Tammy Fender sees many ways to bring beauty to the world.
The pioneer of natural and organic skincare first began tinkering with botanical ingredients over 25 years ago. In those days, as a burgeoning esthetician, she felt she couldn’t find a beauty collection that was natural, luxe and effective enough.
She was inspired to delve deeply into the worlds of aromatherapy, botany, medical science and chemistry and to construct her own holistic way of living. And, in 2003, she opened her Palm Beach atelier and spa, customizing treatments to the unique needs—and overall well-being—of her loyal clientele.
Ultimately, she founded her eponymous, now coveted, skincare line, inspired by the ancient tradition of healing medicine. The products are created using premium small batch organic ingredients and are meant to optimize both physical and emotional benefits.
Here, Fender shares how the changing beauty landscape has created different demands for consumers:
Live The Process: You’re a pioneer of holistic, natural skincare. Before you opened your Palm Beach Spa, how did you come to be interested in this approach to skincare?
Tammy Fender: Ever since childhood, I’ve felt deeply connected to the plant kingdom and natural medicine, as well as a call to care for others and their happiness. When I became an aesthetician, over 25 years ago, I searched everywhere for luxe, all-natural products to use with my clients. But, try as I might, I couldn’t find anything with integrity and the exquisite beauty of what I envisioned. There simply wasn’t anything on the market with that purity. So, at that point, after completing so much research in plant science and traditional healing modalities, I made the leap: I began mixing up my own custom-blended formulas in my kitchen, using only the most potent and pure botanical ingredients available.
LTP: Was there a moment when you realized that what you were creating was catching on?
TF: It was incredible the way those early formulas took off—all through word-of-mouth. Thanks to the efficacy and beauty of the plant remedies we use in our blends, the collection’s success has grown ever since.
LTP: As the beauty landscape changes and grows, how do you stay true to your roots?
TF: Since 1990, when I began working as an aesthetician, so many brands have jumped into natural beauty—and I think, ultimately, that’s a great thing. But, as that transition takes place, it’s also put a lot of responsibility with the consumer: we all need to check the labels to understand what it is we are buying.
I remember working with a consultant some years back, who was only interested in scaling up and big growth. She wanted me to look at caring for my clients as “just business.” But it’s never been that for me. Everything we do is about nurturing transformation and holistic care, taking care of each client on every level—from the spiritual to the skin—whether in the Spa or through the collection.
LTP: You recently launched your Plant Milk. Can you tell us a bit about this: Why is it so unique? What is it meant to do? Why do we all need it in our lives and how can we best use it? Any other upcoming launches?
TF: Every day in the treatment room, I work hands-on with clients to soothe their sensitive skin. What I came to realize over the past 10 years, however, is that our skin has become more and more reactive, which, I suspect, is related to increased pace and lifestyle challenges. I created Plant Milk—a beautiful milky emulsion of botanical extracts, including white lily, mountain arnica and milk thistle—to help soothe and nurture delicate, sensitive skin. It’s nutritive and calming. At the same time, it helps shields the skin against stress, bringing a dewy sheen to the complexion. It’s light and silky enough to wear alone as a treatment serum or under a favorite moisturizer.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
TF: My whole family, and some great friends, gathered for a delicious dinner around the table in our garden, where we are surrounded by buzzing bees and so many incredible blooming flowers and trees.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
TF: There are so many opportunities to bring beauty into the world—and “living the process” means realizing as many of those moments as possible, through ways both big and small.
Photo by Stefano Glacomello.