Monday, August 3, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: PEACOCK APOTHECARY


I recently chatted with the lovely Becky of Be Clean Shop  here in Washington, D.C.+ Ariel of Chaia  about the difficulties of navigating skincare products with autoimmune issues. Even within the realm of natural skincare, it is still difficult to find accommodating lines and many larger companies have cross-contamination issues. That's why I am adamant about smaller, hand-crafted companies with integrity and customer connexion. 

The female power duo behind The Peacock Apothecary is so incredibly dedicated to their line that they hand-craft each batch with the specific skin type, needs, and sensitivities of the individual in mind. Each batch is therefore made only for you with such special care synergistically blended into everything from the plumping night cream to the divine Spring Equinox anointing oil. Every single drop takes my senses onto higher clouds. I ran out of the body scrub far too quickly to reveal + smear and slather on the peppermint lip balm like I live in the frozen tundra. Here are the two L.A. birds behind the line, chatting about crystal bowls + soundbaths,  flower elixirs, + eating seasonally . . . 


SAM FELD + CAITLYN MONTGOMERY, THE PEACOCK APOTHECARY | los angeles, california


Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what inspired you to start your line.
Sam | The line was a very natural progression. I love to cook and I’m incredibly conscious about the source of my food. My attention shifted from the ingredient labels in my pantry to the ingredient labels on my beauty products. I couldn’t pronounce most and knew that so many of the products were riddled with chemicals to maintain shelf life. So I started to research and experiment in the kitchen. I wanted the 
products I used on my skin to be as natural and clean as the food I was eating. As my beauty cabinet got 
an overhaul, I started to gift out products to friends. One of those friends was Caitlyn. The crème cleanser 
had completely changed her skin. We decided to team up and the line was born.

Caitlyn | Sam gifted me an oil-based face cleanser one year for my birthday and 2 weeks later, my skin had never been so happy. I was floored. I called Sam and asked if I could start paying her to make it for me regularly! My face was not only free of blemishes, but it seemed to have a completely different texture altogether- smoother and suppler. I always say my skin just started to feel like skin again. Sounds funny, but that’s the best way I know how to explain it. Until then, the skin on my face was always at some extreme- super oily with sore bumps, dry and flaking or even worse yet, a combo of both. And all of a sudden, it just felt like the skin on my arms or stomach, just like, well, skin. I didn’t think about it as much as I used to, because it wasn’t demanding my attention with its soreness or oiliness. I was able to 
stop wearing as much makeup as before, and my confidence spiked. Sounds dramatic, but it is the reason 
I went into business with Sam. I was convinced that if switching to a beauty routine with no chemicals and more fresh ingredients had this life changing of an effect on me, it would affect others too.


Q: Do you have a ritual for making/applying your products? Tell us about your custom-made process.
Sam | I have a lot of daily rituals but Sunday is really the day where I commune with our line. I like to give myself an at-home facial using our products or recipes we’re experimenting with. I begin by cleansing my face with our coconut milk cleanser to wash away all of my makeup. I follow with a scrub and a mask. Depending on the season and the weather, I switch between a clay mask and a honey mask. I always end my facial with our regenerative night crème. I seriously have yet to find another moisturizer that softens my skin as well. 

Caitlyn | Since my beauty routine is what I start and end my day with, I try to also use that time to clear my head and check back in with myself. My routine may be quick, but it gives me a minute to look in the mirror and give myself a pep talk. It’s a me-moment, and I savor it. As far as the custom-made process with The Peacock Apothecary goes, we craft all of our product as orders come in, meaning the product you order is generally made by us within a week or two of mailing. And although most of our recipes stay the same, because we make our product in small batches, it is easy for us to customize for our clients based on allergies or scent preferences. After all, not all skin is created equal, and we try to help accommodate for that.

Q: When you are not working on your line, what else do you like to do?
Sam | I have a toddler so most of my time is spent chasing him around. Outside of work and family, I play the crystal bowls and lead soundbaths as part of a petite collective called Conclave. If I’m not crafting, you can usually find me dancing or listening to music. Additionally, I’m working on a festival for 2016.

Caitlyn | My fiancée and I just bought a home in Montecito Heights, just east of Downtown LA, so a lot of my free time is now spent exploring our new neighborhood and nesting. Plus, I have a wedding to plan… 

Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
Sam | That’s a tough question because it’s constantly changing. Every Sunday begins with a trip to the farmer’s market. I meal plan for the week and I’m constantly inspired by seasonal foods and new recipes. Cooking is meditative and my way of showing love for the people I feed. Otherwise, I do love a cup of Living Tea and Sun Potion’s Anandamide mixed with nut milk in morning. 

Caitlyn | I feel like I am a professional snacker. I spend a lot of time driving to/from my day job, so my car is like an actual snack station. Hidden behind my seat at any given time are pistachios, almonds, cherry granola and kale chips. My glove box is full of those little packets of Justin’s Almond Butter (the chocolate one is life-changing) and individual packs of various Vitamin C powders and magnesium fizz. I’m also a sucker for an almond milk Matcha green tea or a Green Milk and Superfood bar from Juice Served Here. Mmmm….

Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
Sam | For the body / Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil, Natural Vitality Magnesium and VSL#3 Probiotic. Basically, it’s been a long journey to get my digestive system on track and these 3 supplements have done the trick. For the soul / Lotus Wei Flower Elixirs. Caitlyn and I are both participating in the Flowerevolution program.

Caitlyn | Water, Ester-C and yoga or Pilates 2-3x a week. 

Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?
Sam | Grapefruit Seed Extract is my secret weapon when fighting a cold. Otherwise, I have a very extensive collection of essential oils and herbs which we use to make tinctures and salves. 

Caitlyn | This past month, I’ve added Super Nasya Oil and Banyan Botanical’s supplement ‘Stress Ease’ into my daily routine, and been pretty happy with the results. But as far as battling the common cold or flu, a big shot of lemon and ginger juice with a sprinkle of cayenne can really bring me back to life. I also always have a variety of the teas by Traditional Medicinals on hand. My favorites are Easy Now, Nighty Night, Breathe Easy, Throat Coat and Cold Care PM.

Q: What is your next big vision for Peacock Apothecary?
Sam | Honestly, I’d love to be able to teach workshops in hopes that more people learn the craft. We’re sharing recipes on the blog in hopes that more people embrace their ability to craft skincare products. 

Caitlyn | I’m with Sam on this one. Workshops are an ideal next step for Peacock. Seeing as right now we only have a virtual storefront, workshops and events create an opportunity for us to interact more with our community, and we love that. We’re also itching to collaborate more with other crafters on new and different products. It can be like a breathe of fresh air to work with other like-minded folks on projects that matter.