October 24, 2016
We welcome to the Good Life corner, Claire Molyneaux, the founder of Art of Organics. While everything these days seems to be delivered to your door via box, A/O veers from the norm of teensy samples, mish-moshed products and an overload of mass produced toxins. Instead, she’s decided to give “luxury” a new, exciting meaning, and she’s definitely doing something right.
Thoughtfully Magazine just named Art of Organics one of the “6 Green Beauty Boxes You Must Subscribe to Now”. Each month, Claire crafts a theme– like Best Hair Day ever or Wanderlust–and curates 3 deliciously decadent and HEALING beauty products for subscribers to adopt in their sacred self-care rituals. It’s like a beautiful birthday present every month that looks like cake, and feels like green juice for your soul!
We sat down with this beauty maven and relished in the fact that clean beauty is making leaps and bounds in the world, changing people’s lives and empowering women to know they can have both: we all can swipe on the plum lip balm *and* reap major benefits for our bods. Molyneaux is equal parts Boss Babe and Wellness Guru, and fully ready to help change the beauty world. Read on.
G/L: You were a fashion merchandiser for a large retailer before creating Art of Organics. Can you tell us about that transition and what inspired you to make this sizable shift?
A/O: After working in fashion for 5+ years I started to feel a bit stir crazy and an increasing desire to contribute to the world in a way that more closely aligned with my ideals. I wanted to do something that helped people, not just contributed to mass production and consumption. I wanted to create a company that was mindful about the products it sold, was transparent with its customers and inspired people to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle both internally and externally.
I had been transitioning my own self care ritual to one that was clean and non-toxic after suffering from allergies and skin sensitivity for years using traditional/mainstream beauty products. I was completely horrified when I learned about the ingredients in the products I’d been using and shocked to discover that they were only exacerbating the issues I was trying to fix. I’ve suffered from an autoimmune disorder since I was 15 and I can’t help but to think it’s no coincidence that it manifested around the age when I started regularly using makeup and beauty products. I wanted to share this information in an easy and digestible way and work to dispel the myth that clean beauty is “hippy dippy” and something you can only find on a dusty shelf in a natural food store. I wanted to show other women that clean beauty can be luxurious, modern and effective.
In a way, transitioning to the beauty world was a big change, but in a lot of ways it’s very familiar. I get to plan and create assortments, partner with beautiful brands and introduce our customers to the amazing products that I discover, though in a much more meaningful and connected way. The clean beauty community has a lot more soul and though it could easily become competitive between companies, it feels more like we’re all in this together. We’re all working towards the bigger picture and supporting each other.
G/L: Can you remember the moment that you realized the need for Art of Organics to exist? What was the trigger? Or was it a series of experiences?
A/O: I actually owned the domain artoforganics.com for 4 years before I ever did anything with it. I knew I wanted to start my own company around the idea of educating people on the realities of the beauty industry and introduce people to amazing clean beauty brands, but it took me awhile to put all the pieces together. Launching the blog seemed like a natural step, but The Clean Beauty Box and store came a bit later.
I realized that we can provide endless information about ingredients to avoid, but the product options are endless and when you’re starting the transition process it can be incredibly overwhelming (and expensive!) to go through the trial and error of finding products that work. Offering an expertly curated selection of clean beauty every month seemed like the perfect way to showcase the incredible brands I was discovering, but I wanted it to be more than just another beauty subscription box. I wanted it to be a catalyst for meaningful self-care and to promote the creation of a mindful beauty ritual. I want women to luxuriate in the entire experience from unboxing, to product discovery, engaging their senses, and finally as they incorporate them into a beloved beauty ritual.
To me, a beauty ritual that is enjoyed with intention is the difference between mindful self-care and just crossing things off your list. How often do we make lists in our heads or go over to-do’s while we’re in the shower or getting other things done while we mask? Each box is wrapped like a gift to encourage our customers to slow down and enjoy each small detail – something that is so easy to rush in a time when being busy is the standard of living.
G/L: How has your gut intuition played a role in building Art of Organics?
A/O: I tend to be someone who goes with her gut when making decisions. I love a detailed spreadsheets for organizational purposes, but when making decisions about Art of Organics, it feels more intuitive. The funny thing I’ve discovered about building a brand is that in the beginning it’s a lot of yourself in the brand, but as it grows and evolves it starts to become its own entity and in some ways guides itself.
G/L: Ok, we have to know. What’s a favorite (or two) product in your Beautyfood bag right now?
A/O: If I had children I think this question would be similar to you asking me to choose my favorite child 🙂 Multi-tasking products are my go-to probably because I’m usually running late and less products = less time! I carry hand/face balm with me everywhere. There is at least one jar in every one of my Beautyfood bags in each purse. My current favorites are Bara Balm Facial Emollient by H is for Love and One Love Organics Skin Savior. I use them to moisturize hands, lips, and face, as a cuticle treatment, makeup primer, makeup remover, luminizer, frizz tamer, you name it! I’m also a huge fan of facial mists. I’m currently loving Wildcare’s Hydrosols which are pure magic! They work really well as a toner to remove any excess grime after cleansing, as a quick refresher throughout the day or before you touch up makeup when going from work to an evening out.
G/L: Can we get a glimpse into your morning routine and bedtime rituals?
A/O: My morning routine leaves a bit to be desired since it’s not my most productive part of the day. I feel pretty satisfied if I get a glass of lemon water down before my coffee and my beauty ritual usually consists of misting my face with a hydrosol and applying a face balm or serum.
My bedtime ritual is when I take the time to indulge and really enjoy the sensory experience of each product. I’ve gotten really into double cleansing and I start by massaging a cleansing oil into my skin and follow with a creme cleanser or gel cleanser if I was wearing makeup. I follow with toner on a cotton pad to remove any excess makeup or day grime. I mask about 2-3 times a week alternating between a gel or creamy enzyme exfoliating mask and a dry clay mask mixed with honey (or water if I’m feeling lazy) for more exfoliation and detoxification. I follow with a quick mist to help absorption of a serum and then a balm during the winter when the air is drier. And that’s just before bed! In bed, I spend 10 minutes or so winding down by applying a calming body oil or cream to hands and feet. I mist the pillow with a calming essential oil based mist and then apply a dream inducing essential oil roller to my temples. I dare you to not fall asleep within 5 minutes after this ritual 🙂
G/L: Who inspires you in the wellness space right now?
A/O: There are so many companies killing it in the wellness arena. I’m inspired by brands that are realistic about creating balance in all areas of your life. Uber healthy diets like Gwyneth’s or Gisele and Tom’s sound amazing and aspirational, but we don’t all have personal chefs and it doesn’t feel realistic to prohibit the occasional indulgences (weekends are occasional right?).
Brands that encourage you to listen to what your body needs vs. constant restriction feels like a way to forge a healthier relationship with yourself. Whether it’s knowing you need to exercise vs. take time to rest or eat kale vs. sweet potato fries with gorgonzola and wasabi aioli (just saying). Good Life really nails it when it comes to encouraging an enjoyable balance. I love the weekly emails that provide easy to implement wellness hacks! It makes creating a healthy lifestyle feel really manageable and easy.
G/L: We think that healthy living doesn’t have to be hard! And you seem to embody this effortless weaving of wellness into your lifestyle. What is one small wellness habit or ritual you practice everyday that has made the biggest impact on your health?
A/O: Making time to move around and dispel pent up energy at the end of the day has been a game changer for me. Either going to a yoga class or just taking 20 minutes to walk outside and move my legs makes all the difference. It feels like a reset button and it gives me a chance to clear my head. My energy usually amps up around 7-8 pm so if I don’t make the time to disconnect from work mode and do something physical, I’ll find myself still attached to my computer at 11pm feeling jittery from adrenaline. I’m prone to stress so I’m working on being mindful about my habits to avoid those late night surges of adrenaline which throw everything out of whack.
G/L: What has been the greatest challenge in building your business? Can you share one of your go-to tips or tricks in how you stay productive and energized in your work?
A/O: For me the biggest challenge is learning to trust my instincts when it comes to the tough decisions. With no “boss” to turn to when tricky situations arise, I’ve had to rely on myself to make the “right” choices, which can be really scary! I’ve definitely made mistakes, but I’ve become a lot less afraid of failing. I’ve learned that failure is inevitable, but it’s not the end as long as you keep going.
When I get into a creative rut I find that conversation with other entrepreneurs really lights the fire under me again. I love the opportunity to learn about their businesses, bounce ideas around, or even just vent to each other. It doesn’t need to be another beauty or wellness entrepreneur (sometimes people from other industries than your own can be even more inspiring). Surrounding yourself with a community of people who are going for it and experiencing the same insanity of entrepreneurship is so important. It makes it a whole lot less lonely and terrifying.
G/L: What is your favorite quick and healthy meal to make at home?
A/O: I recently got a spiralizer and I’m obsessed! I’ve been doing a lot of zucchini “zoodles” along with a fresh made basil/spinach pesto which is really easy and quick to throw together in a nutribullet. I’ll add grilled chicken or sauteed shrimp if I’m craving some extra protein. It sounds a bit labor intensive, but the whole meal only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. Easy!
G/L: How do you live the ‘Good Life’?
A/O: Slowing down and being mindful about how I spend my time, how I treat my body and making sure I’m giving myself enough love. In 2015, my New Year’s resolution was to “become my own best friend” which meant treating myself the way I’d treat my best friend – with lots of love, compassion and being honest with myself, being kind to myself when I made mistakes, not stressing out over eating a burrito and a donut, or feeling guilty for skipping a yoga class. Treating myself with more compassion allows me to be a better person in my relationships which only ends up perpetuating the positive cycle of energy.
Editors Note: Good Life is proud to have guest curated the October Art of Organics Clean Beauty Box!
Art of Organics is a clean beauty monthly subscription box that delivers the top in clean beauty products at the most incredible value. Monthly. To your door. In the most adorable presentation. And introduces you to new clean beauty brands making a BIG splash in the natural wellness space.
Their October box features our newly designed Beautyfood bags! — never before released! When you pick up this month’s box, you’ll snag the bag, plus THREE full size clean beauty products… and a hint… they all scream #BEAUTYFOOD.
ART OF ORGANICS IS GIFTING THE GOOD LIFE COMMUNITY AN EXCLUSIVE SAVINGS OF 20% OFF YOUR FIRST MONTH’S BOX!
***USE CODE: BEAUTYFOODLOVE at checkout!***
Click here to grab the October box (while limited supplies last!).