Shea Marie has been a strong stable part of the way which we see and interact with fashion and media, she is part of the impactful first wave of multihyphenate creators between styling, influencing and how we interact with fashion. This social media trail blazer is so much more, stepping out of the blogging world she is now the mastermind behind The Feelist, the plant-based skin line that was created after years of engaging with various products in her profession. We took a moment of the HBIC’s time to check in all the ways she organically took on this project, plant-based skin care, and her own regimen.
What is the story of The Feelist and how did you develop it in ahead of the current obsession with the personal wellbeing experience we have been engaging with?
The world of beauty and wellness can be exhausting. Being in the industry for the past 10 years I have been fortunate to have tried nearly every skincare, cosmetic and wellness product under the sun. Over the past five years (due largely in part to developing many skin sensitivities) I grew more and more curious about the world of clean, natural and plant powered ingredients. What I found was that I was often dismayed at the lack of transparency, truly clean ingredients, and thoughtfulness in product design.
In my never-ending quest for functional beauty and wellness products that actually work, (and are also gorgeous enough to sit front and center on my top shelf and make it onto my IG feed) I realized that I should take matters into my own hands and design the products I wanted.
After years of research, formulation, and design, The Feelist launched in August 2020. The Feelist has comprised an exceptional founding team inclusive of industry leaders in beauty, social media, branding, packaging, and agriculture. We believe in the power of plant-based wellness, and these formulations are only the beginning as we continue to research more botanical superpowers.
What is the process of developing the products and working with specifically plant-based products?
A lot of trial and error! It takes about 2 years from the initial idea for a product to when it is fully ready to hit the shelves. Development, stringent testing, designing packaging and all the moving pieces take so much longer than I could have ever expected. Especially when you are working with clean products- the stability and compatibility testing phases can be much longer because you are trying to use the most natural ingredients and preservatives and sometimes it takes many times to get it to work correctly and pass all testing. So many brands, especially brands selling “CBD” products aren’t actually creating their own formulas- they are white labeling preexisting formulas and just adding CBD to them. We wanted to make sure all our products were proprietary and developed by our team from start to finish.
What was your process in getting into the space of clean beauty?
I first entered the world of clean beauty after discovering my own sensitivities to many of the harmful ingredients contained in products.
My initial interest in plant-based skincare and wellness came about as I searched for a more holistic and natural approach to treating skin issues. But navigating the “natural” landscape at the time was tricky, most products seemed small batch and untrustworthy, with no branding, reliable history or certificates of analysis. They were the type of products I hid away in my medicine cabinet, far far away from the beautiful #shelfie photos that frequent my social media accounts. But they were working. I knew that if I was looking for beautiful trustworthy products in the space, others would be too.
Take us through your personal regimen for skin care and wellbeing inside and out.
I’m definitely a work-a-holic so I try to do yoga first thing every morning (even if I can only fit in 15 minutes) to reset and calm my mind. I don’t drink caffeine so instead I drink hot water with lemon, ginger and manuka honey. My morning get ready routine is pretty simple. I wash my face (with a face wash The Feelist has in development!), use Most Wanted Oil, a little tinted moisturizer, blush and lip tint. At night I’m usually experimenting with new products we have in development and using a serum and or cream. The last thing I do before bed is always use Do Not Disturb on the back of my neck and shoulders for the best night’s sleep ever. And some nights when my mind is racing (ok all the time) I try listening to a meditation on the Calm or Insight Timer apps.
Where do you see The Feelist going in the next 5 to 10 years?
After an incredible first 8 months of natural and organic growth (we received over 30 million social media impressions in the first week of launch and nearly half a billion social media impressions without any paid advertising) we have decided to spend 2021 focusing on growing our DTC and focusing extensively on product development. We have 4 new products (all in the facial skincare space) launching throughout the next year. Looking into 2022 and beyond we are planning to launch internationally as well as roll out a retail strategy. After that who knows, the possibilities are endless.
Layout by Ida-Erika Gencheva.