Hitting the refresh button on the New Year has never seemed more important. That's why we are delighted to have Claudia Mata Gladish, founder of CBD skincare line, Vertly, as our January Joie Muse! We spoke with Claudia at her beautiful Northern California home about the importance of self-care (especially in times like these), how she keeps herself feeling refreshed and her experience in the herbal skincare industry.
On your career...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW YOU GOT YOUR START IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY?
I worked in fashion editorial for 12 years—my last job was the W Magazine Accessories Director—essentially doing my dream job. When pregnant with my second baby, my family decided it was time to leave New York City for Northern California, where my husband Zander grew up. I was contemplating a career pivot into cannabis because Zander's brothers had been in the business for over a decade and cannabis had an air of discovery and excitement around it. Studying herbalism and plant medicine was the best step for this shift and the education opened me up to a whole new world. I was experimenting with herbal combinations to help with skin radiance, which led me to begin slow-extracting these plants for topical remedies.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO GET INTO THE CBD SKINCARE CATEGORY, SPECIFICALLY?
When I started working on the brand in 2016, CBD was not the trendy ingredient it is now, but I was lucky to have been exposed to it beforehand. My husband was an early advocate of using cannabis for wellness and had been in my ear for years about CBD and how much it helped him soothe his athletic injuries. Having seen his results first-hand, I knew CBD was something I wanted to combine into my herbal skincare.
FOR A FIRST TIME CBD SKINCARE USER, WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT VERTLY PRODUCTS TO GET STARTED? ALSO, ANY FAVORITES TO NOTE?
CBD is just one of the many transformative ingredients we use. Local Northern California farmers and herbalists grow our plants, which we slowly extract for weeks and then combine with CBD to create potent formulations. We make small batches, fresh daily. I'm personally obsessed with our face oil that combines 24 botanicals with CBD. I notice my skin looking more hydrated and balanced. I use it as a moisturizer in the mornings and evenings and it's very potent, so just a few drops per usage are needed. I also don't go a moment without wearing the tinted lip butter either, it's a game changer for lip care.
GIVEN ALL THAT'S HAPPENED WITHIN THE LAST YEAR, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE?
For me, self-care is more about mindfulness and practicing kindness with yourself, which can be done in so many different ways depending on what you need. For someone like me whose schedule is always inundated with kids or people, I like to set aside some solo time during the day when I can just be still. Lately it's been a 20-minute bath before bed, when I can tune everything and everyone out and re-center.
WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY AT WORK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AS BOTH A MOTHER OF TWO AND ENTREPRENEUR? HAS A "NORMAL" WORKDAY CHANGED FOR YOU WITHIN THE PAST YEAR?
This year has aged me — I've never had this many gray hairs before in my life! It's a lot of juggling and coordinating with pods and schools, so my work schedule has to be as flexible as my home life. I still spend a few hours every morning in our laboratory, but with shelter-in-place ordinances here in California, we've had to stagger our production times throughout the day. After putting my kids to bed, I still do computer work until late night, but when my emails come through after midnight, it's not as bizarre because many people have odd hours now!
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN 3 WORDS.
Feminine, Flirty and Adaptable. I'm embracing it all now. I still love a flirty mini-dress, yet often find myself in long, flowy floral dresses. And I'm forever a New Yorker at heart who loves wearing leather and all black. Oh, and never say never. I now own Birkenstocks!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE FROM THE SHOOT?
I LOVE the cozy sweaters and covet them all! I'm also obsessed with anything with a flexible waist at the moment (ahem, nightly s'mores), so those leather drawstring pants should be in everyone's wardrobe right now—cozy but still fashion!
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR WARDROBE FEELING FRESH, ESPECIALLY IN THESE TIMES OF QUARANTINE?
As a former jewelry editor, it's no surprise that's how I'm keeping it fresh. I may be barefoot in a comfy sweater or homeschooling with a bun in my hair, but it's always with big earrings or necklaces on. Gotta find a way to glam up my Groundhog Day!