Founder 5 with Celestyna Brozek of moss/AMBAR

Founder 5 with Celestyna Brozek of moss/AMBAR

Two brands, one genius mastermind. moss and AMBAR are as different from each other as night and day but share the same creator in Celestyna Brozek.

Celestyna is a physicist who founded moss in 2015. With an innate talent for formulating and a passion inspired by her own struggles with teenage and adult acne, her mission is to deliver truly effective, luxurious skincare that doesn’t contain “fairy dust,” (adding an active ingredient at a low, ineffective percentage) toxins or fillers of any kind.

moss delivers superior skincare drawing on the incredible power of plants and botanicals through highly concentrated and powerful formulations. Correcting acne and aging issues in a single product is their specialty.

Ambar means “sky” in Sanskrit. AMBAR products offer the efficacy, purity and artisanal exquisiteness of moss luxury skincare, with a more minimal, streamlined approach.

Chatting with Celestyna Brozek, founder of moss/AMBAR

Why Clean Beauty?

I made my way to clean beauty through searching for something to help heal my acne. That was back when using oil on your face was still this new, totally shocking thing. But the reasoning made sense to me, and I was drawn into the world of natural beauty.

Your self care ritual: an indulgent weekly event or finding moments whenever you can get them?

Well, single mom of 2 under 2 here, but self care is pretty vital. For me, once all the diapers are changed, breakfasts are fed in the morning, I make myself three fancy drinks! That feels indulgent lol.

  1. An oat/cacao blend with adaptogens and green tea.
  2. A tea with shatavari (for milk production)
  3. A cup of coffee!

I am really lucky to have a fabulous nanny, so once she comes in, I can usually grab a shower, or at least brush my teeth. Using skin care is really a form of self care too for me – I like to devise different routines and play with different products. Showering and Target runs – all the cliched mom stuff – I’m into it. Sometimes I’ll put both kids in the car, get a Starbucks, put on a podcast and drive for 40 minutes. It’s really finding moments. Or rather, carving/seeking them out.

Your deserted island product

Right now it’s the Porcelain Water Balm from the L4B. This is a great example of where I put oil/balm on first, and then layer Potentci on top. My favorite product keeps changing though because my skin keeps changing. That’s the fun of being a formulator, I can always build what I want/need.

I feel most beautiful when…

I am at peace. I was in a relationship that wasn’t working for a long time. It was the reason I cancelled moss 1.0. It was taking a huge emotional toll on me, that’s where all my energy was going. I literally would look into the mirror and see myself getting uglier. I swear my emotions were etching themselves into my skin. There was a lot of frustration, anger, and deep sadness and discomfort. I finally ended that relationship. (Just in case he ends up reading this, it wasn’t his fault. He’s actually a great guy. We just ground each other’s gears.)

Now I’m extremely protective of my life and the people I let into it. I see my face finally beginning to let go of those depleting emotions. I’m much more at peace. Much more in integrity with myself. Much more joyful and hopeful. And I think my face shows it. I like pictures of myself a lot more now. In the past, I couldn’t look at them.

What’s the #1 piece of advice you would you tell your past self just getting started?

It is a tough road and it’s so easy to get derailed. Which has happened to me once or twice. I think there was once a point where the business was running ME not the other way around.

I would say do it YOUR way. Not the way you think it should be done. I once had a mentor tell me, if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying. I became obsessed with growth. Which ironically, caused me to burn out and the business to tank. Now I am very intentional. As an entrepreneur your biz is a huge part of your life, so it has to work. Every day I ask myself: What feels good? What feels like its working? What feels like it’s not working? And then I take all the not working stuff and look at it very closely. And I decide if I want to ride it out or fix it. And I put that plan into motion. I look at all the stuff that is working, and I make a note to do it more. I think hard about what I want my life to feel like. That same mentor also once made a derisive comment about how graphic design (my work at the time) was “just picking colors” while marketing (what I transitioned into with his encouragement) was much more “important.” But I happen to like picking colors and I finally let that be my truth.

So with moss, I could be running it very differently. I could be chasing wholesale accounts and doing trade shows and I hate that. What I like is the “picking colors” of skincare – playing with ingredients. Making stuff. It could be considered a waste of time. It doesn’t grow the business. It loses money – I’m buying way more (expensive) ingredients than I’ll ever use. Most of these products will never go into production. They’re not viable. But that is what makes me happy. That’s my meditation and that’s my joy. So it has to exist. I insist upon it. And every day I check in to make sure my life is working and make sure I feel good about where I am and where I’m going, personally. The business then changes to support that.

Note bene – this is my advice to me, not to other entrepreneurs. It’s probably very bad advice to follow. (My business suffers at times due to my whims).

 What’s next?If you want to see what I’m working on check out the L4B! It’s the R&D arm of moss and I’m very active in it now. I post pics of my process and offer the products to purchase. One product that users of the L4B are loving is something I’ve mentioned before – Porcelain Water Balm. It’s mostly oils and butters but has a touch of hydric components as well. Another product I think is revolutionary is a Spot mask – it is essential oil free! It’s like a little mini mask that just goes over blemishes overnight. It works really well, and there’s not many essential oil free spot treatments in green beauty.