When BOXFOX started just 3 years ago, Herbivore Botanicals was one of the first brands that took a chance on our wild and crazy idea. Not only are they incredible and supportive partners on the backend (quick turnarounds, new and innovative products, quality all around etc.), their products are natural, effective, and look damn good on our bathroom shelves, desks, and nightstands.
We were lucky enough to chat with the Herbivore team when they were in town last week and stopped by our pop up at Century City Westfield. See what Alex Kummerow and Julia Wills, the geniuses behind Herbivore have to say:
CONVERSATION WITH HERBIVORE BOTANICAL'S FOUNDERS // ALEX KUMMEROW AND JULIA WILLS
Where do you call your hometown? //
Alex is from Columbia MD and Julia is from Snohomish WA
Where are you currently located? //
What are your professional backgrounds? //
Julia was an addiction and health counselor, and Alex was a videographer.
What are your educational backgrounds? //
Julia attended Bastyr College of Natural Medicine for Health Psychology. Alex briefly went to film school.
How did you two meet each other?//
We met on April 11th 2009 which just so happened to be my 21st birthday. The clock struck midnight and I was of legal drinking age, I went to a bar and had my first “legal” drink. I remember the bar being really crowded and I decided to go meet up with a friend at a party. My friend was there with his brother visiting from out of town and his roommate he really wanted me to meet. Julia was his roommate.
Why did you start Herbivore Botanicals? //
I started Herbivore Botanicals as a sort of "life experiment" in 2011. I’d recently quit my job as a health counselor/coach that I’d had for 4 years. I’d also recently turned 30 and was feeling the pull to try something different with my life and career. I was feeling burnt out in the mental health arena and felt I had something creative inside of me that wanted to come out.
I’d always loved beauty, skin care, and especially natural skin care. My mom is an esthetician and runs her own day spa so I grew up around the beauty industry. I’d tried my share of natural products over the years and felt inspired to make something myself. I wanted it to be different than what was currently available in the natural skin care realm. I wanted to make something beautiful and unique.
I noticed that there were some shops on Etsy.com at the time selling handmade soap and I thought it seemed like a fun thing to try. I learned how to make soap over a period of about 6 months and a lot of trial and error. It took off on Etsy right away, much to my surprise, and Alex soon quit his job to join me as I was buried in orders and making and packing up soap day and night! Before we knew it we had started a business.
What is your favorite Herbivore Botanicals product? //
My current favorite product is our Blue Tansy mask. Ever since we formulated this mask, my skin has been in the best shape it has been since I was a child. My other current favorite product right now is in the works, I don’t want to say too much but it is pink, dreamy and creamy.
My current favorites are Lapis Facial Oil and Jasmine Green Tea Toner. I like combining them! Method: I spray a little bit of Jasmine Green Tea Toner into the palm of my hand and then add a few drops of Lapis Oil. I apply this “slurry” to my skin and it balances and hydrates my skin all day. Plus, it smells so good.
What's your happy place? //
How lame is it if i say my happy place is my bed? There are plenty of places that make me happy but I can always count on my bed - especially since Julia just upgraded our comforter and pillow situation.
I love being outside in nature - just breathing in clean fresh air, that is the best.
What about Herbivore Botanicals are you most proud of? //
I am most proud of the fact that Julia and I have created this business from a 50 dollar investment in some soap making supplies. We conceptualized, formulated, and designed the entire line ourselves - no chemists, no designers, just a ton of research and hard work. We have developed the skill set to create a finished product from start to finish. I don’t know any other companies at our size where the founders are so involved with the creation of the products.
I am really proud that we are making a difference in the beauty industry by making Truly 100% Natural Skin Care available in mass markets - like Sephora. I also agree with Alex and am proud that we started in our kitchen with no experience, no team, no business plan and no investors and have come as far as we have.
Check out Herbivore Botanical's products for your boxes here!
We thought we'd ask our team their favorites and why too! See below:
Chelsea / Co-founder + CEO: I am obsessed with the Blue Clay soap. I'm so conscious about acne scars and marks and this brightening bar has done wonders for me. Plus the smell, so good! Oh, also the Coconut Soak I want to live in it.
Sabena / Co-founder + COO: The new Jasmine toner is my favorite must-have desk essential. The smell is universally appealing, relaxing, and I love the way it makes my skin feel.
Jenni / Co-founder + CMO: The Charcoal Bar works wonders with my skin. I'm also on a mission to use less plastic so I appreciate the packaging :)
Grace / Corporate Sales: The Rose Mist! I have the big one on my nightstand and the travel size in my bag.
Claire / Corporate Sales: Moon Fruit Night Mask because it literally smells like heaven.
Rachel / Head of Fulfillment: I'm with Chelsea on the Blue Clay Soap. I'm the one that got her into it ;)....probably cause she saw how glowing I was. *editor's note, we fact checked this, it is true.
Maddy / Fulfillment Associate: Blue Lapis Oil. I don't know but I do see a real difference. Plus packaging (thumbs up).