Meet the Founders: Moon Juice

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The first in an ongoing editorial series, highlighting the history, philosophy and magic of some our newest friends in the world of beauty and wellness.

This post comes from our dear friend, Carlen Altman.

Almost exactly a year ago, Free People had the chance to chat with Amanda Bacon, the founder of Moon Juice, the Venice-based (definitely bacon-free) organic juice-shop/apothecary which has garnered a devoted California customer base for its outside-the-box, holistic (and apparently life-changing) juices and products.

We had a chance to catch up with Amanda this week about the excitement crystallizing in the last year for Moon Juice, including a partnership with Free People’s exciting new beauty launch (surprise!!), about which we are “over the moon” (Get it? Okay fine, I’ll stop the puns and get to the interview…).

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For our readers who may not know you (yet!), could you please re-introduce yourself and your company?

Hi! I am the Founder and CEO of Moon Juice. In 2011 I opened the doors to the first Moon Juice shop with my 12-week old baby boy strapped to my chest. It was a beautifully curated space where the community could eat, drink, learn and share in the most extraordinary holistic offerings. Today, Moon Juice includes two locations in LA… we also supply an active global Moon Family with our foods, potions and lifestyle tools.

So what exactly has Moon Juice been up to since we last spoke to you in 2015?

I can’t even remember, it’s all one big beautiful blur… we have global partnerships, another store opening on Melrose Place this August, and one to follow in Malibu; the Moon team has grown to include some really incredible people who are passionate about spreading our message far and wide. Our Moon Dust collection has gained considerable momentum, and so we are building out that world to include easy ways to incorporate adaptogenic blends into yours, every day, all day.

Why is the company named Moon Juice?

I originally had another name for the brand that I was totally uninspired by. I was in Northern California one morning, standing on the beach, when an old-school bus came rolling up through the fog. It had this hippie mural of the moon painted on the side. Moon Juice came to me in that moment.

Are your moods affected by the moon and, if so, what do you do?

I find that the full moons leave me feeling almost drunk. I’m less cerebral, giggly, blissful, or sometimes a little teary-eyed. I enjoy the monthly fluctuations and don’t fight it, but rather enjoy and, if that feels hard, then I try to just breathe through it and not think.

I keep hearing about these adaptogens you speak of and noticed they’re a main ingredient in some of your Moon Dusts. What are they and can anyone take them?

Adaptogenic herbs are the most important herbs to take in the now age. They’ve been treasured for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and used to boost energy and resilience. Adaptogens not only increase resistance to the negative effects of long-term stress, but can relax you and energize you at the same time, while also being tonic, meaning they are immune-stimulating and increase your sense of inner peace. Adaptogens specifically support your adrenals, the glands that manage your hormonal response to stress and help you cope with anxiety and fatigue. The charm of adaptogens is that they work with your needs specifically, adapting their function to your body’s needs, and achieve all of these heroic acts gently, without jitters or crashing, and are safe for long-term use.

All of these dusts sound like I need all of them. Where should I begin? Can I take them together? With what?

Adding these herbs to tea, smoothies and coffee changed my life almost immediately. I have made a little Moon Dust cooklet with recipes for lattes, strawberry ice cream, pancakes and chocolate.

Great. I’m planning on first trying the Sex Dust and Sleep Dust (perhaps at the same time! Just kidding! Or am I?)! Any specific health quests/issues led to starting Moon Juice?

I struggled with endocrine system issues, re: my thyroid and adrenals, since my teenage years. It’s the thing that essentially forced me to look into the alternative healing world. And it was here where I learned the nitty gritty of supporting the body’s systems so they can work harmoniously. Organic juices, raw medicinal foods, adaptogens and supplementation have completely changed my life.

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Do you have any tips for living and eating healthfully on a budget?

Yes! It’s all about the bulk bins (nuts, seeds, quinoa, beans, sprouted granola, seaweeds), the farmers’ market or CSA for all in-season veggies, herbs and fruits and, for extra-special tweaks like adaptogens and proteins, take a good look at your budget. Pay attention to what you are choosing to invest in. If you find yourself buying four pairs of pants and disappointed that supplements feel like a reach, it may be time to modernize your priorities. I always say that choosing your health and beauty routines is a lot more fun than having to spend money and time on doctors, in bed with the flu every year, in a crisis or depression, or just feeling blah.

We often think of beauty as a surface quality – how do you nurture your inner beauty?

Inner beauty comes from calm strength, hormones in harmony, and an energized brain chemistry. A clean diet, a practice of adding adaptogenic blends into your day, and meditation practice have all been key.

What does your morning beauty routine look like? (inner and outer beauty routine, that is…)

Tongue scraping, quick meditation (even if this means in a parked car), potion making with Moon Dust and coconut milk, carrot seed oil and rose water on my face.

Why is using natural, organic ingredients and avoiding GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) so important to you?

Moon Juice is a completely organic project. This is something I chose not only for our bodies, but for the planetary body. I choose to vote organic with my own dollars, and I honor the privilege of owning a company where I can up that vote. Living an organic life is something that’s important to advocate for in this current era of big business and industrial agricultural practices.

Since making this commitment, I no longer have allergies, I don’t get sick nearly as often and my recovery times are shorter. I am in a better mood, my skin is different, and my digestion is dreamy. Granted, this commitment to eating organic is one facet of a broader lifestyle, but it is an integral component to my daily health.

(Pssst… looking to buy organic produce while on a budget? Click here to find your local farmers’ market…)

Do you have any suggestions for Free People readers aspiring to start a sustainable business?

Close your eyes and sit with your intention. If your heart flutters and you feel propelled by nature, then that’s a sure sign you will be providing something needed in this world. Then it’s time to crunch all those numbers and come up with a solid plan.

What is your idea of success?

My idea of success does not involve a finish line to cross, but rather looking around in my life and seeing if I am present to and in service of what is being asked of me.

Thank you for your words of wisdom, Amanda. I can’t wait to try everything you are offering, and will keep you and our Free People readers posted in the comments section below on how the Sex Dust and Sleep Dust work out for me… (Wish me luck!).

 

Follow all Moon Juice happenings on Instagram and Twitter, and check out what’s in store from Amanda and Moon Juice in our Beauty launch HERE!

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