She’s back!!! One of our favorite makers and skincare gurus, Indie Lee is back in Boston this month to talk healthy skin, how to balance an insane schedule and how to (pretty much) change the world. We love all of her gorgeously packaged products (if you haven’t tried her Squalane Facial Oil yet, get with the program!) and we can’t get enough of her endless words of wisdom. Oh Indie, how we love thee! Check out our chat with her below to absorb some of her good vibes. To read our last interview back in October with Indie, click here!
Your products definitely stand out on our shelves as some of the most beautiful. Can you talk to us about your concept of “eco-chic” and how that played a role in the conception of your brand?
When I set out to start a brand I immediately saw an open space in the eco-chic category. I wanted natural products, but didn’t want to sacrifice efficacy or feeling like my bathroom looked like a Whole Foods kitchen experiment. I wanted my products and bathroom to look chic. I didn’t think I should have to sacrifice anything for healthy products. I also wanted to find a way for the packaging to be sustainable. I’ll be honest, our first few packaging iterations did not hit the mark. The products themselves were great, very eco. The packaging...not so much. I’d say, we were an eco-eco brand, saying we were eco-chic. Then my designer stepped in. He took everything I wanted my brand to be, infused my personality into it ,and translated that into what you see today, a brand that is Clean, Sustainable and Oh So Chic. Our boxes are from recycled paper, most of our vessels are glass, we silkscreen the bottles vs. adding labels, and, our fulfillment house is solar powered.
The Swiss Apple Serum is one of our most-hyped products. Can you talk about this rare ingredient and why it’s pretty much the most amazing discovery ever?
Wow, I had no idea. I’ve always been interested in different ingredients including the use and power of stem cells. The stem cells we use are known for their regenerative properties especially on aging skin. They are known for increasing the longevity of cells and delivering a more youthful and radiant appearance. Who doesn’t want that? While this ingredient is pretty amazing, it is our overall formulation that makes it so effective. A lot of companies use many, many ingredients, thereby diluting the key ones. We use just a few powerful ingredients in high concentration and your skin reaps the benefits. You have hyaluronic acid, the mother of humectants, that is known for holding over 1000x its weight in water. Also at the top of the ingredient list is seaweed extract, which I am in love with. It does so much for your skin. It soothes, softens and is an anti-inflammatory. It is also vitamin rich which not only nourishes your skin but fights free radicals from the air that can wreak havoc on skin. And, it promotes skin tightening.
Work-life balance is one of those things that we're constantly chasing. You seem to be traveling all of the time, running a business and raising a family without losing your head. How are you pulling this off and seriously, what are your secrets?
I’m laughing so hard reading this one. I think I could be doing a much better job balancing things (like getting enough sleep). I’ve been traveling practically nonstop these past six months and finding balance has definitely been a challenge. There are four distinct things that have helped me though. I have the best team hands down. In that, I am really blessed. I meditate twice daily - without fail. My practice has made such a difference in my sanity. I’m able to see things clearer, have more energy and stay focused without as much stress. When I am home, I hike daily. That connection to nature is very important to me. The disconnected time gives me the space to appreciate life, reflect what matters and often inspires me to figure out what’s next for the brand. But most importantly, my kids are incredibly supportive (it also doesn’t hurt that they have always been uber independent). A few weeks ago,I asked them how they have been handling my travel and time away from home , because I was concerned it might be affecting them negatively. They both laughed and said, they are so proud of me, they love watching the company grow and especially love seeing the changes we are creating. Both kids are on social media (ugh) and love reading all the comments people post to me. My son recently wrote me a text while I was on my way home from California. I’ll never forget it (I actually saved it). He wanted to highlight what I’d gone through and overcome, why I started this company, how far we’ve come and the difference I am making to others around the world. While I knew my kids were proud of me, until then, I hadn’t truly understood how they saw this part of my life’s journey. So when I get frazzled or feel like I can’t get it all done, I think of his text. I get emotional every time I think of it.
Follain has been working with you for a long time to make a positive change. As a maker, what are your hopes for the future of the beauty industry?
First, thank you for what you do. I’m so honored to be a part of the Follain Family and what you are doing to create change. As a maker, I’m excited about what’s to come. I have already seen such change in the industry. Back in 2008 when I decided to create my line, there were only a handful of natural brands, or should I say “truly natural brands” that were being carried by retailers. Now, we are an entire segment of the industry. My hope, is that the public continues to realize the power of their purchasing choices. I’m finding the conversations I have with consumers to be about shifts in legislation, availability of healthy choices, etc. It’s amazing and inspiring. Seven years ago, it felt like an uphill battle, now I feel like it’s a movement.
And finally, what products make up your Follain Five (aka, your five favorite products from Follain)?
I can only choose five? I mean you know I can’t live without my Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil. The more I travel, the more I look forward to coming home and taking a deep soak in my tub - Pursoma is always a part of that ritual. Lately I’m loving the Digital Detox Bath. I’m not sure what’s going on, but my hair is growing like crazy and thicker than ever...thank you Josh Rosebrook and his Lift spray for keeping my locks tame. I’m a huge fan of Sasha’s and ILIA lipsticks are a huge staple of mine. Please don’t ask me to choose just one - I often find 2 or more in my bag. My life would not be complete without something from Shirley Pinkson of W3ll People. She is a rock star. Their Universalist Stick is the everything go-to stick. I don’t wear a lot of makeup - just lips and eyes...this stick can be used as a lipstick, blush, eye shadow. You name it, it is THE multitasker.
Meet Indie Lee at Follain Beacon Hill
DIY Bath Salts Workshop
65 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114
Thursday, 4/14 from 6pm to 8pm
Space is limited, so RSVP here!