We are Gwen and Chris, owners of Fable Naturals. When we first met eight years ago in a little Edmonton cafe, Chris had no idea what adventures I had planned for him. Four years ago we started our business. It has changed both our lives and our relationship in the most amazing way. We’ve built some amazing things through a lot of hard work and perseverance. It’s not all been work through, we’ve backpacked our way through Colombia and amassed a collection of four pets in our little Mount Pleasant home.
What inspired you to start your business?
When we first moved to Vancouver we found an amazing city that was so full of opportunity. We both have our issues with conventional skin care products. Chris has very sensitive skin and I just can’t handle artificial fragrances. As I started to learn more about the chemical ingredients that are used in mainstream skin care products, I decided that I could do better and Fable Naturals was born.
Do you have a morning routine or ritual to get your day started?
To be honest, neither of us are morning people. We often work late in the evenings so getting up to start the day can be a bit of a struggle. I find that giving myself an extra ten minutes to relax while I sip on a cup of coffee makes the morning feel less rushed and gives me time to appreciate some quiet contemplation before the busy day ahead.
What is your goal with Fable Naturals?
We started Fable with the idea of creating a business that is both socially conscious and profitable. We source fair trade ingredients and connect with farmers from around the world. Here in Vancouver, our studio is located in the Downtown Eastside, where we see poverty and the struggle of life on the street closer to home. Our goal as a business is to be able to work with more groups within our community and offer job training opportunities.
Tell us about the School Fund and your volunteer work overseas.
We give a portion of each product to the School Fund, a program that provides scholarships to students in developing countries. Education, especially for young girls, is the way to improve the lives of individuals and communities in poorer countries.
What would you do if you had one week to escape?
One week would take us on an adventure deep into the wilderness of BC. I grew up in a small community on Vancouver Island where getting lost in the woods and climbing over rocky beaches was a weekend staple. I would take the opportunity to unplug and enjoy some quiet time away from the stresses of running a small business.
Tell us about your favourite or most popular product and why?
Right now my daily essential is our Rosehip and Olive facial oil. It is so versatile and easy to incorporate into a daily routine. I use it as a moisturizer everyday, but it also doubles as an oil cleanser and makeup remover when I travel. Even Chris uses a couple of drops to keep his beard moisturized!
Website and social media links / contact info
This past November, ElleBox had a chance to be a part of a wonderful program run by Pink Orchid Studio called Facing the Mirror.
Facing the Mirror is a program that helps female cancer by teaching them hands on beauty techniques to manage the appearance side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Harp and Shannon say that they initially held this class to give these ladies strength and hope but they found that they were the ones who given strength and inspiration after hearing stories shared by these women. For more information, visit www.pinkorchidstudio.com.
What better way to prep for Spring than to exfoliate?! Shed that dry winter skin and pamper yourself with these gems from the Balmbay Collective, the Coffee Sugar Scrub and Lip Exfoliator. Visit their website http://www.thebalmbaycollective.com
Hydrate and condition with a beautiful combination of brown sugar and coconut oil. An added bonus, the coffee smells delicious and helps with cellulite!
And we know you’re wondering about the chocolate – we absolutely love these decadent bars by Daniel le Chocolat Belge. Best of all, they have no artificial flavours or preservatives.
Senakw Village (False Creek)
This crimson – berry tisane with rich colouring and deep flavours is delicious, hot or cold and honours the ancient name for False Creek: Senakw.
SUKIN NATURAL SKINCARE
A beautiful blend of aloe vera, horsetail, nettle and burdock to soothe with skin healing rose hip, what germ, jojoba and avocado oil. We love this daily moisturiser for its ability to absorb quickly and penetrate deeply. It’s perfect for skin dryness in these cold winter months!
CEDAR AND STAIN
“Make it Happen” Mug
Cozy up with this inspirational mug from Cedar and Stain in our signature colours. This beautiful mug is hand painted especially for ElleBox and the perfect way to add a boost of happiness to your day!
Continuing the theme of winter time coziness, in January we included air purifying beeswax candles by Noble & Co., a Vancouver company, along with a Cinammon Chai Walnut Scrub by Scrubs & Bubbles, another amazing local company.
Noble & Co. is a small batch candle craftery specializing in making candles sourced from Canadian honey bees.
Scrubs & Bubbles is owned by a mother and daughter due. Read about their wonderful story and why they developed natural products on their website. http://www.scrubsandbubbles.ca
The coziest of boxes for this holiday season, complete with tea, chocolate, a candle and even a heat pack. Read on for the perfect snuggly combo.
Queen B Bath & Beauty
Mint Scented Noel Bath Bomb
Visit their shop on Etsy!
Run yourself a bath and reflect on how awesome you are with this vanilla and mint scented Noel bath bomb, this holiday season. Relax, you deserve it.
Pura Vida Natural Products Vancouver
Cinnamon spice soy candle
Before you jump in the tub, why not light this cinnamon spice candle to go along with your me time.
Heat Pack by ElleBoxCo.
Developed especially for you by our team, keep warm with this all natural heat pack after your luxurious bath. Flannel and filled with rice and scented with essential oils, this pack could not be cozier. After all, ’tis the season to be warm and comfy, so we made this for you girl, a reusable heat pack to help combat those pesky cramps!
This month’s blend is Khatsalano Beach. Peppermint, calendula, blue cornflower. Designed for colour and flavour, this minty blend refreshes like an ocean breeze. Perfect for the holidays.
November’s comfort box products were delivered as usual along with pads, tampons, tea and chocolate! Read about the wonderful vendors we spotlighted in November, below.
NEU Skin Botanicals
Don’t coat yourself in the dangerous chemicals used in many of today’s body lotions. Treat yourself to NEU Skin’s handmade, all natural body butters made locally in Chilliwack, and infused with a unique blend of energizing and organic ingredients.
Serenity Now Aromatherapy Mist
Another absolute favourite of ours; this stuff smells amazing! Element Botanical’s refreshing Serenity Now mist is made up of lavendar, bergamot and rose. Use it for your body, linens, atmosphere, yoga mat or anywhere else.
Here’s a review by Mandy from Sparkle Shiny Love on her experience with the November ElleBox! Thanks for great photos, Mandy!
In addition to the products we always include – the essentials plus tea and chocolate – take a look at some of the great comfort items in the October ElleBox.
PLENTY + SPARE
Activated Charcoal Soap Bar
All products by Plenty + Spare are made in their studio in Vancouver and are not tested on animals. Activated charcoal has the ability to absorb and trap toxins, while simultaneously moisturizing your skin. This soap is gentle enough to use as a face, body and hand wash. Store your bar out of water puddles to make it last longer!
Rosemary and Mint Sugar Scrub
Fable Natural’s sugar scrub is packed with Fairtrade sugar from Paraguay and organic oils to rejuvenate your skin. This particular product was an absolute hit. We’ve had numerous requests to have this sugar scrub included in another box soon, so expect to receive this gem again in the future! We absolutely love it, too. No parabens here! Visit their website to read their inspiring story.
LUXURY box (discontinued)
STUDIO OH! JOURNALS
Writing is an essential part of self – care. Take some time to reflect this month! “Some moments are nice, some are nicer and some are even worth writing about.” Charles Bukowski
Wondering what sorts of products you can expect in your Comfort Box? Aside from the basics that we include in all boxes, from Necessities to Comfort – which are pads and / or tampons, wipes, liners, tea and chocolate – you can also expect a luxurious selection of locally made, natural self – care products.
We change up the products every month so keep an eye on this series to see what we’ve included in past boxes! Here is a peak into our very first box we shipped, September 2015.
In September’s box we included a BeeLippy soy candle and chapstick for the dry Fall weather! BeeLippy’s products are made using all natural ingredients and hand made in Vancouver, BC.
Studio Aroma is a Vancouver based skincare vendor and we are absolutely in love with their products. In this box we included her bathsalts and a seaweed hydrating mask. Studio Aroma products are handcrafted in Canada using ingredients sourced from all over the world. If you have dry skin, definitely check out her masks!
This chocolate company is truly a hidden gem! Milsean is a local company with an amazing family recipe for crunchy toffee coated in chocolate.
A big thank you to Sarah from A Year of Boxes for these beautiful photos!