SPRING AT STONEGATE FARM
This week on Wynne’s World, we meet my friend Jill Rowe, the co-founder of the natural skincare brand Cultivate Apothecary at Stonegate Farm.
Jill is a multi-passionate – with past lives in fashion, art, film, food, horticulture, and beauty. She is driven by a desire to share her passions with others and create opportunities for people to up level how they discover their gifts and share them with the world.
CULTIVATE APOTHECARY AT STONEGATE FARM: Stonegate Farm is a nineteenth-century estate farm in New York’s picturesque Hudson River Valley. The historic carpenter-gothic farm is a model of bio-intensive organic farming where growing and cultivating is practiced as an art form, where healthy and sustainable land-stewardship is prioritized, and where ideas on the value, meaning and processes of small-scale, sustainable farming are passionately explored. The farm’s philosophy is manifest in the cultivation of its beauty and wellness products. The farm cultivates a seasonal abundance of medicinal and culinary herbs, botanicals for topical and ingestible beauty and wellness, as well as historic tree and bramble fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and raw honey. Though herbs and flowers are the farm’s priority, it’s Stonegate’s diverse and varied ecosystem of living things, all nurtured by the same terroir, that is essential to the harmonic balance and interaction of soil and plant health, as well as to the efficacy of the farm’s products and services.
Heidi: What are you currently working on?
Jill: We are about to start seed sowing for the season. Each year we sow thousands of seeds that include all of the botanicals we include in our skincare as well as vegetables, fruit, and edible flowers that we utilize for our supper program and for personal use.
Heidi: What are you reading and watching right now?
Jill: Like many people, my life was changed by reading Julia Cameron’s seminal workbook: The Artist’s Way. She’s now written an updated version that explores her approach to that work since she wrote it 30 years ago. It’s called: Seeking Wisdom. The passion I have for this book is unmeasurable, it truly changed my spiritual and creative approach to life. Both myself and my partner, Matthew are cinephiles. I have wonderful memories of going to the great video shops in NYC, specifically Kim’s on Bleecker Street. For the holidays I gave him the box set The Story of Film. It’s hours and hours of basically a master class in the history of cinema, cinematography, directing, scoring, etc. We’ve been geeking out on that.
Heidi: Do you have any spring or summer travel plans?
Jill: Very nearly eight months of each year we are here cultivating the land on the farm, creating new infusions, and products, as well as hosting our farm suppers, weekly yoga, and other wellness programs. Our time to get away is in the late fall. Last year we scooted off to the Loire Valley of France for three weeks. This fall we hope to explore nearer to the Provencal area and spend a month exploring different towns. It's our dangling carrot as we work through the season.
Jill: Having come from living in NYC for 30 years, I could have rattled off a whole host of items that I’d been coveting, or what fashion looks I was going to be sporting this spring, but alas my life is very different now. My spring outfits usually include long-sleeved linen shirts, loose comfortable, breathable pants, durable gloves, and protective sun hat! Perhaps I’ll buy a new pair of sporty work boots ;). That being said, having spent my first career in fashion, it remains something I'm passionate about, and I do continue to keep my eye on looks I love and bookmark them!
Heidi: Your skin glows. I remember meeting you for lunch and wondering about your skin routine because you have incredible skin. Could you please share your products with us?
Jill: I do so love the items we create, and I pretty much only use them. I’ve designed four core products that I call “The Essentials”, those must-have products that truly protect and allow your skin to be taken care of at the highest, most effective levels. I start my morning ritual with our Radiance Botanical Day Cleanser with Active Ferments, followed by one of our intoxicating hydrosols that we make here at the farm ~ the one I’m loving right now is our wild rose and honeysuckle hydrosol. I follow that with our Awaken Day Serum. A light, but potent oil-based day serum that replaces a daily cream-based moisturizer. In the evening, I wash the day away with our solid balm to oil cleanser: Luminance. The core ingredient ~ Cupuacu Butter, is a Brazilian nut butter that's 200 times more moisturizing than Shea Butter. It’s incredibly hydrating any time of the year, but especially in winter when our skin can be in need of extra protection. Warming the cleanser between your fingers, it instantly melts into an oil and feels incredibly comforting massaging into your skin. I follow that with our rich, oil-based night serum Moonlight. We’ve added aromatherapeutic ingredients to all of our products so that they enhance your experience and offer an additional benefit to your overall well-being.
Heidi: Who is your fashion or beauty icon?
Jill: First and foremost: Jackie O. Year after year, I looked to her classic fashion sense when I was planning my look. I’m sure other people do this, but each year I would create an idea of how I wanted to present myself through fashion. I would have a different spring/summer look and a fall/winter look. Perhaps it stems from my first career as a model, and the fact that I lived and worked in NYC for so many years, it’s hard to escape!
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Heidi: What is meaningful in your life right now?
Jill: I think a through line in my life always, but one even more prominent now, is the idea of being of service. Almost all of my various careers have been about being in service to people, whether it was my own restaurant that I helmed the kitchen of, or working in the art world, hospitality, etc. Now on our farm, in addition to insourcing virtually every aspect of our products and brand, I am looking to continue to offer our farm to the public in ways that turn them on to the possibilities within their own lives; whether it’s through growing their own food, enhancing their yoga practice, or hosting a kinesthetic learning immersion for young children. I love being a mentor as well. I know how important it is to have support for your dreams.
Please visit her site to shop her skincare: cultivateapothecary.com