Natural Beauty Q&A: Jovie of The Rex Apothecary

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Meet Jovie Belisle. Here’s why she’s exactly as awesome as she looks: In addition to being the founder and crafter behind the herbal concoctions at Rex Apothecary, she’s also about to complete a two-year Holistic Health Practice program. To celebrate, she wants to do something even more awesome—she wants to travel the country in a 1978 Winnebago to prove to bring her natural products to the people! (While also offering a healthy dose of nutritional and herbal consulting alongside, natch.) I’m all about supporting my fellow natural believers, and I’m hoping she’ll make it from Portland (where she is) to Charlotte (where we are). But a little help would go a long way. She’s working to raise $2,200 by September 1 to take her show on the road. Check out her Indiegogo page or leave a comment on this post to cheer her on!

Read on for some insight into her natural beauty journey and why she thinks it would be a great idea to trek across the country with her dog and two cats in an elderly Winnebago. I love her beauty philosophy! So inspiring. —Aleigh


JovieWhen did you start using natural products, and what drew you to them? I wish I could say that I grew up surrounded by nature and a holistic way of living, but I was raised with humble means and we did what we had to in order to get by. I always wanted skin care products as a teenager since I struggled with acne, but I settled for my grandmother’s “home remedies” book and unknowingly started experimenting with food as medicine. From there I began researching the dangers of processed foods and synthetic ingredients, learning that the synergistic nature of a food or plant in its entirety is so much more effective than a stripped down, processed, imitation of what nature already made perfectly.

Your beauty philosophy: My philosophy on beauty is that it’s in everything. It’s not something your looks transform into, it’s something you hold inside you and share with the people you care about. Beauty is not aesthetic. Beauty is love and acceptance and wholeness.

Why did you name your company Rex Apothecary? I wanted the shop to be an apothecary as a way to express the time honored value of herbal medicine and an apothecary was an old timey pharmacy of sorts. I used the name Rex because my dog’s name is King, and Rex is latin for King. He’s a retired racing greyhound who is getting up there in age, but he’s been with me longer than the shop, the boyfriends, and even some of the questionable fashion decisions.

Why is it important to you to take your products around the country in an RV? To be honest I’m actually a bit of a homebody these days, but at the same time I wanted to travel more and collaborate with stores and makers in my same niche, making wellness products accessible to areas where it’s not as easy to come by as it is in Portland. I felt limited by the nest I’ve built here, with my garden and chickens and dog and two cats. But the RV seemed like the perfect combination to keep the orders going out, have the boys with me, and still have a place to call home. It just felt like the right thing to do and there’s been no looking back since.

What’s your approach to creating a new product? It started out as requests from friends and still is often (especially with the baby and men’s products). Now I listen to what people are looking for while I’m doing booth events. That’s why I’m currently working on seasonal/elemental fragrance sprays. I do elemental (earth, air, fire, water) candles that people are really into, and they’re also asking if I do room or body sprays. So soon I’ll have a fragrance matched up to each element, and each of those corresponds with a season as well as your astrologic sign. It’s a really cool way to get a personalized feel to your scent.

How long does it take you to make your salves? The herbal salves (like the repair salve) take at least two weeks to infuse by the sun. Then it takes about half a day to strain the herbs, melt the infused oil with a vegan wax, pour it, and label it.

What’s the one Rex Apothecary product you’d recommend to someone who’s trying natural products for the first time? I would say the deodorant, because that can really make someone new to natural products a believer in their effectiveness. Sure it’s a different delivery system (I don’t use plastic twist tubes) but stepping outside our comfort zones and routines can really be a freeing experience.

How does your Holistic Health training influence what you do with skin and body care products? It’s definitely helped me go a more herbal route, incorporating healing and anti-inflammatory herbs and essential oils into everyday body care items. It’s also taught me how to thoroughly research the safety and effectiveness of ingredients before I consider using them. But overall holistic health emphasizes balance amongst all parts of wellness: mind, body, and spirit, so the stuff you put on is only one small aspect of how you’re going to feel as you go about your day.

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice on trying makeup and cosmetics for the first time, what would you say to your younger self? Oh gosh. “Don’t believe the hype!” But just as importantly, I’d tell myself “don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t eat. Your skin is an organ, and while it protects you it also absorbs most of what you put on it, sending it directly into your blood stream (toxins that we eat at least are filtered by our livers and kidneys before they get to our tissues).”

What one bad self-care habit would you encourage people to break? Stop not drinking water! Hydrating yourself is the number one thing you can do to improve literally every single task that your body is working tirelessly to achieve (tasks that you’re not even aware of). It will make you less tired, less stressed, and give you that radiant glow that you’re spending your hard earned money on products for. Shoot for 3 quarts a day (that’s 6 pints).

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6 Comments on Natural Beauty Q&A: Jovie of The Rex Apothecary

  1. Tina K Mendoza said on

    I have used many of Rex Apothecary’s products and have been pleased with each and every one of them! My first was the deodorant. For years I had struggled with stinky pits, especially when I wore sleeveless tops. Now, I’m no longer embarrassed by pit odor, I am fresh all day long and I help our environment with the handy packaging! My next fave is the face cleansing oil. No more breakouts for me! Who would have thought oil would clean away all the makeup?
    I encourage you to step away from the marketplace hype and do what feels right for your body.
    Enjoy!

    >> Reply

  2. Georgia said on

    I had facial problems during summer and I am very much depressed like i don’t wanna be in public. Yes, that was awful. I don’t wanna have those mess in my face ever again. This is why I am more to holistic living, too. Upon reading this, I am very excited to buy one. Maybe the face cleansing oil. AHHH! so excited! :)

    >> Reply

  3. Detox Salon said on

    We love what you are doing, Rex Apothecary! Clean, green beauty is our passion too!

    We are Las Vegas’ first clean-air salon. A full-service, high end salon, offering safe alternatives to the typical salon experience.

    Visit us at http://www.detoxsalon.com and book your hair, makeup, skincare and waxing services for 20% off by calling us at 702.823-5100.

    | Organic | Vegan | Cruelty Free |

    >> Reply

  4. organic housecleaner said on

    Rex Apothecary is awesome. No one who eats organic food should use non-organic products on their skin or hair. And the organic products work just as well. It’s great to see that more and more people are figuring this out.

    >> Reply

  5. mobile spa nyc said on

    Being green is more than a philosophy, it is a lifestyle. May you achieve your goal greetings!

    >> Reply

  6. Nicole said on

    I love reading interviews! I totally agree with what you put on your face you should be able to ingest, just makes sense.
    Nicole
    http://www.chrysaliz.com

    >> Reply

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