Q & A with Emily Bowman, founder of Lovesong Beauty

Whether you choose a mass market or niche beauty product, there is always room for the discovery of something new that you might not have considered using before. Lovesong Beauty is a California-based hair & bodycare brand that was started by Emily Bowman after years of working in the food industry. Why do you pivot from food to beauty, what’s it like to launch a brand during the pandemic & why does she sell her products on Amazon? Welcome to The Curiosity Gap brand founder spotlight Emily!

Emily Bowman, founder of Lovesong Beauty ( image courtesy of Emily )

          Emily, how did you get into beauty and why natural and sustainable are important elements for your brand?

              I’ve worked in the natural foods industry for over 15 years.  Eating healthy foods and using natural products is a way of life in our home.  Lovesong Beauty is actually my first entry into beauty!  I decided to launch a beauty company because beauty products are my personal passion.  

          How do you source ingredients and does climate change noticeably impact the process for you?

              Our formulas are novel, meaning that we custom-blend each formula with the help of our chemist.  When selecting our manufacturing facility, it was important that we find a partner that works with formulas like ours, made with vegan, plant-based, and natural ingredients.  We spent the time up-front to ensure that ingredient sourcing went smoothly for final production, as they already have access and are using similar ingredients on a regular basis.  I personally source anything that is unique and not readily available in our formulas. In terms of climate change, the only impacts we have seen at present are issues with the supply chain.  

          Lovesong Beauty prides itself on its products providing wellness benefits for its customers, why is that important and what does ‘wellness’ mean to you personally?

              Brands big and small make claims about the intended benefits of beauty products.  But you turn over the bottle, read the ingredients and realize that some of these benefits are superficial, and do not address the root causes for issues that you are trying to address with your beauty routine.  Oftentimes these products can actually contribute to the problem itself. 

              Lovesong Beauty formulas are all about holistic wellness benefits.  Using revered botanical ingredients that have been loved for centuries.  Natural formulas are loaded with antioxidants, which help fight oxidative stress and free radical damage.  

              A majority of our ingredient research focused on what ingredients are best applied topically to support common issues that collectively we are trying to address.  Like what ingredients soothe the scalp and aid with scalp issues (dryness and dandruff).  What ingredients moisturize and firm skin, while also providing age-proofing benefits? And, what ingredients promote all the right conditions to support hair growth, health, and density. 

unwrapping Lovesong Beauty

          How did your work for natural & organic food brands impact your mindset before you switched your focus to hair and bodycare?

              Long before launching Lovesong Beauty, my work in natural and organic foods sparked a general curiosity about the world of eco-living.  Replacing household staples with eco-friendly products, spanning household, fashion, beauty, and beyond.  This curiosity led me on a path to replace products that had negative environmental impact. It was through this process of “greening up” my home that I found that options, especially within hair care, were sparse and provided me with less-than-optimal results. This foundation of knowledge ultimately led to the inspiration behind Lovesong.

          Why did you decided to create haircare and bodycare products, rather than skincare?

              Assortment and offerings. The haircare and body care segments are still, from my observation, fairly underdeveloped.  Within hair care there are brands using phenomenal ingredients that are packaged in plastic bottles. My desire to launch this business happened about six or seven years ago, and at that time, there were hardly any players in the natural hair care space. While there are more “clean beauty” offerings today, I still see that there are unmet needs for lightweight hair care formulas, sustainable but pretty packaging, and innovative concepts.  

 How has the pandemic impact your mindset when it comes to running a niche beauty business? Is there something that you started paying particular attention to, which wasn’t a point of focus before?

              We launched during the height of the pandemic, in February 2021.  Pandemic business is the only business we have known!  

Lovesong Beauty bestsellers

What are the Lovesong products you personally use the most and why?

              I personally use all of our items and consider them to be everyday staples. My favourite item is probably Invisible Dry Shampoo Gel (hard to pick just one). There is nothing like it on the market, and I have seen a significant improvement in the health of my hair after using it regularly for just over a year. Our entry into body care with Nectarous Body Cream is also exciting, and I think it also fills an unmet need for having a natural version of a mainstay perfume lotion, like the Estée Lauder’s of the world, but with skin health benefits included!  I also use Weightless Leave-In Conditioner on my daughter’s hair regularly, and my husband uses The Wash Day Set every single day.    

What matters to you when you choose physical or online retailers for your brand?

              We are just getting started with building distribution, so we are sincerely grateful for any/all opportunities.  Our brand aligns with retailers who have an emphasis on carrying clean/natural beauty products, and retailers who support sustainable packaging initiatives. We are currently available for sale at select, authorized retailers including Anthropologie.com, Verishop, GlossWire, and Profashion. We are also on retail shelves at Sage Refill Market and a handful of green beauty retailers and pharmacies. Lovesong Beauty can be purchased wholesale through Faire, Handshake, Hello Abound, and Bulletin

What’s the biggest or most memorable compliment you received on a Lovesong Beauty product?

              @moiraholisticc, a sustainable beauty influencer, has shared stories on social media about how she never thought she would feel confident about her hair, and how she hasn’t had a haircut in months, and her hair has never looked better!  This was organic feedback, and the very best kind. Our goal is to improve hair and skin health, and hearing about transformations like this is truly music to our ears.  

In my experience while many natural and organic haircare brands create products that are more nourishing and nurturing for the scalp, many of natural/organic shampoos tend to make hair appear greasy quicker than mass market formulations – what’s your view on that aspect?

              It’s all about the surfactants used. Mass market formulations are likely using sulfates or strong surfactants in their formulas. Sulfates are chemical compounds used as cleansing agents that give shampoos their lather, but can also be very effective at washing away natural oils. This could give the impression of having less-greasy hair, but isn’t the best for hair and scalp health.  

              We tested and formulated our shampoo for the better part of a year to develop a natural product that does not leave hair feeling greasy or heavy.  The surfactants we use are Decyl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, and Heptyl Glucoside, all positively rated 1-2 by the EWG.  If your hair tends to appear greasy, our shampoo and conditioner will work great for you!  

              Another thing to consider is that it takes hair time to transition to natural formulas. Allow at least 4-5 washes until you have a good understanding of how products perform, and try not to switch back and forth because mass market products may contain silicones that have a tendency to build-up, blocking moisture from getting to your hair properly. 

Lovesong beauty packaging – sustainability & eco credentials in action

Some niche beauty brands prefer not to sell their products on Amazon. You made a different choice – why, as it’s not the most obvious retailer to shop for natural or organic beauty.

              Our honest answer is that we need more people buying products that are eco-friendly! Amazon presents the largest venue to reach new people. We currently fulfill our own orders through Amazon, so we are using eco-friendly, recyclable, and compostable shipping materials.  

Combining work and raising a family is never easy. How do you achieve balance between those two important parts of your life?

              To be honest, it is always a challenge. My philosophy is that some quality time each day is enough to have a meaningful connection and relationship with my daughter. This quality time should not include distractions. For me, it is not the total amount of time spent, but how much I am connected with her during the time we spend together.  She is very interested in all things Lovesong, and will look up to what I have accomplished someday. For now, she is a 3-year-old who loves our stickers and tissue paper, and uses the Weightless Leave-In Conditioner after each time that we wash her hair. 

What are your daily or weekly non-negotiables when it comes to looking after your own health and wellbeing?

              I have really put myself on the backburner as of late, and need to start prioritising my personal wellbeing again. Exercise is important because taking on a new endeavour usually means more time at the computer. I am trying to start up my fitness routine again, begin each day with a healthy smoothie, and build it time for relaxation and fun. Laughter is the best medicine.  

Lovesong Beauty Evergreen shampoo – calibrating haircare with purpose

Do you think niche beauty brands are supportive of each others efforts ? Who are the people in the field that you admire for their professionalism and consumer engagement?

              We have made some really amazing connections through social media.  Women that inspire me and have supported our journey, like YOU Galina; and Serina at Earthlove, Allyson at Pleni Naturals, Sha at Emanate Essentials, Allyson at Emogene & Co., Laurie and Nani Pua, Melina at Rootanicals, and many others. Also, Suja Organic Juice has done a couple of giveaways with us and we absolutely adore that they have supported our indie beauty brand (and they are local, San Diego based business). We need support to thrive, so I want to give back whenever I can. 

For people new to your brand, what are the things that set you apart as a brand?

              We care!  Initially, we wanted to name our company “thoughtfully”, but ran into issues with TM in the final stretch. This original name conveys how much we care about the products and your experience. We want to embrace natural beauty in all forms, and celebrate the most beautiful thing of all — our planet. 

Emily with her husband and daughter ( image courtesy of Emily )

What are your tips of looking after the health of your scalp, hair and body?

              Feed your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive from the inside-out. In the same way how we read nutritional panels to make sure food does not contain toxic ingredients, do the same for your hair and body products (even make-up!). Use tools like INCI Decoder and EWG to research ingredients that may be unfamiliar.   

Your brand is based in Rancho Santa Fe, California. What do you love about the area and where do you shop for your beauty and wellness needs? What are your favourite placed to unwind?

              We are blessed to have great weather year-round, and access to all sorts of activities within a short drive. I live just a few miles from the beach. We have some beautiful hikes nearby. I spend a lot of time in my backyard, gardening. I am currently enjoying all the beautiful spring flowers, and my pollinator garden. If you haven’t visited San Diego, I highly recommend taking a trip here – it is paradise!

To find out more about Lovesong Beauty products, please click here Emily does ship to the UK (postage & packing charges apply).

I will feature Lovesong Beauty haircare and body care products in my upcoming May Newness post.

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