Travelling can be such an eye opening experience. Seeing brand new views, diving into cultures and especially meeting new people. I love to travel and explore, but there is a feeling that never goes away and that feeling is coming home to the most magical place on earth, British Columbia. If travelling has taught me anything, it is to appreciate where I come from. I am lucky to call BC a safe, diverse and accepting home.
Here in BC we have a massive culture of artisans that create because they love their craft. We also have a large community of consumers that appreciate high quality handmade products. I have recently discovered 2 product lines from BC that I didn't have to travel far to find. These products have had a profound effect on me, far beyond the beautiful scents, textures and packaging. These are the types of companies that keep me thriving in this beauty industry.
1. Penny Francis Apothecary
Sarah and I met at a small cafe here in Kitsilano. She brought her son with her, and we only had about 45 minutes to chat. After leaving the cafe I realized that I had a huge takeaway. It was not the endless amount of knowledge and passion about skincare that Sarah had shared with me, or the cute little drawing her son did of my face, it was her love and commitment for her family. Sure, she could spend all day reading, writing and formulating her skincare products, but she puts her children first. She showed me that you can work hard and create something great while still living life for yourself (or your family).
Sarah may not have her cosmetic line if it were not for her own mother who ingrained into her the importance of proper skincare. When we share moments with our loved ones and teach each other about the honest, important things in life. We may even be ignited with something we did not know was even there.
2. Here and Now Botanicals
I stumbled upon Here and Now botanicals at the "Vegan Expo" in Vancouver, we were sharing a booth with Elate Cosmetics and a few other clean beauty lines. What caught my attention was that H&N formulated each scent profile from memories that were shared at music festivals. I thought this was super unique and special. As a fan of music festivals myself, I knew the stories behind each of these products went much deeper than just the ingredients that were mixed up and bottled.
I was lucky enough to run into Here & Now Botanicals at Bass Coast Music Festival this summer and told my friend about their products. She browsed and decided to choose the "Sweet Sassafras" aromatherapy oil (I accidentally left mine at home). She said that the scent brought her back to her hometown of South Africa. One of my favourite memories was watching my friend connect with other festival goers by rolling the oil into her hand and sharing the scent with them, then having them ask her to roll it onto them. I am so glad I was able to experience this product line the way it was meant to be experienced and shared.
Sometimes I wonder how I am still involved in an industry that is essentially about purchasing products to "look good" or "smell good" , but then I think back to these special moments where I have been taught how to connect, share and make memories through a handcrafted piece of art that makes me feel just as good as I look.