I'm sure you guys aren't surprised I have another handmade soap maker. I mean....I'm pretty damn obsessed with handmade soap and KNEW I needed to get some Beetle +Bones Apothecary (now Nestingzone) in my life, when I first saw the brand. To be honest, I'm not sure if I found them through Evil Queen, or if I randomly found them separately, but it doesn't matter because I'm thankful either way. The thing with handmade soap that keeps me going back, is the benefits they truly have. My skin doesn't feel stripped, it has natural ingredients and I'm supporting someone who is making a hobby, a career.
Beetle + Bones Apothecary is one of those brands that have become a staple in my home. Not only does she make soaps, but she has recently this year, created skincare items. Two of my favorite things, in one shop? YES PLEASE! It should come as no surprise that I love the brand, since I wholeheartedly recommend everything I've tried. But let's stop making this a review and get to know the mastermind behind these amazing products.
You recently combined both your brands, Nestingzone and Beetle + Bones, into one brand. What pushed you to make this decision?
A few months ago, I realized I was compartmentalizing myself a bit too much. I was running the apothecary and my drawings as different entities and came to the conclusion that I should simplify and merge them into one brand - Nestingzone.
With that said, how did you come up with both names and what inspired you with the logos?
When I was coming up with the name Nestingzone I wanted a name that could contain all my adventures, memories, emotions, and experiences. I thought about one of my favorite things to draw- nests. Nests are homes, they are a collection of debris, man-made objects, and take care to create. There is something so poetic about nests so I made it the basis of my name.
Beetle + Bones Apothecary also came from a dream state. Basically, the beetle is my spirit animal. Beetles represent strength, creativity, and change. The “bones” came from my approach to skincare, of using only the absolute essential ingredients to make my products, the ‘bare bones’ if you will. I only add ingredients that will supercharge my skincare products. So there’s no fillers, phthalates, parabens, or other unnecessary additives.
The new logo is a combination of Nestingzone's old logo and B+B's logo. When I merged the two brands together I didn't want to lose B+B's essence so I incorporated the beetle totem into the new logo.
A lot of people, prior to merging both your accounts, didn't know you were an artist. Do you think that now that you have both of your accounts together, people see how much goes into your branding?
I think so! Before, I think people assumed I shopped my branding (logo, packaging, labels, etc.) out but it’s just me. Nestingzone is still a small brand and as much as I wish I could collaborate and have input from other creators, I still do everything myself. It’s pretty cool to see everyone put two and two together and see that I’m the girl boss behind everything that goes into Nestingzone.
When it comes to branding and designing all your stuff, what's been your favorite design so far?
One of my favorite thing to design is the products themselves. I love laboring over the formula and color pallet. The products will always come first and then the packaging.
As an artist, how do you think creating your own items has changed you as an artist?
Yes, I went to art school where creating was at the forefront and everything fell to the wayside. Although that can be a great mentality, it didn’t teach me much about customer service. After starting the apothecary, I quickly learned how magical it is to listen to the tribe around you. I love engaging with the Nesting Crew. To see what they are loving, what they want in the future, and to have their input in a more collaborative way. With drawing, it can be so serious, but with the apothecary, there is more room to have fun and to experiment.
You and Evil Queen do a lot of collaborations, what has been your favorite so far, and what can we expect for the future (besides the new Harry Potter boxes!)?
Besides the Harry Potter inspired boxes, I loved our fall collaboration. The fall is my favorite season and we really ran with the witchy vibes. Evil Queen and I are always cooking up new surprises... you will just have to stay tuned!
Since you're so dedicated to Evil Queen, what is YOUR favorite candle that she's created and if a candle was created about you, what would it be named and what would the scent be?
Ha! That is a tough question, I love everything that Evil Queen makes. My current favorite is Fall So Hard. It just reminds me of home.
She has already named a candle this, but BITCHES BREW. I love that. It’s dark and mysterious like me. I actually wouldn’t change any of her notes : Amber - Dark Musk - Bitchcraft. It’s seriously me in a candle.
On the same topic, what would be your scent of choice and description for a soap inspired by Ida (Evil Queen)?
The Patronus soap in the Wisdom Box is actually inspired by Ida. It’s scented in Juniper - Blackberry - Enchantment and Ida is just that! Ida’s sassy, sophisticated and full of magic.
When you're not working, how do you spend your free time and what's your favorite activity?
One of my favorite ways to decompress is to have a glass of wine with my girlfriends. We are all creatives (artist, musicians, boss babes) and are all on our grind. So when we have time to get together it’s incredibly relaxing and it’s a great way to clear my mind.
What is something people don't know about you, that you find epitomizes you as a person?
I love anime. I grew up watching anime and I think that influences a lot of the things I draw, how I dress, and things I like.
On a normal day, what are your food and beverage choices?
The first thing I think of when I wake up is COFFEE! I love the routine of making a nice cup of coffee. In terms of food, I usually make an acai bowl right after.
As someone who focuses on being a cruelty-free and vegan brand, how does this play into your daily choices?
Before I started the apothecary, I didn’t put much consideration into the products I used but now, I am very aware of the brands I align myself with. If I buy anything, I try to purchase items from other boss babes and cruelty-free and vegan brands.
Has a book, show, or movie ever changed your life or outlook on life? Please elaborate.
One show I watch time and time again is Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It’s an anime show about brotherhood, magic, and alchemy. It really thought me to live for the adventure and to never stop creating.
Social media has had both positive and negative effects on people and growing businesses, can you explain your experience with it?
Social media can be a wonderful tool to grow your business. So far I’ve had very positive experiences with most social media platforms. I think if you are a positive person and want to bring more positivity into the world, you will have a good experience, but if you are being negative or if you want immediacy, you could have a negative experience. It all takes time, but to me, that time is well worth it.
Lastly, which social media platforms do you prefer over others, and why? Also, please share your favorite accounts.
Instagram is my favorite, it’s where @nestingzone started so it’ll always have a sweet spot in my heart.
My favorite accounts besides @evilqueen are @dark_oxx (Shiyana is a badass ceramicist and her mugs and glazes are really unique) @tylerthrasherart (Tyler comes from my hometown of Tulsa, OK and crystalizes some of the most beautiful specimens. I am so honored to own some of his cicadas, don’t worry they are all naturally sourced) and I also love @littlerooms (Her jewelry is literally out of this world and her account is equally as breath taking.)
As someone who is a sucker for handmade soap, Nestingzone won me over with its diverse scent choices, amazing packaging, and all the love put into the products.
I know people say all soap is the same, but it's not. It's truly the people behind the product that makes a difference. If you want to know what I mean, buy one of Izza's products and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about!
Next on my list to buy is a drawing, what's on your shopping list?