Our Meet the Maker series spotlights the amazing makers behind the brands that we carry. The interviews focus on self-care and wellness and what it means and looks like for each maker. We hope this series educates, informs and inspires you on self-care and how it can look and be different for everyone.
This month's Meet the Maker features friends Jami and Danielle, the founders of the high vibrational living brand, Positive Times. Positive Times is inspired by the connection of mind, body & earth and the confidence that manifests from it. Everything they make incorporates materials and messages meant to evoke strength, positivity, and healing. Each piece is handcrafted and assembled mindfully with these core values in mind.
I discovered Positive Times when searching for non-toxic nail polishes to start DIY-ing my manis at the beginning of Covid (when nail salons were shut down). I fell in love with their brand and felt like their vibe and mission totally aligned with Bliss'd. I LOVE that their nail polishes are 10-free (meaning they are free of the 10 harshest chemicals found in many polish brands), hand-mixed, cruelty-free, and vegan. I also love that their polishes are infused with the crystal each polish is named after (Amethyst, for example, is infused with crushed amethyst!). I bought a bottle of their Rose Quartz polish to try out - loved it - and quickly stocked up on their products for the Bliss'd shop! I connected with Danielle and Jami about our Meet the Maker series, check out my interview with these lovely ladies below!
Where are you from originally/where do you live?
J: We’re both originally from New Jersey - we went to middle/high school together! Now Danielle lives with her partner in New Jersey and I live with my partner in New York. Our studio is in Brooklyn, and that’s where we make all our jewelry, mix all our nail polish, and all of the other boss bitch stuff that comes with running a small business.
Please provide some background info on Positive Times, such as how you got started and what inspired you to start.
D: Our jewelry skills are self-taught, but I studied Earth Science and Jami went to Art School so creating designs with crystals came naturally.
J: Positive Times has always been about self-expression, and making choices that make you feel empowered and feel good. For us, that started with crystal-centric jewelry. We believe strongly in intuitive practice and dressing with intention, so we began making things you could wear that gave you that little boost of power or confidence. Eventually, we branched out into ritual objects, and beauty bringing that same design process to new product categories.
D: Our first official event as Positive Times was a local fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy relief in New Jersey back in 2013. Giving back has always been an integral part of our brand. We’re privileged enough to have the time and resources to commit to a passion project and we felt that if we were able to make money doing that it made sense to use some of that money to support causes we believed in.
What is your definition of self-care?
D: For me, self-care is focusing on self-love, well-being, and happiness, especially during times of stress.
J: I think self-care is doing whatever you need to do to take care of your mind and body. You have to be able to show up for yourself before you can show up right for others. It requires a lot of patience and practice and it looks different for everyone.
What does your self-care routine look like? Feel free to share small practices you do regularly and/or a set routine.
J: Pre-pandemic, my self-care routine involved group fitness classes. It was a great social activity, and all the sweat was great for my mental health and my skin :) I’m still trying to figure out how to adjust in ways that keep my body and mind in check..It’s definitely been a struggle for me. Right now it involves a lot of couch-time and telling myself it’s ok to have that time.
D: My self-care routine is mostly about focusing on taking time throughout my day to enjoy moments to myself or with the people I care about. In the morning, I like to wake up early enough to make sure that I can enjoy a cup of coffee with my partner before we head to work. Throughout the day, I try to make sure I drink plenty of water / seltzer, which is a lot harder than it sounds for me. My all time favorite practice comes from my love of the outdoors. At least once a week, I try to go for a walk or on hikes to breathe in the fresh air and connect back to nature.
What is your skincare routine?
J: I start out washing my face. Usually twice. Once with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, makeup or whatever mess is on my face from a day in the studio, and then once with an exfoliant. Every other day (or when I remember or have time) I do a 2-minute AHA/BHA peel, follow up with A vitamin C & collagen serum and then a vitamin C moisturizer and sunscreen. If I'm really having a moment I’ll do a sheet mask- right now I’m really into snail secretion (!) between the peel and serum, and use my jade roller or gua sha for a lymphatic drainage massage while applying the moisturizer.. Sometimes all I can manage is washing my face, a quick spray of toner and sunscreen. It’s a balance. 🤷♀️
D: Like Jami, I also start off with making sure I have a fresh clean face by typically washing it twice. I alternate between a retinol cream and a vitamin C serum mixed into my face lotion, at least 3 times a week. I make sure to apply under eye cream both morning and night since my wonderful Polish grandmother gifted me with dark circles. Finally, and most importantly, I apply sunscreen! I like to use a mineral based one and use it all year round.
What are your favorite beauty, self-care and/or wellness products?
D: A few years ago, I made the switch to a clean beauty routine, everything from skincare to makeup. The brands I’m the most fond of are Herbivore & Drunk Elephant for skincare and Milk & Tarte for beauty & makeup. Another product I am grateful for is my SodaStream. I’ve always struggled with drinking enough water, so having seltzer at the touch of a button has definitely helped significantly.
J: I’m with Danielle. I’ve switched all my makeup over to clean products. Anything that’s going to sit on my face for hours at a time I don't want to be full of chemicals or hormones. I love my Ilia tinted serum. It rolls skincare, makeup and SPF all into one step.
What is your favorite self-care activity for when you have…
5 minutes: Breathing Meditation and Jumping Jacks, especially if I’m nervous or anxious about something (Danielle)
30 minutes: Painting my nails. 15 minutes of painting my nails, and 15 minutes of stillness while they dry (Jami). I like to do a face mask, while I water my plants (Danielle)
60+ minutes: A proper bath. Like, candles, crystals, oils, a glass of wine. The whole deal (Jami). I have to agree with Jami on the bath, it’s one of my favorite self-care activities when I have enough time. I typically bring a book of poems with me as well, Rupi Kaur & Cleo Wade are my top choices (Danielle)
How do you center yourself when you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed?
J: For me, cleaning or organizing works great. The act itself keeps my mind off of whatevers bothering me, when you’re finished you get a dopamine boost from completing a task, and then you have a clean ordered space which always helps reign in the sense of chaos.
D: This is something that I am constantly working on. I feel that I have gotten better at it after trying several different methods and techniques. At the moment, I find it best to rub CBD oil on my temples and neck while doing breathing exercises. Other times, I find that walking mediation works best for me.
Who do you look up to or feel inspired by in the wellness space?
D: we love Mazz Hanna - her work and her products. She’s a manicurist who’s developed a really thoughtful crystal manicure and has a whole like of wellness and skincare full of crystals and good vibes.
J: Her cuticle oil is everything.
What do you think are some misconceptions about self-care?
D: That is strictly about outer/physical. Mental health wellness is just as important, if not even more important.
J: ^ Facts.
What is a tip you have for someone who is interested in self-care but doesn’t know where to start, or they feel overwhelmed by the idea of self-care?
Do what feels right in the moment. We are all about an intuitive practice...and it’s definitely a practice. It doesn't have to be perfect and the more you do it the easier it gets. Something as small as painting your nails or cleaning your room can boost your mood.
What’s a mantra you live by?
"Decide what to be & go be it."
What's your favorite/most life-changing:
Book: A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman (Danielle) & I am an Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler (Jami)
Movie: Howl’s Moving Castle (Danielle) & Practical Magic (Jami)
Place: The beach. Salt air and the ocean are definitely healing, and it’s one of the places we get to spend time together without work or deadlines.
Meal: Sichuan Dumplings in Spicy Peanut Hot Oil Sauce from one particular, very plain and unassuming restaurant in New Jersey. It’s on the route we take to get to the NJ/NY gem expo every year, and it’s become a tradition.
How would you incorporate some of the other products we carry on Bliss’d alongside your own?
Self-Care Sunday is one of our favorite ways to recharge our bodies and minds to get prepared for whatever we have going on in the coming week.
A nice hot bath and a mani are a great way to keep away the Sunday scaries. We’d go for Bliss’d Bath Co RELAX CBD Bath Salts and the Luxury Hand Poured Soy Candle for a soak. After the bath, the day continues with a fresh High Vibe mani. We like to pick our polish based on the crystal’s properties and whatever we’re needing for the week ahead. After painting our nails, to give our hands some extra love we would go for the Karite Creme Mains Hand Cream.
This has been a year! What has this year taught you?
That we are definitely stronger and more resilient than we thought we were.
When do you feel your best/most bliss’d out?
J: After a really great yoga class - there was really great music, I got my heart rate up, I sweated out all my stress and anxiety, I probably cried during a bind pose, and then someone shut off the lights and rang a singing bowl during final savasana. 🤤
D: Floating in the ocean. Something about the scale of it and the salt water and the connection to the moon & the tides...a dip in the ocean can heal so many things. I’ve always been strongly drawn towards water.