Co-founder of Vitruvi, the first direct to consumer essential oil company, Sara Panton is a woman who is intensely passionate about helping women take care of themselves. Alongside her brother Sean, she converted a wellness blog into a fully fledged collection of products, bringing the science of scent into people’s homes, offices and beyond. Read on to explore how Sara got started and what selfcare rituals she’s been enjoying at home.
What inspired you to create Vitruvi?
The concept for Vitruvi was something that Sean (my brother and co-founder) and I started five years ago. It started as a passion-project blog and website that we worked on late in the evenings and the foundation was our love of natural living which was instilled in us growing up in a small farming community. On the blog I would interview people about their daily wellness rituals and we started a small collection of oil products we blended in our kitchen. We worked on it during lunch breaks at school and late in the evenings -- I would write articles and create product formulations, and Sean built our website and online store. I knew it was something I was passionate about because I found myself more fully engaged with our side project than with the demanding studying hours and test schedules at medical school.
Are there any mantras that particularly resonate with you?
There are two mantras that really resonate with me and act as reminders on almost a daily basis. The first is ‘Only Love’ __ this is the mantra I try to bring to meetings and interactions especially those that have an urgent importance that can bring intense energy. I try to operate from a place of gratitude and compassion, I believe it’s our duty to remember that when interacting with any human being love and compassion must be respected and shown. To me that means taking nothing personally, and remembering that everyone has complex stories, views, and life experiences that are different.
I also use the mantra ‘if not you, then who?’ as a way of deciding what I am truly excited and energized about. It helps me know what I believe I must commit to full force and with all my heart and brain.
Natural-derived scent is such an important cornerstone for both Vitruvi and OSEA. Why is it so intrinsic to your brand?
Choosing non-toxic home scenting products is something I am very passionate about and believe people are starting to understand the issues that come from having unsafe toxic fragrances in their personal care and home products. The air we breathe is so important, but often underthought. Choosing how we create a mood in our home and then using plant based scenting products can not only set the mood with pleasant aromas but also have benefits as well.
“The air we breathe is so important, but often underthought.”
What are your favorite scents and why?
My favourite scents are Bergamot, Cedarwood and Geranium. Bergamot has fresh and citrus aromas but with a deep grounding and cozy feeling meaning you can use it any time of year. Cedarwood and Frankincense essential oils I use in my meditation practice and they help remind me to take deep breaths. I love our Nightcap blend as well as our Sleep and Grove essential oil blends.
You founded Vitruvi with your brother Sean, and OSEA is founded by mother-daughter duo Melissa and Jenefer Palmer. What do you love about working with family
Sean and I work really well together and have complementary skill sets. Having a co-founder who is also a family member creates a level of realness and trust that has allowed us to grow quickly and to navigate all the ups and downs that come with building a company. I don’t think you can build a company with someone unless you trust them like family… a co-founder really needs to have your back. Knowing we respect and love each other at the end of the day means we can speak straight to each other and work through issues quickly without taking things personally.
Are there any at-home self-care practices that you've been particularly enjoying recently?
Yes absolutely, I think right now finding little moments to create simple, cost effective and natural self care practices that don't take too much time is incredibly important. I’ve been doing home workouts with MelissaWoodHealth and mediations with Insights timer. I also plan a day twice a month where I carve out a couple hours to do recipes and rituals and skincare routines using my OSEA products as well as DIY home and body recipes from my book Essential Well Being. I love getting to make natural products for my home things and also look forward to a little at home mini spa moments.
What are your favorite OSEA products and how do you like to use them?
I have been using OSEA products for over 8 years, they are some of my favourite products that I use daily and credit to helping my skin stay hydrated despite late work nights and lots of screen time during the last months. The nourishing qualities of all the products were especially important when my travel schedule was very high -- Hyaluronic Sea Serum & Atmosphere Protection Cream for keeping my skin hydrated pre and post flight and I still use them both every morning and evening. I use the Ocean Cleansing Mudd each evening when I get home from the office or transition from work to evening. I love the purifying and deep cleansing that helps ‘wash the day off’. Before bed I apply the Essential Hydrating Oil around my eyes before bed -- The geranium and lavender in the product helps relax me and I wake up with a dewy skin when I use it.
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