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The Village.

Ruchy Khurana


I've come to understand more and more these days, that the old adage “it takes a village to raise a child” actually applies to just about everything in life. From polling Facebook for insurance agent recommendations, to workshopping a book idea with friends, it's become obvious to me that good ideas come from many voices. Even further, when we cast a net for information to our networks, the enthusiasm and eagerness that comes back at us is unparalleled. People are ever willing to give an opinion, lend a hand and help. All we need to do is ask - to put it out there, into the big, scary ether. 

All this seems contrary to what we hear in the news every day. The 24 hour news cycle would have us believe that there is nothing out there besides "dog eat dog", or "every man for himself". Once in a while, after a catastrophe like a hurricane or flood, do we see human interest pieces popping up where neighbours help neighbours or minorities (gasp!) help majorities. Maybe its because disillusionment is sexier or sells more airtime. Whatever the reason, I don’t believe it for a second. I am glad, on some level, to realize that i have not become the cranky old lady I was always destined to be. THIS old lady is optimistic about the world, and about humanity. 

When i had the chance to start a business of my own, I jumped at the chance to create an entity that had meaning, at least for me. Along this crazy, difficult and sometimes daunting journey, I have realized for the first time how much support and generosity actually exist out there in the world. 

It took a village to start my business and that village is showing no signs of weakness. My village is a force to behold. 

I have friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers (yes! Strangers!) offering help, to purchase, to promote and offering ideas or encouragement. When my parents tell me they are proud of me, I glow a little (ok… I preen a little). When a stranger tells me this, however, I admit to getting a lump in my throat. I am not a pretty crier, so I do try to get a grip on myself. Funnily enough, this kind of support is always offered when I am at my lowest. When I am sitting in a dark room, re-evaluating my life choices and trying to figure out if I should just give it all up. In those dark times, the universe has never failed to present me with a sign. Sometimes that sign comes in the form of a friendly face at a market. Or a gushy email from a happy customer. Or a friendly account manager who promises to be the “easiest company you will ever work with”. 

During a recent crunch time before a big order was to be delivered, I had 6 - count them: SIX - friends tell me they were ready to jump in as soon as I said GO. I did end up calling a few of them, to help me and my courageous family bang out 4000 units of product. The making, the bottling, the labeling, the boxing and price ticketing seemed, at first, like something I would never get through. But, step by step and day by day and help by help - we all got it done. 

Early. Ahem. 

We got it done early. 

I didn’t pay these people. In some cases, my helpers made ME lunch (thanks mom!) or my helpers skipped their own work to be there (thanks dad!). They didn’t ask for anything back. They just wanted to help, to experience and to be able to say they had a hand in the birth of a company. What an amazing feeling to be surrounded by lovely, generous and kind people. 

Thanks to the eye opening events of the last two years, I have made it my mission to give back in any way I can. What does that mean in practical terms? It means I always take the call. I always arrange the meeting. I always tell some random person I am proud of them. I try to promote other small businesses and give out information and tips. I am generous with praise and always look vendors in the eye at artisan markets. I show them I know they are human. I know they are struggling and I know they are hopeful. 

I will happily help you label a billion jars on a Saturday or heatedly discuss the pros and cons of sugar vs salt for your new product line. 

Small business owners come from all backgrounds and walks of life. No two have similar education, life experience, mentor support or vision. Helping each other ultimately helps us, because there is a force in the world that keeps track of these things. Some call it karma, some call it energy and some call it being a decent human being. 

The next time you pass a earnest entrepreneur hustling their butts off, take a moment to chat. Tell them they are doing a great job. Offer a cookie. Do anything to make their day a little brighter. I guarantee it will brighten yours too. 



Oil Cleansing - A Primer

Ruchy Khurana

oil cleanser.jpg


The pharmacy is my happy-place. Hand me $100 and in 25 minutes and I’ll come out armed with tons of “essential”, wondrous products that will keep me entertained for weeks on end. 

Heart shaped cotton pads? Sure! 

French fry slicer? Yes please!

PJ bottoms styled to look like jeans? Why not! (True story)

My decades long love affair with the pharmacy began when I was in my teens - I was (and am?) awkward, shy and covered in “bad” skin. In those days, I would pace up and down the facial cleanser aisle looking for that one miracle product that would transform my skin into an even toned and acne free masterpiece. In those days, I would gravitate towards anything that proclaimed to be Oil Free or Astringent. The logic was, my oily skin needed to be stripped down in order to regain normality. I would scrub, exfoliate, and basically attack my face with the harshest alcohol based products on the shelves. 

It didn't work. 

All that negative attention aggravated my acne and made my combination skin flare up and peel. I was devastated (in that pure, endless way teenagers often are). 

Fast forward a few decades to today. I am still somewhat shy and awkward and I am still prone to adult acne. The difference? I’ve learned how to treat my skin with the love and dignity it deserves. In return, it has begun to love me back. Heres the irony: that substance which caused me so much angst in my early years is the very thing that solved the problem. 


The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) hails from the ancient Indian system of medicine called Ayurveda. I am sure there is a very long and interesting history of Ayurveda which I need to get more familiar with, but my experience of this discipline stems from stories my parents used to tell me. These stories always revolved around a line of children, patiently waiting for the daily massage from their grandmother. The grandmother would lovingly and expertly massage oil into the children’s hair and skin and then send them off for a bath, one by one. Perfect skin for everyone. 

With this hazy scene in mind, I learned more about the OCM. Briefly, the idea is this: the best way to clean off daily grime, clogged pores and makeup is to use oil. Truly, nothing gets makeup off better than an oil blend. Even my award winning mascara and eyeliner - built to survive on my face through a war - crumbles in defeat when faced with the OCM. Here is how its done:

  1. On a dry face, rub a loonie sized amount of oil in circular motions all over. Take your time (although the makeup comes off in a few seconds). 
  2. While this is going on, wet a face towel with hot hot water. 
  3. Wring out the towel and lay it over your face. Give yourself a little steam… enjoy the feeling for a second. 
  4. Wipe. Rinse. Repeat.

One of the reasons I adore this process so much is that its so relaxing after a long day. A mini spa that I think I deserve! Also, because you can be very gentle with the circular motions, I find there is less pulling at the sensitive skin around my eyes and I don't lose as many precious eyelashes as I used to. BIG WIN. 

The oils I selected for the blends were chosen for their cleansing and hydrating properties. I found oils that are non irritating and light and very, very lightly scented. The blends were heavily tested (you’re welcome, family/friends) and I use them myself every day.

I also found that the oil cleanser is multi purpose:

—Use an extra drop when you are finished cleansing as a night cream replacement

—In the winter, use it on your legs to prevent alligator skin

—Smooth it on after a wax for a smooth finish, reducing the irritation and redness. 

After a week or two of an adjustment period, you are likely to find that your skin feels balanced and smooth. I found a more even skin tone was apparent in just a few weeks, and it does wonders for the appearance of fine wrinkles. You might have a glow… you might be able to fly. Just kidding - you’ll definitely be able to fly. 

  If you are ready to turn conventional logic on its (oily) head, I hope you give the OCM a try. It’s fantastic as a makeup remover and moisturizer and feels luxurious and decadent. 

Just like a pair of pyjama jeans.