What is your background?
I started the brand and was super fortunate to launch with some incredible retailers including Jenni Kayne, Goop and Cap Beauty. But it was a long road up to launch. I worked for over 10 years in New York as a trend forecaster, working with fashion, food and beauty clients like L’oreal and Unilever. My job was really fun, I got to research consumer shifts and track trends across industries to help grow innovation pipelines. The job was really strenuous though and I found myself feeling very burnt out traveling all around the world to see corporate clients and go to conferences. I always loved the world of natural beauty and felt like I needed an outlet to take a break from my laptop and learn about something different.
What inspired you to start Esker?
I enrolled at a small aromatherapy school in the east village called the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies and got certified, and that was an incredible experience.
We started out by doing a deep dive into one oil every week and the more I learned about each oil and plant I fell totally in love, with the plant, the history and emotional effect of the plant and the skincare benefits. I was so inspired by the world of plants and skincare that I knew I wanted to craft a really special product line around essential oils in a way I hadn’t seen before.
What is behind the name, Esker?
An Esker is a geological formation, a long windy ridge of gravel and sediment made from meltwater from a retreating ice sheet and it almost looks like a vein from aerial views, so I named the brand after becoming inspired by how beautiful they were and how much they reminded me, and actually resembled, the connection between our skin and the earth. Our vegan plant-based essential oils and carrier oils are harvested on farms around the world and our bottling and assembly is all done in the US in a cruelty-free Leaping Bunny Certified facility, which I’m really proud of.
How do you see beauty as it relates to skincare and health?
I love the movement happening in beauty right now that is all about skin health over makeup. I think it is about paying attention to your skin and what works for you. There are so many incredible natural ingredients out there now that are really effective and healthy, so you can protect and nurture your skin without harsh chemicals. I think people understand more that beauty is about embracing our bodies, our skin, our features, not setting out to change them. When I was 19 or 20 I used to straighten my hair, go to a tanning salon and wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without makeup. Today I focus on what’s healthy for me, protecting and nurturing my skin, and enhancing what I have instead of trying to morph into something I’m not.
How can we encourage our loved ones to take care of their skin?
This is a great question because I’m constantly trying to encourage friends and family to do just that, especially the men in my life. Regarding skin cancer I think it is about finding a way to work SPF into your routine on a daily basis, covering up when you can and also paying attention to any changes, especially around moles or freckles.
For more on Esker, go here.