Grandpa was my caregiver until I was old enough for school. We had our morning coffee together. He read the sports; I read the comics. He taught me some German, the best time to get cookies so Grandma wouldn't know, and how to roll his cigarettes. He was so proud of me for having them all lined up for him after lunch. Through him, I learned many valuable lessons. I learned cigarettes were bad. I learned what cancer was, what tube feedings were, and the very scary word 'metastasize'. Finally, he taught me how to deal with loss. I was 9 years old.
Decades later, I was a cancer nurse, a patient advocate, and educator. As a cancer nurse, it was my duty to fight with you...to fight with dignity to heal or to fight with dignity to leave. And for years, as I helped people get ready to leave the hospital by applying makeup. I would later learn I was exposing them to the very things that made them sick!
I was angry. Again, I was the little boy who made cigarettes for his Grandpa without understanding the implications. This time though, I had the skills to make a difference.
Since I have also been involved in pharmaceutical research for nearly 20 years, I brought my nursing skills and my research skills together to combat an industry that throws toxic chemicals into a product, slaps a pink ribbon on the box, and betrays the very consumer who thinks they're buying a product with a conscience.
I had to restore balance to this personal equation. So, my first product would be called 'Restoration'.
Essentially, I want all my products to be the most effective, healthy, and organic skin cosmetic it can be. I want it to be something you can feel good about using, look good from using, and can feel safe sharing with others.
My hobby is my crusade. My competition? A goliath. My skin cream was good enough to get into Whole Foods, but they need more products... more product diversification. This will come. What makes me think this?
The Environmental Working Group rates my cream a "1". Water rates a "0".
It's a cream with organic tinctures of Immortelle, Calendula, and Prunella. - long known for their positive effects on skin.
It's infused with Reiki, positive intention, prayer or whatever noun suits your mojo.
The formulary is supported by research published on reputable sites (e.g. National Institute of Health).
Nearly all my 1,500 beta testers say it's a keeper.
My products are formulated with safety in mind - first and foremost.
That means that all products will be 70% organic at minimum. This allows me to say 'organic' on my advertising. Also, it gives me peace of mind.
Unlike other companies, I will not hide chemicals under the guise of 'fragrance'. I also will not fail to reveal all ingredients - another industry dirty secret. I want to be part of the solution - not the problem.
I'm a bass-baritone opera singer who wanted to teach ancient medieval literature. I volunteered my way into patient care, found myself in pharmaceutical research on a dare, and now design databases for Watson Health at IBM. In 2005, I was in a coma, had a dear death experience, and came back to make a difference. One of many lessons learned - don't ignore the bucket list. If you are interested, my bucket list book, The Alchemist's Heir, is available on Amazon.
I've heard it said that our lives are divided into three chapters: learning, earning and returning. I'm living all three at once. My intention is to continue learning how to serve others...to dedicate myself to improving my 'garden patch', to find a path that is both mindful and prosperous, and to find my own personal ‘restoration’.