Randi Woods wants to change how people relate to their bodies.
After years of struggling to find affordable, safe and sustainable products to care for her sensitive skin and hair, Woods decided to take matters into her own hands.
“There were some products that I could use, some brands that were super clean, but they were out of my price range to keep buying. I have two daughters with a ton of hair,” the 39-year-old Akron native explained.
With the guidance of a naturopath, Woods began to pay attention to what her skin had been trying to tell her. She came to understand how what she had been putting in or on her body was negatively affecting her — whether irritating foods or creams with harsh chemicals — and eliminated them from her diet. She researched ingredients that would calm her acne and began to experiment with making her own skincare products using only high-quality, natural ingredients.
She shared what worked for her with her loved ones, including her sister, who, while battling cancer, found relief from the effects of chemotherapy on her skin through Woods’ products when prescription steroids did not work.
That gave Woods confidence.
In 2016, Woods established her small-batch product line, Goods. What began as a personal journey of self-care has transformed into a successful small business that has grown mainly through word-of-mouth.
“I love that it’s access to some different stuff that hopefully makes you feel better about your body, if you have things that you struggle with,” she said about her line of products. “I know that feeling of feeling like you have to settle for something, and you never knew you were.”
Her goal is to empower her clients in their own paths towards self-love and self-care.
About Goods’ plant-based products
Goods offers an array of organic plant-based products, from body creams and butters and natural deodorant to beard and skin oils made for all skin and hair textures. Everything is free of toxic ingredients and fillers.
Goods’ multipurpose sprays — made from apple cider vinegar, fragrant essential oils and herbs — can be used to soothe eczema, dry scalp and psoriasis or to hydrate and detangle hair, Woods said. She also offers natural tooth powders, bug repellent and a clay detox max made from flowers, frankincense and herbs, among other products.
Clients often bring her products to life by discovering new and unexpected uses, Woods said. Some of her customers have remarked that Goods’ deodorant helped to get rid of hyperpigmentation in their underarms.
“I love getting feedback like that. If people have different uses… then I can pass that on. I love that,” she said.
With a background in fashion design from Kent State University, Woods intentionally developed her products to leave little to no residue on fabrics. Products containing magnesium oil — like Goods’ Winter Butter and Battle Butter, which she said provides cramp and inflammation relief — leave some residue. But her natural deodorants, though they contain magnesium oil, do not leave residue due to the high ratio of essential oils in the formula, she explained. She also includes information and other practical tips with orders for clients who are transitioning from regular deodorant to natural deodorant and other products.
Woods concocts every formula with precision and patience.
“If there is one click at the end and I haven’t gotten there, I’ll just sit on something for, like, years, until it clicks,” she said.
Postpartum box popular with new moms
She designed her products to be accessible for any budget. Many of Woods’ products are highly concentrated and small, which can sometimes translate to higher cost, but offering them in lighter concentrations allows Woods to also sell the same products at a lower price without compromising on ingredients.
“The ones that are twice as big smell amazing, they just cost less to make,” she explained. She also sells refills.
Goods’ popular postpartum box includes an array of items for new mothers and their babies, from cradle cap spray to a soothing soap, lavender and frankincense body butter and a lavender pillow. The postpartum boxes began as a collaboration with a Nashville-based doula, who has been distributing them to her clients. The aim, Woods said, is to support mother and baby while giving new mothers the opportunity to feel and be pampered.
Woods’ 15-year-old daughter, Siena, shares her mother’s entrepreneurial and creative spirit. Siena hand-stitches the embroidery on all of Goods’ lavender pillows.
“She is an excellent artist,” Woods said.
Every Goods product is personally created by Woods in her kitchen.
“I enjoy making everything. I love it. Things have been a lot slower in the past year, so I have time if I want to go slowly, but I’ve also tried to make it so that I can whip things out quickly should I need to make more,” she said.
Small business faces challenges during COVID-19 pandemic
Running a small-batch business during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been without its challenges, Woods said. Sourcing containers amid supply-chain changes has been a struggle, for example. But the last year has also opened up new opportunities, Woods said.
Last fall, Woods began to host small, intimate gatherings where guests can create their own products to take home. Woods gives everyone a base recipe and provides all of the ingredients. Guests are encouraged to explore, experiment and play with the recipe — just as Woods experimented years ago in the backroom of her father’s financial services business in downtown Akron — to find out what works for them.
The Goods Make and Take events take place once a month. Guests can buy tickets and register via Eventbrite.
“Make and Take is so fun for me even to see what people put together, scent wise. They do something that you never thought of,” Woods said. “I’m a big fan of ‘do what works for you.’ “
That exploratory ethos is something she wants to share with others, especially those who have struggled with their health.
Creating Goods has opened up a new way of understanding one’s body and thinking about solutions, Woods said. She urged people to be kind to and listen to their bodies.
“Your body is not rejecting you, your body is trying to take care of you,” she said.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned just in the past years is to quit fighting with what you don’t really want. If you can figure out what you want, move towards that. That’s been huge. It’s given me confidence,” Woods said, reflecting on creating Goods.
“This has been sort of a beautiful way for me to move away from things that have hurt, and just replace them with things that are beautiful,” she said. “That’s a gift.”
At a glance
Owner: Randi Woods
Founded: 2016, launched website in 2017
Where can I buy Goods? In addition to purchasing products directly from Goods’ website, clients can head to Elizabeth’s Books & Writing Centre and Summit Natural Wellness Center in Akron to select from Woods’ line. The products also are carried by Princess Sams, a doula service in Nashville, and Bolt and Spool, a fabric boutique in Cleveland. To purchase a ticket for an upcoming Goods Make and Take, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/randi-31051204499
For more information, visit: www.goods-here.co/
About the series
The Beacon Journal is profiling Black-owned businesses in Summit County. Read more of these profiles at https://bit.ly/3jb0h1e. The Beacon Journal will continue to highlight minority-owned businesses as part of its ongoing regular coverage.
Have a suggestion for a business to feature? Email us at [email protected].
Seyma Bayram is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Learn more at reportforamerica.org. Contact her at [email protected] or 330-996-3327 or on Twitter @SeymaBayram0.