Brook Harvey Taylor has been fascinated with scents and natural ingredients ever since she was a teenager. She wanted to create fragrances like no other after studying aromatherapy at college, and after a chance encounter with co-founder Billy Taylor who shared her vision, Pacifica was born. They wanted to develop fragrances which people could fall in love with, and word soon started to spread about their brand. Pacifica is now known as one of the most sustainable and innovative brands on the natural market. We caught up with Brook on what she has learnt so far on her journey.
What inspired you to create Pacifica?
I grew up on a little cattle ranch in Montana. We raised our own animals. We lived with nature. Our eggs and milk came from our neighbours; we grew a huge garden and all of the feed for our livestock. My mum was an early adopter of natural products. She was a member of our local food coop and my sister, and I worked there as teens to get our discount. This was my first exposure to natural beauty. Or lack of it. I would stock the shelves and think about what I would make when I had my own beauty company.
Where do you find inspiration for new products and fragrances now?
Less where and more who… My two daughters are my biggest inspiration right now. I want a safer world for them, and I want to create products that they like, and they think are cool. They keep me grounded, and they keep it real.
What does ‘natural beauty’ mean to you as a founder of a natural brand?
To me, natural beauty is a state of mind. For so many years beauty companies have preyed on our insecurities rather than celebrated us as unique women. It means being liberated from fear, from shame, from what people think is “beauty” and creating a new path on your own terms and being bold. This is more important now than ever.
What do you think makes Pacifica different from other natural cosmetics brands?
We love to have fun and create an experience. This is about being a girl and playing. Natural ingredients are the icing on the cake, not our only story.
Pacifica is strictly cruelty-free & vegan - what do you think can be done to make people more aware of cruelty-free beauty?
Most of our customers are huge social media users. I believe that this is a great way to make people more aware.
Pacifica is not only good for us, but you also work hard to reduce your impact on the environment too - how do you do this?
We use as much recyclable material as possible. For instance, all of our new tubes are 100% PP. This is often a curb-side recyclable material. We also are developing a recycling program for returning your empty products to us for loyalty points. Stay tuned for more on that, although London and so many other European cities seem to have such incredible recycling programs.
Which key ingredients can be found in the Pacifica range and where do you source them?
I am obsessed with limes right now. They are so bright and magical. I use them in scents as well as in some of our new skin care. The lime oil in our Tunisian Jasmine Lime body butter and perfumes come from a woman’s co-op in Brazil.
What challenges do you face working with natural products?
The biggest challenge is creating products that are as effective as anything on the market. We do this, but it takes A LOT of work to get it right.
What mistakes have you made that you have learnt from along the way?
Where do I start? Even though we have been doing this for 20 years, every day is a learning moment.
Mistakes along the way:
Not listening to my gut
Taking things too personally
Hiring the wrong people
Not getting enough sleep
Eating too much Mexican food when I am stressed out
Listening to branding agencies
Where would you like to see Pacifica in the next five years?
I feel like we are on the brink of something amazing and that we are one of the leaders in an incredible movement of natural and indie brands, and we have all have a bright future. My goal is to continue doing what we are doing. Serving women, animals and the planet with the best beauty products we can make until I can’t do it anymore.