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#DIY Beauty by fleur de lin interview

Updated: Jan 17, 2019

I think you know already I love all things with zerowaste concept. When it comes with ideas what are close to my heart is even better. Gabi - the creator of fleur de lin - a person who appricites time and she wants to use it wisely. That is the reason I am happy I could ask these questions and could learn from them. I hope you do the same and before the holidays you have also time to slow down and just like me you are already planning to participate in her workshop or go for a slow treatment!

Please introduce yourself!

I am Gabi Kocsmáros, slow cosmetician, the one who develops the cream as well – I produce them as well and a minimalist skin specialist. I got my certificate 3 years ago and I welcome my guests from all over the world since than in my salon at the downtown. My original profession is a literature of Hungarian and French teacher – but I teach much more during my workshops. Herbs are my main interests since my childhood. I read and learn a lot about them mainly from British and French fitotherapists, authors and I have a plan to learn also in France but at the moment I am saving for it. I am married since 11 years and I have two daughters – one is in the first year of the elementary school the other is still in the kinder garden. My husband also a fun of herbs but he is more from the agricultural point of view but it is always a nice topic to discuss at home. My older daughters’ first word was „kakukk” what she said when we looked at herbs in my album (thyme – in Hungarian „kakukkfű”).

What does environmental consciousness mean to you?

The connection with the nature. I feel some times that living in the city is really sterile, always clean there is nothing hard in it. We divided our living space with concrete, but in the same time we are part of nature – I feel this contrast the most when I am running in the forest. I think I sometimes talk about skin in a really naturalistic way – people usually say this and they are surprised – but our skin is part of the nature, what I touch everyday as a cosmetician. I see and feel everyday how many type of skin and body exists. When I work or develop a product my main goal is to take the less as possible from the Earth and in the same time I can help my client the most. That is also the reason I am not adding extra chemicals and synthetics in my products, I search for local farmers, makers of essential oils and I mostly work with bio ingredients even they have a higher cost. Unfortunately, people have this wrong belief that a cosmetic is good when it contains many synthetics. I do not agree with this. A cosmetic is also an agricultural product (should be) and here we arrived back to the roots.

How did you reach to the point that you make products for others as well?

First I made soaps… well not really. I made sugar paste first time 11 years ago. It was 8 years ago I made my first soap and 6 years ago my first cream. Then, you know what happens. First I ordered only one essential oil, then another one and soon after another all the cupboard was full with my stuff. That was the point when I decided that I want to make all this in a professional level and I started a cosmetic course. The soaps what I made my family used and friends – they tested it. I did a lot of testing before I started officially. It happened a year ago.

What is your process of creation?

As I work as a cosmetician I met many type of skin every day. I see the problems what my clients have since years and they did not find any solution for it. I stopped and asked a question, why is it happening? what is the reason behind? The other idea what I have if it is something what can be treated with 1 ingredient or it has to be a complex mixture? Many times it is a simple ingredient is the answer-  honey, some plant based oil, fruit vinegar, fruit juice, aromatic oils or tinctures of herbs. But sometimes it is something more complex. In these cases, I am jumping into the books, blogs, recipes I read everything what I find in French and English as well. I love to understand the physiological processes. I have a dermatologist friend and I love to discuss these cases with her and of course when it is pathological case I suggest her to my client. When I see already what could be the problem I write down all the ingredients what might help. As I read and read slowly it gets clearer what are the key ingredients and from that I can build to make it once, twice to the recipe. To be honest this is the part what I love the most, this creative process, as from the chaos there will be a concrete and unique recipe. This process is a long activity and takes a lot of attention. After I try to make it once or twice to see how the recipe looks. Only the most successful products are worthy enough to go through the very complex and expensive authority service and after they become a new product.

What does ’slow’ mean to you?

These days more I would say more attention inside. Unfortunately, as a beginner entrepreneur I overbooked myself, I couldn’t say no when I felt someone needed me. After of course I went through a low point and burn out. Since 6 months I started coaching sessions and it saved the situation. It helps me a lot to keep a focus on myself and that I can express and explain my limits and boarders. It is a real liberating feeling, because I take only jobs what I can make and able to make, not more, not less and I enjoy it!

How this lifestyle is active in your everyday life?

Firstly, I hid all social media icons for my sake on my cell phone and I am not anxious anymore about the messages when clients asks for appointments. Before I have some sleepless nights about it. I know, that I have an assigned time for it during the day and this way I am not busy with it the whole day. Also I learned that when I feel that I cannot do another face treatment I simply say no. In this way also my client benefits, because when she/he gets an appointment I will be fully present for her/him.

The other thing is that I let myself to participate in activities what might not seem „useful” but it relaxes me and I benefit from it and can find he way back to my true self. This is how I started wall climbing and running once a week. I just talked with my husband that might fit also few hours of sewing during the weekends but I don’t dare to believe in it yet.

What is your biggest challenge in your job?

My biggest challenge that I want to do many things but I do not have always the time for it. In the beginning I think I will have but then… How long have you been waiting for this interview? (writer: actually not so long! )

To run a business I have to be really organized and what I feel that as a Mom (for me) mindfulness is important not just when I am with my daughters but also I have to be present at my job. If I am out of balance and I have an overflow at work, I will be frustrated what I might bring home as well.

Where do you find new ideas / inspiration?

My clients are very diverse and interesting and I truly love this. I got many new viewpoints and ideas from them and I am really grateful for it.

Since a while when #zerowate / #nowaste and #minimalism are more common concept I don’t feel alone anymore. I get to know and after I connect with people from very diverse fields what is truly inspiring for me. All of us have a new viewpoint about how to be environmentally conscious and this is so exciting.

What do you get of this, that you do what you love?

Mostly freedom, and now I can say also calmness and peace. What I really enjoy that I have a wider prospective than before I started and I am entertained that I can also train myself in accepting others.

I am satisfied when…

When a cream is ready and I place the label on. This is a similar feeling I a child is born.

When someone is writing me a feedback that his atopic dermatitis or eczema is better from the cream what I made, or simply happy about the shampoo because she doesn’t have to wash her hair every day and there is no itchy feeling.

When I can reach to the kinder garden / school to pick my kid on time and on the way home  we have time to discuss the day.

When I can have breakfast at our terrace. Not this time of the year but also now sometimes I just sit outside to watch the birds.

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