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“I reduce waste everywhere I can,” says Marre Muijs, founder of the Melbourne-based shoe label @essenthelabel (the name is short for “essentials”). Launched in 2016 with only three styles, ESSEN’s shoes are handmade in solar-powered factories and sold on a preorder basis to prevent overproduction. “The whole idea is to focus on wardrobe staples,” says Marre. “People want to go back to buying less—and buying better.”
@supernal.co’s Melissa Medvedich thinks face oil is kind of like pizza. (Yes, we said pizza.) “There are so many slices in New York City,” she says. “Sometimes you want gluten-free, sometimes you want a dollar slice, sometimes you want gourmet veggie....” Melissa says face-oil blends have that same level of variety—which is what led the publishing-world veteran–turned–aromatherapist to create a brand featuring her own dream formula.
“Olive oil is not like wine,” says @wearebrightland founder Aishwarya Iyer. “It doesn't get better with age.” Aishwarya speaks from experience. Four years ago, after suffering from persistent stomachaches, she took a closer look at her kitchen pantry and discovered that her oil was making her sick. “I learned that a lot of olive oil being sold is rotten or rancid or has been adulterated,” she says. “That was the initial impetus for me to say, ‘I think there can be something better out there.’” Aishwarya’s year-old company, Brightland, offers three preservative-free olive oil blends, all produced at a single-estate organic farm in California—and packaged in bottles coated with UV-protectant powder, which better preserves the amazingness inside.
“Quite honestly, a handkerchief is just something that I’ve always carried with me,” says @hankskerchiefs founder Colin Hanks. The habit goes back a few Hanks-ian generations. “My grandfather always had one. He’d blow his nose in it, and I thought that that was the most disgusting thing in the world. And then my dad always wore kerchiefs a lot on vacations.” Colin says that emotional connection was the first thing that got him thinking about making handkerchiefs—and the second was the utility of the product itself. “I’ve used them for all sorts of things,” he says. “Protection from the sun, a way to get someone’s attention in public, personal hand towel… I even used a handkerchief as a coffee filter.”
🤧🎉❤️ 📸: Haley Scott
In today’s special Father’s Day Story, learn more about Colin’s made-in-Los Angeles brand!
Isabella Giancarlo and Laura Kraber launched @fluidebeauty’s bright lip colors, shadows, polishes and glitters in 2017 with an upfront mission of being a space for all genders within the beauty industry. “It’s about using your face as a canvas,” says Isabella. “There’s no rule book.” #pride 🌈🎉
“You’re too cute to chafe,” says @megababe founder Katie Sturino, whose success with an inclusive fashion blog inspired her to start a personal care brand that focuses on body issues like boob sweat and thigh chafing. Katie’s products have clearly struck a chord—in addition to the best-selling Bust Dust and Thigh Rescue, Megababe’s new natural sage and green tea deodorant, Rosy Pits, drew a 13,000-deep wait list after it was announced.
Today on our Story, Katie shares her tips for beating the summer heat!
“I have expensive taste, but I don’t like the idea of spending a fortune on an item,” says @jlanijewels founder Lani Nesbit. “So I wanted to create items that look more expensive than they actually are.” Almost 10 years ago, while Lani was dreaming up her line, she was working at FedEx, where, luckily enough, she met other entrepreneurs who suggested manufacturers for her to reach out to. (“I really feel like my job was divine timing,” she says.) Eight years after launching and now based in Miami, @jlanijewels offers more than 180 styles and counts Issa Rae, Halsey and Beyoncé among its fans. “You know,” Lani says with a laugh, “I met Beyoncé’s stylist at FedEx, too.” 👑🐝❤️
“I used to just use bar soap to wash my face,” says @thenimetyou founder Charlotte Cho. “I didn’t care about skin care. I didn’t think I needed it.” But when Charlotte’s job took her from California to South Korea in 2008, her local colleagues were aghast. They introduced her to the famed double-cleanse method, and she promptly retired her bar soap. “The name Then I Met You is meant to signify a deeper turning point in your life,” the @sokoglam entrepreneur says of her new line, whose first release is a double-cleansing set. “For me, going to Korea was just that—it was where I fell in love with skin care.”
In today’s Story, Charlotte explains the science behind the double-cleanse method!
“ @miaou is one of those companies that accidentally happened,” says founder Alexia Elkaim. “I was working a desk job and making pants on my lunch break. I made 10 pairs, did a photoshoot with friends and put them online. The first 10 pairs sold out, I made 10 more, they sold out and that’s when I quit my job.” The line has gained superfans, including #ladygaga, who wore their signature pinstriped pants in A Star is Born. “I cried when I saw them in the movie,” Elkaim admits. “I was on a date and I just started crying.” 😭🙌🏼🌈
As a fashion editor in New York City, @sagesalt founder Corbin Chamberlin always kept one item in his bag—sage spray. The homemade spritz allowed him to neutralize negative energy around him without actually burning dried herbs. “I’ve always been very sensitive to vibes,” he says. “And it was the only way I could smudge myself throughout the day without going to jail for arson.” In 2014 Corbin returned to his native Arizona and started selling his Smokeless Smudge full-time. The product was an instant hit: He shipped 7,000 units in his first six months of production. “Now,” he says, “I’m a just a full-on professional witch.” 🧙🏻♂️⚡️🌈
“Our entire collection is tried on by everyone,” says @moderncitizen’s co-founder Jess Lee of her all-female team of 13. “We have an immediate focus group.” With an average price point of $75, the San-Francisco-based retailer is building a more accessible wardrobe for women with Jess and her co-founder Lizzie at the helm. “At the end of the day, we are the customer,” says Jess. “We know exactly what she's looking for.” 💪🏼
“I grew up wanting things that no one else had,” says Roxanna Sternerud, founder of LA-made luxury sock line @darnersocks. Inspired by antique hosiery and small-batch produced in fabrics from crushed velvet to floral mesh, Roxi's cut-and-sewn socks are anything but ordinary. 📸: Daniel Sahlberg