Today we're kicking off a series of interviews to present you the brands we work with and the passionate people behind the products we bring in your homes.
In this 1st episode we are thrilled to introduce Anne, founder and maker of the Los Angeles based brand GiseleByLAMissApple. We fell in love with her shampoo bars, hair mask, bath bombs and make-up remover. We are very excited to share the story of a true artist with many talents!
Why did you start Gisele by LAMissApple?
When I was 23 year old I had serious health issues. It was a pivotal moment in my life when I discovered there was a good chance my disease was linked to the "regular" skincare products I was using everyday, in particular my deodorant. These products are available everywhere, I trusted them. How could I know they were so dangerous for my health?
From this moment on, I eliminated all nasty chemicals from my life. I searched for organic ways to improve my health and the health of my little boy who was 1 year old at that time.
I spent 700 hours of studying aromatherapy in France. Through this experience, I learned all the benefits that essential oils can bring to us and how to use them to make perfectly safe skincare products. I'm grateful today I've built a business around my passion and I'm able to share my products with so many people around the world.
How did you choose the name GiseleByLAMissApple?
Gisele was my son's grand mother. I spent 6 months with her when she was going through chemo. I shared with her my first lotions, the bond between us became very strong. This name is a way to pay tribute to her.
And La Miss Apple is my french nickname (" la petite pomme") when I was a little girl.
Where does your inspiration to create your products come from?
My inspiration comes from Nature : I'm deeply curious about flowers, herbs, wax, seaweeds... all these natural substances have so many healing virtues, we don't need synthetic ingredients.
I choose the best plants and oils and incorporate them in all my products to treat skin and hair. It's safe for us and for our planet. For me it's obvious that it's the best thing to do.
What's your favorite product and why?
It's a difficult question! I would say the coconut hair mask because it reminds me of my son. I created this product for his huge curly hair! Now I love how his hair have never looked so shiny and felt so soft.
My second favorite are all my solid shampoos: I'm very proud I came up with a product that is so eco-friendly (no plastic bottle, safe ingredients). It's truly zero waste, it has health benefits and as my customers would say "it's so simple and it works!". I created 9 different types, because we all have different hair. Pick one and you will see!
If I could choose one more product it will be of course my deodorant. Although I've found a safe recipe, it's hard to find the perfect zero waste and plastic free container, so it's still a work in progress.
What was your plastic pollution eye opening moment?
I got a wake up call in 2002. I was line producer for an advertising agency, we were making lots of commercials to promote luxury cosmetics brands. Between their formulas full of chemicals and their plastic packaging, you can imagine it was a little hard for me.
One day I was working on a short film I was producing. During the editing I went through images that were so shocking I still remember them: groups of children looking for food, climbing mountains of garbage, plastic was everywhere. I couldn't handle it but this convinced me I had to do something to raise awareness about this worldwide issue. And that's what happened years later when I started LAMissApple, this is my contribution.
What’s the easiest zero waste change you've made?
All the containers I use are recycled and I don't buy plastic anymore: I make all my beauty and household products myself; I even made some shopping bags and I sewn pads to clean my face (no more disposable cotton balls). And when my friends order from me, I sanitize and reuse their own containers.
It's also important for me to contribute to keeping our beautiful canyons clean. I go on a hike every week with my kids and we pick up all the plastic bottles we find. We bring what's recyclable to the recycling center and they keep the money they receive. This is how I teach them about caring for our environment.
What are your projects for 2018?
My big project for 2018 is to spread the word for responsible consuming: I want to offer more ways to respect our planet, take care of our health, protect our kids. I want to become a reference brand for better living.
Why not to building an app, a platform or a concept store based on Zero waste and toxins-free lifestyle? Wish me luck!