A beauty company committed to creating change and building community in the clean lifestyle and wellness categories, Indie Lee & Co is grounded in nature, supported through science, and inspired by life.
What would you do if you were suddenly told you had six months to live? When an MRI test resulted in the diagnoses of a rare brain tumor eleven years ago, Indie Lee was asked the most important question of her life: “What do you put on your skin?” her doctor poised when assessing the possible causes of her tumor.
Bewildered, Lee, admitted she had no idea what she was putting on her skin. Beyond expiration dates, there wasn't much else she paid attention to when it came to the lotions and potions she chose for both herself and her family. Ingredients, ethics, and beyond - there was a whole world of knowledge unknown to Lee, and she was determined to change her potentially fatal ways. Especially if it meant saving her life.
We had the privilege of speaking with Indie Lee, now tumor free, to understand more about her personal journey to health and the launch of her clean beauty line. “[The Indie Lee & Co] brand is about empowerment, education and healthy living; creating a community of like minded individuals on the same journey of change.” Read on.
Indie, you’ve built a successful beauty company with an amazing line of naturally derived skin care products. How did it all start?
In 2008, I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor that doctors felt could be environmentally derived, and attributed to something as simple as what I was putting on my skin. That was my awakening. I began researching the personal care industry and was floored by what I found - tons of suspect ingredients and little regulation. I knew that if I survived, I would make it my mission to educate and empower others to be mindful about what they put on and in their bodies. That was how the idea for Indie Lee skincare was born.
It’s been two years since we last talked to you about “clean” skin care. How has this new(ish) skin care category evolved over the last two years?
Oh wow. The clean space has changed so much since I entered it 10 years ago and it has just exploded over the last two years. The ingredient technology available today is allowing us clean brands to create products that are as effective, if not more than, conventional products. There are also so many clean brands on the scene now, it’s really amazing to see. The clean community is a very supportive one and when one of us wins, we all win.
What advice can you give to those who are a bit hesitant to make the switch to more naturally derived products?
Take it gradually, one product at a time. When you are about to run out of one of your conventional products, that’s the perfect time to start researching clean alternatives. Replacing one product at a time is much more manageable than throwing away everything at once, which can be expensive and overwhelming!
If you had to choose one product from your skin line, which is your favorite and why?
Right now, it’s our new I-Recover Mind & Body Gel. It’s one of two products that signify our entry into wellness, as well as my personal recovery story from brain surgery - mind, body and soul. This gel is a wellness game changer. It’s packed with Arnica, Black Pepper, Lavender, Patchouli, Eucalyptus and Menthol. It provides an amazing warm-cool sensation, making it great for everything from sore and achy muscles to aromatherapeutic uses. For me personally, it’s also provided a ton of comfort when I experience a Rheumatoid Arthritis flare up. I was actually diagnosed with R.A. six months before the brain tumor (which I don’t think is a coincidence). The thermogenic properties of the Mind + Body Gel are so soothing and really help ease the discomfort.
Between running a business and having a family, I'm sure it can be difficult to find "me" time. What's the one thing you do each day that's just for you?
Oh boy, is it ever. For me, meditating twice daily has been my grounding practice. I do my best to make time for it, even when I’m traveling. I also text my best friend GMS, which means Good Morning Sunshine, every morning. We started this ritual when I was first diagnosed. Now, it doesn’t matter where we are in the world. We always text it - it’s the best way to start my day.
What empowers and fulfills you as a businesswoman?
Receiving emails and DMs from customers whose lives I’ve touched in some way. These notes are what truly keep me going on the tough days and they are the reason I started this company. I wanted to create community around knowledge and education of the industry, and to see that dream come to life is so gratifying for me.
What are your plans for the future?
World Beauty Domination ;) On a more serious note, we will continue to roll out products that speak to the wellness journey. It’s one that is so important to me and that everyone finds something that works for them. We are also continuing our international distribution, which is so exciting. I can’t wait for what is to come for this brand.
Love Indie Lee? Shop her products now on CopalCleanBeauty.com