On this episode of Coming Clean With Indie Lee, Indie sits down with Naturopathica Founder Barbara Close. Naturopathica draws on holistic healing practices to create potent herbal skincare, therapeutic spa treatments, and curative tinctures to deliver real results. Indie and Barbara discuss how our beauty and wellness measures are intertwined with the foods we consume. Barbara shares how diet, hormones, blood sugar, stress, and sleep play a significant role in our overall body and skincare.
We also see how Barbara's personal and professional backgrounds empowered her to found Naturopathica and become a pioneer in the wellness movement and holistic skincare. Barbara explains that our body always leaves cues and tells us what it requires - we need to listen to them for our overall wellness.
Welcome back, everybody to another episode of coming clean with indie Lee. I'm your fat. I'm your founder. But I'm also your host, Andy Lee and today I have the extreme pleasure of having Barbara close with me as a guest. For those of you don't know, Barbara, She is the founder of the iconic clean skincare brand naturopathica. Barbara is a pioneer in the clean beauty industry. She Well, thanks for inviting me. It's It's wonderful to meet members of the tribe and, you know, clean clean and green is is so front and center these days. It's super exciting. Well, I have to say for those of you who don't know, Barbara is pretty much the mother of the tribe. She started Fox, he really did she opened and paved the way for us well, before we even thought about it. And so I always And one of the things she loved to do is visit these little herbal apothecaries, and we would walk in, in her neighborhood in Paris, and they would say, Oh, you know, tell us what's going on. Let's recommend some Valerian tea, if you have trouble sleeping, or some calendula cream if you have dry skin. And that was just like a lightbulb moment for me. Because it really, you know, was just so I always laugh, like, I'll pull something out like a turnip. You know, like a hooker, I turn up out of my greenhouse, and I'll eat it and there's still dirt on it. And I'm like, hey, that's medicine, my friends. Like, I'm like, absolutely. It's the ultimate. It's the microbiome, right? That's the good, the good bacteria. That tells food, my friends, like, I'm not eating the worm, but I'm like, yeah, you know, I get off, and then I eat it. And that was been part of my healing process. From I mean, from autoimmune, you know, I was diagnosed with so many immune diseases, and then that's really what kept me propelled me, when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor was just like, real food can really change how I feel. And what are you smelling? What is the connection and the reaction that your body has to it? You know, it's interest that intelligence, I think, no, don't look for the next group. Your body knows, you know, you know, how you feel exactly. We've been taught society, to not listen to it. And to trust you know, exhale, and not listen, I listen. I went to doctors I use I have doctors, I take medicine, open up a skincare shop but I opened was an herbal apothecary. So it was floor to ceiling herbs about 60 different tinctures it was teas. It was you know this, this discovery zone where people could come in and learn about how aroma therapy could help you know, relieve stress or learn about how carrot seed oil could really help calm down inflamed skin and we had a naturopathic doctor on Staff. And so wellness education has really been my passion point. You know, to me, that's what's so exciting when you can create that seed in someone's mind to really begin to explore their own bodies and unravel or tease out their own symptoms that they may be experiencing and how best to work with that. So we opened that in 95. And about two years later, I thought, well, what's going on Dr. Dr. Aubrey and make your own cotton, farmers markets and whatnot. Yeah, you're sort of like is this Yeah, okay, you're gonna put on my skin? I'm not really sure. Yeah. Yeah. And so, you know, all of that was great, but I really wanted to bring it up to prestige, you know, and really, we always had our what became our signature cobalt blue bottles, and really trying to create that luxury feel to it. And that was probably something that these harsh ingredients, and nobody could have cared. I know. So it's, it's so great to see that. At the same time in D, you know, I get tired of seeing what I call the no list. Yeah, you know, we know this know that know this. And I want to talk about the Yes. You know, and I think for me, you know, I've always from the inception of this brand war warned my estheticians hat along with my focus regenerative biophilia. I've got to figure out how to put back to the earth more than we've depleted it because we've been using it for so long. So just to not do any harm is not enough anymore. We've got to think past sustainability. And that goes from the entire process. But you're absolutely right. Like, what can we do now, in green chemistry? I mean, when you started when I started, it was so much different than where we are now and what's possible and now certifications that are saying this is not okay. And, and having that global stance on what we can do. And what we can do, I think is pushing the industry further and further in a positive way in terms of chemistry and science and how to amplify the science. Oh, my God, are you kidding me? I remember going to the big beauty And what's so interesting is I do think the the fear mongering is coming from people using that no list instead of talking about the yes list. And instead of Yeah, let's just talk about what is working. And you know, the other thing too, but the no list. You know, of course we don't use toxic ingredients, you don't use toxic ingredients, there's so much more awareness that, but that's just I have no idea what's happening in the world. And I know that's terrible. But you know what, I don't have a tolerance for negativity anymore. And I realized it was impacting me to want to vibrate at a much higher level. I'm not burying my head in the sand. A higher octave. Let's have a mocktail. It's time for literature. That's just it. I'd rather show myself with books to find out what's going on. And I just can't. I really can't. So talking about what's been happening in the world. We can't deny that we've been hit by the pandemic, all of us in so many different ways. And I know that you opened a flagship store in New York. Yes. Right on Madison Avenue. Which by the way, I cannot wait to visit because I saw Oh, Yeah, so how, like, how have you had a shift and pivot as a result of this? Pause? I'm calling it a pause. Well, you know, our main distribution channel has been, you know, we're at 400 of the top destination spas around the country. And obviously, the travel industry was really impacted with COVID. But our team was really on top of, you know, staying staying open on COVID as much as we can and we created some really good COVID protocols. And so, you know, we closed down briefly, but as of June of You know, touches more important than ever right now. And so we really wanted that to be a focus. And we do see, as I, as I said before, our retail areas of our spas are not focused on gifting and pampering as much as they are wellness and education. So you know, we have Florida ceiling herbs, we have, you know, wellness advisors there who are happy to help walk you through, you know, a tea Because I'm a big, big believer in phytochemicals. And it's the little things that we do that add up. I mean, that's what epigenetics is taught us that, you know, yes, you know, we are born with our DNA. And there's certain much that we know we can change, but there's far much more that we can. And so not only our diet, but doing things like drinking teas, and bathing ourselves and I mean, it's in a Starbucks cup. But I love the size of it. But this is, you know, an adaptogen sheet with almond milk that I made myself this morning. Yeah, because you feel a deeper connection to yourself when you make these things. Yes, yes, it is challenging, though. I mean, it is challenging finding the time to do that. Right. Because food preparation is like, you know, this your second job or your third job if you have kids. So you know, it means devoting part of your weekend to making chopping up the thing that you're going to use during the week, we're not socially distancing. During the pandemic, we're physically distancing. So let's not give up on those relationships because those nurturing connections are so important to us. So what's next for for you and for naturopathica? Well, what's super exciting is just this week, we are reopening our East Hampton spa, okay, I know where I'm gonna have to come. Okay, so I will be reaching out to Good, you have to come to the beach. And you know, that spa has had a lot of transformation. So for over the two decades that we've been open, but I have to say that I am just thrilled with the recent changes that we have done. The team really knocked it out of the park. It is stone cold, gorgeous. This is worth when you go to the library. Yeah, you can put up with the traffic. It's worth it. We have a big herbal library where we have a whole range of tinctures that have these beautiful separatory funnels and teas for you to experiment with a gorgeous retail area that also has a pop up store areas who are inviting other other brands to join us at the moment. We have Mark cross there, which is really kind of fun. Oh cool. And then the treatment works. The treatment rooms are just so lovely. And it's just a whole new vibe, which is super exciting. And then we've relaunched some really exciting treatments from radio frequency to iPS cells to really bringing in a lot more technology. And it's interesting because you It's always been part of my philosophy and the you know, even when I launched my brand, I had alpha hydroxy acids, I had enzymes, because basically it's it's working off wound technology, right? When you do an enzyme peel, you're, you know, stimulating collagen elastin to rebuild. So same thing when you're using radio frequency or using IPL. We're creating more collagen elastin and pairing that Wait, okay, so finally, as an entrepreneur, seriously, like we just said, The Stevie Nicks of the wellness, I'm gonna say wellness industry, you're an author, you're a licensed practitioner? How do you carve time out for yourself to to get or stay present? Well, I think for me, personally, if I don't feed the well, I get really cranky. You know, I've got to do that. And, you know, I know everybody calls it self care. Now, I have a little bit of trouble trouble with that term, because we're playing now more than ever, we need to build community, you know, it's not about the self, it's about reaching outward. And so I call it well care. My well care practices are twofold. One is playing time in my garden, that's when you know, But it's also service, right. And I think serving others and community is also really important to me as well. So, you know, we make sure that we do that in terms of partnering with different different like minded businesses. Yeah, it's a challenge carving out the time, but it's, it's a must, because if I don't my husband basically kicks me out. Yeah, my kids have had some conversations with me. They're like, yeah, maybe you need to go for a walk or put your hands in the soil. I was like, it's cold out there. Like I'm sure it's warm enough in the greenhouse go. So and you know, when did you I think the other thing that's really important is laughter. Right? I mean, you know, right now it shits Creek for me, whatever it takes just to And that's a very healing. I completely agree. And that for me, it's the people I surround myself both my team and my, you know, my my friends and my family that are keep me laughing me. Certainly the kids. They're non stop. Yes, Starks for me. I mean, how many kids? Sorry, I have a 21 year old who can't even believe that. Wow, I don't know how that's possible to to have your first child when you at all, like 2829 I'm, I'm going to be 50 this year. I'm pretty excited about it. And then I have 21 year old in college in Boulder, who I'm very excited because he's coming home from my daughter's graduation from high school. So I have an 18 year old. And I know and very proud. She's going to Penn State, and then probably a little more hopeless. Then I have my daughter who's awesome who I consider my third daughter, who is Elizabeth and she's 10. She just turned 10 Yeah, fantastic. That's her fun to do. Kind of events. I'm big on the virtual events, I pivoted Cuz I guess yeah, you know what, like, we're talking community. I missed my community. I was so used to being half of Yeah, half of a month. And then I was like, wait, I'm in my house. Wait, I have the technology I can. And it's fun doing the virtual facials, right, because people really live how to care for the skin rather than just, I'm there. Yeah, you know what? You're having this. It's So much for your generosity of time today. I am a huge like I said super fan. I might when I Well, I'm not I might I am coming this summer, but I will let you know right and then I'm going to have you sign. This was really such an inspiration to me when I was concocting literally and out of things in my greenhouse. Thanks again for listening to come in clean. And if you like what you hear, please