In LA and looking for a summer activity? Head up the PCH to Malibu and spend the afternoon in an open-air safari visiting exotic animals, like Stanley the Giraffe, while sipping yummy wine varietals home grown on the Semler estate. We really can't think of a better summer adventure!
On Wednesday, September 5th, Chelsea went live on the AMA feed. She shared her story and entertained dozens of questions. Here are some of her favorite questions + responses from the campaign.
Q: What were you working for at NASA + USAID? What made you drop out of the job and start your blog?
A: Rose Botanica launched online in March of 2018, but I had been working on it for about a year beforehand.
Rose Botanica was inspired by my personal journey and discovery of the transformational power of self-care. During an all-time low in my life in late 2016 while I was living in Washington D.C., I became very depressed and anxious. I was unhappy with my circumstances and with myself and felt stuck. For months, I retreated from my social life and found it challenging to make it to my job. Crippled with fear and lacking the self-respect and self-love to change, I sought the advice of a therapist.
My therapist asked me to look into mirror daily, directly at my pupils, and say I love you. In theory this didn’t seem challenging, but when I tried it, it felt nearly impossible. I found when I washed my face every morning, I was faced with my reflection; it was my opportunity to practice the exercise. Every morning and evening while I washed my face, I would look directly at my pupils and say “I love you” over and over again. There were a lot of tears the first few weeks, but day by day it got easier. I gazed more softly and easily into my eyes, with kindness, compassion, and love reflecting back at me.
I combined this exercise with thoughtful, nourishing routines in the morning and evening. I used opportunities for personal care as acts of nurturing and caring for myself. I’d light an incense or a candle before beginning my meditation, as an act of ceremony. In the evenings, I’d draw a bath and choose a bath soak or salts, depending on my mood. I washed my body like it was opportunity to connect to myself. I treated it as a sacred time. It may sound crazy, but I would thank my body parts while I bathed. I would thank my feet for taking me throughout the day, thank my knees for their flexibility, my arms for extending, my heart for opening, etc. It was in this time that I felt I connected to myself again, or maybe for the very first time. I began to like myself.
Skin-care and body-care products became self-care tools that gave me an opportunity to heal and replenish my self-love.
This is my personal journey that inspired Rose Botanica. I recognized the transformative power of using daily routines as opportunities for reconnecting, nourishing and taking care of myself. These actions, these times with myself, little by little, increased my self-love.
After 2 months of intense self-care, I was transformed into a woman with self-respect and self-love, ready to make the hard life changes I had been avoiding for years. I ended a toxic relationship and moved cross-country from Washington D.C to Santa Monica, CA.
I maintained my coveted Government position with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on a remote basis for the first several months, but eventually was asked to come back to D.C. This was a request I was not able to fulfill. Though I felt like a different person; stronger and wiser, I knew being back in D.C would trigger patterns of behavior I wanted to keep in the past. Confident the Universe would provide, I officially quit my secure Government job and enrolled in a yoga teacher training where I met a lovely group of women, who are now my close friends. I shared my journey and passion for self-care with these women and they vehemently encouraged me to bring it to life.
With a background in business, I knew the basics, and for what I did not know, I had passion and time to figure it out. I started working on Rose Botanica in 2017, with a mission to share the transformative power self-care.
Q: How did you decide the name of your blog, Rose Botanica? What was the inspiration behind it?
A: Great question! Through a lot of brainstorming and research. I stumbled upon definitions for the words Rose and Botanica, and I knew they were the perfect fit.
A rose is a timeless symbol of love, beauty, and balance. The rose has long been idealized as the western equivalent of the eastern lotus as a symbol of the unfolding to higher consciousness.
Botanica is a shop that sells herbs, charms, and other items associated with alternative medicine or magic.
Q: How did body care products help you to deal with anxiety?
A: Personal care products became tools that I used for self-care. It was a mindset change, I altered my perception of my daily upkeep routine into a Daily Ritual where I delighted in the process and used it as an opportunity to slow done, tune-in and reconnect with myself. While I washed my face, I’d look at myself in the mirror and say, “I love you.” Or recite a mantra or set an intention. I found that this act alone increased my inner peace. Additionally, I found high vibe products that I especially resonated with (scents, textures, etc.) to enhance my self-care time. Lighting my favorite incense before I meditated became an important part of setting a sacred space. One of my favorite ways to combat anxiety is to spritz my face with a face mist and take a few deep breaths. The spritz is a gentle and refreshing reminder to come back to the present.
Q: Why is it that you consider your boutique to be curated? Do you try and test on yourself every product that you sell?
A: Yes, I test every product on myself for 3 weeks before stocking and I also have many on my team-members test (if they have skin that is a better match for the product ie oily skin, etc). I am very particular with the brand partners I choose; all have high ethical standards for sourcing, quality product ingredients and many are small batch, artisanal producers. Another feature of my curation is that I do not carry entire brand product lines, as many of my competitors do. I find that most brands have one or two super-star products, so I do the vetting, and offer you only the best of each brand.
Q: What are some of the most important elements in skin care products that helps boost one's mood and emotions?
A: Choosing products that are non-toxic is most important. Common ingredients found in personal care products can have harmful effects on the body like endocrine disruption and reproductive harm. By switching your personal care products to natural, non-toxic you can be stress-free knowing that what you are putting on your body will not negatively affect you or the environment. Check out RB’s list of ingredients that you will NOT find in our products.
To boost mood or emotions, I would recommend choosing a product that you like, something that resonates with you. Something you look forward to using daily! Consider aroma, texture, application. I love the scent of Sandalwood and the effect it has on my mind, it is calming and soothing for me, so I look for it in the ingredients of personal care products. My favorite is the UMA Absolute Anti Aging Serum composed of frankincense, neroli, and sandalwood oils, among others.
Q: What are some of the changes you have seen in your life since you made the big move from corporate life?
A: Lifestyle- I have a lot a more freedom and by the same token not a lot of freedom. When I had a corporate job, my life was pretty much dictated 9am-5pm. Now that I work for myself, I make my own hours, and I find, as many entrepreneurs do, that it is easy to work well over what I feel is a healthy amount (8 hours). So, I end up not having much freedom at all. With experience, I’ve had to get better at time management by segmenting my day into: Morning Ritual, Physical Activity, Work Time, Social Time (hopefully), Evening Ritual + Sleep. Of course, some days will vary but if I have a reliable routine I find I am more balanced and much more productive in the long run.
Q: I follow your blog Chelsea and here is my question: What products do you recommend for aging skin? I'm a Senior and like you, paying attention to self-care.
A: For Aging Skin, I’d recommend using a gentle cleanser like the Carrot Butter Cleanser; it cleans the skin while leaving skin soft and radiant with its infusion of rosemary, carrot and shea butter. The Ageless Face Mist would also be a great next step in your skin care routine for toning and cell-rejuvenation by way of golden sage, prawn sage, and French lilac. Lastly, I would highly recommend the UMA Absolute Anti-Aging Face Oil made with frankincense, neroli, sandalwood, juniper berry, and so many other great natural ingredients to diffuse unevenness for softer, brighter and more youthful skin. Use the Rose Botanica Rose Quartz Face Roller with the Face Oil for deeper penetration of ingredients and to really give yourself the effect of a face-lift. The RB Face Roller can reduce puffiness, and wrinkles, improve elasticity of the skin and can promote lymphatic drainage. Check out our website for specific how to use instructions; as a general rule of thumb remember “up and out” when facial rolling :) Hope this helps!
Q: Which are some of the most popular products at Rose Botanica?
If you are interested in reading Chelsea's full story or additional questions asked + her responses, please visit her AMA page!
by Rose Botanica Wellness Contributor, Michelle Castro