Have you ever felt a kindred spirit in someone you’ve never met? That’s exactly how I felt when I first started talking with Jessica, the creatress of Cheile Skincare. This is a woman who is figuring out self care, and is doing so in a way that is both stunningly beautiful and helpful to others. Her products are all made with the most beneficial products, and everything I have tried from her line works brilliantly (this, this and this are my favourites). Read on to find out more about what she stands for, her philosophies and how this all came to be.
What does “Aromatherapeutic Skincare” mean?
I’m hoping to get across that the aromas of the products, which come from pure essential oils, can be a self caring, grounding and therapeutic ritual. I fully believe these small acts of caring for ourselves consistently can contribute to health and wellness. Smell is such a fascinating sense, it can transport you to memories, feelings, times, places! I’ve had so many people say, I love lavender, or rose or whichever, I don’t know why, with a sweet nostalgic look on their face. Then the oils themselves have a whole range of properties, uplifting, sedative, stimulating, grounding, and when used as part of self care rituals it really can become therapeutic.
You talk about the need to stop trying to change our skin and instead change our thinking. How did you come to make that shift?
Yes! After I stopped nursing both of my babies and as my hormones stabilized I developed cystic acne, at first It bothered me how It looked but I soon just wanted to be able to wear a scarf without it hurting my face, or sleep on the side of my face! I am also a yogi, and practice non attachment and so I became really curious about my attachment to having clear skin. I had gone through something similar when I decided to walk away from my career to be at home with my kids. Who was I now that I didn’t have a job, or career or whatever to attach myself to? I was just me. Well, here was acne for Lesson 2 on Being.
What is the distinction for you between using skin care to “fix” compared to “self care”?
The distinction for me, is the relationship you have with yourself. If you see a friend and you know that they are struggling, you want to reach out and help them, offer them some sort of support, immediately with no hesitation. What do you do when you see your own tired eyes in the mirror? More often than not, we chastise ourselves, and this negative dialogue ensues, you should/shouldn’t have..Using natural skincare products to support and love skin in a way that just lets it do it’s thing is very therapeutic. Almost like saying, yeah skin, you got my back – I trust you, haha.
How does nutrition play into how you craft your products?
I became really interested in Nutrition when I needed to balance my hormones, but didn’t want to take the commonly prescribed method – birth control. I did a lot of research and the progress was slow but it worked. I was hooked! Eating whole foods, prepared mindfully healed my body and it made sense that the products we feed our skin would be the same. Nutrient rich, simple, unprocessed with nothing added that wasn’t nourishing. At the moment I am experimenting with Ayurveda, and eating for my Dosha, it’s so interesting!
Why is it important to you to use local suppliers as much as possible?
I live in the most amazing, creative hub of East Vancouver and am fortunate enough to have most of the suppliers I need right here. My beeswax comes from a farm in Abbotsford, the Canadian Glacial clay I am using in one of my new face masks comes from an active glacier here in BC! The companies I use all stand for the same thing I do, sustainability. My print shop is family run – it just makes sense that I would support what is supporting me!
What is the product you use most (or your personal favourite)?
Honestly, all of them! They wouldn’t be in the range if I didn’t. Face wise the Nua Face Polish is a game changer, I have combination skin and so use all 3 of the oils depending on what’s going on. I use the dreamcatcher balm every night as a wind down hand and foot massage. Stress Buster balm on my lips and for tension, the liquid soap at the sink and in the shower, it’s a blend of cedarwood and tangerine right now which is heavenly.
What product are you most proud of crafting?
At the moment I have a range of face treatment masks that I really took my time researching, formulating and testing, I am hoping to launch them in the next month or two. I think I am proudest of the brand, as it really represents what is in the products. Simple, clean and natural.
Cheile is the Irish word for harmony and balance – how do you find balance? What does balance look like to you?
I find it in regular yoga and meditation. Being outside and regularly seeing friends. It’s a tricky one, I’m a Libra – so I need everything in balance! I know myself pretty well at this stage that I know my limits and boundaries. Then there are all the different aspects to balance, me, me as a mother, a wife, a small business owner, it gets cra-zyyy! It looks like a whole lot of carefully crafted food, then pizza and wine, yoga and meditation and then being in a puddle on the floor, sweet relaxed kids happy to read and play with themselves to anxious and just plain wild! It looks like teamwork in my marriage, to being disconnected because we haven’t been able to take a date night in over a month. The thing about balance, and all the shakes and wobbles is that you can start again at any time.
What inspires you?
Humans do. I think it is incredible how resilient the human spirit is, how we can endure. It blows my mind. People following their heart, finding and making their own joy inspires me. Sharing parts of yourself and being vulnerable is inspiring to me.
How do you define success?
I define it as learning. No matter what it is you are doing or failing at, you are learning and expanding. Who cares how long it takes! Who cares if you change direction!
Biggest reward being an entrepreneur? Biggest struggle?
Being able to be here and be present with my kids while doing something that satisfies my need to create and connect, to take my time on this endeavor and really enjoy where I am at. I struggle with the business aspect, I don’t do numbers. I am definitely more creative and so this is the curviest of learning curves for me.
Be nice to yourself. It’s easy to feel frustrated but you are on a journey that is unique to you and so what works for others might not be for you!
What do you feel is the most important thing in life?
For me personally, being present. Enjoying and staying with all of the moments that get sent my way. Some are uncomfortable but I think bringing an awareness to each moment sweetens it, adds to the gratitude you can feel for it. And all those moments, are what make up your life! I feel like when I get to the end of my life, If I am lucky enough to be that little old lady surrounded by grandkids, then I want to say, yeah, I fully experienced that. I feel it slows everything down too.
What is your ultimate goal, both personally and professionally?
Personally, I think to live simply, and to be content with that. Professionally I would just love to be doing something where I am creating. I am toying with the idea of going back to school next year, to study nutrition. Although that area remains unclear, it excites me where once it would have terrified!
How are you trying to make a difference in our world?
Right now, I am trying really hard to raise two humans, to be balanced and kind. I have no idea how to do this so I just try to show them me being balanced and kind. I try to nurture them in ways to be confident and outgoing but also sensitive to others and the world. Mostly I want them to love themselves because once they have achieved this, i feel they are going to make a difference in this world. I also appreciate the small tiny moments where we have the opportunity to make differences, you know, smiling, giving, supporting and cheering others, sometimes we need to think small! I feel as I grow and expand, consciously and spiritually my ability to make a difference does too.