Tuesday, March 3, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: REMY & ROSE


makers + movers is a series that feature makers of clean products of integrity, thought, + passion which then move the world towards a higher consciousness . . . 

Anyone who knows me well knows my preference + love for bar soaps. They have a deeply nostalgic register for me—they take me on a little Proustian trip to the showers I used to take by the sea as a child with a hose + bar of soap in tow. My juvenile self would dance about the mere experience and although I still rejoice in the simple pleasure of showers, I am slightly more aware of how the products I use affect me once I pull the curtain + step out.

I've broadened myself out from my childhood days of savon de marseille + have tried countless soaps that, more often than not, would leave my skin . . . not as of in its childhood condition to say the least. I have come to find ones that I am quite loyal to Dr. Bronner's, Canus, + the unearthly Rose Chai Goat Milk soap by Nubian. After trying the soaps from Remy & Rose, however, I think I might have to expand that list . . .

Chatti's soaps are as beautiful as they look. I was immediately drawn to them with their minimalist yet witty watercoloured labels that envelop the pastel-coloured bars that are so reminiscent of candy that I quite honestly just want to nosh + nibble on them. Picking one would be like picking a favourite child, but the rose clay + cedar sage bars are pretty much an Herbal Essences-esque experience. These bars are keepers . . .


CHATTI BROWN, OWNER AT REMY & ROSE | hand-crafted in denver, co
Q: Tell me a little about you + what inspired you to start your line of hand-crafted soaps.
I grew up in Southern California.  I read too many romance novels as a teen but also loved picking up books on natural remedies and DIY beauty products. No matter how small our home was, my family always had a garden and we used plants daily. My parents made their own deodorant while my mother liked bathing in milk and doing herbal steams. As a teen I was taught by my mother about ways to take care of my skin using natural ingredients such as turmeric and banana peels to heal wounds and scars. 

I opened Remy & Rose Handcrafted Soap mid-November of 2014. My vision for was to make natural soaps so that showers would be more enjoyable without all those nasty chemicals. I wanted the soaps to be simple, gentle, and beautiful. I started making soaps for myself because of the dry Colorado weather and because nothing was working to alleviate my itchy skin until handmade soaps came into my life.

Q: When you are not working on your line, what else do you like to do?
I am also a photographer and an art therapist. Honestly, these three things keep me on my toes so there is often very little time for myself. Self-care is so important for me, though, because I’ve seen people burnt out and resentful with what used to be their passion. Whatever little time I have, I spend in good company or by myself. Recently, I have gotten back into doing yoga at home and running. I also enjoy a good hike, but since winter is still with us, I’m quite content to pick up a book and drink tea. My sister taught me to knit when I was ten years old, so I’ve made it a part of my life. I enjoy transforming materials to make new things. It still boggles me that someone decided, “Hey, let's shave some sheeps, spin some yarn, and knit a sweater.” How extraordinary is that?!

Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine or a mantra?
My favorite possession is a copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. He came to my hometown years ago for a read-along, a big book club for everyone in the city. When it was time to get his autograph, I asked him to write his favorite word. It turned out to be “YES!!!” As a kid and young adult I had felt confined in my fear, not wanting to step outside of the box. Now, as an adult, I realize that living in fear means not living up to or beyond my full potential. I no longer make decisions, whether they are professional or personal, based on fear. I think the “YES!!!” for me is more of a “yes” but a push towards living a fuller life, and defining what happiness means for me.

Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
My favorite food is grilled fish with mango salsa. It’s a simple dish that takes me back home to my family. For snacks, I love kale. I make a lot of kale chips but I like it spicy so I use smoked cayenne pepper. My sister in law also taught me a simple kale salad that is a favorite side dish that I make often.



Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
Drinking lots of water, good sleep, and exercise. 

Q: What do you do or use to keep your skin beautiful? What is your beauty routine?
In the morning I clean my face with a complexion bar (right now the Rose Clay soap), and then use a facial oil that I blended myself. Every so often I will make a mask depending on what my skin needs. Sometimes, it’ll be an activated charcoal mask or a Cambrian Sea clay mask. I really love honey as a beauty staple. Every two weeks or so I will do a body scrub with baking soda and raw honey and leave that on my body for about five minutes. I also use a coffee scrub that I made with shea butter to scrub any dead skin off. If I use that I don’t have to moisturize afterwards but if not, I use a body butter that has avocado butter and sweet almond oil. In winter, I do a facial steam every so often with botanicals like chamomile, rosehips, and juniper berries.

At night if I need it (mainly if I wore makeup), I’ll do an oil cleansing using a mix of olive oil, castor oil, and argan oil. I like using argan oil for my hair too. I’m not strict on my beauty routine though. Sometimes I’ll be online and read a beauty recipe and I just have to try it.

My favorite deodorant is by Fat & the Moon. It works great! I use Everyday Minerals for makeup and it helps calm my skin and reduce any redness.

Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?
Can water be in my holistic medicine cabinet? I think most people don’t understand the importance of water and clean, alkaline water at that. After living in Cambodia for two-and-a-half years, I realized how clean water is so essential to health.

I also try to drink apple cider vinegar water once a day. I put only a teaspoon in water and sip it throughout the day. It helps me with bloating and digestion. I love rosehip tea as well because it has so much vitamin c and a kraut tonic that my husband makes because of the probiotics. I also love Epsom salt baths for sore muscles.

Q: What is your next big vision for Remy & Rose?
I’m currently working on expanding the line to include bath salts and scrubs. I am also working on perfecting a men’s shaving soap. My husband and I are planning our garden right now and I can’t wait for summer to come and plants are growing again so I can use them in our soaps and products. I wish I could grow lavender year round! We will also be sold in some beautifully-curated boutiques in the Spring, so I am quite excited about that.

My bigger vision is to have my own workshop outside of the home. I also want a small shop attached to the workshop it where I can sale not only my soaps but also support other makers.