Introducing BeHomeWell: Exclusive Interview with the Founder!

Exclusive Interview with the Founder of BeHomeWell:

I am beyond excited to introduce all my readers to a great new and local company; BeHomeWell. BeHomeWell is an internet boutique that sells natural home and beauty products – it is a one stop shop for all things safe and natural! I had the opportunity to sit down with the Founder, Amanda and am sharing the experience with everyone! Enjoy and check out the website ASAP – oh and there is a great contest happening over on Instagram, check it out now!

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Hi Amanda – I am so excited to sit down with you and talk about BeHomeWell, but first do you want to talk a little bit about your background; where you got your interest in health and wellness from?

I’ve had a very active life! I figure skated seriously until I was 18, which involves rigorous exercise on a daily basis. That early-formed habit of daily activity is still with me, and is truly one of my core personal values.

 Then I was a Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor, and Health Coach (certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition) for a decade before I started BeHomeWell. So, I was focused on fitness and wellness professionally too.

On the nutrition/wellness front: After being vegan and vegetarian from the age of 16 – I developed a very severe soy intolerance in my mid 20’s; I was very sick for months before any one suspected what was wrong, and it was a long recovery. That traumatic experience led me to think critically about health beyond exercise, food quality and sourcing, and individual health needs beyond dogma.

Okay so let’s get into the good stuff – What is BeHomeWell?

A revolutionary online shopping experience! BeHomeWell is a totally nontoxic online store for home, body, baby and beyond. We take the hassle out of switching to safer products, with one-stop shopping for eco brands. We also offer Wedding and Baby Registry on the site.

What was the inspiration and passion behind starting BeHomeWell?

As a Health Coach, my most passionate area of study was a class of toxic chemicals called Endocrine Disruptors. These chemicals are found absolutely everywhere in people’s homes and lives, are mostly unregulated, and are proven beyond doubt to be extremely harmful to the health of humans and animals. It is – quite frankly – insane.

In my crusade to convince my clients to switch to safer alternative products, I made lengthy resource lists directing them to dozens of different websites – one for makeup, one for cleaning supplies, one for food storage, etc. And it didn’t work – at all. The enormity of the issue – the time, energy, headspace needed to do anything about it – caused people to shut down. They became too overwhelmed and put on the blinders – it was really frustrating for me.

I realized that most people are stressed to the max every darn day; They desperately want to create healthier home environments, but it has to be easy – one-stop easy. I went looking for a site that offered one-stop shopping for a wide array of nontoxic goods – a site like BeHomeWell – and couldn’t find it. From that day/realization, things moved very fast; BeHomeWell chose me! I knew instinctively that I had the right mix of experience, passion, and wherewithal to take it on. I feel like I’ve been getting ready for this my whole life.

I always say I’d be every bit as ecstatic about BeHomeWell if it weren’t my company. It’s simply an incredibly simple solution to a really big problem – and it could legitimately change the world. So, that’s fun.

What do you want the message of BeHomeWell to portray?

Three-part answer:

1) Nontoxic shopping should be as easy as any other kind of shopping! When you think about it, it’s really depressing that we need to differentiate between nontoxic shopping and everything else – the fact being that most other shopping is legitimately toxic to you.

Until all shopping is safe, you should have a safe place to go, where you don’t have to worry about your purchases. Are they toxic? Will they hurt my family? Are the brands truly sustainable? Does production exploit the environment or other humans? Will a load of packaging end up in a landfill forever? Can I truly feel good about supporting these companies with my hard earned money?

At BeHomeWell, you don’t have to ask any of these questions, because we’ve already asked them, with the highest possible standards. Our pledge is that absolutely everything on our site is safe, in every way. Happy Shopping!

2) You do not have to compromise on style because you’re committed to bringing only nontoxic products into your home. Too many people equate healthy with frumpy and unsophisticated! There are so many incredibly cool and contemporary brands out there in the nontoxic sphere – it’s a very exciting time for this niche. We are adding new products all of the time at BeHomeWell, and we don’t sell anything we wouldn’t love to have in our own home.

We promise you’ll get as many compliments on the design of your purchases from BeHomeWell as you will on the substance of them.

3) You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy sustainable, ethical, nontoxic products. But, let’s talk a little bit about the concept of “True Cost” – what goes into the price of products, what isn’t reflected, and if there’s really such a thing as a “bargain” without someone or something is being massively exploited.

So, while I do not think the price of goods at BeHomeWell could ever be called excessive – with most products being under $50 – I do believe we need to massively evaluate how much we buy and how much we spend; As in, we need to buy a lot less, and be ok with spending a lot more, if we want to change the worst aspects of our society and truly live as ethical beings.

A big part of that is investing in products that are well made to last. You will not find anything at BeHomeWell that won’t stand the test of time (and kids)!

You talk a lot about “True Cost” – How does that concept factor into your last point?

“True Cost” is something every one should be thinking about, every day. Our society has completely lost touch with the human and environmental cost of the products we fill our lives with, because we don’t pay that cost in money. But, someone (exploited workers) or something (the environment and ecosystem) pays dearly. It’s absolutely tragic that we’ve collectively lost respect – lost any care – for these invisibles. We need an ethical consumption revolution – we hope BeHomeWell is a part of that revolution.

What does being “healthy” mean to you?

It means feeling in tune with your body, not forcing or punishing it. It means not having to work so hard, or working hard but enjoying the process on a more profound level. It means acceptance – seeking improvement only for the joy of it, not to fit into any one else’s box. It means gratefulness, and lack of negativity in general. Health looks and feels like a LOT of things, but it absolutely never involves putting down yourself or any one else. Healthy people don’t want or need to do that. We can all keep our eyes on our own plate, body, and life.

I’m a passionate believer in the concept of bio-individuality – which dictates that any action, habit, or substance will effect one person positively, another negatively, and another not at all. The point being that health is extremely individual, and necessitates a great deal of personal trial and error. Our society is so focused on “what s/he did that worked” and trying to replicate those results by acting in the exact same way. That’s not how health or wellness function from a biological, scientific perspective. It isn’t sexy or easy, but you’ve got to do some investigation into what works for you, listen to and trust your own body, maybe don’t pay as much attention to what worked for that sister/neighbor/friend/celebrity.

That’s either completely frustrating or completely liberating! But it’s a truth no one can avoid on the path to true, lasting, happy health.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to improve her or his health and wellness?

Find a few kinds of movement you love – think outside of the box – and then move in one of those ways every day (or close to it).

Okay, lets finish off with some fun facts..

Favorite workout:
Figure Skating! I was a competitive figure skater growing up. I started skating again – after a 17 year break – last year, on my 35th birthday. I took the spring and summer off, but just started skating again in October. It feels SO good to be back out there. I’m also a weightlifter – I love lifting heavy.

Favorite superfood:
I swear by a scoop of high quality greens powder in my daily smoothies. No one eats enough greens!

Biggest guilty pleasure:
Reading! I’ve been so busy since starting BeHomeWell that every minute with a book feels like a stolen one. But, it gives so much back to my soul. I actually started getting up earlier in the morning so I could have more reading time in the morning. I’m on the last book of the Outlander series right now. If you know about Outlander, you KNOW.

Health & Wellness Inspiration (person/blog):
Oh wow. It’s going to be really tough to pick only one. I have followed Jen Sinkler (@jensinkler) for many years and she is a huge inspiration to me. I also love James Clear. I’ve recently discovered @GurlGoneGreen on Instagram and I think she has a terrific perspective and voice!

Top item on your bucket list:
Is it weird that I don’t have a bucket list? We’ve (my husband and I) done a lot of traveling – that’s one thing I never feel bad about spending money on – so I don’t feel deprived in that area. I think my bucket list has everything to do with BeHomeWell right now. Creating a business that’s meaningful, successful, and legitimately improves life on this planet – that’s the top of my list, I’d say.

Thanks so much Amanda, I am super excited to share your passion for health & wellness and your amazing new company to my readers!

GIVEAWAY ALERT:

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Head over to Instagram asap for a chance to win these super cute and fun bamboo serving utensils from the BeHomeWell site! They have been featured in this months Thoughtfully Magazine – so make sure to grab a copy and check it out!

Two Miracle Oils for Skin Care

I have not been blessed with the best skin (especially on my face) and it shows when I am in times of stress. I have always struggled to find a treatment that really worked to not only get rid of blemishes but truly prevent them from flaring up. Since I have switched over to all natural beauty products I have discovered the amazing benefits and effects of two different great oils that work wonders in my skin care routine.

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Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is an antibacterial agent therefore it actually goes into your bores to fight the bacteria creating blemishes. Tea Tree Oil also has many soothing properties which prevents your skin from inflammation and redness. Tea Tree Oil should be applied using a cotton ball or pad onto a blemished area.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is perfect to use as a face lotion, after sun treatment, and makeup remover. Coconut oil is known to delay the aging process of skin, retain moisture without the use of harsh chemicals, and prevent microbial infections with its antibacterial properties. Coconut oil can be applied using your hands or cotton balls/pads.

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To read about my full natural skin care routine, head over to an older post on my blog recapping my amazing experience of making the switch thanks to Follain Boutique.
Natural Beauty Recap Blog

Healthy & Beautiful via Follain Boutique

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Follain Experience

I have already written a post about how great switching over to natural skin care is for your body and overall health. I introduced the great affordable product line I discovered; S.W. Basics. I have loved using their cleanser and toner and have seen a great improvement in my skin since I started.  After writing about the dangers of putting so many chemicals into your body through your skin, I inspired my sister to head over to a local natural skin care boutique in Boston, Follain Boutique, to make the switch to natural products. She went a little over a month ago and has seen amazing results with her skin. So, I decided it was about time I head over to their second location in Wellesley and get some more products that are fit for my skin type.

Before I get into the great products and recommendations I received during my walk in, I must say that it is the most beautiful skin care boutique. Everything is simple, clean, and extremely well designed; it makes you want to spend all day hanging out in there. Not to mention the customer service is impeccable; every employee working is so engaging and knowledgeable in all the product lines and their specific benefits. Follain has a mission to create a movement with the way people look at beauty products. Their credo, which is simply put and impactful, is:

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via follain

 

My Product Roundup

After talking through my skin type and the type of breakouts I experience with the lovely associate Ashley, I was recommended a full skin care routine:

  • Shamanunti Activated Charcoal Cleanser
    • Activated Charcoal is a powerful ingredient that pulls toxins and other buildup out of your skin. This cleanser is great for acne prone skin. I learned during my visit that you are only supposed to use a cleanser once a day and preferably at night. Washing your face in excess only causes you to lose natural oils and moisture which causes breakouts.
  • S.W. Basics Toner
    • A great simple and gentle toner for everyone. It is gentle which allows you to use it often throughout the day. Using a toner after you cleanse is ideal to balance your PH levels and tighten up your pores. Instead of cleansing in the morning, it is recommended to just splash your face with water then proceed with the toner and moisturizer.
  • Shamanunti Face Oil (Moisturizer)
    • This face oil acts as your moisturizer. It is made with evening primrose oil which is great for acne prone skin, especially hormonal acne. This oil also contains Vitamin E and Carrot oil which brighten your face and improve skin strength.
  • La Bella Figura Bioactive Purifying Face Mask
    • This mask is made for individuals with oil and problematic skin. It has many different ingredients but the main ingredients; activated charcoal, turmeric, and a blend of Amazonian clay, together bring bacteria to the surface, eliminate blackheads, and overall clear blemishes. It is recommended to use this mask 2-3 times a week.
  • Indie Lee Blemish Lotion
    1. This lotion is to be applied directly onto a problem area when it appears because it is very drying. This blemish lotion works to quickly reduce and eliminate any blemish overnight.
  • RMS “un” coverup
    1. This cover up has a coconut oil base allowing you to not only cover your blemishes but treat them at the same time. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties as well as moisturizing.

Then we talked body soap, scrubs, and lotion as well as deodorants and hair care. It is important to not feel like you need to quickly switch all your beauty products at once. Some of these seemed overwhelming, so I took samples to test out and over time will begin to incorporate them into my routine:

  • MeowMeowTweet Baking Soda Free Grapefruit Deodorant
    • Switching to all natural deodorant can seem scary but it is essential since you are currently clogging your pores with toxins and not allowing your body to release them. All natural deodorants allow this natural process to happen which in turn, over time, begins to lessen. This line of deodorant is great for sensitive skin and works (even through a workout).
  • Organic Bath Co Stress Less Scrub
    • I learned the importance of exfoliating, on the regular, during my trip at Follain. Exfoliating your skin daily or a few times a week is essential for keeping your skin healthy. I was recommended a local brand, Organice Bath Co scrub to use. This company uses all fair trade ingredients and donates some of their profits back into the fair trade industry!
  • Rahua Classic Shampoo & Conditioner
    • Lastly, switching over to shampoo and conditioner is a very hard transition. I couldn’t fully pull the trigger during this visit. I took home a sample of Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner to try. The expertise at Follain really encouraged me to first start by slowly reducing the times I shampoo my hair down to three times a week. Once I am through this transition to then start using these products to see the best effects. Most women wash their hair every day, which I am guilty of, but it is extremely drying and hurtful to your hair. The first week of reducing your washes might be a little tough but it is proven that once you get through the first week you will not feel like your hair is greasy anymore.

I can’t express how great my experience at Follain was and I encourage anyone  in the area to make a trip to one of their locations. If you are not local start by checking out their website and reading the product descriptions to see if they match your skin type. You can also search your area for a natural beauty boutique as well. Take the pledge with me and start to slowly switch your beauty products to natural ones for optimum health and wellness.