Stefanie Grant Cassel
As part of our brand, we like to recognize a wide range of influential and inspiring female entrepreneurs, designers and creators. For this profile, we interviewed Stefanie Grant Cassel.
Stefanie is the owner, creator, and sole employee of Twinkle Apothecary. She designs and hand makes all of the natural perfumes, body care, and skincare that she offers - and then she packs it all up and ships it to online customers! There's never really a typical day for Stefanie, it's always a mix from production, to customer service, to marketing, ordering materials... but she absolutely loves all of it!
Who in your industry do you admire- who has influenced you?
Honestly, I never really saw myself in the beauty industry, although there are a lot of great brands and influencers to admire - from the green beauty space especially. I think my inspiration to start this business really came from seeing a lot of innovative, women-run, vegan fashion brands popping up, and just wanting to be a part of that super positive energy. Brands like Vaute Couture, Nicora Shoes, the online boutique Bead & Reel, (and there are so many others who've inspired me that I would never have time to mention them all) made me think, "Hey - I want to find something good, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free that I can put out into the world too!"
Where do you go/what do you do in order to do your most creative work?
You know, I spent a good portion of my life thinking that I wasn't a very creative person. Then one day, the ideas suddenly started flowing and I haven't been able to turn them off! Whenever I'm feeling stuck over an idea or I'm not sure what to do next, I find that if I can just get away from my workspace - go outside for a bit, or close my eyes and meditate for 5 minutes, the answer is more likely to appear. You kind of have to learn to trust that you already know what to do deep down and give yourself time and space to find it - easier said than done. Also, I find that my best perfume ideas happen late at night when there are zero distractions and I can just allow myself to play. I can't imagine going into an office and creating that kind of magic during the day or having to finish anything on a deadline. I'm a bit spoiled by being my own boss and not having anyone else to answer to I guess...
If you could recommend one book or documentary, what would it be?
I think that Just Kids by Patti Smith is a must read for any artist.
What trends in your industry excite you the most?
I love to see more people questioning what kind of ingredients are going onto their bodies and switching over to cruelty-free and vegan brands , because there's really no reason any animals should have to suffer for our products. And, I really hope to play a part in getting people excited to make the switch to natural fragrances! I'm also excited by the trend of self care no longer being viewed as "selfish" and I love the idea of empowering women to care for themselves through mindful skincare and wellness routines.
What are your essentials for a productive day?
Just give me some quiet time and I'm good to go. I do my best work at my desk, with no noise or distractions around. It sounds boring, but my work excites me so it's really all I need!
What was the best piece of advice you have been given?
I'm sure there are a ton of inspirational quotes I could give you, but right now what comes to my mind is my childhood ballet teacher saying, " B.I.G. ladies, get your butts in gear! " It's what I say to myself whenever I need a kick in the pants to stop procrastinating and get stuff done.
What is one product or service under $200 that you’ve found in the past year that has changed your life?
Oh man, I never shop, (although there are a lot of vegan shoes I'd like to buy right now!) so I'd have to say my monthly yoga studio membership is my most life changing purchase. I'm a big fan of sweating out the stress!