On the second floor of Una Biologicals, expert makers pour homemade, organic lip balms and face creams into dozens of jars and store them away for cooling. Sweet fragrances fill the production room and float down to Una’s retail space, where customers also find body butters, facial cleansers, herbal salves, natural deodorant, soaps, and aromatherapy sprays that are packed with natural ingredients that look, smell, and feel amazing on their skin and contribute to their overall wellness.
Una Biologicals founder, Jessica Graves, makes every product free from artificial fragrances and chemicals so that all skin types feel nourished and loved. Una sources its herbs from Jessica’s garden, local farmers, and Mountain Rose Herbs (based in Eugene, OR), and receives its oils from all over the world. From start to finish, Una lotions, soaps, and salves are made with all organic and trade sustainable ingredients, and then packaged in compostable or recyclable packaging. The Una team also teaches hands-on workshops at the store and Phipps Conservatory, and facilitates corporate wellness programs where participants can make empowered, educated decisions about the products they put on their bodies, learn more about how Una products are made, and how to easily make them at home.
As an herbalist and self-proclaimed science geek and hippie, Jessica worked on organic farms, studied chemistry, and created her own skin care products before officially founding Una Biologicals in 2008. Because she herself has sensitive skin that unregulated products irritated, Jessica started making body lotions and herbal salves in her kitchen that smelled and felt beautiful, were affordable, and organically sourced. In 2012, Una Biologicals became Jessica’s full-time job, who then hired her first part-time employee in 2013.
Una naturally expanded when Jessica shared her products with friends and family and sold them at a stand-alone table in Pittsburgh’s vibrant Strip district on Saturdays. In response to customer demand, Jessica searched for a permanent home, and within twenty-four hours of visiting 4322 Butler Street, she signed the lease for Una Biologicals’ new storefront in 2015. As Una expanded with a fully operating production space, retail store, and additional staff, Jessica’s mindset became more business-oriented; and in 2018, she joined her eforever group to connect with other business owners and learn new ways to nurture her growing business.
“As we’ve grown, we now have 10 staff who are getting their paychecks here. It’s a huge responsibility, and that has changed how I think about business and do business… I’m constantly trying to learn how to be a better business owner and what that means for me. What don’t I know, and how do I learn it? It’s about operating at the C level versus being in the business and being in the weeds.”Jessica Graves, founder of Una Biologicals
Customers are welcome to stop in Una Biologicals to relax, drink tea, and let their cares float away. In addition to health and body products, Una sells jewelry and meditation tools like pillar candles, crystals, sacred herb wands, essential oils, and notebooks to create a whole atmosphere of wellness. To find stores around the U.S. that also carry Una products, consult Una’s stockists list.