The first thing everybody asks me is why I wanted to start my own natural skin care line. Simple. I’m super inspired about women’s rights, and I wanted to come up with a cool company idea that would give back. I had always felt inspired to help women feel empowered, but this inspiration became a life goal while I was living in Nepal during my year off from High School. We’re pretty spoiled here in the US, so living there was like living on another planet. Stepping off the plane felt like a brutal slap in the face, which quickly developed into complete culture shock. I didn’t even realize how low on the ladder women were in other countries! Or that children ages two and up could be forced into slave labor or be seen playing in trash as their amusement for the day. While there, I got a chance to create a documentary about the conditions of the Brick Children with a local media company in Kathmandu. In the process of filming, I realized that the underlying reason for Nepali child slave labor was the lack of family planning education, and women being ashamed to talk about it. Or more importantly, women not feeling brave enough to stand up to their husbands and get their opinions heard. This mere realization sickened me. Women are the ones having the children and taking care of them, shouldn’t THEY be allowed to have a say in the matter? These poor children as young as two (some still crawling) were forced to work out in the grueling sun to build bricks. In return they made close to nothing to bring back to their parents and school was rarely an option. The documentary was a good tool to raise awareness, but I decided I wanted to do more. This is one of the many projects I plan to do with Vibrance- build a school near the brick kilns for the children where they can learn basic subjects as well as family planning.
On the second half of the trip I trekked with my dad up to the Buddhist Monastery in the Himalayas. While there, Kusong (the head monk at Tengboche) showed us the nunnery which was close by. The difference in conditions and upkeep were unfathomable. I once again felt that sickening feeling creeping through my veins. How could the monastery be 10x nicer than the nunnery? How come no one ever thought that women living in huts with caved-in roofs, no bathrooms/showers, a broken prayer bench, no heaters and no warm blankets would be okay? Especially since the men were able to go down to the villiage in the winter and the women had to stay up in the mountains to survive the blizzards. No bathrooms really?? Um, women have more to deal with when it comes to the bathroom in the first place, why do they have to go outside in the grass/snow/rain when the men don’t? So unfair. My dad, who saw my pure aggravation with the situation vowed to help me raise money to rebuild their nunnery. In the year following we did just that through help from friends, as well as a punk rock benefit show I put together. Now the nuns have a nice place to live! But why did they have to live that way in the first place?? These thoughts haunted me then, and still continue to do so today. I don’t just ‘want’ to help more women and children. I NEED to…
Skin care was not always number one on my list in terms of my company ideas, but it ended up being the one that has worked the best, and I love it! I first decided I wanted to create my own beer that would have “special” ingredients that would target feminine needs, and in turn help build schools for children in Nepal. On a long drive up to Colorado, my dad and I brainstormed several winning ideas for making the perfect girl created and focused beer line- College Chic Brewing Company, Babes for Buddha Brewing, etc. In theory they all sounded great, but in actuality, it was much harder than I ever could’ve imagined. As the name states, I was in college at the time, so my living quarters were quite tight. Even so, I bought all of the supplies needed to put my brewing skills (or lack there of) to the test. I liked the idea of coming home after a long day of Accounting and other business related classes to my gallon pot, hops, tiny stove and supportive (at the time, now ex) boyfriend to try our hand at a new batch of beer. I’m sure he was just in it for the free booze, but hey that’s typical right?? We actually made some decent tasting batches, but far from the quality beer needed to sell to the public. If I had really wanted to do it right, I would’ve had to drop out of school, find a brew master mentor and religiously focus my time on beer and only beer. Well getting an education was my top priority, so this plan failed.
After a stint of working dead end retail jobs my dad suggested I help him with Marketing for his company, so I could get some real world experience in the field of my choice. He had a skin care line at the time that he sold to only his niche customers in the Acupuncture field. I thought that was rather ridiculous because the products were actually really good, and I loved the quality. Soon after a lightbulb went off and I realized that I should develop my own natural/organic skin care line with the purpose of giving back to the women of the world. Now two years later, I am finally done with my two formulas! Cheers to that. My purpose with the line is to raise awareness with issues like the ones I wasn’t aware of prior, and to actively give back to women locally and internationally in the process. I’m targeting a younger age bracket because us ladies should start protecting ourselves from dangerous UV rays and skin damage now! I also feel it’s incredibly important to use natural/organic creams, because the toxic preservatives used in other creams can cause deadly health problems- ugh no one needs that! The youth are the ones actively working on change, so that’s where my slogan comes in- Beauty with a Conscience.