Non-judgement, genuine interaction, education, and sustainability are the four pillars of the holistic beauty experience (HBE) happening this May 31stin Toronto. Founder, Andrea Ashley, started this fabulous event last year because she wanted to give people “a feel good couple of hours” that would enlighten people as well as bring together genuine connections.
I wanted to interview Andrea because HBE is all about sustainability and practicing self-love – so as a clean beauty fan that believes that these factors are also a part of beauty, I needed to learn more. As Andrea mentions in her interview, ‘beauty is holistic, its not just one thing, its several.’ Clean beauty goes further than what serum you use. It starts with yourself and how you talk to yourself.
Check out our podcast below. It covers Andrea’s story, some top tips for self-love, as well as what to expect from the HBE event. Also, don’t forget to to check out HBE if you are in the Toronto area. There will be around 30 clean beauty brands and founders educating goers about healthy and innovative hot topics such as collagen drinks and ingestibles. There will also be clean beauty brands such as Cocoon apothecary to check out. Not to mention there will be epic speakers talking about some hot topics such as gut health and sexual maturity. Go if you can! Check out their Instagram @holisticbeautyexpo or their website here.
Now on to the show!
Raquel: Hello and welcome to the clean chat podcast! I’m the host Raquel Wing founder of the clean hub. Every Tuesday on the clean chat we are helping clean beauty founders from around the world learn how to grow their businesses easily and affordably every single day. We are here to support clean beauty founders, so if that is you definitely sign up to our membership site at the cleanhub.com for exclusive freebies and information on how to grow your business.
Now, on to the show…
Raquel: Hello everyone and welcome back, today we have the fabulous Andrea founder of Holistic Beauty Expo. The Holistic Beauty Expo is an event in Toronto Ontario that focuses on self-love as well as eliminating vanity, competition, and judgment. I’ll let Andrea talk about that, but I really wanted to bring her on today because I think beauty isn’t just about the serum you put on your face, but also self love and your relationship with others so I’m really excited to hear more. Andrea, could you tell us a bit more about yourself? (00.54)
Andrea: Yes! So first of all, thank you so much for inviting me on here. It’s been great to connect with you.
I started in holistic health and the spa industry I guess, I always have trouble doing the math, but I guess it’s been 13 years or so now and started in esthetics and then went into holistic health and really found my focus in clinical aromatherapy and custom skincare so that’s kind of how I got started in the industry, but as for HBE that really started last year was the first year we did it, and that’s kind of just been something that’s been percolating in my mind since I was a teenager, and I didn’t know what that would look like if it was going to be an event, I didn’t know it was going to manifest to be what it is, but I just really wanted to create a space that let people feeling better than when they walked in. I really hated the judgment, I hated everything was about vanity, and everything was about makeup and how we looked, and you know, in high school it seems like a lot has changed now but you know people making fun of other people for things they cannot change, they don’t have any control over its just how they’re born its how they look and talk and think, and I just never thought it made sense to make fun of someone for something that is innate to them. So I just really wanted to create a space that was safe and empowering and inspire people to feel comfortable in their own skin. (2:15)
Raquel: Wow, that sounds so amazing! So you said you had this idea since high school, could you tell us what sort of thoughts you were having that you thought you felt you had to have this HBE event? (2:24)
Andrea: Again, it wasn’t that I saw an HBE event, the way it started for me I used to sit up on my vanity after school and make notes. It was kind of about treatments actually, it was like how can I make treatments, like spa treatments, less about vanity and more about feeling good and taking care of someone and encompassing this really feel good couple of hours for people. So that’s how it kind of started, and I guess as for the personal journey, I didn’t realize it at the time, but definitely yeah I was on one for sure! I was trying to figure out who I was, I don’t think I had the confidence back then to really stand up for what I really believed in and what I really thought so I often shuffled or did what people were doing, and I never really spoke out about it the way I wanted to. (3:15)
Raquel: No, I totally get it.
Looking back on my high school times as well you’re so insecure about things, people telling you have to be insecure about it, so it sounds like an event where finally people are saying you don’t have to worry about what others think its more about self love, and reflection, and how you handle your relationships with others. Could you tell us a little bit more about the Holistic Beauty expo? What dates? Fundamental ethos behind it besides what we just talked about? (3:40)
Andrea: Yeah the date this year is May 31st, its on a Thursday, runs from 12pm till 8 pm, and we basically focus this event on four pillars.
One being non-judgment because that’s what the whole basis of it is about.
The second part is genuine connection, which really leads into the non-judgment. We want people to come in and connect with people and feel safe and secure to learn and grow with who they are wherever they are in their holistic journey, as well as with the vendors and the speakers that are there. I don’t want anyone feeling like they are less than the other person, even if they are talking to a speaker. We are all equal, we just have different qualities and different expertise, it doesn’t mean that anyone is better than anyone else, so we really want to forge that. I noticed at a lot of health and wellness people are walking out to tables and kind of just grabbing free samples and jetting, or grabbing what they can and jetting and I didn’t want that. It’s a lose-lose
Raquel: Yeah its about connecting (4:37)
Andrea: Yeah so I want the brands who are apart of this want to actually engage with the clients, educate them teach them about what they are passionate about and learn from them. And then vice versa, for the people that were walking through to really connect to really connect with whom their formulators are and these local talents are that surround them. Just to create a more win-win all around for everybody. So the brands creating a loyal customer base, and then the customers are actually feeling connected and know where their products are coming from and what they are about.
So the genuine connection kind of leads into the third one which is education. So as I was saying I want it to be more about educating rather than a quick grab and go. Then the fourth one is sustainability. We are trying to bring in sustainable initiates wherever we can. Our swag bags don’t you know brochures or that kind of stuff in it like that its just all product based and then the event itself we don’t do any signage so last year I know people were like “Well how do we know what’s going on/where everything is?” but we put out on our sites and our social medias so you have everything given out in the invitations so that everything is digital and electronic so we don’t have to print out a bunch of wasted paper. (5:51)
Raquel: I love it. I’ve been to quite a few expos and I can’t tell you how many times and I have just so much paper, cards, and things that you don’t need you just end up throwing them away anyways. They are meant to be sustainable events, but in the end yeah you are getting rid of all this trash. Can you tell us about any of the brands that will be at HBE or any of the vendors? (6:17)
Andrea: Yeah! This year we have quite a few; we have 30 brands this year.
One is created by a naturopath, and they are called Age Quencher. They are all about ingestible beauty so supplements and capsules that you can take internally as well as a hydrate drink and a collagen protein that they also have. So everything they have is basically ingestible and she’s actually going to be doing a bit of a workshop on ingestible beauty and talking about the ingredients that actually work better internally than they do topically.
And then we have Cocoon Apothecarywhich is a brand that has been around in Canada for quite a bit known for being clean and natural skincare so its great to have them on board again. They were with us for our first year as well.
We also have Joyous Health, which a lot of people know about. Her name is Joy McCarthy, and she the owner of the brand Joyous Health and she has her own product line, but is one of our main speakers because she’s a holistic nutritionist and she’s a wealth of information so she’s going to be talking about gut-health and how that actually translate into healthy skincare and overall self-care (7:19)
Raquel: I think that’s good actually, I think that within the beauty industry the gut is so under-represented because your beauty starts/ what’s on your body and on your face starts in your gut so that is obviously something that is very important and definitely a must see at the event. Any other key industry people that will be there? (7:38)
Andrea: Well speaking of the gut, another one of our main stage speakers his name is Talal and he’s the owner of Urban Apothecary. He’s not much on social media, he’s not quite in to all that stuff, but anyone who is anyone in this industry should know him, he’s a wealth of information on herbs and he’s going to be talking about bitter herbs for chronic digestive disorders so its actually, he’s basically going to walk us through connecting the dots to why its such an epidemic and why there are so many digestive disorders happening and connecting the dots to the allergies and the autoimmune that stem from that.
Raquel: That sounds awesome. So it sounds like there will be booths where people can go and connect with other brands, learn about natural beauty products, and also there are speakers that are talking about certain industry hot topics that are under discussion such as we talked about digestibles, gut health, and anything else? (8:30)
Andrea: So basically how the day works is there is a main stage where we have our three key note speakers (two out of the three are the ones I had mentioned) and then we also have workshops which is more intimate setting where people can work closer with our experts and dive a little deeper into their own self growth. The adjustable beauty is one of those workshops that you will get to get a little closer with Dr. Holly Fennellget to connect with her and learn about that . We have a workshop on awakening your intuition; there’s a girl here local to Toronto named Liz Worthand she’s going to be teaching people how to follow your intuition because even when we were talking about just back in high school you don’t have confidence of have self awareness, and you’re on your own journey trying to figure that all out, intuition doesn’t always come naturally and people feel and say “ just follow your gut” but not for everybody- its not that simple. What’s my gut? What’s my mind? (9:25)
Raquel: Yeah, exactly you haven’t been able to connect with yourself.
Andrea: Exactly. So she will basically be talking about intuition as part of who we are and like a muscle it gets stronger the more we use it, and she’s going to teach some techniques to help you connect and grow your intuition. (9:45)
Raquel: That sounds amazing!
Andrea: Yeah! There are a lot of cool workshops! There is one on sexual health, the title is called “How sexually intelligent are you?” its basically to bring awareness to the importance of sexual intelligence and how it works. She talks about sexual intelligence and how it comes into stages at different adult life and focuses on the importance of developing, or maintaining sexual intelligence during different stages or romantic relationships because it can change as we age, we grow, or any of that. So that’s a cool subject too because that’s something that we don’t usually tap into and we definitely don’t always want to discuss with other people. She’s going to create a nice safe space, and again its an intimate workshop so not as many people, close room door so you feel a little more comfy to get into that subject. (10:35)
Raquel: That’s sounds amazing, its one of those subjects that is nearly taboo. As you progress and as you mature, I mean I don’t want to put my stuff out there, but you mature in different ways the way you live your life and obviously sex is a part of that as well so yeah that definitely sounds like something that is a hot topic as well.
Speaking of all these health topics, what is your view on overall wellness? (11:02)
Andrea: Well for me its what the event is called, its holistic. It’s definitely not one thing; its not nutrition, its not fitness, its not about a really wicked Instagram body. It’s so beyond all of that for me. Wellness is internal and I really think it starts with the mind. So many people put wellness into a single attribute like I said just nutrition, or just exercise, or something like that, but it starts with the mind. Having a healthy mind set and being secure with who you are, and it definitely trickles down to everything else, trickles down every single day your worth, putting good food into your body, taking time out of your day for self care. So that’s kind of my view on it and where it all stems from. (11:48)
Raquel: Do you have any tips for people who are trying to practice self-awareness, or self-love? (11:55)
Andrea: I think, like I said, it starts with your mind. The first thing I would suggest is be aware of how you talk to yourself. We have a gazillion thoughts that cross our mind everyday that we aren’t even aware of, so just taking the time to be aware of how you talk to yourself, so if you’re doing something throughout the day and you mess up, or you drop something, or you break something “oh god, I’m such an effing idiot” or you’re getting dressed and you’re like “ugh I look disgusting”, whatever it is just be aware of that. That’s not healthy, that isn’t wellness and that’s definitely not holistic beauty, but it is in the same sense, a lot of people start from there, I started there and we all struggle. We all have that to-do list, and we all have those things that we want to improve on, but I want to make holistic beauty less about the to-do list and more about just genuinely taking care of ourselves, and genuinely loving ourselves. If we can start with the mindset and how we look at ourselves, it all kind of stems from that. (12:58)
Raquel: Yeah, I think that’s a good tip. Everyday I find for myself if I don’t mediated in the morning then the rest of the day I start nearly panicking, and part of meditation is being able, like you said, to say “ok maybe I’m stressed” or “maybe I’m not happy about the situation” but being able to step back and say “it’s going to be ok, and I’m able to move on from this, and I’m not going to compare myself to others”. I think that’s a really good tip. (13:25)
Andrea: That’s a hard one too-the comparison. It’s definitely a really hard one for people and especially with the age of social media where we can go online and see what everyone else is up to, what they are doing, and how they are achieving it, and seeing their highlight reel and seeing how well they are achieving its hard not to get caught up un that cycle, so having practices like meditation or taking a few minutes to be self aware “I’m only in a competition with myself, I just want to be healthier and happier about myself” (13:57)
Raquel: No, I definitely think that’s something that’s overlooked, or at least not expressed enough amongst he community on how you shouldn’t compare yourself, there is no judgment, obviously one of your pillars which is awesome! So great!
What are the next steps for HBE or you see yourself? So its held once a year, last year was your first year, where do you see yourselves in the next few years? (14:18)
Andrea: Definitely going to other cities, so taking HBE and bringing it to other local communities and doing the same thing, building that community within that area. Getting people to connect with their local formulators, artisans, and experts.
As well the magazines, the magazine has been around for a little bit now, so just expanding and growing on that because our contributors are from all over the world so its actually building the bigger holistic beauty community. It’s all these experts who are just as passionate as I am, giving out wonderful, complementary, information to people to help them on this self-care and self-love journey.
The last part is the virtual side. We do want to host a virtual event, kind of to play more into that magazine. The individual/local events we only have a small reach so Toronto or just Montreal, so the virtual event will bring everyone together that we’ve been working with through the magazine with a little bit more expertise and in depth discussion happening that way (15:23)
Raquel: Cool! Alright, so how can people check out HBE or buy tickets?
Andrea: You can check us out online (www.theholisticbeautyexperience.com) and tickets are also available on there so if you click on ATTEND you’ll have a ticket option there. We do our tickets in timed increments because we want to allow for a nice flow. We don’t want it to be super packed, and people not to be able to connect with who they want to so, just for some clarity, if people are wondering why there’s a twelve o’clock ticket or 4pm ticket, that’s the reason why. (15:55)
Raquel: It’s for a better experience.
Raquel: Great, and definitely check out their Instagram we well to stay on top of the events. It’s May 31st, 12 to 8 pm. Check out their website, and thank you so much Andrea for coming on the show today to talk about Holistic Beauty and what that means to everyone! (16:14)
Andrea: Thank you for having me!
Raquel: Not a problem! Alright have a great day everyone! Thanks, bye!
Raquel: Thank you for tuning into the clean chat today! If you are clean beauty brand, don’t forget to sign up to our membership site at www.thecleanhub.comto learn how to accelerate your business.
Have a fabulous day, and viva clean beauty!