This CEO wants to save women's complexions — and farm animals — one jar at a time

[Excerpt from Know Your Value | NBC interview with Mika Brzezinski] 

Shannon McLinden, CEO of FarmHouse Fresh, chats with Mika Brzezinski about her struggle to find her purpose, being an introverted entrepreneur, the importance of giving back and more.

Most people don’t associate luxury skincare products with rescuing animals.

But then again, Shannon McLinden, CEO of FarmHouse Fresh, isn’t your typical business owner.

For 17 years, McLinden has been selling her popular, natural skincare products online, in stores and in spas across the world. What her customers may not know is that saving animals has always been central to her business mission.

McLinden’s company headquarters on a farm in McKinney, Texas is also home to an animal rescue center. Not only does her staff grow botanical extracts that go into their products, they have a barn for animals in need. And profits from the sale of every one of the products help rescue abused and neglected farm animals, including many that come to live and be cared for by the company’s employees. Currently, there are 31 animals living at the sanctuary, including donkeys, horses, sheep and goats.

“We like to say we provide rescue for two. We rescue complexions and we rescue animals by actioning our customer’s purchases,” McLinden, 46, recently told Mika Brzezinski, founder of Know Your Value. Brzezinski is an animal lover herself and has adopted several rescue animals into her own home over the years. That includes family dog Cajun, who passed away in 2019 and her cat, Meatball. [See photos in the original Know Your Value | NBC interview with Mika Brzezinski] 

McLinden recently shared her story with Brzezinski, including the struggle to find her own value and purpose, being an introverted entrepreneur, the importance of giving back and more.

Below is their conversation, which has been edited for brevity and clarity:

Mika Brzezinski: How did you create a business that combines farming, spa, skincare and rescuing animals? Tell me how it happened?

Shannon McLinden: It seems so disconnected, but it actually isn't.

Growing up, I never really could figure out how I would fit into the world. And I grew up in a really awesome, loving family.

…I just never was book smart. But I was very entrepreneurial. From a young age, I was always making something and selling it or giving it away. And it was everything from crocheting towels that I would sell door to door in my neighborhood … decorating shoes for people … I moved on to T-shirts, beading jackets -- like intricate, beautiful designs of flowers on jackets. That was what I was excited to do coming out of school every day.

But I never felt like that had any value. You know, you're in school and you're around people who were trying to get the A on the math or history test. And I just wanted to go home and make stuff.

To read the full interview, follow this link to Know Your Value | NBC