'I worked my tail off': McKinney resident builds FarmHouse Fresh skincare brand




FarmHouse Fresh owner Shannon McLinden runs an animal rescue operation at the ranch. Among the ranch animals is her mischievous donkey, Arlo. (Francesca D’Annunzio/Community Impact Newspaper)
FarmHouse Fresh owner Shannon McLinden runs an animal rescue operation at the ranch. Among the ranch animals is her mischievous donkey, Arlo. (Francesca D’Annunzio/Community Impact Newspaper)

FarmHouse Fresh owner Shannon McLinden runs an animal rescue operation at the ranch. Among the ranch animals is her mischievous donkey, Arlo. (Francesca D’Annunzio/Community Impact Newspaper)

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FarmHouse Fresh grows microgreens used in some of the company's products. (Francesca D'Annunzio/Community Impact Newspaper)
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FarmHouse Fresh has a greenhouse on the ranch. (Francesca D'Annunzio/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Lustre Drench® Instant Glow Dry Oil contains an extract from red amaranth, which is grown in FarmHouse Fresh’s greenhouse in McKinney. (Courtesy FarmHouse Fresh)
Shannon McLinden knew she had entrepreneurial and resourceful instincts from a young age. When she was 8, she said, she walked around her neighborhood selling homemade, crocheted goods.

Nearly a decade later, in college, McLinden’s running hobby caused the skin on her feet to crack. She found a solution to her problem: a foot scrub made of sea salt and rice bran oil. That product, along with three others, eventually became the basis for her business years later. In 2006, the foot scrub landed a spot on Oprah Winfrey’s “O List.”

For several years, McLinden ran her FarmHouse Fresh skin care and cosmetics company out of a house in Frisco, where she lived at the time. She has since expanded to offer more than 240 products, from lotions and face masks to body washes and fragrances, many of which are used in spas and hotels across North America, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

As her business operations and ideas expanded, so did her work space. In 2014, she purchased four acres of land on county property, where zoning laws are more lenient. Her ranch sits on a pocket of unincorporated land surrounded by the city of McKinney.

Other than its need to reside within a special zoning district, the McKinney-based ranch has another unorthodox quirk: it is an animal rescue farm.


McLinden has had a soft spot for animals since she was a child, she said. As her way of giving back to her community, she uses some of her profits to adopt abused and abandoned animals. She keeps them on her farm and hires farmhands to tend to them.

“We find a lot of different circumstances, so they all have a story,” McLinden said.

Making her dream business and philanthropic venture become a reality wasn’t easy though, McLinden said.

“I worked my tail off. ... I didn’t pay myself for the first five years. Every birthday I’ve had, I’ve been on the road at a trade show,” McLinden said, adding that 2020 was the only exception because of the pandemic.

“But I love what I do, you know?”

FarmHouse Fresh

8797 CR 858, McKinney

888-773-9626

www.farmhousefreshgoods.com

Hours: in-person by appointment only; online
By Francesca D' Annunzio
Francesca D'Annunzio covers K-12 and higher education, development, planning and zoning, and transportation in Frisco and McKinney. She attended college at the University of Texas at Austin, where she reported for the Daily Texan and interned for the Austin Chronicle. When she's not reporting, she enjoys spending time outdoors and experimenting in the kitchen.