Tell us about the Founder of Anne’s Apothecary, and how it all came to be!
I started making skincare as a therapeutic hobby while grieving the loss of her mother to cancer in 2014. She passed away from Non Squamous Cell Lung Cancer which is an insidious cancer of unknown direct cause. Through this time, I educated myself in herbal preparations and I discovered the purity of nature's vitals such as extracts, essential oils, clays, and exotic oils and how they made a difference on my friend's skin who used my products. Because of all the positive feedback I got, I refined my process to make it suitable for mass market use and began selling my products at farmers markets, vendor events and finally online.
I have been a nurse for 10 years, and I just completed a masters as a Family Nurse practitioner. My practical experience in the medical field plus my love for natural chemistry informs my belief that daily routine skincare should be restorative, not harsh, not disruptive to the microbiome, multi-use for various parts of the body, and most importantly support the healing process of skin not mask it. I have taken care of patients with various skin illness including eczema, acne vulgaris, psoriasis, hidradentis supprativa, atopic dermatitis so I understand the frustrations they encounter daily and why popular skincare regimens wont work for them or they choose to avoid them because of concerns about toxic ingredients.
Anne's Apothecary products eliminate this fear because we focus on what the skin needs to use regularly, cumulatively over a period and avoid concerning ingredients which most times are unnecessary to make your skin look and feel good. Our products can help manage and reduce breakouts and inflammation from clinically diagnosed skin conditions, and offer moisture support for those with simple Atopic dermatitis or excessively dry skin. With those who don't have any of these concerns, our product line offers multiple products to help reset their skincare and how they care for it. For teens and concerned parents, our product line is safe and natural enough to use without fear of it interrupting their hormones.
I believe that the accumulation of unnatural ingredients and unnecessary fillers can damage our bodies on a cellular level over an extended period and may result in manifesting certain conditions later in life.The more we know about what we put on our skin, the more confident we are in lessening our risks over time. Routine skincare is one of the ways I chose to tackle how women and men can reduce their exposure to toxic elements in skincare. If you know what you are putting on, you have reduced your risk of exposure to harmful elements. Routine skincare should also be easy to use, fragranced naturally and ultimately make your skin feel good. Just like I have taken care of patients since 2013, I understand that skin should look and feel good.
“The more we know about what we put on our skin, the more confident we are in lessening our risks over time.”
What are Anne’s Apothecary’s hero ingredients?
We have over 45 products with each having its hero ingredient. Our faves here are Honey- Honey has natural healing and softening benefits. Having been used for centuries for wound care, it contains Amino acids, B vitamins (B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid) which are necessary for wound healing. It is also a good humectant because it attracts water to the skin and using it regularly can smoothen and brighten your skin tone. We use it in Black Honey Facial Cleanser. Clays in our Clay mask line and Acne spot therapy are helpful with removing toxins from our pores and adding vitality to our skin tone. So whatever skin color you are, using a clay mask weekly keeps your skin looking renewed and refreshed. It is why after each clay mask session, our skin always feels fresher and looks brighter. Safflower oil is a non-comedogenic fatty acid that is obtained from seeds of the safflower plant. It hydrates dry or acne-prone skin effectively while soothing irritation, rashes, and inflammation. It is why we use it primarily in our Facial oil line.
What is your main skincare advice?
I advise my customers to cleanse, tone and moisturize 2x daily and use your actives and treatments at night. The nighttime is ideal because you are mentally at rest, so is your body and your skin. Your skin can focus on recovery and regeneration without varying environmental temperature changes.
We are obsessed with the packaging, tell us more about it!
Our packaging represents our mission to be a multicultural brand committed to simplifying skincare. It was designed by a local creative agency in Raleigh, NC. We started the project in 2019 to rebrand Anne's Apothecary, and I wanted packaging with bold solid colors to signify strength and reliability in our product. My goal is to elevate the consumer experience while also telling the story behind each product. The bold solid colors represent the natural colors of nature and diversity of nature. We let customers know the country of origin of each product's main ingredients by listing it on the pack to honor the ingredient's country of origin.
“My goal is to elevate the consumer experience while also telling the story behind each product.”
How does Anne’s Apothecary maintain 100% clean, eco-friendly, plant-based products?
From sourcing to packaging, we purchase from suppliers and manufacturers with certifications to support each green claim. This is usually costly for an indie brand like ours but it shows how far I'm willing to go to prove our commitment to a process I can be transparent about.
What is your staple Anne’s Apothecary product and why?
Black Honey Facial Cleanser is a cult fave with our consumers! Not only does it do a good job of detoxing and cleansing your skin, it feels and smells great while doing it! The feedback we have received about the cleanser is that it makes their skin look brighter and feel softer.
Share with us how you believe the introduction of sustainable beauty options has affected the market and consumers.
It has raised the level of accountability for mass market beauty brands who wish to engage with consumers concerned about sustainability in cosmetics. Conversations such as ingredients sourcing, the environmental impact of material extraction and processing, product packaging waste and use of natural gas in production now have permanence in what defines sustainable beauty. Sustainability is part of our identity, this introduction perfectly positions us as we offer trustworthy products that are effective and planet friendly. We are adding refill packs to most of our products that biodegradable, Customers will now be able to stock up on their favorites at better prices while reusing their single jars or bottles. This helps us fulfill our sustainable mission, reduce our dependence on glass packaging, offer better shipping and better fulfillment.
“Sustainability is part of our identity, this introduction perfectly positions us as we offer trustworthy products that are effective and planet friendly”
Give us a run-down of your morning routine!
06:30-07:30- As a single mom, I have 2 active boys so mornings are noisy between bath time and breakfast. I'm off to drop them off at 0730am to daycare and elementary school and then back home to shower.
My Morning skincare routine is always in this order
I use 3 moisturizers because I have excessively dry skin. In this order:
My morning drink is always a mocha and no whipped cream with a cream danish at Starbucks and head to the office.
8:30-1030: Follow up emails and action items for the week
11:30: Check in with the team (graphic designer, VA depending on the day of the week)
11:30-12:15: Checking on ingredients, sampling (whatever tasks listed for the week)
12:15- 1:00 pm- Lunch.
What are some challenges you had to overcome with Anne’s Apothecary?
I have had every challenge that exists in business. I have been overlooked, disappointed, denied access, had no funding, product packaging out of stock for months Etc. I have learned to prepare and to anticipate challenges, I learned quickly to make my role in the company impersonal. Taking YOU out of it allows you to be teachable and opens you to receive right mentorship.
What makes Anne’s Apothecary different from other natural skincare brands?
We like to make products that have a multi-use purpose. Our Moisture Baby Jelly, a petroleum free emollient can be used to prevent diaper rash, help soften dry elbows and feet, post tattoo care, dry cracked lips and as a nighttime foot balm for dry cracked feet. It can also be used for post tattoo care. Our Daily AHA exfoliant can be used as post shave tonic to help reduce the appearance of bumps after a shave ( excluding the bikini area) Our deodorants can be used as an anti-chafe cream for areas in between the thighs and under the breasts during the summertime. Our facial oils are safe to use as cuticle oils. Our floral botanical waters can be used for refreshing your hair whenever it feels dry or prepping your hair to style it. Price range- Our skincare line costs from $9- $77, our skincare sets are about $65 and we offer a free shipping over $75
Besides Anne’s Apothecary, what are you passionate about?
Motherhood! I know, it's corny but Anne's Apothecary allows me to be the mom I've always wanted toI have 2 vibrant young boys so my time is divided between running the business, playing with and taking care of them and while they are with their father, I go to the clinic and spend time with friends. It fulfills me and is a good balance for what I do.
What does the future look like for Anne’s Apothecary?
Our future is bright and exciting. We will continue to make the skincare you feel good about. Our candles are coming back in August. We have expanded into a larger production space which means better fulfillment and increased volume order capacity, and our refill packs for most products will be available in September 2022. We will be opening our showroom in Raleigh, NC in September as well.