Volume 3 was wonderful for so many reasons. We were able to hold a gathering with some of our Utah friends to celebrate the launch of Volume 3 and the Vintage Whites Market. Working with Jana and Vanessa was a wonderful experience and we met so many amazing people that weekend. Our black and white study for that issue was a story about Hispanics in the Southern United States. The pictures are absolutely stunning and the story shows how these Hispanic families live. It was also when our online editor Gray Gill came on board.
On a sunny, but cold winter day, I met with Briar Winters in her light-filled TriBeCa studio. Winters creates handmade products under the name Marble & Milkweed. She produces natural skin care products, botanical fragrance and hand-blended teas. The space is filled with beautiful scents and a desk lined with oils, raw honey and beeswax. There’s something relaxing about it that just lends itself to being creative. The simple packaging of each product is thoughtful and could not be more perfect for what it represents.
“I am conscious of the impact my packaging has on the environment and strive to reduce unnecessary packaging,” she said. “I use glass bottles, metal tins, and decomposable paper bags, all of which can have lives beyond their first use. Taking good care of yourself truly goes hand in hand with taking care of the planet.”
When I sat down to talk to her, she explained that what started as a recommendation from her grandmother to use honey on her face, has turned into something much bigger. With a lot of heart and determination she started the company three years ago. Winters has a culinary background and uses what she learned as a chef into what she does today.
“Marble & Milkweed is inspired by the poetry inherent in any well-crafted thing,” she said. “In Hindu mythology, it is believed that the universe was created by a god drunk on the milky white juices of the plant. Today, milkweed is the primary source of food for the monarch butterfly.”
She takes inspiration from nature to create a clean palate and incorporates floral perfumes and spices into what she makes.
“They are formulated almost exclusively using organic and fair-trade ingredients, and are made carefully by hand,” she explained. “They are gentle and contain no harsh chemicals or artificial scents.
This firm belief in being socially aware comes through when she talks about her products. After spending the afternoon at the Marble & Milkweed studio, I felt relaxed and ready to take on the day.