That little word, for me, is packed with a multitude of cringes and immediate “walk away” from purchases. Since I started choosing more natural beauty products, leaving fragrance behind has been a journey. Even many “green” beauty options are still ladened with fragrance.
Confession: I have not worn perfume in over 5 years, and I have avoided most fragranced body care in that time as well. It was a big step for me, I used to love the conventional perfume chain stores, you know them… the ones you could smell in the mall from three stores down. Now, if I walk even remotely near those stores, an immediate headache begins. I know not everyone is as sensitive as me, but just looking at the health concerns alone, should steer most people away from conventional fragrances.
I understand it can be difficult, there is just something so quintessential about putting on your perfume, once your ready to head out for the day. Despite my health concerns over fragrances, I still long to wear perfume. I have tried multiple essential oil based fragrances but have been left unsatisfied. Their blends were either unappealing or still contained fragrances that were “enhanced” with essential oils. Perfume and green beauty has been a tough go for me… That is, until now!
Cue Twinkle Apothecary!
This woman owned, Indie Beauty company has got me swooning over their delightful and lasting fragrances. All of their 15+ fragrances are scented with only essential oils and are custom blended by the owner Stefanie. Twinkle Apothecary offers both roll-on oil based perfumes and alcohol based perfumes. On top of the variety of fragrances offered, the scents can be bought in the wide variety of body care products offered at Twinkle Apothecary. Think deodorant, body oil and dry shampoo too!
Stefanie blends the fragrances with four notes, keeping the fragrances simple but blendable. For example, you can layer the perfume Vanilla with the body oil Duchess, to add depth and earthy base notes to your (now) custom scent.
I have been wearing Twinkle Apothecary fragrances for the last few weeks, and I am obsessed! My kids came down with the cold of all colds and no joke, I was sneaking away to my room for the blessed five minutes of peace. To achieve that peace it was the usual IG scroll and putting on one of the sample perfumes I ordered. It helped me feel a little more human and less like a personal blanket and snot rag. #momlife
Through my Indie Beauty series, I have been fortunate enough to talk to Stefanie via email. We have talked about how Twinkle Apothecary got it’s start, where it is headed, and as a Indie beauty owner-how Stefanie sees the impact of Indie beauty today. Tomorrow I will give you my review of the products I have been using (and loving) from Twinkle Apothecary, and Stefanie will give us a hint at upcoming product releases and her TOP 3 must have products from Twinkle Apothecary.
Today my interview focuses on the foundation of Twinkle Apothecary. With Stefanie’s commitment to quality and inspiring story, I think you will see why I have fallen in love with Twinkle Apothecary, and the indie beauty movement.
My interview with Stefanie- founder of Twinkle Apothecary (Part 1)
Amanda: Stefanie, I just want to first thank you again for taking the time to share with my readers about Twinkle Apothecary. Can you share with my readers a bit of your own history in the natural/vegan beauty realm? Have you always focused on natural beauty or did something happen that started your journey?
Stefanie: I can’t honestly say that I have had much of a history in the natural/vegan beauty realm outside of being a curious consumer! I’ve always been intrigued by plants, flowers, and natural fragrances- but I never planned to have a career in beauty. Before I started Twinkle Apothecary, I was an actor who worked in retail. Then after I became a mom, I was in fashion production. I started down this path when I made a New Years Resolution 3 years ago to live a completely vegan and cruelty free lifestyle. I realized that most of the brands and products available in stores are owned by large corporations that still test on animals, so I started looking into indie and handmade brands, which ended up being a lot more fun to shop from, and it wasn’t long before I was inspired to do my own thing!
A: How was Twinkle Apothecary developed? What led you to creating your own independent company?
S: On the surface it seems (and at times, feels,) like Twinkle Apothecary came out of nowhere. But, I guess it was all really just a series of unfortunate life events followed by a smart move-slash-enormous leap of faith. As a single mom living in Los Angeles my fashion production job wasn’t making ends meet and I was actively trying (or laying awake at night wracking my brain) to figure out my next career move. I always wanted to have my own business but I was completely broke, so I knew I needed to find something that I could start at home with basically no start up investment. I had a vegan fashion/shopping blog at the time, so a website seemed like the obvious choice, but selling what?! My professional background was in retail and fashion, but I noticed that there seemed to be a lot more interest in vegan beauty blogs and websites.
At the same time, I was trying to find a vegan deodorant that worked for all of my stress sweat and having no luck, so I started making my own. I distinctly remember the first time I stirred up some tapioca starch and coconut oil in my kitchen – this magical feeling came over me, and I knew that, that was it – that was what I was meant to do. The next day I started planning, bought some books about natural beauty products, and within a month or so I had moved home to Oklahoma City to live with my parents and was all in. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was so determined, and I did have a clear vision of what kind of a brand I wanted to create. I knew I wanted to make something using really clean, quality ingredients, but was also affordable, approachable, cute and fun. Basically, all of the things that I would want to buy for myself! I went through about a dozen failed batches of deodorant until I got one that I was proud of, and I remember telling myself, “Ok, I don’t know if this will be the best deodorant in the world, but I do know I can make it the cutest!”
A: I know that certifications and product sourcing is important to my readers. Can you share any certifications you have, or your sourcing standards?
S: As an ethical vegan, I felt that getting my brand approved as vegan & cruelty free by the PETA Beauty Without Bunnies program was a very important step. It means that every supplier I work with must have a cruelty-free, no animal testing policy in place, and I never use any animal products or by-products in my products. Any time I look into using ingredients from a new source, I always reach out to them to confirm that they have a no-animal testing policy.
I will say, just as a side note to your readers who are interested in supporting indie and handmade brands, that getting certifications can be an expensive and time consuming process, especially for brands that are just getting off the ground. Even though I was making sure that all of my suppliers were cruelty free from the very beginning, it took me a few months in business before I felt like I could afford to pay the fee for that cute little bunny logo. So, just because a brand doesn’t have all of those certifications at the very beginning, doesn’t mean that they aren’t producing quality, ethical products. Now, I know that there are more certifications I could add to my brand, but I don’t have the time to fill out the paperwork. (I probably need to hire an assistant!)
As far as ingredient sourcing and quality, I’ve had the same 3-4 main suppliers for all of my oils and ingredients pretty much from the start, because they were the ones who really wowed me with their quality and transparency. I’m the kind of person who wants to know what’s in everything and how it’s made, so I look for suppliers who give me all of the information I need up front – if I have to ask them a question about what it is that I’m actually buying I move right along.
I’m also proud to say that I am finally at the point where I’m able to upgrade to organic ingredients wherever possible. When I was first starting out, that extra cost to switch from conventionally grown ingredients seemed insurmountable, but now I finally have the sales volume to make up for it and still keep my products affordable. I’m currently working on updating my ingredients lists online to reflect my most recent upgrades. It will probably always be a work in progress.
A: What changes do you see affecting the beauty industry today, because of the indie beauty movement?
S: Well, my hope is that demand for natural, vegan, and cruelty free products will force larger corporations to change their outdated animal testing policies and be more transparent about the ingredients that they use. Or maybe even change their formulations to incorporate more natural, safe ingredients – but I don’t know if that will ever actually happen or not!
We’re already seeing bigger retailers like Target and Sephora give more shelf space to indie brands, so it’s exciting that these products are becoming more accessible. I do wonder how much indie brands can really grow, without sacrificing their quality and ethical production methods. While I do wholesale my products to select boutiques, my main focus is on reaching my customers directly through my website, app, and physical retail space here in Oklahoma City. If I had to make a prediction, I’d bet that we’re going to see more niche indie brands going rogue, doing their own thing, and vying for your attention in cyber space.
My interview with Stefanie has only helped reinforce my commitment to support indie brands. I feel very fortunate getting the opportunity to speak to Stefanie and share her bits of wisdom with all my readers.
I hope that you enjoyed this little shake up from my normal posts and I look forward to sharing more unique opportunities with everyone. Stay tuned for tomorrow when I will be posting the rest of my interview with Stefanie and my product reviews. TRUST ME, you won’t want to miss it! In the mean time, go check out Twinkle Apothecary or for quick and easy shopping check out the Twinkle APP. Let me know your wish list and thoughts below!