Voyage + Heart

Slow/Sustainable Living

An Easy Sustainable Swap To Kick Off #PlasticFreeJuly

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For me, at it’s core, slow living means living daily life with a more thoughtful approach. The brands we support, what we buy, how things are made, and how long we use these items all play an important role in the impact we have on the world around us.

In approaching consumerism and consumption more thoughtfully, finding non-disposable alternatives to typically-plastic objects used in the tasks of daily life has been a continuous objective.

Bathrooms are one of the worst offenders when it comes to the amount of plastic disposed of each year. Just think about all the plastic products we use and replace every few weeks: shampoo and conditioner bottles, body wash, hand soap pumps, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, dental floss, feminine hygiene products, cotton tips, and of course, razors. Disposable razors are one of those products that are continuously being thrown away after just a few uses, the majority of which ends up in our oceans and landfills.

Typically made of stainless steel, safety razors add a conscious touch to your skincare routine, while reducing plastic waste. With care, they can last a lifetime. The only part that needs to be disposed of is the blade, which can be recycled!

Once you’ve used up your previously-bought disposable razors or cartridges, take a moment to learn some of the benefits of using a safety razor. Looking for intentionally-designed and thoughtfully produced options to slow down an otherwise rushed routine, and transform shaving from a chore into a self-care ritual that you enjoy? Oui Shave is a fabulous brand made for women, by women (the rose gold doesn’t hurt to look at, either!); and the Edwin Jagger chrome lined razor, pictured here, is a great choice for men (particularly when paired with with a badger brush and natural shave bar).

Do you use a safety razor? Does it seem intimidating? Have any questions about this sustainable swap? Comment on this post!

Product Photography for Shea Brand: Organic Shea Butter + CBD Line

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You know those brands that stop you in your tracks? The brands where, after just a brief moment on their website or blog or Instagram feed, you feel something…. some sort of connection… you’re just drawn to them? That was Shea Brand for me. So you can imagine my joy when I was hired to photograph their product line.

Founded by Marie, Krystal, and Austin — three friends with very different backgrounds — Shea Brand started as a way to combat eczema using the healing benefits of USDA certified organic raw shea butter. A powerfully nourishing moisturizer, just a little Shea Butter goes a long way. Its fatty acids help to replenish important lipids and strengthen cell membranes, regenerating, softening, and protecting dry, dehydrated, healing, and sensitive skin and hair. Used on eczema, to eliminate scars, prevent stretch marks, smooth Keratosis Pilaris, and heal burned and damaged skin, this line has proven to be life-changing for many!

Since their launch, Shea Brand has expanded their vision and mission, adding in additional products that provide value, such as their popular CBD line. Austin (a former medical cannabis grower) saw the benefits of full spectrum CBD oil first-hand when he began providing it to a relative to help improve his health. Knowing that tools like high quality CBD oil are integral to many, they slowly and carefully built what they say is one of the most beautiful and highest quality tinctures on the market, along with other CBD items like the Shea Butter Pain Reliever, Menstrual Roller, Headache Roller, and more. Topicals are absorbed through the skin, and as the CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors responsible for pain, you’ll find relief from muscle aches, soreness, chronic joint pain, headaches, menstrual cramps, and more. The CBD oil, taken sublingually, helps provide relief from ailments associated with anxiety, muscle tension, neuropathic pain, and insomnia.

Responsible and intentional, Shea Brand’s products contain no chemicals, no palm oil, are cruelty-free, and free of synthetics, chemical stabilizers, parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. What they do include? Certified organic ingredients (no GMO) and medicinal-grade, steam-distilled essential and cold-pressed oils. Manufactured in small batches in NYC, products come in minimal to no plastic, with 100% recyclable packaging that has been thoughtfully chosen for its environmental and humanitarian impact. From glass bottles, to metal tins, to cardboard tubes, their choice in vessels throughout the line is sustainable, reusable, and recyclable.

Every product comes in it’s own unique packaging, created by Krystal and Marie. Their process begins with free-form illustrations, and ends with bold, colorful works of art closely tied to their story. These intentional designs are meant to communicate the love for and connection between the self and environment, linking the urban world and natural world, and showing that they can live in harmony and thrive together.

I was asked to create imagery of the entire Shea Brand product line, including the CBD line and Shea Butter line. Focusing on both basic shots and family-style groupings, the resulting product photography is perfect for e-commerce purposes (like an online shop) or social media accounts alike! While I love incorporating styling elements, this session called for clean and minimalist layouts and primarily white backgrounds, so the focus is on the product and only the products. My approach was to keep it simple, allowing the custom artwork (which reminds me of album cover art) to stand out beautifully, clearly portray the value of their products, and share those little details that say so much about this brand.

Whether you’re looking for a daily moisturizer (the Jasmine shea butter tin is my absolute favorite!), CBD products to help keep your anxiety or pain at bay, or facial sprays to keep you feeling clean and refreshed, don’t hesitate to support Shea Brand or follow them on Instagram.

Disclosure: I am not a doctor. This post is a reflection of my own research, personal experiences, and information provided to me. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a medical professional. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

YOU DESERVE BEAUTIFUL, INTENTIONAL, COHESIVE IMAGERY THAT SHOWS OFF THE QUALITY OF YOUR Products!

Have an online shop? Are you launching a new product? Just need an updated set of photos to share on your website, store, blog, or social media accounts?

Your business is only as professional as the images you represent it with, and in today’s world of entrepreneurship, strong photography is a must-have! Why? Because first impressions matter, and when your imagery is high-quality, your audience perceives your products and brand as high quality.

When you run a product based business, investing in professional photography should not be negotiable! It’s a necessity, and if you want your business to grow, including it in the budget needs to be a priority. Don’t know where to start? How about right here! I’d love to work closely with you to style and photograph on-brand imagery that elevates your online presence, so that you can convert visitors to paying clients, make more sales, and spend more of your valuable time living the life you imagined! If you’re ready to tell the world that your business isn’t just a hobby, but offers value, drop me a message telling me about your needs, and let’s work together to fulfill them!

Practicing Self-Care As An Entrepreneur

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Let’s talk self-care!

It’s easy to put self-care on the back burner — especially when you’re a business owner and have to do all the things! Taking care of ourselves seems like the last thing that should be on our minds. But slowing down to refresh and recharge our physical, emotional, and mental well-being needs to become a priority.

Running on auto pilot doesn’t do anyone any good. Your business is here to serve and offer value, but how can you expect give your best if you aren’t taking care of your health and happiness in a way that you deserve? Yes, deserve!

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TAKE A BREAK

There have been too many times that I’d work on a single task for hours, only to later wonder when the last time I ate something was (and did I even have water today?). I’d stand up, stretch my achy back, and close my tired eyes, and wonder why I hadn’t so much as moved until now. It’s easy, when you’re taking care of a business, to forget to take care of yourself. All too often, this is the life of an entrepreneur, but it doesn’t have to be. Set a timer and take a break — several thought the day, ideally. They don’t need to long. Even 10 minutes here and there will do.

TAKE CARE OF THE NECESSITIES

I’m not talking about your to-do list. I’m talking about the basics of life. In the previous point, I mentioned how even simple tasks like eating or drinking sometimes get lost among everything else that needs to be done, but these are things that keep you healthy. If you’ve been sitting for hours on end, stand up and walk around. Keep a glass of water on your desk so you remember to hydrate throughout the day. Set alarms so you don’t miss meals. Make one of those breaks above a little longer, and get some exercise in.

NO SCREENS ALLOWED

For most of us, the first thing we probably do in the mornings or before bed is check our screens — we pick up our phones and browse social media to see what we missed, or we open our laptop to check our emails. Let’s break that habit. Instead of looking at a screen first thing in the morning, let’s use this time to set the tone for the rest of the day. Lay quietly for a few minutes. Wake up slowly, if time allows. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit in the stillness for a few moments before going about your daily tasks. Maybe spend a few minutes reading, or journaling, or meditating. When your work hours are over, close your laptop for the night. Give yourself this time to rest.

START SAYING NO

I love whitespace in design and in my calendar. Leonardo Da Vinci one said that “simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”, and I couldn’t agree more. As a business owner, you’ll no doubt have people wanting something from you at all times — consultations and meetings, collaborations and partnerships, requests for speaking engagements. Saying “yes” to it all is a quick way to get overwhelmed and burnt out. Leave space in your calendar where you aren’t doing anything.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO INDULGE WITHOUT GUILT

Buy a new magazine. Brush on your favorite face mask. Light some candles and take a bubble bath. Or a nap. Go for a walk, or to that yoga class you’ve been thinking about. Get outside. Grab a coffee. Interact with other humans. Take time alone. Do what you need to rejuvenate, and make it a daily practice.

SHOW YOURSELF GRACE

Until you make a habit of practicing self-care as an entrepreneur, there may be days when you feel guilty. “Why didn’t I get this task done today” or “I have so much waiting for me — I shouldn’t be relaxing” or “I’m not successful unless I’m always busy”. Be kind with yourself and with your thoughts.


What are your favorite self-care tips for busy entrepreneurs? What self-care practices have you made part of your routine, to keep your mental, emotional, and physical health in tip-top shape?