 brought about change for many people as national and local economies deteriorated. For Paul Weideman, it meant the end of a 25-year career and an opportunity to do something different. Weideman decided to turn his hobby farm into a business by creating a community-supported agriculture (CSA) system to connect directly with consumers. It was an instant success, providing for over 50 members after just the first year, and Weideman found that he truly enjoyed the hard yet rewarding work.
Though successful, Weideman struggled with the unreliable weather conditions and continued to look for a more reliable business model. Since he and his family had been using natural soaps for years, he decided to try making his own. Weideman learned as much as he could about herbs and their medicinal benefits, determined to create a better product. He was looking for something more than just a pretty item purchased for an occasional gift, something that would really improve the lives of his customers.
Weideman began by testing small batches. After plenty of consumer feedback, he perfected his first line of soaps and launched Mirror Lake Organics in 2010. Within three months, the business was profitable – proof that people loved these all-natural, good-for-you products.
When his grandson was born and experienced diaper rash, Weideman made it his mission to create an all-natural, organic balm to soothe the rash. This accomplished, he was off and running and ready to expand his product lines further.
Weideman was energized and began developing items to meet the needs of clients of every age: acne and detox bars, hand soaps, insect repellent, eye and face creams, and muscle rub, to name a few. All products from Mirror Lake Organics are certified cruelty free and do not contain pesticides, commercial fertilizers, GMOs, soy, or added chemicals. Weideman says it’s about the creative process and the deep desire to help others, calling his products “veggies for your skin.” Plant oils are very similar to our natural skin oils, and his production processes are much like those our ancestors used.
Mirror Lake Organics customers are so devoted to his products that Weideman has come to know many of them by name as they place orders month after month, year after year. He loves getting to know them and enjoys hearing what they would like (and need) to see created next.
Current and long-running top sellers are the Detox Facial Bar and the Ava line (specifically, the Ava Body Butter), with foaming hand soaps pulling in a close third. Mirror Lake Organics foaming hand soaps are a hit because they are affordable and do not dry out your hands. Instead, they add much-needed moisture back to the skin, just what hardworking hands crave – and with all of those natural herbs and essential oils, they smell oh so good.
Weideman looks forward to many more years of turning customers’ needs and wants into products that make their lives better. Look for Mirror Lake Organics in mom and pop stores all over Southeastern Michigan and in larger chain stores around the state very soon. Products are also available on their website.
Mirror Lake Organics
(810) 338-7109 l MirrorLakeOrganics.com