Q & A with Alima Pure Founder Kate O’Brien

Posted on August 22, 2014 by Kate OBrien | 1 Comment

 What are the 5 Alima Pure products you couldn’t live without?

Ha! That’s hard. Can I choose whole categories? I love mattes. Satin Matte Eyeshadow, Satin Matte Blush, Satin Matte Foundation, LipTint and Mascara. And then of course brushes and our new eyeliner. It has been so hot in Portland this summer –  eyeliner and mascara help me feel pulled together in the heat.

 

Do you have any health tricks or tips?
If I can workout before heading into the office in the morning I feel terrific all day. My trick is to have my yoga clothes ready so I’m out the door before I can think about how lovely it would have been to sleep longer. Then I pop home for a shower and make myself a big salad to take in for lunch.

 

Your background is in teaching, what inspired you to create a beauty company?
I loved teaching kindergarten but my dear aunt and my darling mother died within 18 months of each other, both from complications of breast cancer. I was teaching and quietly grieving. Teaching is very outwardly focused, and I found balance on the weekends by nurturing myself making natural skincare and then natural makeup. From that Alima grew organically – friends started asking for products and it grew.

 

Tell us a little bit about your everyday routine.
I usually wake up just before 5 am and meditate for half an hour, then zip off to early morning yoga. I’m home by 7:30 and then on my way to work by 8:45. Those hours in the morning have a huge impact on the rest of my day – I feel so much more focused and grounded when I’ve taken time to meditate and exercise. Workdays are filled with meetings, emails, product development and special projects. I love to go for a walk after work and cook dinner with my husband, and snuggle with my little rescue mutt, Ella. I usually read for awhile and conk out by 9:30 or so.

 

How do you find balance between yourself, family, and company?
Oh, it’s tricky for all of us, isn’t it? Most days I carve time for myself first thing in the morning and it makes a big difference. I generally get up at 5, meditate for half an hour and then take a 6 am yoga class in a beautiful studio 5 minutes from my house. I still have time to pop home for a shower and a good breakfast before work. Usually I make lunch, too – it takes 10 minutes to put together a wonderful salad. With a start like that I’m ready for all of the challenges of the day. Evenings are peaceful and fun – often my husband and I will go out, I have some snuggle time with our little pup, and then fall asleep fairly early.

 

What product would you recommend to an Alima Pure first-timer?
Foundation! It’s my favorite product and the cornerstone of our line. I spent months working on getting the proportions right so that it would have a light creamy feel and just disappear weightlessly into the skin. I love it.

 

What’s the best part about living in Portland?
Oh, so many things! There is so much support for living a healthy fun life here. By far the best aspect for me is the people. It’s so easy to connect with Portlanders – our beautiful city is laid back and easy going. I love to joke around with people, to laugh about how excited we get when the sun comes out, to ask questions and engage. Bike lanes and farmers markets and indie brands and food carts and awesome coffee. I love everything about it. Except the rain, perhaps, in February.

 

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I had the good fortune to grow up around strong, empowered women. There wasn’t specific advice but a sense that with commitment and imagination one could accomplish just about anything. Whenever I feel wobbly I just have to think of them and I come back to center. Every woman should have that. We can share that message of empowerment though our community. That’s my dream.

 

What’s your favorite part about your job?
People! Our wonderful employees who make it a pleasure to come to work every single day, and our customers who totally wow us with their unfailing awesomeness, and our wonderful suppliers and partners who have nurtured and cheered for us as we have grown.

 

Can you share your favorite travel destinations?
We lived in Venice Italy, for a couple of years (I know, right?), and I can never get enough of it. There are so many amazing placed to visit in Europe but I can be absolutely happy roaming around my one little corner of Dorsoduro (a neighborhood in Venice) day after day. My sister has lived in India for years and I would very much love to visit her. And closer to home there is spectacularly beautiful Eastern Oregon and San Francisco.

 

Pin It

Posted in Alima Pure, Founder, General, Kate O'Brien, Q&A

Expanded Horizons

Posted on June 13, 2014 by Kate OBrien | 0 Comments

I have always been enchanted by horizons. As a tiny child my horizon included distant wheat fields under the Montana sky, broad views of the Sweet Grass Hills from the seat of my grandpa’s pickup, and endless expanses of drifting snow. Later it was the shimmering greens and grays of San Francisco Bay with the city shrouded in fog and the moody Pacific beyond. Wherever I was, perhaps because of those early years, the sense of expansiveness and possibility that comes from seeing distant horizons has nourished my sense of well being. I love New York, but I need wide open spaces. In those vast spaces I find myself and see my dreams almost as if they were palpable. I remember what I am about, what matters, where my next step should be.

ALIMAHORIZONS

One of the joys of summer is stepping out of our normal routines and focusing on our horizons as well as our paths. We recalibrate and rethink. We spend time with people we love. We remember our larger selves.

Our current Instagram contest is much more than a contest to me. It is a way for us to connect, and to share how we interpret growth this summer. As I go through each entry, I am enlightened by each and every one of you, and thank you for your beautiful contributions.

May your summer be filled with joy and the promise of expanded horizons.

Pin It

Posted in Alima Pure, General, Horizon Collection, Kate O'brien, Summer 2014

Yoga or Bust

Posted on May 14, 2014 by Kate OBrien | 0 Comments

We live in a peaceful neighborhood with lots of space and trees around. The streets don’t go through and there’s nothing much to see except houses, so there’s not much traffic. When the windows are open you can hear the occasional dog or lawn mower, sometimes distant traffic, but it’s quiet. That all changes in the early morning when the local golf club grooms its course. And the bit closest to our house, the putting green, is groomed by four leaf blowers (yes four!) every summer morning  from 5:45 – 6:00 am. Monday through Sunday. And it wakes me up every morning.

Yoga-Sara-Lewis

Staffer Sara Lewis getting her headstand on

For the first few days I lay in bed trying to imagine what kind of machine could possibly make so much noise. Then one morning I raced down the hill in my pajamas to find out. The guys were amazingly affable but unmovable. Their schedule was set in stone, apparently. I was not happy and not especially gracious, I’m embarrassed to say.

After a couple of weeks lying awake during the beautiful early summer mornings I realized that my favorite yoga studio offers classes weekday mornings at 6 am. If I were to drag myself off to those classes I would never even hear the dreaded leaf blowers. Well, except for Saturday and Sunday. But maybe I’d be calmer about it after all that yoga and being used to rising early.

So off I went. I set my alarm for 5:30, tumbled out of bed, pulled on my yoga clothes, brushed my teeth, splashed my face with water, and was settled on my mat by 5:50 am.

At first it was hard. This was no evening relaxation class. This was the type-A ‘we get up at 5:30 to do yoga’ slightly competitive class. In fact I might have stopped going except that I knew that if I were still in bed at 5:45 I’d be fuming at innocent (but obnoxious) leaf blowers. So I kept with it. And I got stronger. And also calmer. All the wonderful gifts of a good yoga class were changing my days in the best possible way.

One day recently, on my way home in the morning, I had a fleeting moment of gratitude for the leaf blowers. My whole being had changed as a result of their morning schedule. Still, I’d be happy if they could knock it off on Saturday and Sunday.

Pin It

Posted in Alima Pure, General, Health, Kate O'brien, Wellness Tips, Wellness Wednesday, Yoga

 

Recent Articles

Categories