Sisters Jen Cortez and Becca Bighley opened The Hive in 2011 on NE Lowry Avenue in Minneapolis. They had a vision of "the open-air vibe of old-school beauty parlors; a cheery interior, a variety of magazines for inspiration, hot coffee and teas, outgoing individuals, and amazing hair care products." In February of this year, they brought in Alima Pure to complete their product line-up.
AP: Can you tell us a little about your background and past experience?
Hive: I've (Jen) been a hairdresser for over ten years, and my sister Becca has been a hairdresser for over 5; we opened The Hive Salon last March where we focus on providing local, natural, and organic approaches to haircare and grooming. We're one of the only dedicated Ammonia-Free salons in the area, and we eschew potentially toxic products and services, like 'Brazilian Blowout'.
AP: What inspired you to open your shop?
Hive: I hit a point about 5 years ago in my career where I felt drained, sick, and tired. I would get headaches, nausea, burning eyes and more after only a few hours at work, and I would go home feeling like crap. Years of exposure were finally taking their toll on me. I was already buying organic food whenever possible, using non-toxic cleaning products at home, and had already begun switching to natural health and body care products on myself, so it seemed only right to break away and establish a salon where I could find, and provide the safest alternatives to conventional hair treatments.
AP: What other brands do you carry?
Hive: We carry haircare from Maxgreen Alchemy, Hairfix, John Masters Organics, Intelligent Nutrients, and Simply Organic- Intelligent Nutrients and Simply Organic are both Minnesota companies as well. We also carry non-toxic bug spray and environment aromas from Intelligent Nutrients, body care from John Masters Organics, and ammonia-free permanent hair color from Simply Organic.
AP: Why did you decide to carry Alima Pure?
Hive: Our goal is to become a 'one stop eco-beauty shop', so it was only natural to seek out a mineral makeup line. We chose Alima Pure because of their pure mineral bases; they're so versatile! We love being able to wet the shadows and liners, or mix the pigments with beauty balms and serums, and the clients love that they don't aggravate skin sensitivities.
AP: What do people love about your shop?
Hive: I think clients really love the open-air atmosphere in the salon- there aren't any walls or partitions in the salon so it feels really bright and airy . Clients also love our forthcoming attitude about the ingredients we do and don't use, and that we aren't trying to sell hype .
AP: How do you define beauty?
Hive: Beauty is the ability to love yourself inside and out- no matter what!
AP: What are other little ‘don’t miss’ gems in your neighborhood?
Hive: I adore going to Sen Yai Sen Lek for Thai food and The Matchbox for coffee!
If you are in the area, definitely stop by The Hive and see what all the buzz is about! To find an Alima Pure store near you, please view our list of spas and boutiques that carry our products.
In observance of Earth Day, Alima Pure is offering one of our favorite products as a gift with purchase this week! At our office, we try to be as environmentally thoughtful as possible. We recycle; we have office flatware, cups and plates; we tote reusable water bottles; and we try to eliminate as much waste as possible.
One of the easiest changes for some of us has been switching to reusable shopping bags. For the "big" grocery trip, this is usually a no-brainer; you just have to remember to take your bags into the store from the car. Once you are in the habit, having reusable bags on hand is pretty easy. The impromptu trips, however, were finding us in need of a bag! You know the situations: you need a head of lettuce and a dozen eggs on the way home from work, or you slip into the drugstore to stock up on a few essentials. We usually don't even think about needing a bag until the store associate begins bagging our products into a wasteful plastic bag. (Or a paper bag if you are inside the city limits of Portland or a growing number of other cities!)
Our solution to this little issue is having a handy tote that fits inside a small pouch right inside our handbags. This way, as soon as the clerk begins to put our items into plastic, we can say, "Oh wait! I have my own bag!" Having a bag as bright and adorable as the one pictured here is an added bonus, and it just so happens to be our Earth Day gift with purchase, offered this week only.
Baggu makes some of our favorite bags; we love them because they are roomy and strong, and come in a wide variety of fun colors and prints. We enjoy them so much, we had some made just for our customers! With any order totaling $75 or more (placed now until Monday, April 23 at 2 pm PST) you will receive a bright green Alima Pure Baggu bag, while supplies last. And, if you're curious about just how much a Baggu bag can hold, follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter this week!
If you live in the Los Angeles area and want to see Alima Pure products in person, Green and Greener is the place to go! Owner Alegre Ramos has a wonderful selection of Alima as well as other eco-friendly brands to delight anyone who is trying to live more green!
Can you tell us a little about your background and past experience?
Before starting Green and Greener, I was the Operations and Marketing Director for a luxury “shelter” company. We manufactured high-end bedding, furniture and home accessories here in Los Angeles. While there I fell in love with the design process and decided to go back to school to study interior design. In order to have enough time to go to school, I took a job with less responsibility but within an industry that I was passionate about and was responsible for the marketing of a number of public radio programs and specialized in their environmental programming. It was during the time I studied interior design that I met my mentor, a well-regarded environmental architect, and decided that my emphasis in interior design would be to practice interior design by applying the LEED principles to all my projects (LEED is the environmental design/build standard created by the US Green Building Council).
What inspired you to open your shop?
Many interior designers have stores, but they tend to be focused on furniture and accessories. As a “green” consumer myself, I was frustrated at the lack of options…you always had to buy one thing here, one thing there, one thing on-line. I also felt that I knew more than most people about what makes a product eco/green/non-toxic and it was out of this frustration that Green and Greener was born. I apply my LEED thinking to everything about the store, from how it was designed/renovated (passive lighting, well-insulated, energy efficient everything, reused as much as possible) to how the products are sourced (non-toxic, effective and as local as possible).
What other brands do you carry?
We focus on finding THE BEST products and often end up carrying HARD-TO-FIND products that nobody else carries such as Keys, Klean Kanteen, Crafty Kids, Graze Organic and Eco-Kids to name a few.
Why did you decide to carry Alima Pure?
When I was looking for a cosmetics line, I was already primarily focused on mineral make-up because it was what I wore. When I received the samples I LOVE how creamy the minerals felt. It was the best line I looked at and it’s a West Coast company to boot so it was an easy decision for me.
They love that I carry hard-to-find items and that I can answer any question they come up with. It seems like trying to stump me is almost a game with some of my regulars.
How do you define beauty?
Beauty is the confidence to be you.
What are other little ‘don’t miss’ gems in your neighborhood?
Hugo’s, Great India Café (try their Malai Kofta), Umami Burger (BEST vegetarian burger EVER!) There is also Village Furniture (a fantastic vintage furniture store) and the first Menchi’s (serve yourself frozen yogurt) across the street from me and Yummy Cupcakes (a gourmet cupcake shop with organic and vegan options) two doors down.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Every other month we have a special make-up event. For $10 you get ½-hour with a very talented make-up artist who will show you how to make the most of all the natural options we offer! Next one is the end of April. Call us to reserve your space: 818.358.4313.
During December, we offered a special, limited edition Organic Nourishing Lipbalm with purchases over $50. Sugar Plum was a huge hit, it seemed to be a new favorite for just about everyone who was lucky enough to try one. The plum with a hint of brown and just a touch of shimmer was perfect for many complexions. We received many requests to make it a permanent part of our lipbalm line-up.
That seemed like a reasonable request, so starting today, you can now purchase Sugar Plum lipbalm year 'round. And to celebrate, we have priced it at an introductory $5 from now through January 30.
Welcome to the family, Sugar Plum!
The response to our 2 for $12 on select eyeshadow shades has been so overwhelming that we decided to extend it through the weekend. A couple of shades have sold out, so we have replaced them with two different shades.
The sale now includes Satin Matte Eyeshadows in Fawn, Chamomile, Dove, Rain, Bayou, Chestnut, Sand and Juniper. Pearlusters in the sale are Sky, Platinum, Cimarron, Viola and Toffee; and Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadows in Aria, Dream, Gold Dust, Hyacinth, Mirage, Moss, Ombra, Pyrite, Sienna and Navy. Finish your look with a Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner in Koan or Maya.
Resolve to add some color to your life by broadening your eyeshadow collection! Select eyeshadows and liners are on sale now through January 5, 2 for $12. (Regularly priced at $11 each.)
This year's sale includes Satin Matte Eyeshadows in Aloe, Chamomile, Dove, Rain, Bayou, Chestnut, Sand and Wedgwood. Pearlusters at the special price are Sky, Platinum, Cimarron, Viola and Toffee; Luminous Shimmer Eyeliners included in the sale are Maya and Koan. If shimmer is more your thing, choose from Aria, Dream, Gold Dust, Hyacinth, Mirage, Moss, Ombra, Pyrite, Sienna and Navy.
Want to bring out your baby-blues? Try Satin Matte Chamomile as your base shade with Luminous Shimmer Gold Dust or Satin Matte Sand on your lid. Emphasize your crease with Luminous Shimmer Pyrite and line with Koan. For a more subtle look, use Sand as your base, Pearluster Toffee on your lid and line with Satin Matte shadow in Chestnut.
To bring out the green in your eyes, use Luminous Shimmer Hyacinth as your base, Pearluster Viola on the lid and a touch of Luminous Shimmer Ombra or Aria at the outer corner of the eye. Line with Koan or your outer corner color. For an alternate look, try Satin Matte Aloe as a base, Luminous Shimmer in Moss or Satin Matte Bayou in the crease and line with Maya.
And if you are a brown-eyed girl, use Luminous Shimmer Dream as a highlight shade under your brow, and put Satin Matte Wedgwood or Pearluster Sky on your lid. Smudge Luminous Shimmer Navy into your crease and use it damp as your liner. For a more every-day brown-eyed look, use Dream as a base on the entire lid, use Luminous Shimmer Sienna or Pearluster Cimarron on the outer 1/3 of the lid and blended into the crease and line with more Sienna.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Winter Solstice, we wish you a beautiful holiday, filled with joy and love.
Alima Pure will be closing at noon (PST) on Friday, December 23 and remain closed until Tuesday morning, December 27 so that our staff may spend time with their families. If you need to contact us, please send an email. We try to answer email in the order in which we receive them, so be patient, but we will get back to you!