Kiss Freely products are free of the 8 major allergens and then some! They avoid the use of other potential allergens such as sesame, shea butter, peas,coconut, avocado and sunflower seed. Below is an interview with Jennifer Kurko, the Founder of Kiss Freely, to find out about these wonderful products.
Hello Jennifer. Can you tell us how you thought of creating Kiss Freely?
My oldest daughter was diagnosed with multiple food allergies when she was 9 months old. I really thought we were beginning to navigate life with food allergies pretty well. Until one night when I kissed my daughter on the cheek and she broke out in horrible hives. I knew it was not from the food I had eaten because we keep a house that is free from her allergens.
It actually wasn’t until a few days later that I realized it was my lip balm. It contained almond oil, Up until that moment, I had not thought to look at what was in personal care products. I went through everything in the house and threw out almost all our lotions and lip balms. All my makeup. I wasn’t able to find a safe line of products and as most food allergy moms know, you are already making a ton of food so making my own lip balm didn’t seem like too much of a stretch!
From there I began making body butter and make up. Friends began asking me to make them products. My daughter one night at dinner said, “I can’t be the only one who needs special lip balm. You should sell them.” We formed Kiss Freely so that people who did need “special” lip balm and other products would have those options.
What allergies do you manage in your household?
My oldest daughter is allergic to dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, beef and sesame. My youngest daughter is allergic to eggs and is in the process of being tested for EoE and celiac disease.
What makes Kiss Freely so special for the allergy community?
Kiss Freely is unique in that it is the only cosmetics and personal care items to cater to the food allergy community. It is top 8 free. I also took great care to make sure we did not include other highly allergic ingredients so we are free from a lot of thing such as coconut, sunflower, corn.
I completely understand cross contamination. Our workshop is top 8 free. We use dedicated equipment for all our products.
I also wanted the products to be as natural and environmentally friendly as possible, so all our products are vegan. We use organic ingredients whenever possible.
I also take custom orders. They are my favorite because I know someone is able to participate fully in an activity or finally wear their favorite color lipstick after years of being allergic to it. I make a ton of custom dance orders and I am in the process of making the black under eye color for a young baseball player. I cry every time I get a picture of the person wearing our products.
What is your top selling product(s)?
Orange lip balm is our best seller. Our face paint is a close second though!
I love the face paint that you sell. Have you had any customers that can’t tolerate this product?
It was so nice to see so many kids get to use face paint for the first time! We have not had any customers who could not tolerate it. I try to use the least amount of ingredients as possible in every product. The products are simple, natural and that really helps most people be able to tolerate the ingredients.
I see that a portion of your income goes back to food allergy organizations. Which non-profits do you support?
We have supported FARE and FACCT both locally and nationally. We also really like to be involved with supporting local allergy and advocacy groups. That’s the wonderful part of growing as a business is being able to give more back and be able to make a bigger impact in the food allergy community.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
We are always looking to create new products. We hope to have shampoo and mascara in the next few months. Longer term, we hope to create a safe sunscreen.
Thanks so much Jennifer!
Note from Nicole: My daughter, who has celiac disease and a mast cell disorder loves these products. She too has had multiple reactions to other makeup and has thoroughly enjoyed the products made by Kiss Freely.