All posts filed under: Interviews

Self-Care Insiders: Life of a Startup CEO & Ayurvedic Rituals

Stop, take time to taste, smell, feel and be in the moment. I believe in taking a healthy time-out for your wellbeing and so does the person in our next “Self-Care Insider” story. Shadoh Punnapuzha is the Founder of Taïla Skincare. She left her career in private equity finance in order to take on the world of beauty with her wisdom of time honored science. The results: a non-toxic and gorgeous skincare line. What does your typical skincare routine look like?   I am strapped for time, as I have my own business and a 21 month old baby boy, therefore my routine has to be quick and simple. At a risk of sounding like an advertisement, I use the entire Taïla line as my go to regimen. I created my collection sort of out of the need for a routine that suited me. I start with our cleanser, then mist with our moisturizing toner and end with a quick face massage using our face oil. The Prana Face Oil is my holy grail. Once or twice a …

The Power of Ayurveda: Get To Know The Founder and Wisdom Behind Taïla Skincare

Growing up with age-old wisdom has its benefits. The Founder of Taïla Skincare, Shadoh Punnapuzha, is proving that when you combine the power of Ayurveda and science, you get divine results. I set my eyes on Shadoh’s line of products at New York’s Indie Beauty Expo. Taïla’s harmonious booth beautifully displayed products in a comfortable setting, offering visitors tea, a place to take a breather and a display of botanical touches. It is where the brand launched and showed, what can only be described as pure beauty, to buyers, editors and the public. This skincare line consists of a cleanser, mist, facial oil, mask and an eye cream. All of these heavenly botanical creations are made in the USA. Imagine if your favorite luxury skincare line used zero shortcuts to get you the healing power of skincare you deserve. That’s Taïla. Shadoh and I discuss the brand’s beginnings, philosophy and the beauty industry. What was it that nudged you to change career paths and launch a skincare brand? I grew up in a household where …

American Spa’s Julie Keller Callaghan is Leading The Women In Wellness Empowerment Movement

“I believe in abundance – one woman’s success does not and should not take away from another’s—any woman’s success is only good for us all.”  Empowered women empower other women, who then go on to empower the world. The American Spa’s Women in Wellness Leadership Conference proves that the road to success is paved with networking. After the 2016 election, instead of feeling powerless, Julie Keller Callaghan decided to become a cheerleader for women. The idea for the conference began to hatch. The American Spa Magazine’s editor-in-chief and publisher is an inspiration to women like me; women who are willing to share resources and tips in order to contribute to a greater good. Julie’s initiative to help women lift each other up does not end with the conference. She has created a network of women who support each other all year long, along with a scholarship that provides career assistance for one lucky recipient. My personal takeaway from the first New York City 2018 conference was to take matters into my own hands and make …

Self-Care Insiders: Wellness, Yoga & Skincare Wisdom from Matthew Milèo

The Self-Care Insiders started with the idea of gathering intimate wisdom from clean living and wellness advocates. Sharing ideas from successful leaders and putting them in one place, that you can tap into at any time, is a powerful resource for anyone looking to start or enrich their own wellness journey. Matthew Milèo was one of the first people I thought of. He is so much more than what you see on his Instagram or in the press. The more I get to know about him, the more I fall in love with his message of wellness and brand, Milèo New York. Matthew’s approach towards skincare and wellness is both genuine and inspiring. Your serums are so precious. What are some proper ways you recommend we use Milèo New York products in self-care rituals? Elixir Oud is a pure & powerful skincare treatment that also bouquets the senses as a natural therapeutic fragrance. After massaging a few drops of MILÈO Elixir Oud onto the face, I recommend cupping the hands over the nose to inhale …

Self-Care Insiders: Talking Skincare & Winter Wellness With Maya Crothers, Founder of CIRCCELL

Self-care is medicine for the soul. It always has been, it was just not labeled as such. We perform intimate rituals, whisper loving words, scribble in our journals and when needed, we grab the bull by the horns in order to feel healthy and well. This is a “Self-Care Insiders” series. It is a reminder of my own personal journey towards wellness. Mental health is often not talked about and those who suffer with depression or anxiety keep it to themselves, fearing others will not understand. Mental health awareness is a big reason why Cultivated was born and why wellness + self-care is so important to me. It is hard to talk about but important to share. Mental health aside, we can ALL benefit from taking a time-out from our busy lives to breathe easier and appreciate slow living. This is especially true in the wintertime, when the winter blues effect a large percentage of the population and our skin thirsts for extra care. On days when self-care is doable, I share insider tips from …

Talking Wellness & Natural Makeup with Gabriel De Santino, CEO and Founder of Gabriel Cosmetics

The natural and organic beauty industry is growing rapidly. According to Insider’s Guide to Spas reporting, it is projected to reach $25 billion+ by 2025.  Brands big and small are jumping on the bandwagon to become part of the clean beauty revolution. Natural beauty is no longer just for spa goers, herbalists and those in the know. More consumers are becoming aware of harmful chemicals in beauty products and seek to become even more educated, choosing to make smart purchases. Gabriel De Santino, CEO and founder of Gabriel Cosmetics, Zuzu Luxe and Clean Kids Naturally, has been there since the early beginnings. Gabriel’s stories of growing up in an environment where nature was a welcomed teacher brings back memories of my own similar childhood experience. We might have grown up on different continents but his advocacy for natural and healthy living strikes a chord with me. As a 90s natural beauty pioneer, Gabriel De Santino has started to think about clean skincare long before the natural beauty CEOs of today. Gabriel launched his career by becoming an aesthetician. This …

Toxic-Free Beauty For Healthy Breasts With Ira Kaganovsy Green

October might be over but Breast Cancer Awareness is something I think about all year. My six month check ups are always nerve-wracking, reminding me to keep vigilant and strive for a healthier lifestyle. Considering green beauty shops and brands are all around us, you can no longer use the excuse of inconvenience.  Remind yourself that you and only you are responsible for double checking ingredients and making sure a brand philosophy correlates with your personal beliefs and lifestyle. The indie and natural beauty market has grown into a gorgeous display of brands that are modernizing green essentials. These brands provide every day products that make their way into the routine part of our lives. When it comes to beauty and grooming, doesn’t it make sense that we should choose the healthier option? Your breast might be happier too. When I think of breast health and routines, my mind immediately goes to deodorants. This is one essential that we use once or twice, on a daily basis. I am no expert on natural deodorants, but …

Botanical Beauty, Mullein & Sparrow Story

This story was researched and written for Insider’s Guide to Spas. I traveled to Brooklyn to meet with Anit Hora, a rising star of the luxury botanical skincare world. You might already be a fan of Mullein & Sparrow, or perhaps you’re seeking a new beauty staple to add to your line up of natural active skincare. Either way, Anit’s story will inspire you. I knew the brand was special when I first spotted the beautiful packaging at the very well-attended Cosmoprof Press Preview Event in New York. (HTTP://WWW.INSIDERSGUIDETOSPAS.COM/FEATURES/GROWING-DISCOVER-GREEN) Mullein & Sparrow’s space is in Greenpoint. I entered what looked like part beautiful apothecary shop, part science laboratory. The shelves were perfectly organized, and there was an aura of excitement. You see, she had been photographed most of the morning for Tory Burch. Among other things, Anit has been recognized for her entrepreneurial spirit and has partnered with Tory Burch—who is helping women-owned businesses thrive via the Tory Burch Foundation. They had chosen 10 brands—out of 800-plus—to include in their Tory Burch Foundation Seed Box. …

A Healing Bath From Mama Medicine

This story was originally written for Insider’s Guide to Spas. I believe in the great power of nature, creativity, taking time out to work on yourself, being a good and kind person, but mostly I believe in healing with spas and spirituality—which is why I was drawn to Deborah Hanekamp. A self-described “seeress” and owner of Space by Mama Medicine, a wellness center in New York City, Deborah was recently recognized by VOGUE as one of the fashion set’s favorite healers. I first got to know her through her Instagram (yes, social media can have a positive impact), where her commitment to spiritual health and wellness shines through. To me, those special individuals who help others with coaching and healing are the gentlest and most interesting people—and Deborah is one of them. She is living and facilitating spiritual healing and wellness to the many different types of people who seek her out. She provides one-on-one readings in New York, and medicine ceremonies throughout the world. Get ready for some cheesy gushing because I believe that Deborah is the …

The Giving and Natural Creations

This article was originally published in 2009, on the Organic Spa Magazine blog. The Andean Collection is now Faire Collection. There is no better way to spread happiness than providing the opportunity for others to enrich their lives. The Andean jewelry collection, founded by the multi-talented Amanda Judge, is not only eco-conscious but is also a humanitarian effort. Amanda’s story and her collection started in Ecuador. Amanda holds a degree in International Law and Diplomacy, which she has decided to put to use by studying the survival strategies of women in extreme poverty. The study ended up being a path to a new life for both Amanda and the women of Northern Ecuador. The Andean Collection was born. How did you meet the women that you work with? AJ: I met the women of The Andean Collection when I was in Ecuador doing research for my Masters thesis, which was going to be on the survival strategies of rural indigenous women in the face of extreme poverty. To set up the project, I had to go …

Spark Pretty Pop-Up Shop, Step Into Their Happy Bubble

This story was originally published for Hob Nob Magazine Editors Note: Spark Pretty is now open all year at 333 East 9th Street in the East Village, New York. What the world needs now is more 90s. It was a simpler time—and if you grew up then this 90s pop-up shop will certainly make you smile. The owner of Spark Pretty, Amanda Dolan and her business partner Meagan Colby, have settled into an East Village location for the month of May. Shop your vintage heart out because everything you could ever need for a fun summer is in this shop; platform shoes, smiley face accessories, sexy bodysuits, 90210 inspired dresses, band t-shirts and of course there is the gorgeous display of Tony Alamo’s hand-painted denim jackets. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity. We stopped by to ask Amanda and Meagan a few questions. Step into their happy 90s bubble for good energies and knowledgable minds at 333 East 9th Street (btw 1st/2nd Aves). How was Spark Pretty born? Spark Pretty was born about five years ago. I had …

Cara Marie Piazza, Magic & Sustainability Over Fast Fashion

This story was originally published for Insider’s Guide to Spas. To view all of my contributing articles, visit Insider’s Guide To Spas. I was in the midst of New York Fashion Week, but all I truly cared about was finding time to meet with Cara Marie Piazza. I had long envisioned what her creations and workspace would look like. Mostly, I was curious about the designer herself. A treasure among the chaos of fast fashion, she is succeeding on her own terms. The natural dyer and textile designer launched her brand nearly right out of college. Besides hand-dyeing storytelling creations for her own label, c a l y x, Cara teaches workshops on natural dyeing and continues to join forces with exciting brands. Everything is naturally dyed through alchemical dye sessions, ancient shibori techniques, and bundle dyeing. The designer’s sustainable creations and well-thought-out collaborations are sold at spa resorts, such as Amanyara Turks & Caicos, and cities all over the world. As a fan of carefully curated Parisian shops, I was happy to learn that the …