NEW CONCORD - Jackie Matheney had to take matters into her own hands when her daughter, Estelle, was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.
Matheney, who also suffers from Tourette syndrome, a nervous system disorder involving repetitive movements or unwanted sounds, noticed her daughter's tics worsened when she was exposed to products containing artificial dyes and synthetic ingredients.
Matheney has made natural body products for most of her life, but when her daughter was diagnosed it became more than a hobby.
"At a young age, I liked to experiment with these types of products," Matheney said. "It didn't matter until I had kids and then I had to take a different approach."
Matheney and her sister, Jennifer Eubanks, started Cashmere and Twig. They make body and hair products using organic ingredients free from parabens, synthetic fragrances and artificial colors.
When Matheney began making products, it was mainly for the use of her family. However, when a few of her friends tried and like her products, it became a way for her to help more people.
"I have great friends and family who have helped me with trial and error," Matheney said. "I try to think of a problem, and not how I can heal it, but help it."
The pair make about 10 different hair or body products, each with an intended purpose, in Matheney's basement. The body butter, scrubs and dry shampoo are some of their most popular products, Matheney said.
The body butter is made is made with coconut oil, Shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter. It is intended to replenish and soothe dry skin. The dry shampoo is made with arrowroot, tea tree and peppermint. It is intended to prolong blowouts, absorbs excess oils, provide volume and leaving the hair feeling fresh.
Matheney said the dream rub, which is made with lavender and unrefined coconut oil, helps sooth her daughter.
"Tourettes is a funny beast," Matheney said. "In times of stress or lack of sleep, the symptoms are worse. With Estelle, the dream rub will calm her."
While Cashmere and Twig was started because of Matheney's daughter, the products are meant to provide a healthier option for everyone.
"Everyone is doing more clean eating and with these products you see what's going on your body," Eubanks said. "It takes 26 seconds for chemicals on your body to enter your bloodstream."
Matheney named her business after a sweater she had when she was young.
Because of the sensory issues that come with Tourettes, Matheney constantly found herself in a state of discomfort so she wore a cashmere sweater to help feel more relaxed. Because the cashmere sweater was comfortable and considered high-end, she named it Cashmere and Twig, the twig coming from nature.
In their first year of business, Matheney and Eubanks took Cashmere and Twig to this year's Shark Tub competition, where they earned a top three finish. There isn't a Cashmere and Twig store, as of now, but the products are sold at Celebrate Local in Easton, the Longaberger Homestead and at www.cashmereandtwig.com.
While they sell standard products on their website, Eubanks said they are willing to work with customers to create their own scent or meet whatever needs they may have.
"With any disability, chemicals in products are linked to heightened symptoms," Eubanks said. "For instance, we have a client who has a gluten allergy and need soy removed and now she's noticed she doesn't get the dry, itchy skin. These products aren't the cure-all, but they help with symptoms."
Matheney, who was a former teacher, said starting Cashmere and Twig was perfect for her because she gets to teach others about the benefits of all natural products while helping others.
"I love seeing someone else benefit from what I can make with my own hands," Matheney said.