Behind the Scenes: Wabi-Sabi Botanicals

Elysse, of Wabi-Sabi Botanicals and vendor in our October box, is definitely an inspiration.  She chats with us about how she got started, words that keep her grounded and where she sees herself in the future.

Tell us a little about you and how you got started.
Two years ago, I found myself unhappy, unfulfilled, and burnt out, like I didn’t have the energy or desire to take care of myself the way I needed. In my desperation, I switched to healthier eating habits, quit drinking alcohol, started doing yoga, and began some much-needed soul-searching. I found myself moving closer and closer to a more natural, compassionate lifestyle-- less animal products, less processed foods, less environmental impact, less toxins (both external and internal.) I was happier, yes, but still working the same, draining job and feeling like I needed to get out fast. I had learned about the ugly truth of the beauty industry-- about the harmful chemicals and toxins in most mainstream products-- in my research into healthy living. I wanted to ditch the bad stuff and use better products without compromising effectiveness or enjoyment. Something told me to make my own products. I honestly don’t know what inspired me to make a business out of it. I’d never thought of myself as entrepreneurial, but the universe planted a seed in my head and I ran with it. It’s blossomed into this beautiful thing, Wabi-Sabi Botanicals. I left my job, took a leap of faith into the great unknown, and I am so happy I did. Wabi-Sabi Botanicals has given me a creative outlet, a fulfilling job, and a way to positively impact people’s lives-- what I’ve always wanted-- without compromising my own heath and well-being.

Where did you come up with your shop name?
A Google search led me to the term ‘wabi-sabi.’ ‘Wabi-Sabi’ represents a Japanese Buddhist worldview that finds beauty in imperfection, values simplicity and authenticity, embraces the connectedness of all things, and respects the integrity of natural objects and processes. It embodied my personal journey and everything I was (and still am) learning, so I knew it was the one.

How do you decide the ingredients you choose for your products?
Formulating products begins with hours of research -- looking at every ingredient’s history, skin and overall health benefits -- followed by trials and testing to find the most effective formula that also looks, smells, and feels good. Every product is a sensory experience, from its color and aroma to its texture. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Right now my business is my baby, but I would love to get married and start a family in the next five years.

Some words you live by.
I live by the idea that synchronicity is the universe saying ‘Yes!’ When I do the next indicated step and things fall into place, I know that I’m heading in the right direction. When they don’t fall into place, the universe is saying ‘Not right now.’ or ‘I have something better planned.’ and I trust it.

The best advice you’ve ever received.
Be consistent. A company that calls itself ‘eco-friendly’ and then packages everything in bubble wrap and packing peanuts is not consistent. The best way to send a clear, honest message is to be consistent. Also, make generosity a part of your growth strategy. In business and in life, the more you give, the more you get.