I’ve known Erin Wexstten, founder of Oxalis Apothecary, for a while now. We worked together at Gap’s corporate office in NYC’s Tribeca years ago where she worked as a designer and I was a merchant. I was always intrigued about her then “side hustle”, the burgeoning natural skin care line she was developing in her down time. Her Feel Good Potion kept many spreadsheet-induced headaches at bay for our whole team. Nothing had ever worked so well on my constant headaches as this magical little potion.
Because of that, I knew I wanted Oxalis’s gorgeous products front and center when we launched Le Wren. Oxalis was born out of a long-time love of body care, an obsession with the psychology of scent and a desire to create safe and effective natural products. Not only are the products effective and safe for all skin types, they are beautiful to behold. The perfect union of form and function.
Below Erin answers some questions about her journey as an entrepreneur, the wellness world and what makes Oxalis so special. Read on to get inspired.
Serena: What was your inspiration for starting Oxalis Apothecary? How did it all begin?
Erin: I’ve been a long-time lover of all things skincare and beauty, dating back to my very early childhood. My mother and grandmother invested in their skin and passed on that importance. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s meant most of the skincare I was using was from department or drug stores, as clean beauty wasn’t in the mainstream. It took many years to discover all of the toxic ingredients found in traditional products but once I became aware, there was no turning back.
For me, this was around 2009 and I was twenty-five years old, slowly and steadily overhauling all of my conventional products. This also stirred something up in me as a whole - I felt alive again, excited about these discoveries and learning more and more every year. I’d been designing for the Gap for six years or so, and in 2014 I began dreaming up a business of my own. I decided to become certified in organic body care and aromatherapy to further my education of ingredients and the skin. By June 2015, I launched Oxalis at my favorite neighborhood wine bar around the corner of my apartment in Brooklyn and quit my full-time design job in November. It’s been a wild and rewarding ride since!
Serena: What does being in the wellness space mean to you?
Erin: It is a privilege to exist within the wellness space. I think for me it’s really a sense of community and support, a space for all of us to take moments to ourselves and be cared for. It looks different for everyone but I believe if having a skincare routine brings you joy and comfort, then that’s what we’re here for. I know it makes a huge difference for me when I spend time just taking care of me. That’s wellness. Wellness is a lot of things and is evolving; the language and outcomes are shifting towards more inclusivity and I’m very much here for that.
Serena: What has been the most rewarding part of being a female founder and entrepreneur?
Erin: You learn a lot about yourself when you take a leap of faith. I’m so grateful I’ve been able to pursue my own dreams, call my own shots and work hard to create a more thoughtful and intimate experience of what work and a job can look like.
Serena: What has been the most challenging?
Erin: Being your own boss and making all of the decisions comes with great responsibility and as a natural-born perfectionist, it can often be a lot of pressure. I have a hard time “turning off” the job and being fully present with my family and friends. I’ve really had to start new practices so I can prevent burnout and it’s an everyday practice I’m still perfecting.
Serena: What does your perfect day look like?
Erin: Mornings with my son and partner, a full day of productive work, an evening walk with the family and a glass of wine, dinner and a bath. Ahhhh, heaven.
Serena: And what is your go-to ritual on your not-so-perfect days?
Erin: Get outside in nature, hands down. When I’m feeling frazzled, I soak up some vitamin D, plant my feet on the ground and breathe. And water, which helps my anxiety so much. A bike ride would be the cherry on top!
Serena: How do you hope people feel when they use your products?
Erin: I hope people feel cared for, loved, appreciated, and uniquely themselves. Our products create easy routines, rooted in nature, so everyone can benefit from the inside out. They’re approachable and made with so much love and intention, easily incorporated into any current routines. I hope they bring people joy.
I think it's pretty obvious now why we rave about Oxalis Apothecary. Click here to shop all of our Oxalis favorites. Send one (or two, or three) to a loved one today.
And click here to read more about that magical little potion in the New York Times.
Thank you for reading.