I am a firm believer in the power of the mysterious and poetic forces in life, and I've always treated my intuition with a great deal of respect. It was through this sort of organic process that I became an entrepreneur in the beauty industry as the founder of SpaRitual, an eco-minded company that offers a luxe selection of holistic spa products and treatment protocols for the hands, body, feet, and nails.
Shel Pink insists on the use of natural organic ingredients in all SpaRitual products.
I was fortunate to be raised in a household that was not only eco-conscious but also active in the spa tradition. My mother taught me to be aware of what I put in my body as well as what I put on it. She also stressed the importance of taking care of myself holistically through massage, proper nutrition, exercise, and the healing arts. Back then, her heightened awareness of the environmental hazards in our daily lives was considered extreme and her frequent spa treatments thought of as frivolous. Clearly, she was way ahead of her time, and I will always be grateful to her for giving me the gift of awareness. This knowledge merged with my love of art, fashion, and photography and took the form of a yearning to offer some form of soul-based healing to the world. Perhaps this might sound like a tall order for a bottle of massage cream or nail lacquer, yet I feel that the work I do today truly is my destiny.
Prior to my current role at SpaRitual, I studied art history and photography at the University of Michigan and was the creative director and co-founder of the fashion house LOBA. I designed ready-to-wear pieces that were sold in national boutiques and department stores, including Henri Bendel and Fred Segal. After marrying in 2001, I decided to merge my love for beauty and fashion by joining my husband's family business—Orly International. I immersed myself in my family's company and spent time learning about its history and exploring new business possibilities.
I founded SpaRitual in 2004 and called my concept "eco-luxury." I loved the supposed contradiction of this term and felt inspired to define this lifestyle concept further. It was the perfect way to describe how I have always lived my life. I knew there were other like-minded people who would embrace the idea with the same passion.
A powerful turning point for me personally in terms of conceptualizing the future of my business was the conception of a more literal kind—becoming a mother. While I don't think that mothers have an exclusive corner on enlightenment or compassion, in my case, seeing the world through the eyes of my children was a big wakeup call. Realizing that decisions I was making today would affect them decades later sharpened my focus. It's now a crucial reality check for me and for the company. I think about how what I'm doing now will impact my kids and their contemporaries when they are my age. It is with this personal history and vision for the future that I looked to create a line of treatment products and signature treatment services that honored the client's health, the beauty professional's role as a nurturing force, and the sacredness of the earth.
SpaRitual products are packaged using recycled materials and soy-based inks.
From the beginning, I envisioned SpaRitual to be a lifestyle brand for the spa professional. We currently offer conscious vegan, multipurpose treatment products for hand-, body-, foot-, and nailcare. While in the development phase of the brand back in 2002, we committed to formulas and packaging that created the lightest possible eco-footprint, utilizing cruelty-free ingredients and recycled and recyclable materials exclusively. Our commitment to sustainability is paramount to me and to the SpaRitual team. Our brand mantra is quality, safety, compassion, environmental awareness, and resource efficiency. This philosophy defines and directs our vision.
Given the intimate role of the spa professional, I also wanted to ground the development of the products in some sort of spiritual reality that would never intrude, yet would always be present in the product or service. For instance, SpaRitual products are always accompanied by meditational and contemplative tools that may be of service to the therapist and nailcare professional and to the client. These include a mantra or affirmation, or a bit of insight about the effects of a product upon balancing a specific chakra. The cohesive concept, again, is to affirm the idea of connectedness.
SpaRitual's body scrubs and nail lacquers (pictured at right) adhere to the company's philosophy of "eco-luxury."
We are grateful that SpaRitual treatment products and signature services live and thrive in the inspired environments of Canyon Ranch (Catalina, AZ, and Lenox, MA), Miraval (Tucson, AZ), The Golden Door at The Naples Grand Resort (FL), The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (CA), various Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental Spas, and so many other outstanding destination spas and resorts. And recently, Aveda—a leader in the eco-conscious movement—announced that our nail lacquer and nail elixirs were being recommended to the company's 2,500 concept spas as "Aveda-approved" nailcare products. We were selected not only for the quality of our products but also for our commitment to the environment. We strive to be on the cutting edge of environmental awareness and look forward to announcing more eco-responsible partnerships slated for 2008 and beyond.
I like to regard our work as beauty professionals as a form of engagement on a poetic and mysterious level, as well as a literal process of exfoliation, moisturization, and good grooming. There is an unseen force in what we do, and I'm dedicated to empowering our enjoyment of our beauty and femininity as a healing force, making sure, of course, to leave the lightest, yet perfectly pedicured, eco-footprint in the process. —Shel Pink