Dearest Friends & Fans,
While totally understandable, I always found it confusing and sad when brands I loved completely disappeared without explanation, so I wanted to close with as much candor as when we opened. My plan was to write this goodbye letter after first contacting those closest to R.L. Linden & Co. (RLL) and then afterwards announcing it to the public, but I’m juggling quite a bit at the moment, so apologies for the mass update blast. If I had the time and ability right now I would be sending personal cards to all those who cheered on, supported and helped RLL over the past 4 years. To everyone who made a purchase, to every retailer that carried our line, to those who blogged about us and told their friends about our products, to the make-up artists and estheticians that trusted our products enough to use on their clients, to those who worked, interned and volunteered with us, to the other companies, makers and green beauty folks that we’ve befriended along the way, to the plants that we worked with, please know how appreciated you are and that I am sending thanks from deep in my heart.
R.L. Linden & Co. launched it’s first 3 products in August of 2013. The last 4 years have been quite a ride! RLL started in a basement and ended up on the red carpet, in major magazines and sold internationally. We had been approached by and turned down offers from large retailers because we didn’t want to outsource production. Our goal was to make a legacy company, a place where we would formulate and work at until we were old and that our children would have the option of working at if they so desired. We weren’t independently wealthy or bankrolled when we launched, we were two friends, two moms, who were in love with plants and formulating and scraped together what we could to make some damn fine products. We hustled, oh boy did we hustle, formulating, mixing, pouring, labeling, shipping, social media, the whole shabang. Our husbands, kids and friends helped, we had one amazing woman investor that enabled us to get into a large enough workspace to scale production and there were many, many dark chocolate and pop-music fueled late nights. We weren’t afraid of hard work. We started before we were ready and learned as we went, I remember getting an email asking for a line sheet, then googling to figure out what a line sheet was and then creating our first line sheet while bouncing on an exercise ball nursing my third baby.
RLL grew fast, which although super exciting, was not an easy thing for a small handmade company to figure out how to wisely navigate. Robin (the R in R.L. Linden & Co.) left the company last September for personal reasons. In hindsight I wonder if I should have called it quits then too, if we should have shut it down together. But I so believed in what we had created and grew together that I dedicated myself to keep RLL up and running. So determinedly or stubbornly or maybe a bit of both I kept it going, even throughout severe morning sickness, with the help of two amazing employees, family and friends. But the bottom line is simply the bottom line, it’s not financially feasible or wise to keep RLL up and running. What made our products so special makes them hard to create in large numbers. I’m not willing to outsource, or to use low quality ingredients, or to pay low wages/exploit employees, or to not pay myself. If I can’t continue with integrity I won’t continue.
This has not been an easy decision to come to and I’ve debated sharing so much about it. I feared criticism, I didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news to those who adore RLL products and I didn’t want to admit defeat to those who wanted us to fail. RLL was a bit like a child to me and my partnership with Robin was like a marriage of sorts, but while grieving the loss of both I am grateful for the silver linings. Never in a million years would I have thought that my formulations would have graced the pages of Vogue Paris, People, Glamour, Elle and more. Or that I would be asked by much larger well known lines and celebrities to custom formulate for them. RLL was the best teacher I could have asked for to hone my skills (and nose) and I wouldn’t trade that for the world, but I’m done with the crazy busy and am leaving the hustle behind. Working myself into the ground in the hopes of maybe some kind of windfall at some point in the future is not worth my moments today. Maybe it’s the punk kid in me, but selling out never held much weight anyway.
In February of this year I opened Rosehouse in Denver and in March I birthed my fourth child. Both have brought with them exhaustion, joy, excitement for the future and new priorities. Rosehouse opened in the Ironwood space that inspired RLL’s first perfume oil. This is seriously my plant nerd dream store that I never thought was even a possibility and I want to do right by it. My vision is to create something new, a living apothecary. I want to focus on the plants and tell their stories, to highlight the botanicals behind the products, to make teas, perfumes and more in accordance with the seasons and to make a living off of being a crazy plant lady while being able to take care of myself and my family while doing so.
So here is the deal, I will be making the last batches of RLL products before the end of the month for one last “Thanks For The Memories” sale. It will be an online only sale and RLL products will not be available before or after. The sale will be announced on social media and emailed out to our newsletter list. I will share a few last blog posts with you while closing up shop and gifting you something close to my heart after the sale is finished.
Thank you for reading.
Lynn (the L in R.L. Linden & Co.)
P.S. look at this squishy chunk of awesomeness that slept on me while I wrote this.