Welcome or welcome back MyXXFam! Today on the blog we are wrapping up Phase Two of MyXXFLY. Can you believe it? Another 20 weeks of fly sustainable fashion, art, politics, mental health, and body positivity under our belt. Next week we’ll be doing our second anthology post and taking a stroll down memory lane as well as giving you a sneak peek of what else is to come, but first we must close this chapter off with a bang. Meet my soul sister, and kindred tree-hugging hippy homegirl, Evelyn.
On this sunny afternoon Eve sported a skirt from the MyXXFLY closet of second-hand treasures for a stroll through a local park. You know that friend who you can spend hours chatting with? Falling down the rabbit hole of spirituality, arts, philosophy, existentialism, and the meaning of our place in the universe? Evelyn is that friend. She and I first met through her younger sister (and my former classmate) Damaris. Over the years our similarities in ideology; a mutual adoration of nature, a desire for simple living, and a passion for self discovery have made our friendship bloom.
Aside from being a straight up doll, Evelyn is an exceptionally talented first generation Nica in Miami. A formally trained artist, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design in California. After graduating she worked as a designer for the entertainment industry in LA for about 4 years before taking a sabbatical to Australia. A traveler at heart, (or vaga if you ask a Nica mom), she did a stint down under as a tour guide in the outback where she lived for a full year. She still describes Australia as one of the most profound and important experiences of her life, and says that not only was it a “pivotal time” in deciding on a career change, but also a place where she “learned what humanity really means.” She was challenged mentally, emotionally and physically while being exposed to “breathtaking landscapes, beautiful wildlife and a bunch of the most fearless, loving, people I have ever met in my life- still true friends till this day.” She still avidly indulges in her wanderlust, and most recently visited Iceland last December to gaze at the Northern Lights in the flesh, but no matter where her travels take her she will always regard Australia as her “second home”.
In addition to being an adventurer, Evelyn currently works in the hospitality industry, recently earned her certification as a yoga instructor, and has ventured into entrepreneurship with a line of organic soaps: Iuvenile Skincare.
If you’ve been a loyal reader of our blog you already know that one of our goals is to advocate for eco-friendly fashion, but wellness in every incarnation is a cornerstone of MyXXFLY.com. From the effects of urban sprawl on modern man, the detrimental side effects of our digital lives, and the global effects of fast fashion, to the importance of mental health, spiritual attunement, and cultivating healthy relationships, we are fucking huge supporters of living simply and prioritizing overall wellness. One of the aspects that we’ve never touched upon however, is skincare.
After working in commercial design under big corporations Evelyn felt personally limited. Her trip to Australia gave her some life perspective and she decided she wanted to contribute something that would bring positive change to others. During difficult times where personal illness touched her life, Evelyn was able to pull through, and the kindness of her caregivers inspired her to return to school to study medicine. Evelyn is a straight up scientist, but her holistic and homeopathic approach to medicine gives her an intuitive edge which is part of what led to her entrepreneurship in the first place.
During one of the dozens of chemistry courses in her pre-med catalog, our girl Eve learned to make soap. By simply combining chemicals found in nature, an acid and a base, the ensuing chemical reaction creates soap. Fascinated by the molecular structure, where one bonds to water, and the other to dirt, she pulled a Tyler Durden and developed her own formula. But Evelyn isn’t a leather and fishnet wearing anarchist figment of the narrator’s imagination, she’s the girl who picks up liter at the beach with the casual swiftness of a seasoned teacher writing her name on a chalk board. Since she is first and foremost a champion of the Earth, she was aware of the many harmful chemicals used to make everyday skincare. Pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins routinely end up in the foods and products we are sold. Eve posits “our skin is our largest living organ and it easily absorbs substances delivering it to different parts of the body.” So instead of breaking into liposuction clinics and selling the fat of the land, she created vegan, organic soap using all natural plant ingredients such as shea butter, willow bark, and essential oils which nourish the skin.
Having personally battled with acne and rosacea, Eve initially created her soap bars for personal use. Overtime however, word spread, and there was a demand to purchase her skincare products. Her goal was “to bring together my intellectual understanding of the body and chemistry with my passion for nature.” Iuvenile skincare embraces nature’s healing ingredients to work with your own body’s chemistry to bring balance or, in medical terms, homeostasis to your skin. Every handmade bar has undergone a unique 6 week production process that preserves the integrity of the ingredients, and every bar is infused with specific botanical formulations that our homegirl carefully selected for their healing properties. Eve’s line is deeply personal and she considers Iuvenile Skincare her “contribution to mother Earth.”
Support your Local Economy
Passionate entrepreneurs like Eve are invaluable to the American economy. Local business owners are more invested in improving the community in which they operate, in fact, studies show that for every $100 spent at a local business, $63 stays in the community, versus $43 for chain stores. In You Say You Want a Revolution? I wrote about how our money is an implicit vote. We are supporting a business and their practices every time we purchase a product, so while it’s easy to head over to Wal-Mart and buy a chemically laden soap bar for .99c, that dollar (which let’s be real, is never just a dollar) is contributing to everything that is wrong with corporate America. From selling products made using child labor, and being a royally shitty anti-union employer, while the upper echelon make billions off of the struggle of underpaid over worked employees, companies like these are everything ugly about capitalism.
The worst part of the equation is this; since many of us are also overworked and underpaid, we see the .99c purchase at our local chain store as a bargain. Miami is a city where a young couple with a combined income of $120,000 is priced out of buying a home due to the cost of living. So those of us who don’t make even a shadow of that figure are understandably careful with our money. A bar of soap for mere cents feels like a bargain, but it’s not. We are working 40 hours, 50 hours, 60 hours a week to support our families, we have no expendable income, and even go into debt for simple luxuries like meals out, and occasional vacations. So trust me, I get it. You work too damn hard to not treat yourself, you have the right to be mad when you bust your ass and have no money left over after you pay your basic living expenses, but the .99c bar of soap is a dollar we’re feeding back into the machine that is keeping our wages low. It is support for a company who forces their employees to only be able to afford the .99c bar of soap.
So make it yourself whenever you can. Build a network of friends and family and pool your resources whenever possible. Support your local entrepreneurs. Visit your local farmer’s market and help your community’s economy while reaping the health benefits that go along with it. By putting a face to the products you buy, you are supporting someone’s dream to break free of the corporate work cycle we are conditioned to live in. Entrepreneurs like Evelyn, who are passionate about their work, and in tune with their humanity aren’t just selling a product. By buying small, we are connecting with strangers on an interpersonal level, and transmitting positive energy to one another. These daily human interactions are those which bring light and meaning to our lives. We’d like to thank Eve for joining us this week on MyXXFLY. Be sure to check out Iuvenile Skincare, subscribe to MyXXFLY and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tune in next Friday for our anthology post, and until then, keep your double-x fly!