The bath and body care company, Terranova, has been more than just a business for sisters Ann Saunders Gordon and Kathy Saunders – it’s been a long-time member of their family and community. Their trendsetting mother, Jane Saunders, founded the original The Body Shop in Berkeley, Calif., in 1970. Inspired by Berkeley’s vibrant counterculture and burgeoning desire for natural ingredients and fresh scents, Jane pioneered using botanicals, such as vitamins, aloe, jojoba, vegetable glycerin and shea, in her personal care products.
At the age of 50, with $750 and a dream, Jane opened her tiny store in a refurbished car repair garage and, in homage to the building’s original use, called it The Body Shop. That first year, she produced 16 tons of soap, custom cut into slabs with fragrances like Strawberry Yogurt, Cucumber, and Patchouli. The store became an instant landmark. Customers were drawn to the lotions, creams, and shampoos made with natural ingredients that they could personally scent. And for 10 cents, you could purchase a reusable bottle to reduce packaging and waste. Within two years and the support of an enthusiastic clientele, The business grew to six stores in the San Francisco Bay Area and developed a national wholesale business.
Renamed Terranova after the trademark was purchased by a British company, its products are beloved by thousands of loyal customers, many who go back decades to that initial store. Terranova’s 100 branded products were sold through bath and gift shops and beauty stores throughout the U.S. and internationally.
Ann and Kathy also operated Nectarine, a supplier of body care products and fragrances to private packagers who are using their entrepreneurial spirit to create their own special brand to sell to boutiques, spas, and individuals. As noted by one of many of Nectarine’s satisfied purchasers, “No other source compares with Nectarine for quality of product, creativity, and excellence of service... and that’s after more than 45 years of doing business with them!”
But now, after 50 fantastic years in business, Ann and Kathy have made the difficult – yet also exciting – decision to retire. “Our lease was up, and we decided to take that opportunity to enter a new stage in our lives. There’s no denying how much we’ll miss our customers. As word got out, we’ve been receiving so many kind notes and remembrances.”
Terranova’s and Nectarine fragrances and bath and body treats are still available through many fine retailers, wholesalers and www.amazon.com “We have customers who started wearing our enduring signature scents, like China Rain, China Musk, Rain and Pikake, when they were teens.” says Ann. These vendors are listed on our website--check the categories above.
“Our longevity is a tribute to our wonderful staff who have always gone above and beyond,” says Kathy. Our mother was especially proud of her relationships with our retailers and her small role in their success, some of whom have been customers since the beginning.”
We appreciate all the support all our customers have shown us over the past five decades. Our mother founded the business and was proud of the small part she played in the lives of thousands of employees, retailers and consumers. And we are, too.
Sincerely,Ann Saunders Gordon and Kathy Saunders