Mowellens and the power of plants – Amy Duncan talks about the path that led her to create her beauty brand. it’s all about energy, and movement
I was born in the center of the U.S. in St. Louis, MO. In 2013 I moved out to Laguna Beach, CA. As of 2018, I live in West Hollywood, CA. With only 2 years in West Hollywood, it still feels new. LA is such a big city I feel like there is something to do and see every day. Being in the heart of the city at La Cienega and Sunset, the hustle and chaos can also drain you a bit. I find I get energy from daily walks through the neighborhoods – embracing the uniqueness and beauty in small things. I often walk a block in off the major street to quiet my mind and expand my creativity. The greenery is serene and provides a mental reset. On the contrary, I also find energy in the action. Going to new restaurants and meeting new people makes me feel alive. Overall, in my life, energy comes from movement.
When my late husband was playing Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals we travelled and moved multiple times per year. I’ve lived in so many cities around the country. The list goes on and on – Phoenix & Tucson (Arizona), Syracuse (New York), Palm Beach Gardens & Viera (Florida), Providence (Rhode Island), St. Louis (Missouri), Laguna Beach & Laguna Niguel (California). Each place holds memories for me. My family used to always laugh when I went to a new place or on vacation. I would always come back and say I wanted to move there. I guess it was in my nature from uprooting often. In 2009 I graduated from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with a Bachelor’s in Science, emphasis in Marketing, and a minor in Chemistry. I originally wanted to study to be a Pharmacist because I’m intrigued by the impact of a single ingredient or molecule on our skin or in our bodies. It’s always been a blend of science and marketing for me. Throughout my studies and career, I’ve developed a skillset to simplify the complex. I was someone who always was drawn to scouring ingredients lists, labels and researching plants, molecules, formulations, and delivery systems. I always knew it was better to have something formulated with quality and sourced sustainably. And I found beauty in finding the places in the world where plants are cultivated in their ideal environments with healthy ecosystems and tended to by the people and farmers passionate about their craft.
After starting my career in traditional healthcare – medical device and biotechnology – I found myself yearning for the wellness industry, striving for a more proactive way to feel better, feel more OK. My career turned into the biotech space and I was fortunate to launch a few testing portfolios looking at hereditary cancer and inherited conditions. This was a passion of mine as a year prior to my husband being diagnosed with his brain cancer, his mother was diagnosed with the same cancer a year prior. It became my calling to find a link. Then in 2016, I started to study the cannabis plant at the lab and really became intrigued by CBD – Chris had seizures – and other cannabinoids and terpenes. Not only were they power players in returning the body to equilibrium, but they also had a large impact on our skin – sebum production, hyperpigmentation, dermatitis, and other skin issues. After Chris’ cancer returned in 2016, the turmoil of the disease’s return awakened me to pursue my entrepreneurial vision. In the midst of a very low point I found the fuel to emerge in alignment. I utilized my science studies as an incredible position to enter the beauty industry and create the most active, performance driven, highest quality hemp CBD skincare products. Every day we look in the mirror and see a reflection. And no matter the reflection it is up to us to still feel beautiful. Navigating brain cancer with my husband for 7 years and seeing his fight, strength, and mental toughness through it all inspires me. He never complained. Sparing his soul, everything that made him – his personality, his memories, experiences, likes and dislikes, loves, his knowledge and abilities – all contained in the organ infiltrated with cancer, the brain. And when all he could give me were glimpses that he was still himself, I learned the strength, empathy and love I needed to last me a lifetime. He inspires me with knowing how precious life is and how our time on this Earth is finite. He instills the choice to be grateful and see blessings and lessons in a positive light. His legacy lives on in me every day. Our journey of love has changed everything about the way I live. We should never assume that we know everything that is happening to someone or how they got to where they are. There is always more than what we are seeing.
Mowellens is Supercharged CBD Skincare – powered by plants, backed by science and created for superhumans who are only human. We do everything in our power to craft our products through the lens of circularity, reducing our environmental impact. We source from one farm with regenerative agriculture and biodynamic farming methods. Regenerative agriculture is farming that supports soil, life and the planet—going beyond sustainability to actually replenish ecosystems, nurture biodiversity, and sequester carbon. We believe in planting it forward for future generations. Our formulations use four blends of hemp extract high in CBD, adaptogens, mushrooms, resins, and botanicals for the most beneficial plant profiles. Our New York sun-grown, organic hemp extracted with certified organic, food grade cryo-ethanol extraction and short-path distillation provides the best cannabinoid and terpene profiles. A recirculating closed loop process returns a 90% solvent recovery rate minimizing our impact on the environment and limiting our disposal. From sustainability, clean formulations, give back, and mental health, Mowellens connects to those living for a greater purpose. When you purchase Mowellens, you are supporting a worldwide effort to make clean and pure products more accessible. You are pushing forward the mental health conversation, and you are supporting people and organizations that make leaving the world a better place and living life in the midst of challenges possible. As the founder and CEO of Mowellens, into our third year of operations, I still have my hands in quite a bit of the day to day operations. Our team enjoys communication and strategy discussions cultivating the community and truly building something meaningful. At the top of my list is guiding the company towards the vision to lasting. In a burgeoning industry, such as CBD, we are championing history and must be nimble but steadfast in our approach. Our pillars in mental health, sustainability and clean beauty allow the decisions we make to be led by purpose. I find great life fulfillment in that approach and our ability to make in impact in the lives of our community and an impact on the health of our planet.
I have to say my husband changed my way of approaching life. I don’t think anything could prepare him for battling a terminal illness in brain cancer at age 30. And nothing could prepare me for losing my husband at age 34. It isn’t fair. I understand what it feels like when life takes away your sense of OK. I’ve been to the point where I didn’t know if I could get up again. I did. My approach to life is finding beauty and ease in effort. It’s holding an energy that inspires others during times of not OK. And I hope people see in me that when life hands you more life, they can get up from it too. We are cultivating a few Mowellens residencies (art installations) showcasing what sustainable, plant-based beauty looks and feels like. We call our serene green spaces The Land Of OK and look forward to sharing these with the world. I’d like to continue to work on the science. We are working on Mowellens CBD efficacy trials to support claims for acne, psoriasis, hyperpigmentation, and other skin issues. I believe our novel delivery systems with CBD will have shifted the belief that “natural” skincare isn’t powerful enough. Our mission and contributions to the greater good fuel us and give us purpose. We will continue to play our part in climate change, utilizing our regenerative agriculture farming methods and sustainable packaging solutions. Continuing the legacy of my husband is a deep part of this as well. His scholarship fund will have helped high school kids go to college and live their dreams.