Mud-Making Moms Beat Cosmetic Goliaths

By: Kyril (Ky) Plaskon Email
By: Kyril (Ky) Plaskon Email

(Reno, NV (KOLO-TV)-- In New York recently the bright stage was packed with cosmetic Goliaths like L'Oreal, MAC, Kimberly-Clark, Beyonce and two moms from Fernley, Nevada. They were competing for the coveted Health and Beauty Association’s Best Green Packaging of the Year Award. And when the flash bulbs burst, the cameras were trained on the two moms from a world away. Their unlikely rise is from the world of cosmetic mud that they dig up and package themselves from their parents own ground.

“It is teaching the kids that the American dream is still there,” says Shelly Egbert, co-founder of Black Rock Mud. “For two small town moms to put together and idea and go against the big boys and win is the American dream and the American dream is still alive no matter what you hear.”

This American dream runs deeper than just a story of David beats Goliath. She and co-founder Summer Powlson have 11 kids combined, and they are all getting their hands dirty in it.

“Everything we do is all by hand, by shovel,” she says and the kids, “They love it, they think it is awesome. My daughter is starting a mud-dyed t-shirt company. We are teaching our kids how to be an entrepreneur and start a business.”

But that’s not the only American dream that has risen from the mud. This is an American green dream. “Our plant is all off the grid, we are working off solar and wind power. We aren’t just saying we are green, we are trying to do it and it is tough.”

It is all happening about a mile from where they live in Fernley, in the even smaller town of Gerlach, Nevada on Shelly’s dads private property.

Not to be lost in all this New York fan-fare is the product behind their dream.

Complexion-concerned people spread the Black Rock Mud on their faces to pull out toxins and nourish the skin with minerals. But this ‘mud’ is different. “The mud is a special kind of clay,” she says and it is only found one other place in the world. Most face mud are mostly “Bentonite” clay which is a “filler” she says.

“But ours is Illite and that is what makes us so special,” she says. Most mud come from volcanic geothermal that smells like rotten eggs, not the kind of thing you want to spread on your face. But she explains that this mud comes from heat generated by friction between the earths’ plates and that kind of heat makes the mud odorless. The end result is something that you want to put on your face that “pulls toxins out of the body and it is naturally mineral rich that are really healthy for your skin,” she says.

Now, like many companies that make mud, they could have just stuck their mud in plastic containers. But they didn’t and that takes us back to the Green Packaging Award that they won last week in New York. Their packaging is 100 percent recyclable and made in the USA.

So, the product is unique, they beat out the cosmetic Goliaths, they are green, made in the USA and teaching their small town children entrepreneurship. But there is still one piece missing from making this American dream come alive.

“We hope that some of this will start translating to orders some time soon,” Shelly says adding that it is only available in Reno at You Microspa. She wants to sell more of it, not to make herself rich, but to enrichen others lives in the small community. “Our dream has always been right here in Fernley we have so many friends and family that are struggling and we would love to help them have a second income.”

The company's product can be found at http://www.blackrockmud.com/
You can find them on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/BlackRockMudCo


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