Lake Tahoe-based skincare line FATCO opens storefront on South Shore
Though the idea of rubbing products made with cow fat on your body may sound bizarre, ask any fan of the FATCO skincare line their opinion and the answer is clear — it works.
Lake Tahoe-based FATCO has been selling its unique collection of beauty products — ranging from body butter and cleansing oil to deodorant and hair oil — online for two and a half years.
Most recently, founder Cassy Burnside took the leap and opened a brick-and-mortar operation on Kingsbury Grade in Stateline.
“I wanted a small storefront where people could come in to test out our products,” said Burnside on Monday, Nov. 21, prior to the store’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
“We have a lot of customers from San Francisco and the Bay Area, and we know we have existing customers coming to visit the lake.”
The former manufacturing engineer said her passion for crafting all-natural beauty products started as a hobby — and they were primarily plant-based.
But after learning about the benefits of tallow, which is derived from the fat of grass-fed cows, mutton and bison, Burnside’s beauty products became a bit meatier.
“I began incorporating tallow into my product recipes and saw how helpful it was for me.”
According to Burnside, tallow from pasture-raised cows, AKA “happy cows,” contains abundant fat-soluble activators and vitamins A, D, E and K — ingredients all good for the skin.
Tallow was used for centuries in skin moisturizers and healing balms, but its topical application disappeared when the “low fat” and “no fat” food craze hit the market.
Burnside said FATCO’s most popular products are the Stank Stop Deodorant (lavender and clary sage scented for women, cypress and coriander for men), Myrrhaculous Face Cream (lavender and myrrh), and Fat Stick (lavender and peppermint).
“The Fat Stick is an all-purpose moisturizer that is especially amazing for skiing and snowboarding in wintertime,” added Burnside.
Personally, Burnside loves to use FATCO’s cleansing oil.
“Washing your face with oil seems weird to a lot of people. There are a lot of oil-free, soap-based cleansers on the market. But oil dissolves oil. Oil helps to break up the dirt and the grime, and really allows your skin to rebalance,” explained Burnside.
“Soap-based cleansers strip our skin of important oils our body is producing for a reason. This is cleansing your face while also moisturizing.”
NEW LOOK, BIG MOVES
Originally called Fat Face, FATCO recently underwent a major branding overhaul and launched a fresh, new website — an endeavor that has not gone unnoticed by the local community.
This November, Burnside and FATCO earned honorable mention for the Entrepreneur Award at the Tahoe Chamber’s 2016 Blue Ribbon Awards.
For Burnside, who invested her entire life savings in the launch of the business, the experience has been an exciting one.
“I’m an engineer, so I’ve always been a problem solver,” said Burnside. “I taught myself everything, and as we’ve grown, every step of the way there has been new challenges.”
FATCO, once a one-woman operation, now has two additional Tahoe-based employees and a new headquarters to boot.
“I always had faith that it would work out,” said Burnside.
If you’re looking to test out FATCO’s motto “fat is your friend,” now is the time.
All FATCO products will be discounted 20 percent online for Black Friday. On Small Business Saturday, the company will be hosting a 20-percent-off sale at its new storefront from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
FATCO is located at 290 Kingsbury Grade Road, Suite 8, in Stateline. Its normal operating hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to purchase products, visit http://www.fatco.com.