Small Business: Local business woman enters organic skin care market

Fort Worth entrepreneur Mary Palko has followed the “road to green” since creating a family-owned international bed-and-breakfast business eight years ago. Her company, MPI Traveler – Moments Places International – currently has B&Bs in Fredericksburg, Texas; Saint Remy, France; Bariloche, Argentina; and Nicaragua, with another one soon to open in the Bahamas. Designed to create moments and memories for guests, each MPI property is set in historically and ecologically unique settings. The environment is the focal point of each location. Every property provides outdoor activities, sports and spaces for relaxation and rejuvenation.

“We’re real tree huggers and flower growers,” Palko said. “We love native grasses, plants, produce and almost everything organic. The environs have a huge impact on ours’ and our guests’ experiences at the properties.” Along her journey down an eco-friendly path, Palko heard from her French partner’s father about two American businessmen who had teamed up with a couple of Russian businessmen to find a way to stabilize electrolyzed,

oxygenated salt water. Their product, an electrolyzed anolyte water called Nixall, is an antimicrobial solution that is both biodegradable and non-accumulative. The key active ingredient, hypochlorous acid, is a natural occurring molecule that is produced by the human body to fight invading bacteria and viruses. Nixall can be used safely to kill germs, mold and mildew; heal wounds, rashes, bruises and burns; prolong the life of produce; and even oxygenate and hydrate the skin. Completely organic and shelf-stable, Nixall has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Drug Administration.

“Anolyte water has been around for hundreds of years and has been used in other countries both medicinally and for decontamination purposes,” Palko said. “We are always thinking green. We began using Nixall in our vineyards. All of our properties are ecological and conservation friendly, and we use only Nixall products at each one. We use it to disinfect the air, the pillows and bedding, rugs, bathrooms – everything. It’s the perfect thing for people who want a truly green, eco-friendly product.” Palko, who grew up in El Paso and is a registered nurse, settled with her family about 30 years ago in Fort Worth. An active community volunteer, she helped form Fort Worth Sister Cities International in 1985 and is now a director emeritus. She’s passionate about all things green at Fort Worth’s Botanical Research Institute of Texas, where she serves on the board. She’s also served on the boards of Meals on Wheels Inc. of Tarrant County and McDonald Observatory.

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Palko was so impressed with the Nixall family of products – including VetResponse, MedResponse, Cleanser, Disinfectant and Greener Touch and all made from anolyte water – she became a distributor for the Missouri-based company’s product called Green Now, a multi-purpose, environmentally-friendly skin care product. She recently launched a new business venture, Green Now LLC, joining the global skin care industry that is expected to generate almost $95 billion by 2015, according to MarketLine. Facial care represented the leading market segment, MarketLine reports, with more than 64 percent of overall value.

Green Now’s first private label product, Green Now Total Skin Care Mist, is a refreshing, all-natural body spritz safe for adults and children. The mist is just sprayed on the face and skin and left to air dry. It hydrates the skin, and is non-irritating, non-allergenic and non-stinging. In addition to replenishing the skin, it improves the complexion, is oil-free and won’t clog pores. “Re-think your skin care. Misting is today’s way to hydrate and revive your skin,” Palko said. “Green Now has no toxins or chemicals, no alcohol, and no build up on the skin. No other skin care product out there does that. And no one has a product with a shelf life and that is government approved. Nobody.” Green Now can transform the skin, Palko says. Aside from its use as a moisturizer, the spray can be used as a cleanser and a deodorizer. “I use if after a yoga workout. It’s great to spritz on after exercise,” Palko said. “Women can use it to set their makeup; guys can use it as an after shave lotion. It’s also especially useful on sunburns or windburns. It’s pure and clean and gentle.” Green Now Total Skin Care Mist comes in two sizes: the 2-ounce bottle retails for $10, while the 8-ounce bottle sells for $27. The mist is available online at and sold locally at Smoothie King, 3054 S. University Dr.; Bikram Yoga at 921 Foch St.; and Garbo’s Salon at 4638 Camp Bowie Blvd.

Palko is looking to hire a sales team and distributors of the product. A website is under construction, and will include Spanish and Mandarin. Palko hopes to target Hispanic and Chinese consumers as well as baby boomers and young buyers. Palko said, “One of our goals is to introduce it to as many groups as possible – athletes, moms, coaches, schools, daycare centers, country clubs, hospitals, restaurants, business people, travelers, airlines. The possibilities are endless. We haven’t even cracked the door.” She said another goal is to have the whole family of Nixall products available. “There are no products out there like this – nothing even close to it. It’s an awesome product line,” Palko said. “Our invitation is to join us on the road to green, our path to a green, safe, healthy way of life.”

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