Wednesday, May 6, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: ALEX ELLE / BALM + CO.



I am deeply honoured to share this particular markers + movers post with you. Alex Elle has been an incredible lightsource for my soul with her work. Her words pull + tug at my heartstrings, constantly reminding me to return to my authentic True North. She imbues, embodies, and extends genuine love + honesty to her community: words that smack, images that raise consciousness in a system that doesn't recognise humanity, + sweet mother-daughter connexion that flutters my little heart . . .

Their beauty is infused into the vegan, handmade, + cruelty-free line Balm & Co. that they co-create. I feel her sweet daughter Charleigh's excitement that charges into her little fingers + drips into each bottle. I spritz the glow toner + my aura shifts into a giddy cloud of child-like bliss. With the powdery scents of helichrysum + ylang ylang, it even comfortingly smells of a freshly-bathed baby—bliss. I then drench my skin in the buttercup-hued glow serum, soaked in its sunny scents. Meet the mamapreneur + power woman behind the line that unearths my inner flower child . . .


ALEX ELLE, BALM & CO. | washington, d.c.
Q: Tell me a little bit about you and your pursuits as a writer + creator.
Well, I have been a writer since age 12. It was therapy for me; I have a vivid memory of when my mom gave me my first journal. I still have it tucked away in a drawer. It’s red and embroidered with beautiful flowers.  Never did I think by 25 I would have 2 books published + be a best-selling author.  Being a creative has always been in my soul. Be it writing, crafting or jewelry making I have always yearned for creative outlets to express myself. 

Q: What inspired you to start your skincare line?
Entrepreneurship has been in my blood since I can remember! However, it all really began years ago after taking an entrepreneurship course in college. My very first business venture was birthed out of a final class project. It was natural hair care line that specialized in hair and body butters. The products consisted of raw + whipped Shea  butters, cocoa butters and other yummy stuff from the earth. At the time it was very successful but I couldn’t meet the demand! So I stopped. 

Fast-forward to today, my little daughter wanted to make lip balms. I was so excited that 
she was expressing her creativity and to be back in the kitchen whipping up homemade 
goodies. We brainstormed and made a few different lippies over the course of a year. We 
sold sample batches and the response was awesome! Shortly after, being the entrepreneur that I am, I thought it would be a good idea to create with and for a cause. 

We added products geared towards new moms and their babies, along with a few items 
for poppas. 10% of our sales goes to House of Ruth, an organization that helps women + 
children who are victimized by domestic violence. I wanted Balm + Co to be a reflection 
of our family, along with the love we have for holistic healing, safe  + natural vegan ingredients and giving back to people in need. All of those things inspired the start of Balm + Co. 

Q: What inspired the name?
I suppose being “balm” centered. Lip balms, body balms, beard balms… etc. We also 
wanted a name that is easy to remember and could be seen/marketed everywhere, from 
Target to Saks. 

Q: Do you have a ritual for making/applying your products? Tell us about the experience you have with your daughter.
Creating with my daughter is so amazing and fun! She loves to help me mix the oils and balms and set up the bottles to prepare for stock. Recently, she expressed wanting to be a chemist, so who knows, maybe one day she will be crafting all of the oils and creating unique blends! I am very thrilled for that. Our Flower, Tea and Lunar oils are the main ones that I encourage our customers to use with extra love + care. All of them have their own healing properties. Take Lunar for example, it was created to help women combat PMS and cramps during their cycles. It should be applied 3 days before the expected period and as need through the cycle. Our customers have been raving about Lunar, which makes us really proud. Flower + Tea oils have essential oil blends that help with aches, pains and relaxation. The healing power of what the earth has to offer us is truly remarkable. 

Q: How long did it take for you to craft your products to the state it is in now? What was that experience like for you?
It took about a year and half. During that time a lot of trial and error happened which was 
a fun journey in itself.

Q: Part of your proceeds benefits a local women’s shelter. Tell us more about your mission of 
women’s empowerment.
I could go on and on about sisterhood and the empowerment of women! I truly believe that all of us, no matter the walk of life, have a purpose.  As women, we have so much potential and it’s awesome to see so many of us going after what it is that we want in life. Be it physically, emotionally or professionally, we are kicking BUTT!  I decided to donate 10% of our sales to House of Ruth because they assist women in getting their lives, power and worth back. For me, that type of healing is so needed and we are beyond happy to be working with such an amazing organization. 



balm & co. will be carried at the incredible be clean shop that is opening on may 16 in washington, d.c. / if you're in the area, take a skip, hop, + a jump over to the shop!

Q: When you are not working on your line + being a mamapreneur, what else do you like to do?
I love to eat, especially out with friends + family. Coming together for a meal is such an awesome feeling to me. Reading + hiking are also some things that I enjoy. However, work never really stops. I travel often for my book signings, tours and workshops. It’s fun but I try and make sure that my traveling is spread out so I don’t miss too much time with my family. 

Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine or a mantra?
Love keeps me going. Love for my family + profession inspires me so much. My mantra is “enjoy the journey.” That is what I aim to do, daily. 

Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
I really like making smoothies! All different kinds packed with fresh + wholesome ingredients.  Almonds are a fave too, along with hummus and crackers! YUM! 

Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
Drink lots of water / Keep negativity at bay / Eat good. 

Q: What would be an ideal day for you?
A hot yoga class and a long cat nap after! lol. 

Q: Besides your divine products, what do you do or use to keep your skin beautiful? What is 
your beauty routine?
I am a huge natural product junkie! In rotation I currently use: our Glow Serum + Sky Mist
Herbivore Botanicals’ Hydrate toner / Soul Sunday’s Ricewash / Activated Charcoal (for masks + tooth powder) / Lush’s Brazened Honey face mask

Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?
Lots of herbal teas, lavender, ginger, our Tea Oil and Lunar oil. 

Q: If your daughter were reading this ten years from now, what’s a little nugget of wisdom you’d 
like to tell her?
Don’t ever silence your love. No matter what. Let your love be loud, strong + vivacious. 

Q: What is your next big vision for Balm & Co.?
There are quite a few new things coming up for us! A few new oils + medicine cabinet gems will be introduced this summer. We really want to keep creating and helping people realize the power of holistic healing!


photos courtesy of Alex Elle