Nikki is the founder, CEO, and alchemist behind our favorite beauty brand, Flora Apothecary. We were first introduced to her products earlier this year when we helped create her brand film and we've been obsessed ever since. For this edition of Rollin' With the Homies, we got to learn more about the lady behind the brand and we're so excited to share with you!
Tell us a little bit about your company, Flora Apothecary.
Flora Apothecary was created in 2010 as a healthy and luxurious alternative to the harsh, chemical-based skin care products available in the beauty industry. It is the creative work of Nikki Wangler who believed clean, natural skin care and bath products that promote healing should be more accessible.
Flora Apothecary is a clean, all natural, non-toxic, vegan bath product and skin care line made with herbs and botanicals to heal and rejuvenate the body, and return the skin to its optimal health.
At what moment did you decide you had had enough and felt moved to create natural products?
It was about 12 years ago. I was working in Los Angeles as a makeup artist and was devoted to living a clean lifestyle. It dawned on me one day that I was clean, but the work I was doing was not clean. Everyday I had the opportunity to make women feel beautiful through the makeup I was applying on them but in actuality I was destroying their skin. I'd taken notice that most products on the market contain harsh chemicals. Everything I was buying, even at health food stores, contained some form of toxins. Did you know that it takes less than 30 seconds for something that touches the skin to reach your organs? Having this knowledge I knew I needed to create something that was actually healthy for my skin.
Work hard, dream hard is a quote we really love. What would be your biggest dream come true for Flora Apothecary?
You are looking at it. The fact that everyday I get to wake up and provide my fans and customers with clean, useful skin care that actually works and actually is good for your skin is a dream come true. I pinch myself sometimes just to make sure that I am not dreaming. To take a risk a do what you love is the best job out there.
What inspires you to create new products? How do you decide which scents to combine?
My inspiration comes out of necessity. Since we live in the desert and with zero moisture in the air, I am always trying to think of new ideas to help keep our desert skin hydrated, youthful, and fresh.
We love your facial elixirs so much that we have started including them in just about every thank-you gift that goes out our door. Can you tell us a bit about the benefits of using these?
Our facial elixirs are our number 1 selling product and also one of the very first items I created when I was day dreaming about starting Flora Apothecary.Our nutrient rich moisturizing facial elixirs are the answer to your anti-aging needs. This therapeutic fine mist can be used multiple times a day/night to provide instant hydration and create a glowing complexion. The combination of witch hazel, aloe vera, rose water, and herbal extracts are the perfect solution to balance, hydrate, and promote even skin tone
We love how dedicated you are to keeping your customers healthy and beautiful, both inside and out. I'm sure this attitude spills into your everyday life as well. What's your go-to meal for when you want to feel your best?
I absolutely LOVE to cook! Its a serious passion of mine. If I am not in my studio kitchen hand making Flora Apothecary products, I am in my home kitchen experimenting with unique foods and new recipes. I am one of those cooks who rarely makes the same thing twice. There are just so many amazing chefs, cookbooks, blogs, and food magazines out there that I am constantly reading and trying something new. My one super healthy, super easy, and super hearty meal that I do make on rotation during the cooler months is my Sausage and Lentils. A friend of mine grew up in France and this was a staple in his house. He taught me how to make it, and I've been hooked ever since.
Here is the recipe:
6 Chicken Sausages (The good kind, from good meat, from a good butcher, like Schriners in PHX)
1 cup of pre soaked beluga black lentils
1 cup of chopped swiss chard 1 fennel bulb diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons cumin
A pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup of good red wine (Make sure you'd want to drink it)
15 oz can of stewed chopped tomatoes (with their juices)
Chopped parsley to sprinkle on top
Heat an enamel pot (like a le cruset) on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook until a brown crust forms (about 3 min), pull out and set aside (they will fully cook in the pot later).
Add the onion, fennel, and bell pepper, and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, cumin, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and lentils and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the wine and broth and cover and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes add the sausages to the pot and cook covered for 15 minutes.
Serve with parsley on top and a slice of yummy toasted Noble bread!
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be?
I can confidently say that there is no one or no place that I would rather be in then who I am and where I am now. My life, like all lives, has been an incredible journey with ups and downs and twists and turns. But every bump I have hit (and sometimes hit hard) has lead me exactly to where I am supposed to be. The universe has laid its abundant and joyous hand over me and blessed me with the life of my dreams. It is not perfect, as perfection does not exist, but it is mine and it is everything.
How do you balance your personal life with your work life?
Its an every day practice. Being a mother, a wife, and a business owner all at the same time does have its challenges. To keep myself from going insane, I try to organize and prioritize my everyday tasks. Nothing is too small or to big to make it to my daily list. If my son wants to go to the moon on a Monday, I add it to my list and we go to the moon! I also try to have a lot of grace with myself. Although I do try to be superwoman, I know that its not always possible and that's okay.
We love that your work is so centered around flowers and nature because we totally live that life too. What is your favorite flower?
I find most of my inspirations through florals, whether I need to use them as a dry ingredient or to blend with oils to use for their healing properties. I'd have to say its a toss up between lavender, poppies, and peonies. Lavender for its gorgeous color, aroma, and healing properties. Poppies for their delicate and unique beauty, and peonies for their ability to continue to evolve into something so gorgeous from the moment they open their blooms to the second every petal falls off.
What is one product that most people think is totally safe or beneficial that is actually not so great for you?
SOY! Stay away from soy, especially you ladies! It wreaks havoc on our hormones. 99% of soy is genetically modified and has completely lost its nutritional value.
How do you wind down after a long day?
Very simply. All I need is to snuggle with my hubby and baby and all is right and peaceful in the world.