When we thought about all the ways we could ring in Earth Day & the topics we could cover, the list was longer than the line at Whole Foods on a Sunday night. But, after some mulling & a whole lotta matcha, the choice was obvious.

National GDP keeps going up, which means we’re spending more moola on fun things like beauty products, travel, and fitness. Yay for quality of life, right? MAYBE. When it comes to beauty alone, the cosmetics space is set to have a whopping $265 billion dollar year in 2017, as Americans look to look good for ya. And, whether we have the unrelenting #selfie to blame, Tinder, or the self-love movement, mo’ money is bringing mo’ options and not all of them are the safest or healthiest for you, your skin, or our planet.

Especially here in the US where over 1,000 toxic ingredients, banned in the year 2 Thousand and THREE by the European Union, are still fair game today (um right, a decade+ later). Yo, #PLOTUS get with the program. Which is why we knew, there is no one better to carry the torch for Momma Nature on #EarthDay than Indie Lee – long time Wellth Warrior, mentor, and our official beauty godmother.

For starters, Indie is celebrating a milestone business birthday today. 7 years ago to the day, she founded Indie Lee, an environmentally conscious sexy, smart line of toxin-free skincare products. Which basically means that she will forever beat us in the How to Epically Honor our Planet on EarthDay and Beyond awards. Naturally, she’s one of the most knowledgeable people we know about how botanicals & simple clean ingredients can help save our skin while we save our planet. After asking her every question under the sun about how to look as good as she does when we hit mom status, we had to know more.

Read on as our Co-Founder, J, digs deep by sharing her own skincare story while uncovering how Indie redefined #wellth post brain tumor (we told you she’s a bad ass), stays well on her many travels, and tells us what’s next in the wild world of wellness as an eco-chic evangelist.

indie lee

JB: Most people that dream to start their own business and create more creative freedom in their lives don’t know where to start. What’s your advice to them? Seth Godin has a phrase he uses to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to stop dreaming and start doing, “Ship it!”. What are the very first 3 things you did to get to the “Ship it” point? Formulations? Patents? Testing?

IL: Love this, the first three things I did was a lot of research, then formulations followed by testing with friends and family. Fortunately, there was never a shortage of volunteers. 😉

JB: Sometimes living an abundant life, or true wellth as we see it, is about changing our perception around financial “Wealth”. You initially financed your business by selling all of your jewelry! We think this is one of the most fabulous start up stories we’ve heard. What was the shift in your mindset, or your idea of wellth that perhaps contributed to that decision? How did you know this concept was worth getting rid of your most valuable material possessions?

IL: Thank you!! When you are given six months to live, you begin to have tremendous clarity about what’s truly important. I no longer view material items as wealth. When the doctors thought something as simple as my personal care products could have contributed to my tumor, my path became clear…I wanted to leave a legacy of change. At that time, there weren’t many natural, beautiful skin care options available. I knew my purpose was to fill that void with an eco-chic, truly, not toxic and effective line and to empower others to make healthier choices. I was a woman on a mission and needed cash to create the line, selling jewelry was such a small sacrifice when you think of it that way.

JB: We know from spending time with you (bc we’re lucky girls) that you are super hip to this movement around wellth and women (+ men) everywhere really starting to take charge of their health, sometimes beginning with their beauty products! What would you say the next trend is here? Will it have staying power?

IL: So ironic, I spoke about this in an interview yesterday. Today’s movement is focused on creating community around beauty, wellness and fitness. I don’t see wellness as a trend, but rather a lifestyle that is here to stay. If you don’t believe me, take a look at runway trends or spend some time people watching now that the weather is getting better. Athleisure is an entire genre within fashion. And, juices aren’t a fad, they are popping up on menus all over.

JB: Your products have been a God send for my face and, as such, my sanity as hormones have taken over my life- most visibly through my skin and its reactions to foods and crappy products. Your Rosehip Cleanser, specifically, seems to just be a rosacea whisperer for me, literally to the point of tears in the morning to see my own healthy happy calm glowy face in the morning!! So, firstly thank you!! And secondly, what are some of your best beauty secrets to combating our ever-changing circumstances whether it’s aging and hormones, or lifestyle changes – different climates, babies, travel.

IL: First of all, thank you for the best compliment this week, month, year. This is exactly why I started the line in the first place.

I believe beauty is an inside job. It is a combination of what you put on and in your body. Eating a clean diet (gut health) is paramount to healthy skin, as is using clean products, with only a handful of natural, fragrance free ingredients. I am always touting self love. In today’s society, there is too much self judgement going around. We are all perfectly imperfect. Part of beauty is embracing who you are – the total package.

JB: Speaking of travel, is there a go-to product or beauty regimen you recommend for folks spending more than 8 hours a week on planes? Many of our wellth warriors ask this question and our go-to is to hydrate, but that’s just for survival. How can we help them pamper on the go?

IL: Traveling can be stressful on our bodies – well, travel can be really stressful -period. I absolutely have my go to travel routine. Step 1: hydrate, Step 2: hydrate (did I mention hydrate?). I often don’t drink enough water during the week. But, when I am on the road, or, in the air, my water bottle is always in hand (after going through TSA of course). But remember, hydration isn’t just internal. I always make sure to pack my Squalane Facial Oil and a travel sized CoQ-10 Toner. I use them in the sky and as soon as I touch down. Whether you use my products or not, I recommend packing a natural moisturizer with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and squalane (from olives – not sharks please).

JB: Where is your next trip taking you?
IL: Since I love visiting our retailers and meeting customers and fans, I have a few quick overnight trips to Boston and Ann Arbor later this month. We have a number of retailers in the Lone Star state, so a bigger trip to Texas is planned mid-May. We will be in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. This time around, I plan to tack on an extra day or so to sightsee and visit with friends. Can’t wait!!

JB: How does travel play into your wellth equation?

IL: Great question. Have any suggestions (wink, wink). This is exactly why I love what you are creating. To be honest, it is because of Wellthily that I have committed to making sure that during each trip I take, I create some “me” time to experience each new city – be it a hike in Denver, experiencing local fare in Portland or attending a Yoga class in Montauk.

JB: You are a huge role model for us (Suzie and I).. With two awesome kids at home (or out with friends, they are teens duh) who I’m sure feel the same. Do you have any parenting tips for raising a wellth warrior in-the-making? How do we raise kids in today’s environment and instill values of holistic wellness, integrity, and all the things that make up what Indie Lee stands for as a company and as an individual?

IL: With all the travel I have been doing lately, I hope my kids would still agree that I am a role model. I know they aren’t thrilled that I haven’t brought them anywhere exotic yet – but they are still hopeful.

I believe we always live in choice, that it is important to uncover the opportunity and positivity in every situation and to follow one’s passion. Even in seemingly dark situations, there can be positive lessons learned. It is through contrast that clarity can be gained. Because my kids have had to experience something (my illness, bleak prognosis and recovery) that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, they too have learned the importance of appreciating life and know first hand how precious good health is.

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Now, that’s something to celebrate. And, as if we need another reason to party, we are teaming up with 1 Hotel South Beach for the most LIT event of the year in honor of this fine planet. Moonlit, that is. Tonight, under the radiance of the full moon (in Scorpio) we will be ringing in the first annual 1Hotel for #1Earth day in Miami Beach, FL.  As always, YOU are invited.

Learn more about Indie and vote with your dollars (clearly not an ad, we just crush a lot) at her website. You can follow her on instagram and/or facebook, and be sure to share this post with your tribe.

Any questions? Give us a shout on our social feeds or email us at hi@wellthily.com.

In #wellth we trust.

S + J