If you've been following the development of my body of work, Luminous Architecture, you're probably familiar with my seasonal wellness product line, Luminous Elixirs. What you may not be so familiar with is how, and more importantly, why I got into the business of brewing up these elixirs that assist you in attuning your alignment with the cycles of the seasons and your life.
This is what I’m touching on in today's letter - the philosophy behind my brand, and why Luminous Elixirs is so much more than a brand.
It all started with curiosity and experimenting, like many good things do. I would make myself a skin serum here, a face mask there, a conditioning hair treatment every so often, all made from ingredients found lying around in my kitchen and, at the time, my small essential oil collection. Very organically, it grew out of an experimental phase into the norm for my self-care routine. At the time, I had no idea this would grow into a facet of my work. I just really liked creating these products for my own personal use.
Over time, making my own personal blends became a ritual of sorts, especially as I delved deeper into understanding the power of plant medicine beyond essential oils. Clients and friends began to inquire about my skin care protocol or the delicious scents I would adorn them with while in savasana. Funny thing is, when these questions were being asked I had already started to envision what has now taken shape as Luminous Elixirs. The alignment for timing seemed serendipitous, and I took it as an affirmation to branch out and explore this facet of myself as an elixir brewing artisan.
All Luminous Elixirs products are made with the highest quality ingredients - I don't put anything in them that I don't already use myself. These products are ALWAYS free from synthetic foaming agents, artificial fragrances, synthetic dyes, and any other nasty chemicals you typically find in today's beauty and personal care products. I like to keep things natural, pure, and simple in all areas of my life, but especially when it comes to what I put on my body and I love providing that same trusted simplicity for others through these elixirs.
With a deeply personal desire to protect the luminosity of this lovely planet we call home, I've put extra effort into researching where and how my oils, salts, butters, product bottles, packaging, and shipping materials have come into existence. Rather than choosing the cheapest options to make the most profit, I am committed to create products in a good way - sourcing from companies who are also invested in the integrity of their products and the sustainability of our planet for all forms of life. All shipping boxes are made from 100% recycled and post-consumer waste, and all shipping packaging is reused from packages I receive in the mail. I encourage you to at the very least, recycle, or even better, reuse your Luminous Elixirs shipping, packaging, and product bottle materials.
At Luminous Elixirs, less is more when it comes to packaging. I handwrite all of the Luminous Elixirs labels on recycled kraft paper and tie them onto the product with twine to make the process of reusing the product bottles as easy as possible for the consumer. No need to scrub off the sticky residue of a label to reuse. Just untie, wash the bottle, and you're ready to reuse in whatever way you'd like!
As this letter is titled, Luminous Elixirs is more than a brand - it's a lifestyle. Sure, my packaging might not look as "fancy" as other brands, but neither will our planet at the rate of styrofoam, bubble wrap, and the single use, throw away culture we're operating in these days. Minimal packaging is where it's at. To help you get started, here are 3 simple suggestions to help you begin to shift out of the paradigm of single use culture:
No.1 Reduce, reuse, recycle...in that order. Think about what areas of your life you could reduce waste in? Do you compost? When you're spring cleaning, do you toss everything away or donate it to a charity? Have you ever thought about the impact recycling has on our planet? Sure, it’s better than dumping everything into a landfill, but there are plenty of resources that go into recycling which could be cut back on if we focused on reusing more rather than recycling and patting ourselves on the backs when doing so. Bring your own reusable bags when shopping. Have the barista make your to go drink in a reusable container - I use Hydro Flask's vacuum insulated coffee flask and highly recommend! There are so many little steps you can take daily to assist in shifting our culture to a more sustainably minded one.
No.2 Read this minimal packaging article for an easy copy and paste message you can reach out to retailers with to request minimal packaging for your online orders. Nowadays, it seems like we don't even need to leave our home to get anything we want because it can be delivered right to our doorstep. But how many sheets of bubblewrap and packaging peanuts do you just throw out because of this convenience? I'm a big fan of Amazon Prime's 2 day shipping, but I've taken an extra step by emailing them to ensure that all of the packaging materials they use on my orders are recyclable or made from post-consumer materials. Reusing packaging for your own future shipments or gift wrappings is a great way to ensure at least twice the life span of your average bubble wrap.
No.3 Make a difference with your dollar. By supporting businesses that not only talk the talk, but walk the walk and truly follow eco-conscious, sustainable practices, you’re making a difference just by how you choose to consume your products and services. Beware of greenwashing, though. Plenty of companies looking to make an extra buck are catching on to eco-conscious trends and claiming that their products and business practices are better for the environment, when in reality, they've simply changed their marketing strategy to trick consumers into thinking such things. Consume mindfully!
Speaking of greenwashing, during the experimental phase of making my own personal beauty products, I realized how many unnecessary, harmful ingredients are found in most products, even those found on the shelves of health food stores. This gave me the push I needed to take things from an experiment to a way of life.
Have you ever looked on the back of your favorite skin serum or deodorant and wondered why there are so many ingredients, half of which you can’t even pronounce? Well, maybe you haven’t, but I hope you give it some thought after reading the lowdown on the “dirty dozen” of cosmetics. You’d be surprised at how many so-called all natural, organic, eco-conscious beauty lines can be caught red-handed when it comes to using at least one of the dirty dozen ingredients in their products. That's why I not only live up to a minimalist principle with my packaging, but also when it comes to my ingredients list. I can’t promise that you will be able to pronounce all of the ingredients I use, because jojoba oil is often times mispronounced and I include the Latin names of the essential oils in the ingredients list. But I can promise you that I use these products on myself and all of the ingredients infused into these Luminous Elixirs are completely natural, free from the dirty dozen, and crafted with the utmost love and intention, right here in Brooklyn!
I hope these elixirs bring a little more luminosity into your life!