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The Hustle

Name: Kimberly Vorperian (Bodhi Basics)

Posted By Andrea Perez

At Kimberly Vorperian's Bodhi Basics, every skin product is handmade. It's a slow methodology, but it ensures that Vorperian can keep a close eye on quality. Her mission is to bring skincare back to basics by using natural ingredients. Established in January 2011, Bodhi Basics has become St. Pete's own unique plant-based skin care pop-up shop. After frustrating experiences with store-bought skincare products that caused breakouts, Vorperian started making her own soaps. She turned her friend's kitchen into a makeshift laboratory on the weekends, while working as a studio assistant to two artists during the week. "There was a lot of trial and error in the beginning, but I knew even then that I only wanted the highest quality, organic, botanical ingredients in my products," writes Vorperian on her website. Today, Bodhi Basics products are sold in 11 Florida retailers and five others across the nation.

Years in Tampa Bay


Hustle (job)

Business owner, healer, plant mom, magic maker, dog wrangler. There’s a lot going on in this zone.

What do you do?  

I craft organic skincare and plant-based healing products for body, mind and spirit at our little shop.

Why do you do it?

I love it. I love it so much. I’ve always known that I wanted to help. This is the form it’s taken over time. It combines my love for people, spirituality, plants and healing. I couldn’t have planned it better if I tried.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

I got started on this path because of my own need to heal myself. I had the realization that there weren’t many resources out there for people who were super sensitive, and wanting alternatives that work and are earth friendly. I’ve been slowing building my company to support this mission and help others in their healing journey.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

I am still hand-making, bottling and labeling all of our products from scratch. I now have a couple of lovely women who help me with this, but we are still doing it all in the shop in small batches. We do everything the old-fashioned way: no big equipment, no automated devices. It creates a more intimate bond between the maker and the products. I am also very intentional about where my ingredients (plants, herbs, oils etc.) are sourced from. I pride my company on having products that not only are effective but also are aligned with my dedication to the earth’s health, and respecting its resources.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Balancing all of the moving parts. There is so much going on behind the scenes. We make everything in addition to having retail and selling in various avenues, events, markets etc. It’s a lot, but I love it.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

The most valuable business advice that I’ve received is to follow and trust my heart and intuition. Ever since I started to make all of my decisions by weighing these two factors, my business has started to open up and blossom. I used to always be stuck in my head and not know what direction I wanted Bodhi to go in and how to go about it. Now everything happens more fluidly with less stress, and in the direction that it is meant to go. That simple advice has saved me and my business.

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