What's your background? Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from rural Southern Illinois. I lived my entire life in one house, surrounded by lush woods and wild nature and it instilled a deep appreciation and stillness in me. But, I’d always been a “city girl” at heart and from there, I attended the University of Cincinnati and graduated with a degree in Fashion Design. That career led me to many different cities, working on 5 internships in NYC, Columbus, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Paris. I finally landed in NYC in 2007, spent nearly a decade living in Brooklyn with my partner, Yuri, and finishing my fashion career at the Baby Gap in November 2015.
In a few words, how would you describe your work?
Quality, effective, approachable, and beautiful :)
Why did you open Oxalis Apothecary? Any meaning to the name?
Skincare has always been a huge part of my life and the ritual was instilled in me at an early age from my mother and grandmother. They taught me to always take care of my skin and take pride in self care. As I started educating myself on what products I was using, I began switching to all natural products and welcomed many natural brands into my routine. The official launch was in June 2015 after 7-8 months of developing the formulations, creating the labels and branding, setting up photoshoots and building the website. I’ve done everything from the beginning on my own, with help of my fellow coworker and good friend from the Gap who worked on the label design with me. I built the website, set up the LLC, hand poured and labeled every single product and put it out into the world. It was a very exciting time and I didn’t know what would happen but I knew I was passionate again for the first time in a long time so I went for it. The products were helping me deal with skin issues, severe migraines, anxiety, and stress and I wanted to share what was finally stirring something incredibly positive up in me. The name comes from the plant Oxalis, which is a large genus of plants that grow all over the world. A few of my favorites are Oxalis Triangularis which look like butterflies and the common 3 leaf heart shaped shamrock which grow wild in the woods as well sidewalk cracks. I just think they’re so resilient and beautiful, they don’t discriminate where they grow, don’t need much care and understated as far as flowering plants go. Plus, they mean joy in the language of flowers and this brand was built around joy.
What's the best thing about running a small business?
Being your own boss and creating and running something that you built on your own is pretty exhilarating. I’m proud of the success of this brand and I’m just so honored others are celebrating alongside me. I love that I can have a flexible schedule, and after a decade of a corporate 9-5 lifestyle, it feels like I got my life back in some way. My family is a huge part of my life and my father suffers from Frontotemporal Dementia, and this career allows me to take time off and be with them. I also love the natural beauty and wellness community, it’s so supportive. I think community over competition is key and there is room for all of us, we should be celebrating others wins as well as our own. Running a small business is tough so the more support the better!
Can you tell us about some of your favorite natural ingredients you use? Why do you love them?
Ohhh, so so many! One of my all time favorites is Jojoba Oil, which mimics the skin's natural sebum (texture) and is packed with Vitamin E. Another key carrier oil I use is Rosehip Oil. I always use unrefined Rosehip Oil, rich in essential fatty acids that help aid dry, irritated skin and is known to have anti aging properties. One of my favorite dried herbs I use is Calendula, which I infuse in organic Olive Oil and use in all of the Body Oils and Sea Salt Scrub. I love Aloe, Rose hydrosol, naturally mined clays and I am a sucker for Jasmine! It is my favorite scent and I hope to incorporate it into even more products down the road.