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.
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.
Le Bon Marché, in Paris, is considered by many aficionados to be the most exclusive department store in the world. The store is stunningly gorgeous, and they carry some of the loveliest merchandise you can find anywhere. And now, it's even a little more beautiful, at least in our humble opinion. Alima Pure is available at Le Bon Marché! We stopped in on our recent trip, and were delighted to see our lovely little jars in such a sophisticated setting.
You'll find the Alima Pure corner in the natural cosmetics department. So on your next trip to Paris, between fabulous meals and sightseeing, stop by Le Bon Marché and get yourself a little something that you know you'll use!