We feel lucky to be surrounded by some very inspiring people here in Denver, and our collaborations give us a chance to learn from them. Two of our favorites are Robin King and Lynn Till, the ladies behind R.L. Linden & Co. -- a line of outstanding eco-beauty products, scents, and teas. This brilliant duo has over 30 years of combined experience, and the proof is in the pudding, er, Rose Balm. Recently we had a chance to visit their studio, sip tea and chat with Lynn about wellness, their creative process, the joy of collaboration and more. We admire these ladies a whole lot!
[Entrance to the R.L. Linden headquarters]
How did y'all get started?
We had met years before working at the same herbal apothecary [in Denver]. After our second kids were born, we were hanging out together and started formulating [skincare products] as an outlet. The goal was not to start a business, but both of us always made stuff on our own. One day Robin approached me out of the blue and said, “I don’t know why I’m asking you this, but have you ever thought about making lotions?”
So we started making samples in our bathrooms. Once we started using them and giving them to friends, we realized that we were better at formulating them together than apart. We realized then that we had something special on our hands, and that we should do it right and make it a business. So, we started our LLC at the beginning of 2013 and launched our first three products in August that year.
[Lynn discussing perfume displays with Tanya]
How do you start your day here? Do you have rituals?
It varies, but for me personally I start by opening all the windows and watering all the plants, then I usually light candles or incense and get tea started. Even if the place is a mess, I have to have those things in order.
Okay, so it’s fall and everything is changing in our bodies...what should we be doing, drinking, etc?
The Elderberry Tea that I gave you [We can confirm that this is utterly delicious!]. Everybody calls this ‘cold & flu season,’ and it’s not that there are more cold and flu germs and viruses around, but that we are getting less Vitamin D because we are inside more, so we are just more susceptible to it. So make sure that you are getting fresh air, time in the sun, or supplementing with Vitamin D.
One of my favorite immune boosters that you can take long term throughout the winter is astragalus. You can put it in tea, or in broth… it’s virtually tasteless. You can take it all winter long, the only caveat is that you don’t take it when you are sick. Any of the medicinal mushrooms are great, like reishi or maitake. I also love drinking elderberry syrup all winter long: it’s anti-viral, it helps break down the fatty coating on viruses so that your body can fight better.
Let's talk about your line of Denver scents. Where did the idea come from? What's your process for making them?
We are already so scent-based even when we’re not working with perfume -- we’re very specific about what all of our products smell like. We approached Aly of Ironwood the year we launched. I just love the scent walking into her store -- it’s smells like palo santo, moss and green, and old books. We came to her with the idea for a scent and asked her if she would be open to it. She was game, so we came up with four prototypes, and she picked the one that she liked the most. We gave her a small round to carry through the holidays, and within six months it was in Paris Vogue. We are still a small company, but it kind of had its own little cult following.
From there, the progression was pretty natural. We are so inspired by local makers and we get so many ideas from people who are not in our industry. So we just started approaching people, and everyone was really excited about it.
What’s your favorite, everyday-use WS product?
I use the Travel Case as my purse. It’s the perfect size to fit my wallet, my keys, and my lip balm.
I also use the Zip Bags because I am a product junky and I have a very small bathroom, so I have to separate out my skin care, my makeup, my nail polish. Unfortunately, some of the bags that I bought for my husband I’ve had to steal back. I love everything being organized, separated, color coded, being able to travel.
3 things that are always in the travel bag/your purse…
My wallet, our Lip Balm, my phone is either in or out, and then something random like my earrings I took off or a rock that one of my kids gave me.
Which of your products could you personally not live without?
That’s a trick question... [long pause]... Probably the Close To Me Deodorant -- we call it our 'hippy spray.' It will remedy just about any smell!