Judith and Andrew Burnstine opened Natural Kerr (pronounced “care”) on June 1 at the Mall at Wellington Green, upstairs near Dillard’s. The Wellington location replaces a previously outgrown Lantana location and builds upon Judith’s popular Amazon store.
Natural Kerr sells small-batch handmade products such as hair shampoo, conditioner, deep condition, soap, lotion, room spray, scrubs and styling products.
Services that will be offered in Wellington include classes and a treatment room to enjoy hair and skincare products.
“We’re trying to diversify the store into a more natural sanctuary space,” Judith explained. “We decided we wanted to work with ingredients that no other lines have out there that are natural or organic lines.”
One of the unique ingredients Judith utilizes in her products is rice. It helps with curl shrinkage, she said, and provides a layer of shine that is similar to the type of shine acquired through oil, without the oiliness. “Rice is a problem-solver for many women,” she said.
Natural Kerr’s haircare line is all-inclusive, working for every kind of hair. It works for curly-coily hair, thinning, straight, colored, chemically treated hair and more. The formulations heal and restore hair, as well, Judith said.
“We always say, ‘simple ingredients, simply natural, simply you.’ Just like your makeup, your hair line should be pure and clean,” she said.
Natural Kerr’s products work on hair for all types and ethnicities, utilizing ingredients such as caviar, beer, mushrooms and purple rice.
It took about a year with having different testers from different ethnicities trying the products for Judith’s formulas to be perfected, where they work for every hair type.
Judith’s path toward Natural Kerr began after a keratin treatment damaged her hair. She needed a product to work with her curly hair and the South Florida humidity, without using harsh chemicals.
Judith mixed products, worked with a formulator, then began testing her products, adjusting them for different types of hair.
The product names give a nod to one of Judith’s hobbies — baking — with products ranging from shampoos and conditioners to deep conditioners and sprays that are called Kerrly Cake, Cocoa Pineapple Custard, Seda de Caviar, Cacao Macchiato, Marmalade and more. All of the products have names in Spanish and English.
Many of the ingredients come from the Dominican culture and tradition.
Natural Kerr promotes combing therapy, an Asian tradition, using a specially made peachwood comb that brings scalp oils down the hair shaft to protect strands. The teeth are wide enough, but not too wide, to get through hair for a 15-minute combing routine that mimics the benefit of a scalp massage.
Natural Kerr offers starter kits, providing direction toward a natural hair journey. “It’s amazing how something so simple can be a health helper,” Judith said.
For the skin, Natural Kerr offers beer soap, made from barley that is used for beer. A variety of fragrances are made for Natural Kerr, and the soap can be enjoyed by men and women alike. It is softening, without leaving a film or tightness.
Soy candles work as a hand moisturizer or massage oil after they are burned. They’re made with organic soy, are hand-poured and offer a clean burn. Basil, patchouli and lemongrass are just some of the fragrances available.
“It’s pretty amazing what natural ingredients can do to change your life and make it better,” Judith said.
Currently, they’re testing new, decorative soaps that look like cupcakes, as well as a room spray.
Natural Kerr publishes a monthly magazine, Naturalista, which is informative about the benefits of Natural Kerr ingredients, about products and prices, as well as natural experiences and recipes.
The store features a scrub bar, where Judith hosts parties or helps clients create their own personal scrub, with a salt or sugar base, a variety of carrier oils, and a citrus, flower or leaf add-in, as well as exfoliating and moisturizing mix-ins such as ginger, saffron or purple rice, finishing with fragrance.
“The group classes teach people how the scrubs work and what they do,” she said, adding that children are particularly fascinated by the products. “When they come in, they’re so interested.”
Scrub classes are perfect for groups of five. Judith helps guide clients with different ingredients to address skincare needs and concerns.
She will be hosting a class, the Art of Creating a Body Scrub, on Saturday, June 24 at 3:45 p.m. To reserve a space, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. On June 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., there will also be a special Ladies Night Out promotion. Coming up on June 29, from 4 to 9 p.m., there will be a discount for scrub parties with four or more attendees.
Natural Kerr also offers natural gifts from around the world, including Indonesia, Bali, Vietnam, India, China, Burma and other locations, whether the items are coasters, figurines, small boxes or other artisan-made gifts.
The store is decorated with items from around the world, featuring handmade touches specifically created for the new store. As you meander through, listening to soothing spa-style music and enjoying complementary refreshments, one thing is immediately noticeable — there isn’t a strong perfume smell to the store, as there is in many hair or body care stores. There is also a soft chair for anyone to relax in while friends or family are shopping.
The store has an ambiance that is similar to that of a spa, Andrew explained, rather than a store.
An associate professor at Lynn University’s College of Business and Management, Andrew has extensive experience in the women’s specialty store business. He grew up in his family’s business and later ran the business, with locations in Palm Beach and New York.
One of the exciting, and different parts about Natural Kerr formulas, Judith explained, is that they can be customized.
Currently, they have many new and exciting products on the horizon, including Paw Kerr, a line of natural soaps for dogs, and a youth line, Kid Kerr.
“If they’re fun, they’re going to use it,” Andrew said.
Judith is working with her 11-year-old niece, Savannah Latorre, creating and formulating her own haircare line for girls.
The Burnstines are currently looking for high school students, specifically from John I. Leonard High School, to work part-time during the 6 p.m. to close shift, Monday through Friday, though hours may vary.
One of Andrew’s students attended the school and mentioned that any help would be appreciated, so they are looking for students who would like to learn how the business works.
In addition, as another way of giving back to the community, there will be a designated day each month where a portion of proceeds will go back to a local high school.
“We’re really excited for what’s to come with Natural Kerr,” Judith said.
For more information, visit www.naturalkerr.com or find NaturalKerrHaircare on Instagram.
ABOVE: Natural Kerr’s Judith and Andrew Burnstine hold cupcake soaps in front of a store display.