In 2008, Indie Lee was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor that doctors felt could be environmentally derived and attributed to something as simple as what she was putting on her skin. This was her awakening.
After surviving a successful surgery, she embarked upon a new journey, Indie Lee skincare - a clean beauty line dedicated to educating and empowering others to live their healthiest life.
We sat down with the queen of clean beauty herself, Indie Lee, to learn more about her journey, her bath time rituals, and the best place for clean beauty beginners to start.
To start us off, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you to the point of founding Indie Lee?
Hi! I’m Indie Lee, mother of three amazing children, two furbabies, and the Founder & CEO of Indie Lee skincare. In 2008, after losing vision in my left eye, I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor and given as little as six months to live. I didn't understand - I had been living a healthy life. In fact, at the time I was growing edible flowers in the greenhouse in my backyard and selling them to Whole Foods. I was eating healthy and exercising, plus there was no medical history like this in my family. When I asked how this was possible, my doctor asked me a life-changing question - "What do you put on your skin?” This was my awakening. The truth was I had no idea what I was putting on my skin. I started researching and the more I learned, the more I knew that I had to create change in the industry. After successfully surviving the surgery, I started creating clean products dedicated to educating and empowering others to live the healthiest version of their life. I haven't stopped since.
What is one life lesson you learned in the corporate world that you carried into your Clean Beauty career?
There are so many, I’m so lucky to have had amazing experiences at HBO and E&Y. I’m forever grateful for my accounting background, but it’s the ability to take feedback, learn from it, and grow that I carry with me wherever I go.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
To always believe in myself and to always ask for help. Knowing what you don’t know and asking for help from those who do know can be a superpower.
We know a little bit about Indie Lee the person, but what about Indie Lee the company?
What makes this brand an industry-leader in Clean Beauty? For me, it’s our mission. This company is so much more than putting products on a shelf. I’m really working to create change by educating and empowering others. Knowledge is power, I learned that through my diagnosis and I want to provide others with the same power.
What are three words you’d use to describe the Indie Lee brand?
It’s not three words but three phrases - Grounded in nature, supported through science, and inspired by life. These commitments really guide our approach to formulation and the overall brand.
How would you describe your bathing ritual? (are you Netflix and red wine or complete quietness and burning white sage, etc.)
I would say I am a little bit of both. Meditation is huge for me. I meditate twice daily for twenty minutes. It’s always grounded me and I feel the effects if I don’t stick with it. But I also love binging a good show with a nice drink in hand.
We know you’ve loved Bathorium! What is your favourite product you have used?
I love the Milk Coconut & Bourbon Vanilla Soak - so yummy. I’m a huge bath girl and this one is such a lovely indulgence.
For beginners starting to detox their beauty routine and move to clean products - what’s the best place to start and do you have any tips?
I always suggest starting slowly and going clean one product at a time so the transition isn’t overwhelming. That way, you can make sure each product is working for you. If you try to transition all of your products to clean alternatives all at once, not only will you be overwhelmed, you won’t know what products work well with your skin versus maybe give you a negative reaction. An easy practice is to replace an existing product with a clean alternative as you are running out of it. If you’re low on your cleanser, start researching what clean alternatives are out there and interest you most.
For people with sensitive skin, it may be best to request a sample from a local retailer to patch test before buying the full size. Then repeat this process when the next product in your routine is running low. Before you know it, you will have a new clean skincare routine.
Just in time for Mother's Day, it's your chance to gift your favourite Bathorium products, plus Indie Lee's beloved De-Stress Body wash (or pick one up for yourself of course 😉 ).