In Conversation With The Rose Company Founder, Mady Tan

What inspired your business, The Rose Company?

Unfortunately, my sister and I lost our mom, Rose, six years ago after a long battle with cancer. She was an advocate for clean, organic products in the home, whether it was the food we ate or the products we used in the bathroom. She instilled in us that we should always read the labels and make sure we could pronounce the ingredients. Our family has always been conscious of minimizing our waste and our impact on the environment. We started looking at the products we use on a daily basis and knew we could do better. We wanted to bring beautifully designed, natural beauty products to market that everyone—from those going through a journey with cancer to new moms and babies—could feel comfortable using. We wanted to make them feel beautiful no matter what was going on in their lives (and that our mom would want to buy!).

What sets The Rose Company apart from other dry shampoo brands?

The most popular dry shampoo brand sells 2.2 aerosol cans per second, which amounts to 69 million toxic cans per year. Most people will toss the can in the garbage, not realizing that if this packaging is not disposed of properly, it can be extremely dangerous, and the pressurized can can explode. The Rose Company set out to reduce the amount of hazardous and plastic waste caused by the beauty industry. We created custom packaging made from FSC Certified paper and biodegradable inks to ensure that the packaging could decompose after use. You can toss it in your compost or recycling, and it is accepted at all municipal facilities. In terms of ingredients, many other dry shampoo brands are alcohol-based, which can leave hair feeling dry and brittle. The aerosol options often leave a residue from the chemicals used to create the spray, which can lead to scalp rash and reduced hair growth.

Photographed by Olivia Van Dyke

We ensure The Rose Company uses clean, simple, and organic ingredients, which means no toxins or chemicals get into your skin, or the environment. All ingredients are vegan and sourced through local suppliers who ensure their producers adhere to strict ethical practices and quality standards. The all-natural formulas are safe for pregnancy and babies!

What products do you recommend from your line?

I have been using a few of our products religiously throughout my pregnancy, knowing the clean formulas are safe for my growing baby. Rose is such a magical ingredient for skincare! We use high-grade rose oils, and the rose water in our Rose Toner is actually made from roses that bloom in my garden, so I know all the benefits are not watered down. I am susceptible to eczema in the winter, and the Rose Balm cleared it up immediately (without the use of steroid creams). I have also been using the Rose Toner all over my body daily to reduce inflammation and flare-ups, clear skin and prevent stretch marks. Other new moms have raved about the Natural Balm because they can use it on their babies to protect against cold, dry air while they are outside in the winter, and the stick format makes it easy to apply without having to worry about cleaning your hands while you’re out and about. The balm contains many of the same ingredients found in many natural/vegan nipple creams on the market, so this can be used to treat chapped nipples while breastfeeding, knowing the food-grade ingredients are safe for baby. The organic unrefined shea butter does wonders to heal the skin.

You’re pregnant! Congratulations. Even though this is an exciting time, you mentioned you lost your mother. First, I want to give my condolences and love your way. Adjusting to parenthood/pregnancy without a mother as a touchstone can be poignant, complex, and emotionally challenging. How are you feeling emotionally, and how has your support system been?

Thank you. Not having my mom around for support and to ask questions has definitely been something that I’ve struggled with throughout this journey. There are so many questions I have about her experience with pregnancy and motherhood that I never got to ask, and it certainly feels like a void. I think the combination of winter, covid lockdown, the unpredictability of changing hormones, the exhaustion combined with insomnia, and pretty intense anxiety, spiralled me into a perinatal depression where I wasn’t feeling myself and felt very alone in the first half of pregnancy. I do have a wonderful support system through friends and family, and when things started to open up again, being able to socialize with more people definitely helped turn things around. I have many friends who already have kids or who were/are pregnant around the same time as me, so I could bombard them with questions, but I do think being pregnant during covid was much more isolating.

When I was pregnant, I was in awe of the incredible transformation that a woman’s body goes through to house and nurture a human. Have you struggled with accepting the body changes that came with pregnancy?

I agree! The woman’s body goes through such incredible change to grow a new life, and it’s amazing how each woman’s experience is completely different from the next. I am very grateful that I’ve been able to go through this journey and have been trying to savour every painful kick to the rib or punch in the bladder. Thankfully, I have had a low-risk, healthy pregnancy, but it did take me some time to adjust to the concept. I have been physically active my whole life and am a very hands-on person (we did a full reno on our house ourselves), so not being able to do a lot of exercise or carry heavy things certainly was an adjustment. I experienced some pretty intense hip and back pain, but I have been going to physio, chiro, acupuncture and massage therapy throughout the pregnancy which has helped with the aches and pains significantly. It is a strange feeling not to have much core strength and struggle to sit up and get off the couch with a big belly. But I love being able to rest my bowl on my belly when I eat lunch!

Photographed by Olivia Van Dyke

You feel most beautiful when?

I have a full-length mirror on the stairwell coming down from our bedroom. Since becoming pregnant, every morning when I pass by, I stop and take a moment to take in any changes that I can see, such as a growing belly, new stretch marks, or weight gain. I have come to appreciate all the new lines, marks, and lumps. It’s really incredible what the body goes through!

You mentioned when you first found out you were pregnant, you went through all your skincare & makeup products to check the ingredients and ensure you weren’t putting any chemicals/toxins on your body. Were you surprised by how many products you were using included chemicals? How did this make you feel, and do you feel this has inspired you to explore expanding the product line with your very own brand The Rose Company?

Following my mother’s influence and being blessed with clear skin, I actually don’t use too many skincare and beauty products in my daily routine. Also, thanks to working from home during covid, I barely put on any makeup over the past year and a half! But I did start looking up the brands that I was using and swapped out many of my skincare products for cleaner brands. Having my own brand, I am now very aware of all the ingredients in everyday products, which ones benefit your skin and which ones actually do more harm. Now, I spend a lot more time researching and browsing through all the products at the store, but it also made me realize that not many of the products you find on your average drugstore shelf are clean. If I had more time, I’d definitely try to make all of my own skincare products and develop a full clean skincare line for The Rose Company.

Makeup, on the other hand, doesn’t quite have the same transparency. It was recently unveiled that many popular makeup brands contain PFAs (toxic chemicals that are added to products to make them long-lasting and spreadable), which are not mandatory to include on product labels. These chemicals don’t break down and are known to cause a number of serious health issues like cancer—yikes! You have to do a lot of research on makeup brands if you want to make sure you aren’t putting any chemicals on your skin. We do have some very exciting products in development—hopefully, we can share more later this year!

How has pregnancy changed your daily routine as a career woman?

I have always been someone that takes on a lot—a demanding full-time job, a side business, freelance design work, and a fairly busy social life. Pregnancy has really taught me to slow down. It’s ok if I only get through one thing on my list of things to do and spend the rest of the day resting or doing things that nourish my body. I’ve also learnt to say no so I don’t take on too much, which has been really rewarding for my mental health.

Photographed by Olivia Van Dyke

What is one thing you didn’t expect that came with pregnancy?

The exhaustion in the first trimester completely floored me. There were days where all I could do was nap. Thankfully I was working from home because of covid, so I could sneak in a nap here and there. But I did sleep through one meeting with my boss before I told her I was pregnant, which was very uncharacteristic of me! I have no idea how women go into work in their first trimester and try to mask all of the early pregnancy symptoms.

Before we wrap up this interview, what are your daily affirmations?

Don’t compare yourself (or your business) to anyone else—they are not on the same path.
Everything happens for a reason, it might not make sense right now, but things always work out.

Lastly, who is your Mother Muse?

I wouldn’t have founded The Rose Company or switched to a more creative career without my own mother’s influence. I try to ask, “what would she want me to do?” whenever I’m stuck on something. I’m also in awe of all my friends who have become mothers and seem to juggle motherhood, their careers, and prioritizing themselves with ease.

About The Rose Company

Photographed by Olivia Van Dyke

Founded by 2 sisters in Vancouver, The Rose Company set out to reduce the amount of plastic and hazardous waste created by packaging from everyday beauty essentials. We created a custom paper tube packaging made from FSC Certified paper and printed with biodegradable soy inks. A laminate coating was omitted to ensure that the packaging would completely decompose at the end of the product’s life. When the product is done, the packaging can either be recycled or composted at all municipal facilities.

Along with sustainable packaging, The Rose Company believes in creating quality beauty products that last. The size of the balm is more than 2.5x that of a standard tube, meaning less waste is created. Each product is hand-poured in small batches in order to minimize waste created by production. The clean, simple, and organic ingredients in the products mean no toxins or chemicals get into your skin or the environment. All ingredients are vegan and sourced through local suppliers who ensure their producers adhere to strict ethical practices and quality standards. The all-natural formulas are safe for pregnancy and babies!

Sustainable packaging is at the forefront of the entire customer journey. When an order is shipped, shipping boxes made from 95% post-consumer content are used and taped with kraft paper packaging tape with biodegradable adhesive, shipping labels made from 100% post-consumer content are used, and the shipping boxes are stuffed with GreenWrap, a naturally biodegradable, SFI-certified and fully recyclable box fill.

Explore The Rose Company Here

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