When I first discovered May Lindstorm's products it wasn't the actual product or packaging that initially enticed me (although they absolutely made my decision 100% solid) - it was each item's story. The way May has personally crafted each product with their own story is what gave them each a voice, something you wanted to be involved with. Added to this, when May created a beautiful gift set earlier this year, it inspired me by seeing people who have found their path and becoming one with their mission. You can tell May's soul is part of this stunning product, it radiates with passion. Harmony is realized in all forms when you are in your flow. Thank you May for shining this light on me and for your beautiful creation in the world. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you.
Tell us the story of why you started your products?
My journey into skincare began as a small girl. Growing up, I would spend full days mashing wild plants into a pulp and covering myself, and everyone who would humor me in “potions” made from these vibrant green liquids and the clays I would dig from the iron rich soil in my yard.
I am passionate about pure, potent ingredients and about a return to our roots. Our planet provides such an elegant bounty of delicious botanicals, clays, salts and spices that it is hard for me to fathom how we have strayed so far from that to the current trend of hocus-pocus performed in laboratories, mass produced plastic bottles filled with damaging synthetic chemicals and cheap fillers.
I believe in simplicity. While I have given an incredible amount of attention to designing products that create a feeling of decadence and celebration, my very core is as basic and grounded as it gets. Beauty truly does come from within and I know that without a healthy body and spirit, our skin suffers. I can talk for days about nutrition and the delicate balance of our inner workings. There is no magic bullet in a bottle, not from my line and not from any other.
This line was born out of a desire to create blissful bookends in my day, a time-out morning and night that was just for me. Having formulated for years out of necessity to care for my own highly sensitive and chemically reactive skin, I yearned to create something that was simply luxurious and lovely. My foundation in purity and simplicity is solid, but it was time for me to embrace playfulness and beauty in my potions. I wanted to feel something when I picked up a bottle and entered my cleansing ritual. I wanted to feel peace, joy, and celebration all in that one moment. And I wanted to share that with every woman I loved and cared about so she could feel this, too.
What was the very first product you wanted to make for the collection and why?
I had been dreaming of the foundational concept for May Lindstrom Skin for many years, and finally in May of 2009, I actively began the brainstorming process and really digging into what I saw for this vision. I hired my packaging designer, Rodney Kizziah, in January of 2010 to work alongside me to develop our packaging and branding materials as I built our story and finalized formulas. The Clean Dirt quietly launched along with the The Problem Solver, The Good Stuff and The Youth Dew over the week of Thanksgiving 2011. In January of 2012, the entirety of my packaging was finally finished after two full years of development on that alone and the first pre-orders were shipped out. On July 31st of 2012, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. The following morning, I launched with my first retailer and it’s been a whirlwind ever since!
You moved from a home operation to having a warehouse downtown - tell us about that process?
I worked out of my very small home studio (really, just a bedroom!) with my darling daughter Talia at my breast in a sling as I blended products and filled bottles for shipment for the first nineteen months of her life, finally moving the business out of my home and into our Los Angeles studio in February of 2014. This last February, we knocked down a wall, and took over the space next door. My little family is growing, and I could not be more proud or delighted.
What is your personal self-care ritual?
The one I try to follow is the one I also encourage in my clients: Eat the rainbow. Move your body. Breathe. Romance yourself to the point of blushing. Know that you are beautiful. Beauty is a reflection of your inner self - prioritize your own deliciousness, and be truly, fully, authentically You. Be sure that you create time to rest your body and your mind, to play and encourage opportunity for learning and joy, to share yourself fully with others and also to embrace moments of time alone. When we are happy and intimately immersed in our world, our beauty cannot help but shine through.
My go-to DIY: A hot bath, salty as the sea, and pure raw honey blended with a bit of cinnamon or chlorella, slathered thick from forehead to breasts… simple, and life-changing.
How do you think this practice has been lost for women over the years and why do you think its so important?
We live in a world of constant movement, and often, little room for self care. We’ve been taught that self-care Is self-ish, and that is one of the most unfortunate messages we could be proliferating. I want every woman to know that she matters, that this time is hers, and that love that starts from the romance within ripples out into the world and offers transformation way beyond ourselves.
Apart from our own self-care rituals we can start at home, you mentioned a love for Korean Day Spas - Tell us about them and your favourite experiences there?
I’m obsessed with getting rather aggressively and meticulously scrubbed on every inch of my body at very non-luxe Korean spas. I try to go every two weeks, and am genuinely thrilled watching my dead skin practically fall off my body and onto the table at the hands of these super strong no-nonsense women. This, along with soaking and sweating and steaming and massage… total heaven.
The imagery & videos you create along with your products are so intoxicating - what are your thoughts how natural and organic products have stepped more into luxury & modern aesthetics?
Natural products are definitely still a niche market, but there has been some serious infiltration happening, crossing over into the mainstream. I love when I see a product of mine featured in the big magazines without so much as a mention of “organic”, “natural”, “green” or so on. I’m on the shelves at Barneys NYC now right next to massive luxury brands, with no differentiation between us and them. It’s these little steps, the normalization of good ingredients and the brands that use them, that will ultimately change the industry. It will take time for there to be a full shift, and it may not happen anytime soon. But that is okay – for me it is about the skin, health and beauty of one individual client at a time.
What are your next plans for May Lindstrom?
I have so many dreams about what is ahead. We are growing quickly, but my foundation and core philosophy stand so firmly on the grounds of intimacy, on being special, and on delivering the most over-the-top client service and a truly personal experience. I want the Skin collection to remain compact and concise, and for each piece to play a vital part of my ideal ritual. I have no desire to add dozens of new treats to the line, but I very much wish to continue adding to our story, and to bring in new pieces that deepen our connection to self and skin. Looking forward, I see space for more collaboration with other artisans, for just a few more special products that I feel deeply pulled to develop, and I am also looking every day to discover more ways to delight each client individually - asking myself what more I can share that will show each and every one of you how truly grateful I am for your support of this dream of mine.