Many people want to know how I came to be so obsessive about what goes on my body that I created my own skin care line. Fair question! First off, I should say that I remember the very first face mask that I made. I was 10 years old and I had my big sister trapped in the bathroom spreading oatmeal and honey on her face. She was grossed out and I was amazed by the idea that putting food on my body could make me beautiful. In short, I was a fashion magazine-reading, beauty-obsessed adolescent who slept in a head gear and wore a back brace. Needless to say, I was a late bloomer. But my family lived outside of town and I didn’t have much of a social life, so I had time to brew big dreams.
Fast forward a decade and I found myself backpacking the Big Island of Hawaii for six months with a friend. We got off the plane, hitched a ride (I no longer condone this!) and our driver welcomed us to the “land of milk and honey,” then promptly dropped us off in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. We rolled out our sleeping bags thinking we’d made a huge mistake. The next morning we awoke to a large family of banana spiders nesting directly above our heads. It was perilous to say the least, but the more benign event that happened next is what changed the trajectory of my life.
We slid out from under the spiders, rolled up our sleeping bags and as we were awaiting our next ride, I noticed a tiny pamphlet in the bushes. It listed every single vitamin and mineral, its benefit to the body and the food source from which each nutrient was available. I was astounded. I was raised on home-grown meats and veggies, but I didn’t want to eat them. Why would I, when Taco Bell had just opened up in my little town? The idea that blueberries contained something called antioxidants that staved off diseases while making me beautiful literally blew my mind. Blueberries?? That was 20 years ago and the seed it planted has been with me since.
I continued my grand adventures, living in tents in Yosemite and beach houses in Santa Cruz, where I studied Cultural and Medical Anthropology at UCSC. It was during this time that my interest in the intersection of health, beauty and nutrition across cultures was piqued.
Fast forward a few more years and I was a big-city girl studying and working in London, New York and Dallas. These years were immensely important. I met the love of my life (in London), enjoyed a blissful early-married life (in NYC) and had my children (in Dallas). It was in Dallas that the seeds for BLOOM finally began to germinate.
We knew from the moment of her birth that something wasn’t right with our daughter. She was endlessly colicky and throwing up, had chronic dark circles under her eyes and was late to walk, talk and pretty much everything else. After going to a multitude of doctors who dismissed our concerns, we finally learned that she had a severe digestive disorder, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, anxiety, adrenal fatigue and a slew of other problems no 4-year old should have to endure. We were working with a functional medicine doctor who had me comb through every single item we were eating, drinking and putting onto our skin. No more unidentifiable names, no more additives, preservatives, dyes, fragrances or synthetic ingredients. I thought we were pretty healthy until I looked closely at all of the labels in my home. To say that I almost had a nervous breakdown would be an understatement. It was then that I got into what I call “deep” nutrition. I wanted to understand how the body functions and what the toxic ingredients in our food and personal care items were doing to us and our children. I cooked every meal and snack my children ate for 6 months and renewed my interest in making skin care products with zeal and desperation. It was an insane time, but I came out of it knowing my purpose.
Wanting to live the most natural lifestyle possible, my husband and I moved our family to Colorado, which was the piece of the puzzle that put BLOOM and my nutrition quest into high gear. I enrolled in a graduate program for Nutrition Therapy, which goes beyond traditional nutrition education and delves deeply into biophysics and the new, cutting edge sciences of epigenetics and nutrigenomics. During this time, I learned that each of us has a unique constitutional makeup that affects – and is effected by – every single particle, thought and action in this complex web of life. I learned that everything we eat, drink, think and put onto our bodies literally makes us or breaks us from one moment to the next.
I researched and read (and am still reading) every book imaginable on the therapeutic properties of food and plants. I began experimenting with skin care at a new level and with a new perspective. I was no longer rubbing olive oil onto my skin because it had only one ingredient – I was getting into truly customized, deeply rooted skin care. One person after another gained interest in my products and I finally decided to give them a name: BLOOM. That name is a culmination of my life’s story. From the gawky adolescent with scoliosis and an oatmeal face mask; to the 20 year-old adventurer discovering nutrition while hitchhiking in Hawaii; to the 30 year-old mother who moved heaven and earth to meet the needs of her child; to the 40 year-old woman who is more certain than ever what she is doing on this big, blue planet. I have finally bloomed.
In my world, nothing is of more value than knowing what is going onto and into my (and my family’s) body. The mission of BLOOM is to share that knowledge and inspiration with those who are interested. And for those who aren’t, that’s okay. Just feel secure knowing that BLOOM has covered the bases for you. And there is SO much yet to come.