Stephanie De Gasperis relishes the journey.
As a teenager battling digestive issues, the now shop owner began prioritizing physical activity and a nutritious diet. Impressed by the immediate positive results, she continued this self-care-driven lifestyle and was eventually inspired to open Toronto’s holistic health and beauty destination, Husk. At the store, she personally curates a selection of international lines that are beneficial for both the health of her customers and the planet.
Here, De Gaperis shares how a climb up Kilimanjaro taught her to enjoy the process
Live The Process: What inspired your quest for health and balance?
Stephanie De Gasperis: During my teen years, I began to experience difficulty with digestion and weight balance. I sought physical activity and a healthier diet, and the mental and physical changes were instantaneous. I felt a sense of clarity, light and was more energetic. I am also fond of the example set by many European countries and their respective traditions – that being that anything in the extreme can foster imbalance and I think this is key to finding your individual rhythm and ultimate wellness.
LTP: What inspired you to open Husk in Toronto? What does 'Husk' mean?
SDG: I wanted to offer customers the opportunity to shop for all their favorite self-care items without having to question an ingredient list. The front packaging and marketing of a product can be misleading and you really don’t know what you are exposing yourself to until you read a full ingredient list. This is how we arrived at the name Husk. As the body’s largest organ, skin plays an integral role in protecting us from the environment and the elements; the husk of a plant has a similar purpose. Most of our skincare lines are based in botanicals and precious plant-based oils. Self-care is now appreciated by both sexes, so we made sure to include as many products for men as for women and we offer a great range of them for both genders, as well as many unisex brands
LTP: You’ve travelled the world in search of the cleanest and most effective products. Is there a place and product in particular that really resonated?
SDG: Yes. California’s natural landscape and laid back approach resonates with me, and the quest of many of its residents to bring balance back to the American lifestyle does too. People seem to be more in tune with how they feel, being surrounded by nature, the ocean and sunshine. The Body Deli is a line from Palm Desert, California. Considered one of our anchor lines at Husk, The Body Deli has created a collection of exquisite and effective super foods for the skin—suitable for all age groups and skin types. It is definitely our most popular line and we feel very fortunate to bring it to the Canadian marketplace.
LTP: What advice would you offer someone looking to incorporate organic beauty into his or her daily routine?
SDG: It’s becoming easier every day. Pioneers of the industry such as Tata Harper, May Lindstrom and RMS Beauty are making organic skincare and cosmetics sexy, fun and effective. You will achieve better results than with conventional skin care—which is often loaded with fillers—without the unpleasant side effects. You can also find affordable brands that are completely clean. Our customer favorites include S.W. Basics of Brooklyn and Skin Essence.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
SDG: Sunshine and gratitude.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
SDG: To breathe and practice detachment—not to think too far into the future or focus on the outcome. To trust the timing of life and that everything is happening at its appropriate time and for a reason; there are teachers and lessons all around us, and it’s up to us recognize their respective purposes and to learn from them. While climbing Kilimanjaro, my sole focus was on the perceived “euphoric moment” at the summit, but the whole way down I couldn’t help but think that the best part of the trip was the five days spent making my way up, as that was where the laughs, battles and bonds with my fellow hikers were made.
Find more information on Husk here.