Kerrilynn Pamer and Cindy DiPrima are leading the charge for radical self-care. And they’re looking chic doing it.
The longtime friends and New York-based co-founders of CAP Beauty each came to her passion for wellness via personal experience: DiPrima experienced a great loss; Pamer experienced health problems.
In the meantime, they were busy making significant names for themselves in the fashion and design worlds. DiPrima became a sought-after prop stylist whose work, for clients from Tory Burch to Grey Goose, has been featured in publications like Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Domino. Pamer became a known tastemaker and trend-spotter, who opened cultish West Village boutique, Castor & Pollux, to great success.
It was after Pamer experimented with some more refined natural products and began to stock them in her store that she started to conceive of CAP Beauty, a welcoming place where design would intersect not only with beauty, but with health. She asked DiPrima—who also uniquely understood this notion of merging aesthetics and sophisticated wellness—to be her partner. And, in 2014, they opened elevated, alternative self-care boutique, CAP Beauty.
Here, the business partners and friends dish on their shared passion for the natural beauty movement:
Live The Process: How did you each respectively discover your passion for wellness?
Cindy DiPrima: I’ve been drawn to the idea of wellness since I was a kid, but I didn’t really start to practice until adulthood. My mom was really health-conscious, but not exactly alternative. She read The New York Times’ Jane Brody religiously and was concerned with the reigning themes of the day like cholesterol and calories. I was always interested in what she was learning, but was even more fascinated by her dear friend Joan, who was macrobiotic. I got recipes from Joan and was always curious about her diet and its connection to her health.
My mom died from breast cancer when I was only 21, and I’m sure that precipitated an even deeper interest in wellness. It started with yoga, which truly changed my body and my disposition. I experimented with cleansing and different ways of eating. Of course, that was married to the typical lifestyle of a young, single person living in New York City. Now, my wellness practice is a bit more stable and broader: Spending time with my husband and kids, seeing friends, meditating and running are all part of it.
Kerrilynn Pamer: Like many others, I dove deep into wellness after a health diagnosis. When I found out that I had Celiac, it made me really stop and analyze all aspects of my life, not just food, and opened my mind and spirit to the magic of a truly wellness-driven lifestyle. I think that oftentimes a health scare or diagnosis is the gateway drug into this lifestyle. I took the approach of nourishing my body rather than denying my body in regards to food and that paradigm shift from lack to abundance worked really well for me in all aspects of my life.
LTP: When and how did you come to open CAP Beauty?
CD: Kerrilynn told me her idea to open a natural beauty store, and I was immediately obsessed. I asked her about it every time I saw her and basically wouldn’t let it go. I like to think I willed it to happen. Of course, when she asked me to be her partner and open it together, I was over the moon. We created CAP to be a destination for truly natural beauty and the lifestyle that surrounds it. Our motto, “Beauty is Wellness. Wellness is Beauty,” informs everything we do and allows us to venture into categories that are not always linked to traditional beauty. We stock a ton of ingestibles and superfoods, therapeutic remedies and gorgeous ceramics and journals. It's really about radical-self care and the lifestyle that surrounds it.
KLP: I decided to open CAP after seeing firsthand how powerful these products are. I had a small offering in my other store, Castor & Pollux, and witnessed the transformation that took place in myself and customers. This was back in 2012. I wanted to share the products’ power with others and also create a physical space that welcomed all. Cindy and I had been friends for years and were in a mastermind group with another friend in which I shared my idea. She was very interested and an outspoken champion for CAP. I realized that I wanted and needed her on my team to make CAP the beautiful vision that it is today.
I had been reluctant to bring on a business partner (I didn't have a great experience with that scenario in the past), but we moved forward together as partners. Setting up systems, goals, visions and a powerful North Star for ourselves and CAP has been integral to our rewarding partnership. I can't imagine doing this by myself or with anyone else. I feel truly blessed that I listened to my heart when making the decision to create this together.
LTP: For each of you, how does your background in design, style and branding and your eye for finding what’s next inform the shop?
CD: We are both so rooted in style and design, so deeply visual, it would be impossible for either of us to create a business that wasn’t informed by aesthetics. And we really believe it’s central to our mission to create a brand that is inspiring and relevant. Our goal is to spread the gospel on the power of naturals to as many people as possible and, so, it’s vital to create a brand that is modern, appealing and magnetic. Kerrilynn has always had almost a sixth sense for understanding trends before they happen. And, of course, her years in retail only honed this skill. She’s got great instincts and is always about 100 steps ahead of the game. My experience and my focus at CAP is more on the visual and editorial content of the brand.
KLP: Our vision is to create an aspirational, sophisticated clubhouse for discovery and inspiration. The design component of what we do is so important to our brand. We really wanted to elevate what “natural beauty” meant and create a space that people felt happy and inspired to shop in. We don't believe in exclusivity; our CAP Beauty Clubhouse is open to all. And we truly mean that. We consider these products to exist in the realm of health more than traditional beauty, so it’s incredibly important to us that everyone feels welcomed and delighted when shopping at CAP. Our job is immensely rewarding on so many levels, one of them being that we have the opportunity to discover and try out so many products. The people creating them are inspirational and committed; we are lucky to engage with their creations daily.
LTP: What are each of your current wellness obsessions?
Cindy: We just launched a new line called Julisis. It’s a deeply alchemic line from Germany that uses liquid gold and silver in conjunction with medicinal herbs and mineralizing salts. It’s truly transformative and incredibly luxurious.
My other current wellness obsessions: TM, Sun Potion Cordyceps, dry brushing, running, avoiding sugar, probiotics, Apothecanna, sunflower seed milk and, of course, our Coconut Butter.
KLP: I'm super into the line, Mother Dirt, right now. It’s a refrigerated bacterial spray. AO bacteria no longer exists on our skin (it hasn't been for about 50 years), and the spray supports your immune system, acts as a deodorant and brings your skin into a state of homeostasis. The scientist who discovered this hasn't taken a shower in 13 years (or swam in the ocean!) all in the name of research. My skin is feeling super healthy and hydrated thanks to this groundbreaking and revolutionary product.
I'm also really loving Apothecanna, a CBD Oil line that utilizes the supercharged anti-inflammatory power of CBD to create truly effective and powerful products. I’m one that normally gets an intense reaction to bug bites and the Apothecanna Relieving Spray takes down inflammation and itch immediately. We're also working on a collaboration with them: an ingestible that utilizes the power of CBD. This is a supplement that you take daily for general wellness and inflammation reduction.
I'm also really into colonics right now and love my girl, Jen aka The Doody Free Girl. She’s not dogmatic in any way and having a colonic with her is pretty close to a fun afternoon with a friend. That sounds weird, right?
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
CD: Nature, kids, the sunshine, a worked out body, a rested mind, time with my husband, salt water, great music, great books and friends.
KLP: I think I've discovered happiness on a level that I was looking for for a long time. Every day is inspiring, challenging and fleeting. The older I get and the harder I work, the more I see this with massive clarity. I went through some very difficult times in my relationship and the work that my husband and I did together is immensely rewarding. Sometimes you have to get really dark to see the beauty of the light.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
CD: It's so important to recognize the activities that put us each into a state of flow, the activities that draw us in. When we’re in the flow, we don’t have to fight to be present. Living the process is finding this flow.
KLP: Acknowledging that each moment is a gift. Maybe not one you want right at that moment, but a gift nonetheless. When I “Live The Process,” I take the good, the bad and the ugly and recognize all of those feelings. There's so much beauty in those in between moments. To me that is the process.