By Mandy Holmes / Photos by Mark Morgan
For sisters Alicia Kompar and Marisa Kompar, inspiring others and living clean are two values they practice every day in their personal and professional lives. Together, they started m+a naturals, an online store dedicated to handmade natural products for the face, body, and home. Utilizing essential oils, minerals and other earthy ingredients, the business partners created m+a naturals to inspire holistic living at a reasonable price point.
Although the sisters started their journey into entrepreneurship differently, they came together to inspire and fill others with hope and love using their passion, creativity and optimism.
Three days a week, Alicia works as a registered nurse on a neuro and trauma unit while the other four days she describes herself as a “hardcore crafter.”
“I have always known I wanted to be a registered nurse, but there’s something that they never teach you in school – being a nurse is physically and mentally draining,” she says. “When I first started my career path, I didn’t know how to find an outlet. After figuring out that I wasn’t the next Picasso, I started creating our products.”
On the flip side, Marisa, a single mom of two fun loving boys, relocated to Phoenix to start a new chapter, striving to be her own boss. Being present for her kids is one of the most important parts of her life and after losing her husband unexpectedly in a tragic accident, Marisa turned to yoga and meditation to help her focus on moving forward through life.
“After [I began practicing] yoga, my life opened up. I felt love, I was love, and I was in love. My late husband’s love for us and his passion led me to pursue m+a naturals; he too was a small business owner and showed great passion and dedication” she says.
While talking one rainy afternoon as the two made a wreath for the front door, Marisa realized how passionate Alicia was about crafts. After a brief discussion about hand making bath bombs and infusing them with eucalyptus, m+a naturals was born. Marisa needed to calm her mind, focus on something creative and crafting helped. The decision to turn their passion for crafting into a business was the first move toward becoming entrepreneurs.
For Marisa, managing the role of being a single parent is one of her most significant accomplishments today.
“Taking the leap into the unknown can be fearful for most, but I was truly following my passion, and [my late husband] Richard is my inspiration,” Marisa says.
Another inspiration for the siblings is Marisa’s children as they aim to show the kids that they don’t need to follow the traditional route to be successful.
“[My late husband had] a passion for anti-mainstream ideologies, which inspired me to pass that same mentality onto our boys. I now embody part of his being through m+a naturals,” Marisa says.
The company aims to help people from various socio-economic backgrounds to have access to natural and clean products at a sensible cost. The majority of home and body products contain known toxins and the Kompar sisters are focused on creating a line of goods free of chemicals that appeal to all budgets.
“We wanted to create something anti-mainstream and healthier for the environment,” Alicia explains.
Connecting with other businesses is also important to the dynamic duo. They love to collaborate with small businesses throughout the Valley and are part of a tightknit community of artisans that produce their goods in small batches. Participating in local markets is one of their favorite things to do.
“It’s an amazing experience; we get to share what we love and meet so many people,” Marisa says.
Another important aspect of m+a naturals is giving back. Every month, The Churchill collaborates with local nonprofits and they have teamed with Gather, a local women-owned business, where proceeds from m+a products sold there are donated to the organization. The sisters are currently working on building collaborations with other local businesses and extending their product line. For more information, visit www.manaturalsco.com.