As a young teen, I fell victim to the pressure cooker of becoming society's ideal woman. I was obsessed with pertaining a certain look to fit other people's perceptions. I'd love a good soak in fake tan or I'd bake myself in an unhealthy amount of sun. I couldn't go a day without wearing makeup and thrived when I could afford to pay for a good lash set. I loved hitting the gym for an excessive amount of hours and in some ways, I cared more about looking healthy rather than living healthy. One year after graduating high school, my wage in the hospitality industry wasn't cutting it for adulthood. So I started my first business in the beauty industry at the age of 18 in 2018, yes I'm a 2000's baby! I carried my insecurities into my new independent life and lacked true self-care. Physically strained from overworking my body in the demanding positions I faced as a beauty tech, whilst trying to keep up this facade of a certain look, the overwhelm caused me to mentally detach from the identity I had created. I realised my clients only see me for a few seconds before they lie down and close their eyes. Who am I keeping up this look for? It certainly wasn't for me. I let go of my limitations and went all-in on going all-natural! Clients started to tell me that they loved my new low key vibe, they felt more comfortable just rocking up. I even had early morning clients arrive in their pyjamas haha! Although, I did receive questions regarding my appearance. Originally I didn't know how to respond as these questions were quite confronting. I'd mistreated my body for years with toxins and harsh products, never did I ever check the ingredients label on the back of a product. Going makeup-free revealed the effects of what I'd done 24/7. My awareness started expanding, and the products that I was putting on and in my body became important to me, which then extended to the life cycle of each product, how it was affecting the environment, and are there animals suffering because of it? One of the many habits I realised I'd been doing for years was box dying my hair, trying to cover up the balayage bleach that had turned to brass, which actually wasn't even there anymore. The fact that I bleached my torso's body hair and shaved my arms for years because of peers judging me. So when people started asking me about my appearance, I'd splurge out some mumbo jumbo because I was still figuring everything out. I was detoxing my life! Not just products wise but mentally! I'd spent years trying to perfect my body to live up to other peoples unhealthy and unrealistic standards, I'd stare at myself in the mirror always finding something new to improve on. I'd gone to extreme lengths chasing after something that didn't exist... I'd limited my value to my body. I'd come accustomed to perfecting everyone else's idea of how I should look. I missed the essence of my true self, that isn't so caught up in this physical experience, that isn't identified with being a person, that isn't limited to the thoughts of the mind. Once I'd come to terms with this, these exact beautiful words flowed out of my mouth... 'I'm confident in my own skin!' I can now look at photos of myself and think I am beautiful just the way I am, I now look back at old photos and wonder how I missed my beauty in those moments. Detaching from identifying with my physical body gave me more appreciation and gratitude for it, a newfound love for myself.
With this newfound perspective on life, compassion arose. There's no separation between me and the planet, or the animals or the humans that inhabit it, all is one. Going on this roller coaster of truth, suppressed feelings surrounding my business started to surface. I always knew my beauty business wasn't sustainable. I pushed down the thoughts for as long as I could but they started to take a toll on my conscience. It came to a point where I could not turn a blind eye anymore. I started brainstorming a new business that I could transition into, one that would sync in with this newfound life! I spent 6 months reaching out to brands and distributors formulating a list of products that were in alignment with my tight-knit box of ethics. Starting this business felt so right, my passion was strong, I was ready to rumble!
When I first launched Isabella West my goal was to stock the widest range of eco-friendly products becoming the leading company in the industry. Trying to fit within the tight boundaries I'd set for this company was hard & limiting! Our original forefront term 'eco-friendly' means 'not environmentally harmful.' I've come to realise that the term eco-friendly is just not 100% realistic. Everything has an impact on this planet, whether it be a large impact or very little impact... there is still some impact. It's more about what level of impact does this product have? and in extension, it's manufacturer/company? What good is coming out of minimising the not so good? We are in interesting times, it seems people are starting to wake up a bit more and becoming more aware of the impact. Humanities consciousness is expanding, I'm proof and if you are reading this blog I'm grateful because this is the ripple effect! So I've decided to change the forefront term of this business to 'Conscious Living & Wellness'. As mentioned above working in this industry has opened my eyes and I have learned a lot! The term eco-friendly can be chucked around a lot in this industry and I think can be misleading at times. This is why I feel 'conscious living' fits us best! Now when it comes to the term 'Wellness' this really ties in. As I've become more conscious I've steered towards products that better our wellness as a whole (us, earth, all of life & beyond). To better the earth's wellness in return betters our wellness. But it's important to note that I'm no FBI agent, I have let go of trying to be perfect when it comes to living eco! I endeavour to make conscious decisions but I have let go of any limitations of trying to be perfect! I endeavour to source conscious products with little impact and list the perks of each product in the description so you can get an overview of the product itself & the brand!
I'll finish off this post by saying that I'd forgotten that I am the soul of this company... After all, I did name it after myself haha! I was lost when it came to social media content, sending out loveable emails and the thought of starting a blog made me cringe. 2022 is the year for change! I've rebranded my terms and you may have noticed I also rebranded my colour scheme to the uplifting blue & white (originally black & pink). I was originally wanting to be the biggest eco company in Australia but now I'm going to be niching down, I really want a personal connection & experience with each product. I now feel more inflow and in touch with my business than ever before! I want to share my story, life and thoughts. I want that 'reel' connection hehe, pardon the pun! So watch out for my blog, Instagram posts and lovable emails.
Love & Grattitude x
Isabella West - CEO