Interview with Jennifer Bonato & Taylor Williams
Jennifer Bonato and Taylor Williams aren’t set to change daily rituals, their mission is to enhance them. These women understand that wellness is the result of small, consistent steps and nourishment, not a magic pill or ingredient. Cardea AuSet was created with a commitment to use only plant and earth-based ingredients, free of genetic modification for beautiful, natural and clean formulas that encourage individuals to nurture and connect.
In this interview, we explore the importance of turning mundane daily routines into enhanced rituals, how positive well-being and mental health are all connected holistically, and taking the time to nourish and support the self, first.
Get to know boss ladies, Jennifer Bonato & Taylor Williams with us!
Tell us about the mission behind Cardea AuSet:
Our mission is to support users’ spiritual intuition with products that ritualize daily routines. This sounds complex, but what we’re really talking about is making special what would otherwise be considered mundane, and encouraging you to connect. Whether applying a beautiful oil to your skin with a rose quartz massage, lighting a candle and spending some time absorbing the therapeutic scent, or misting your linens with a sleep-supportive lavender blend, we want users to take some time and note the ways that sensory experiences can be meditative and spiritual - good for the body and the mind.
How did you decide on the brand name Cardea AuSet.?
The brand name comes from two different goddess names. When we started to map out the business and envision the brand and feeling we wanted to convey, we sought out names rooted in nature, astronomy, and mythology. We spent time together looking through different books and manuals, and eventually landed on AuSet - an Egyptian goddess of motherhood, renewal, and the eldest daughter of Earth and Sky. Cardea came next - a Roman goddess and protector of the hinge or home. We love the way the two names work together and evoke the connection between nature, fertility, and home place.
What inspired you to begin a unique journey into natural healing and wellness?
We entered this journey each from different places, completely different backgrounds and fields of expertise, yet we shared in being young women drawn to a more natural way of life. So much of what we do in the personal care department becomes just another thing to add to the schedule, something to rush through. We encourage users to take their time, create space in their otherwise hectic lives to really and truly connect with their mind, body, and spirit. It brings us so much joy to know that someone is sleeping better, waking up easier, or has glowing skin because of a product we created.
What inspired you to incorporate natural, plant-based and GMO-free ingredients in your products?
Committing to using plant- and earth-based ingredients that are free of genetic modification is something that felt necessary to us. In terms of our own personal ethos - the way we live, eat, and consume - there really was no alternative to this route in our business. We’ve spent so much time researching the language and regulation of certain terminology within food, agriculture, and personal care products in North America. As consumers ourselves, so many products left us feeling concerned about either the ingredient list and formulations or the packaging that brands were using. We decided that we could fill the gap in our own way, centring the power of Mother Nature and feminine energy and creating highly concentrated formulations with minimal ingredients.
What is your personal philosophy of wellness and life and how does it align with Cardea AuSet’s philosophy?
JB: In life there’s so much out there that tells us to go fast and be ultra-productive, but my philosophy is to nourish and support the self first. You can’t function at 100% if you’re not eating well, getting enough physical activity, or proper sleep, so I think these things are baseline for self-care and wellness. Wellness is the result of small, consistent steps and nourishment, not a magic pill or ingredient. This is at the heart of Cardea AuSet’s philosophy: ritualizing daily care practices, incorporating the gifts of mother nature, and taking time for the self.
TW: I prefer to take on a high-low approach to wellness, drinking a nutrient dense juice or Sun Potion packed smoothie for breakfast and maybe a vegan pizza for dinner, once in awhile. Finding that balance is really important to me and empowers me to take control of my health through daily practices that support my overall well-being. When Cardea AuSet came to fruition our goal was to enhance your daily rituals, not change them.
What does holistic health mean to you?
JB: When it comes to health, I think it’s important to take a well-rounded approach: what I consume, what I apply to my skin, and how I stretch and move are all key areas for my health. I’m very conscientious about food, and focus on keeping things unprocessed, gmo-free, and as organic as possible. We eat sustainably farmed meat that comes from close by, buy from local farmers in season, and stick to mostly organic all around. As far as what I put on my body, natural skincare and bodycare products are really important to me. Skin absorbs everything you apply to it, so I keep it really minimal with the products and makeup I wear. Incorporating movement into my daily routine is necessary, too - not only does it keep my lymph system active, it supports my mental health as well. Getting a good sweat every morning helps me focus throughout the day.
TW: Holistic health to me is observing everything as a whole, body-mind-energy. This looks different day to day, week to week and month to month. I feel my best self when I’m taking care of my body with exercise, good food, lots of water, juices and sleep. Incorporating meditation daily has helped me recognize when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed and how to handle these emotions in the moment, keeping my mind clear. Lastly, keeping my body moving, lately I like to mix up my daily sweat using the Kait Hurley Move + Meditate app, she has so many classes you can do in your living room or playlists you can use on a run - with lots of encouragement along the way. I like to tie Holistic Health back to these three pillars but the ‘How’ behind them is always changing.
What products are your daily must-haves? (from both Cardea AuSet and otherwise)
JB: The products I use every single day are Indie Lee’s Brightening Cleanser, Cardea AuSet’s Rosa Facial Mist, Aurora & Pheobe Facial Oils, and Herbivore’s Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil. My go-to moisturizer is Sunday Riley’s Tidal Water Cream. For body, I love to use a pure, virgin coconut oil, and classic Bio Oil. I’ve been *itching* to try Lady Suites Botanical Oil, too! My bedside table staples are Cardea AuSet’s Calm Mood Mist, Cedar Hand-poured Candle, and Province Apothecary’s Sex Oil.
TW: I’m always looking for new products to try if they align with my skin care musts (green, plant-based, cruelty free). Currently I’m reaching for Youth To The People Kale Cleanser, Cardea AuSet Rosa Mist, both Aurora and Pheobe Facial Oils, and Cera Ve SPH 50 sunscreen. I’ll mix in Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner a few times a week and Living Libations Seabuckthorn Cleanser Moisturizer when I feel I need a double cleanse moment. My evening musts are very similar, but I’ll add Tata Harper Boosted Contouring Eye Mask. In my purse I’ll always have a lip conditioner and Cardea AuSet’s Activate Mood Mist to get me through the day!