Hi, welcome to Twinkle Apothecary!
I know it looks kind of fancy, but this is actually a very small, one person business, owned and operated by, well, me. Stefanie.
Being a one woman show means I get to do things differently around here, hopefully in a good way…
First of all, everything is handmade (and bottled, and labeled, and packed, and shipped, and listed online, and marketed, etc., etc.,) by me. Yup! Again… it’s just me.
I feel like I have to repeat that because sometimes people don’t believe me, or they think I must be outsourcing production or using a separate order fulfillment service… I’m not. I literally do it all, and I actually love it this way!
(Hey I didn’t say I wasn’t crazy…)
All of my products are PETA certified vegan and cruelty free, using reusable, recyclable and biodegradable packaging whenever available. I list every single ingredient for all of my products in plain english, including my fragrances, because I believe that you have a right to know exactly what you’re putting on your body. I’m also proud to carry ethically produced accessories that I adore from other women founded and/or vegan brands to compliment my own handcrafted products.
One of my top FAQs when people come into my shop is always, “How did you get started?” so, long story short, I started this journey in 2015 when I went vegan and needed an effective deodorant. I had no prior experience making personal care products (I mean it’s not like there’s a deodorant school…? my degree is actually in business!) but I quickly found that I loved (and was actually pretty good at) making things that make life more comfortable and beautiful.
Today, my facial skincare products are my most popular top-sellers, but perfumery is actually my passion. No matter what I’m making or sharing though, I feel like my mission is to help people live their best lives. And I'm learning that this starts with me.
Starting this brand, this business, and becoming a maker changed everything for me. I found a new passion and purpose. There is a profoundly grounding quality to these natural materials that makes me feel more connected to the Earth, and through this work and connection, my priorities and values also become more clear.*
As such, over the years I’ve learned to adjust my schedule, my policies, my product offerings, and my work/life boundaries to fit where I’m at personally. Right now, I have a desire to slow down and appreciate life. I’ve spent the past 6 years working so hard to build this business, and now I’m learning that instead of having an ever-growing enterprise, I just want to stay right here! I’m currently on the lookout for ways to hustle less, bring more balance into my life, have more fun, and find a little more joy in the everyday. Basically, this is a decidedly small business that’s focused on sharing and enjoying the small pleasures in life. ;)
So here’s how you can help me fulfill my mission (where we’re both living our best lives with great skin, smelling good, feeling mentally and physically well) -
First, I ask that you please review my FAQs + Policies page before you send me an email asking a question I’ve already answered there. I promise you, the answer to your question is there. Really. Just look. Even if you’ve already read it (thank you so much!) I update it often, as new FAQs come in.
Please respect that I don’t conduct any business over the phone or on social media. Again, I am a one person business. I don’t have customer service associates or a social media director. I’m not opposed to having a team, it’s just that, well, I would need to sell like, way more than double what I sell now to pay for their salaries, and I’m not sure that’s a sustainable goal for this little handmade business. Not a problem for me, because I like being small! But, if you require around-the-clock instant service this may not be the shop for you. Social media customer service is especially toxic - you think we’re chatting as friends, but for me it’s work. (No offense!) Conducting business, answering order/product questions, etc., over instagram and Facebook messaging blurs too many boundaries with my sense of work/life balance.
It’s much easier for me (and my mental health) to email you back when I’m at my desk, but please note that I don't respond to customer emails on Sundays, and please also give me at least a full business day before you write to me asking when your order will be ready. Actually, there's no need to ask when your order will be ready. I will let you know as soon as I have it shipped or ready for pickup. Seriously, even Amazon gets a couple of business days to fulfill orders, y'all. I don't think this is too much to ask...
Speaking of emails, simply subscribing to (and actually reading) my emails is likely to answer any and all of the questions that you could possibly have for me! I don’t do any other paid marketing, so my email list is everything. I only email when I have news to share. Maybe once or twice a week. It’s not spam, it’s just how we stay in touch here. Thank you for understanding!
Please also note -
I am no longer available for free** skincare consultations and I am not comfortable giving medical advice. If you have a skincare concern, please see a qualified dermatologist.
All of the knowledge that I have to share about skincare is already available to you on this website - it’s in the product descriptions, blogs, and videos that are embedded in every listing. I’ve also outlined my entire personal daily skincare routine for you to follow here. That’s it. That’s all I use (really, yes, just my products and SPF! Which SPF you ask? Well, guess where the answer to that question is. Ah ha, yes you're learning. It’s in the FAQs…) and that’s the end of my advice. Outside of that, it’s up to you to do the research by reading the ingredients, instructions, and all of the information that I’ve provided, then make some decisions about what to buy and how to use it for yourself. If that sounds too difficult or overwhelming, well, I hope you find an easier way to have great skin. Best of luck with that.
In the past, (up until very recently,) I’ve made myself available to answer all of your skincare questions, but I just realized - “Hey, I don’t actually like doing this and I’m not getting paid for it!” Just because I have knowledge doesn’t mean I’m obligated to share it for free. Especially not when there’s TONS of free knowledge on my website already. (Just use the search bar at the top of the page to find what you’re curious about!)
More and more, it is becoming an exhausting waste of my time when I do all of that listening and putting together thoughtful individualized advice, which you then may or may not take. I mean sure, you might order my products if I give you the answer that you want to hear and I’m having a special, or, you might go shop around and end up buying something from a bigger “natural” brand who’s advertising all over your Facebook feed. Or, you might just pick something up from Target when you’re there because it’s convenient and less expensive. (Hey no worries, we’ve all done that!)
To put it another way - I only make money when you buy my products. Your doctor, on the other hand, is the one who gets paid to listen to your skincare concerns and diagnose your rashes - and how lucky for them that they make plenty of money whether you take their advice or not?! Haha! But seriously, please stop treating me like I’m your personal, always-on-call dermatology expert. I’m done. I have perfume to make now.
In all seriousness, I actually am in the process (it’s a long process so don’t get too excited) of writing a book that will contain all of my skincare philosophies, advice, and recipes (!) but I can’t work on it (much less make and ship my products) if I’m answering your individual skincare questions all day. Please let me do my work so that I can share my advice and knowledge with everyone, and I promise to have the same respect for your boundaries if the tables are ever turned!
And if you know that you love my products and they work well for your skin, please leave a review - doing so might just help answer someone else’s questions and concerns!
Ok one last thing if you’ve managed to read this far. (You know, you’re one of the real ones.) Remember how I said that perfumery is actually my passion? Well, I have a second shop that’s just for perfume! It’s called Notes by SGC. It’s my little hobby/side project just for fun, but I’m proud of the work. It’d mean a lot to me if you checked out the website.
Now, in the past, I would have finished this about page letter by saying, "Let me know if you have any other questions for me!" because, well, that's what we're supposed to say, right? But, what further questions could you possibly have at this point? Just reach out if you want to say hi or whatever!
Thanks for being here,
*In case it’s not clear to you, my values are progressive, liberal, feminist, pro-choice, anti-Trump, but inclusive of all genders, sexual orientations, races, and religions.
**I don’t know why I said that, I’m actually not available for paid skincare consultations either. I tried to ask people to pay me once a few years ago but no one would. So, just read what’s on my website for goodness sake. Then buy my book when it comes out.***
***I don’t actually have a publisher or anything yet but if you’re in the book biz, let’s chat!
photo by Valerio Costilla (September 2021)