Founder Five with Ava Zhan of Earthwise Beauty

Founder Five with Ava Zhan of Earthwise Beauty

Earthwise Beauty’s expertly crafted skin care products are based on alive, unrefined, plant-based ingredients that “talk” to our skin. These often rare, incredible medicinal plants, flowers, leaves, wood, and resin offer unparalleled skin care benefits.

Chatting with Ava Zhan, Founder of Earthwise Beauty

Why Clean Beauty?

Our brands, both Earthwise Beauty and Pacific Northwest Essences, are an expression of who I am as a professional (skincare formulator and an herbalist), but also as a woman, mother, homemaker, environmental-protection activist, and probably a philosopher. Our products, whether they are skincare, teas, or herbal supplements, all embody the same set of values: we make herbal-based products that celebrate wholeness, freshness, herbalism as a healing modality, the organic movement, farming, and a few other things such as celebrating being a woman.

The products happen to be “clean beauty”, but you could also categorize them as organic beauty, handcrafted beauty, indie beauty, cruelty-free beauty, women-led beauty, Fair Trade beauty. We are not pursuing labels, but instead work to create products that are effective and a joy to use, and ones that we feel good about creating from the point of view of our values and ethics.

Self Care: How do you de-stress?

I like my weekends without commitments as I find my body goes deeper into relaxation if I don’t have to be anywhere by a certain time and I don’t have to drive far. So many of my weekends are downtime with my children when we decide as we go whether we want to take a walk in nature, rollerblade, or stay home and make waffles with whipped cream. I am also a beginner horseback rider and spend as much time as possible learning to ride and learning about horses.

Your deserted island product

I have several products in constant use, but my number one product is probably Nap in the Meadow Face Serum. It is cooling, hydrating, plumping, lightweight, and it smells refreshing and floral. I am obsessed with quality aloe-based products, cooling products, fix-it-all-quickly products, and Nap in the Meadow clicks all the boxes. I use it generously as my serum under an oil or balm once or twice a day in every season.

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

Be patient, it will take much longer than expected and cost much more than the books say to launch a brand and get to the point of breaking even.

What’s on the horizon?

There are a few skincare products that I am working on that we hope to introduce this year still. I am working on an oil cleanser and two new face balms among others. As we grow, introducing new products poses some challenges, as we must rely on ingredient options that can be reliably obtained from more than one supplier. Other projects we are working on is possibly moving our company to a larger multi-functional studio and office space, and moving our herbal garden to a new, larger location as well.