Business owner picks Durham and its youth to help It grow

Elisabeth Chadbourne shares with Durham youth what a day in the life of a small business owner is like, rewards and challenges and offers advice to kids wanting to strike out on their own. (Staff Photo by Carlton Koonce


Whether for a Valentine’s Day or a birthday gift, natural beauty is in right now, but sometimes looking for pure and all-natural ingredients can be hard.

It’s part of the reason local entrepreneur Elisabeth Chadbourne decided to start her small business.

She created Lo & Behold Natural Body Care and its 100 percent natural products when she was just 25 years old.

That was three years ago.

“All the products are made all by hand,” Chadbourne said. “I was inspired because I really enjoyed making products as a hobby and it soon turned into a business.”

A Greensboro native, she moved to Durham because she feels there just wasn’t a lot of businesses like hers in town and also she wanted to be still be relatively close to home.

A firm believer in community, she often works with teen and college interns who help her produce products such as face scrubs, lip balms, hand products, bath salt, moisturizer and body butter, to name a few. Most of the products used are made from local ingredients that Chadbourne can buy from area farmers’ markets.

Lo & Behold products are tested by her friends, family, and Chadbourne herself. She researches skin care in books and online. She uses books to see exactly what certain oils do and constantly fact checks her information. She uses essential oils to add fragrances to her products that usually last for about a year on the shelf.

As a small business owner, she sometimes has challenges. Currently she is working to get her products to more women of color, African-Americans and Latinas, and marketing her male products, like natural beard oils to men.

Lo & Behold products can be found in other local businesses like Parker and Otis in downtown Durham or at the website

Through her business Chadbourne wants to be able to be self-reliant financially but also give back to Durham by helping create jobs and being able to pay living wages for people. While some of her interns come from Duke University, others come from the nonprofit Partners for Youth Opportunity.

“PYO has really inspired me,” she said of the NGO’s programming that gives teens the chance to learn working skills through local small business internships. “Now I want to hire more high school students.”