I have a pretty unusual story with how bodycherish came to be. I wasn't sure if I wanted to share these real, raw (not all pretty) personal details but then I met the right woman to open up with (Alanna who is a Canadian mama on a journey to live wholehearted, simple and clean). She's awesome and so is her lovely + informative site (which is now called Divine Mamahood and is currently under construction).
Christine, you're a Certified Physiologist & Exercise Therapist, specializing in injury rehabilitation and fitness. That sounds like a fulfilling job in itself; what motivated you to want to do more and create BodyCherish?
So many reasons! BodyCherish is reflective of everything that I am passionate & interested in, including taking a more holistic approach to health (body, mind and spirit) and practicing radical self love & care along the way. BodyCherish supports this approach through the crystal essence infused, organic skincare as well as the services that are soon to be offered. It is my belief that pursuing your passions in life (those things that light you up) are of the utmost importance to ones well-being. I believe that following your passions is a way to practice radical self-love and that is what is truly fulfilling to me. It’s like saying “Yes!” to the Universe "I do deserve to do things that nourish my spirit and bring me joy."
Something that I haven't come across in the green beauty world is this infusion of Crystal Essences into skin care. How did you come up BodyCherish and this unique concept?
I can actually pin point the day in which I received the inspired idea to formulate my own green beauty products. It was November 15th, 2014 and I was submerged in a 2 week long road trip from Alberta through to the southern states. Along the way, I spent most of my time fully immersed in nature, exploring national parks, hiking and camping most nights while sleeping in a tent under the stars. There was one particular day that I saw so many beautiful & breathtaking places that Mama Nature had to offer. It was these experiences that I feel opened me up to receive what I call a divinely inspired idea. I was driving along a windy road, entering Sedona, Arizona when the idea hit me like a lightening bolt. That idea was I must make body butters infused with crystal essences. That is where the idea was planted and it has been an ongoing work in progress that has evolved ever since. Interestingly enough, my company just so happened to debut it’s launch exactly one year later to the day, on November 15, 2015.
I absolutely LOVE working with crystals & I am always interested in learning more about the truly remarkable healing benefits that each stone holds. It is this draw toward the elemental kingdom (and different energy practices in general) that has compelled me to become a Certified Crystal Healer & Advanced Reiki Practitioner. Making crystal essences is how I am able to add the energetic properties of the actual crystal to each BodyCherish product. I really believe in the powers that these crystal essences have to promote healing and awaken well-being in the body. Each product has a different combination of crystal essences added to offer further benefits to the body, mind and spirit, in addition to the already nourishing organic ingredients that make up each body butter and oil.
Have you always been an advocate for radical self-care and holistic wellness?
Not at all, but let me elaborate. For the majority of my twenties I had a chemical saturated body, inflamed red skin, cystic acne, eczema patches, allergic skin reactions (hives and itching), mood irritability, unhealthy relationships, chronic insomnia, stress, stress & more stress, poor eating habits, crummy self esteem and body image, irregular exercise habits & low energy, zero spiritual practice, an ever going battle up and down on the weigh scale, minimal to no leisure pursuits & a downright disconnect with my true self & higher purpose. Back then I worked all week just for the weekends to drink alcohol. I had no sense of true fulfillment. Sure, I did occasional yoga and maybe (with struggle) made it to the gym but that was it. From the outside, I had what seemed like it all (I was married with a good paying job, a nice house and plans for having a baby). Truth is that it felt empty and caused something inside me start to stir. I wanted more out of life. I wanted to feel good; to feel energized and inspired. So, my first step was cleaning up my diet. I started to juice vegetables and became more and more mindful and curious about what I was putting into body and onto my skin and how it would make me feel.
Although I was starting to get healthier through nutrition and non-toxic beauty products, at that time I was not yet into crystals, and energetic practices in general. It was a life altering summer back in 2013 that really changed things. It was that summer that I got some major wake up calls from the Universe in how I wanted to live and experience my life and how what i had been doing wasn't working anymore. See, I sustained a traumatic brain injury that included fracturing the left side of my skull and also losing 100% my sense of smell. Soon after this incident, which also coincided with me going through a divorce, losing my house and also my sense of identity in this world; I found myself being guided down a much more spiritual path and approach to life. At the time I didn’t view it as “spiritual” but rather as a necessity to start prioritizing myself by practicing self-love and care practices which were essential to get my life back on track.
These practices (yoga, meditation, gratitude journaling, dietary changes, and eliminating drama in general) all influenced me positively and I started to notice an ever increasing optimism, and fulfillment, as well as sensitivity to the energies around me. A big part of this was also my ever increasing draw towards crystals and their healing benefits. It makes perfect sense to me now that following the loss of one sense, my body had to adapt and make up for it by enhancing a different sense; I feel it was my loss of smell that resulted in my heightened sensitivity toward energies and the crystal kingdom, but also my ability to trust my own intuitive guidance system in order to make decisions confidently.
So it may seem surprising, even bizarre, that the formulator and creator of a skincare line has never been able herself to smell the products created. What’s even more interesting about all of this is that had it not been for what may appear like a major barrier (my loss of smell) I don’t think I would have experienced the same heightened sensitivity toward energies and crystals; nor would I have been compelled to make some major changes in my life that required radical self-love and care.
What is your process like from start to finish when you're handcrafting an item?
Research, research, research! Mixed in with trial and error and eventual application on my own skin. I feel I am the best test subject as my skin is incredibly sensitive. The most time consuming phase of the handcrafting process is the creation of the crystal essences. Click here to read my blog post on how I make them. Other than that, the beauty butters take a fair bit of time as they require both melting down of ingredients, refrigeration for the perfect amount of time (with regular stirring), followed by whipping, jarring and then labeling. I don't mind the time my products take to make as I truly enjoy making them & take pride in the quality of what I am creating.
What message do you most hope to pass on to women?
Your past does not define you & where you stand today does not determine where you’ll be in the future. You get to decide RIGHT NOW, by the empowered choices you make today, what your future experiences will be made of. I know this from my own transformational changes for the better. Any difficult or trying time in one's life can be a catalyst for where you choose to go next. You can choose to respond in a way that proves your resilience and strength. You can step forward into a life you only dreamed of. That's the life you deserve to live.
BODYCHERISH BELIEVES IN UPFRONT HONESTY AND TRANSPARENCY SO THAT THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE PUTTING ONTO THEIR SKIN AND INTO THEIR BODIES. BODY CHERISH PRIDES ITSELF ON USING INGREDIENTS THAT ARE NOURISHING, HEALING & SAFE FOR YOUR WHOLE BODY.
"If you were offered a meal made with cetyl alcohol, iodopropyl butylcarbamate, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, disodium EDTA, BHT, red dye #17, and yellow dye #10, would you eat it?
Millions of people do "EAT" these chemicals every day (you may even be one of them), since they are standard ingredients in two of the most popular brand-name moisturizers and beauty soaps that people use on the skin- one of the body's major organs of absorption.
Although we get most of our nutrition orally, the skin ingest nutrients as well. In fact, unlike the food we chew and swallow, which is broken down in the stomach before it is absorbed, creams and lotions applied to the skin bypass the digestive process and GO FULL STRENGTH directly into the BLOODSTREAM.
Think of your beauty products not as cosmetics, but as FOOD. If you cannot eat it, do not use it on your skin.
Start reading the labels of your beauty products. If one contains a chemical or herb you do not know, try to find out what it is before you use it."
- Pratima Raichur (Absolute Beauty)