The brand’s eloquent and passionate founder, Gabrielle de Coster, shares with us the importance of nature in creating Monta’s signature aromatherapy-based collection…
How Monta began…
Your zodiac sign:
I’m a Leo!
Monta. What does the name mean?
So, “MONTA” is actually derived from the Spanish word for mountain — montaña. I connect so deeply with that specific landscape, finding peace in the vastness of nature. The entire brand is an ode to different spots in nature, so it just fit to name the brand after one of my most cherished landscapes. Our logo actually has a minimalist mountain in it, inspired by a tattoo I have that takes the concept of climbing a mountain as a metaphor for the arduous, yet beautiful nature of living. MONTA is very personal; it’s an intimate expression of my relationship with the outdoors.
Tell us about its inception.
While I’ve been interested in natural beauty space since a childhood medical diagnosis provoked an early interest in the quality and purity of my products, MONTA itself wasn’t actually created until 2016. While trail running, I tripped over a root and sustained some longer-term ankle injuries. In that season of pain and healing, I missed adventuring in nature the most. As a completely normal person does, haha, I transformed that longing into aromatherapy that celebrated those very landscapes I missed. It’s a sensorial diary, of sorts. MONTA first launched with three rollerballs inspired by sweet memories in nature: Canoe Beach, Smoky Mountains, and Echo Canyon. Now, we carry a full line of body and skin products that are each a nod to landscapes I call home.
“Inspired by the landscapes we call home.” Describe home.
I call the landscapes we name products after “home”, not because I’m living in a national park, but because they all bring me back to the same feeling: one of peace and joy. Regardless of the house, home is a feeling we all have to discover and define for ourselves. When people or a place bring me to a moment where I can’t help but stop and bask in it, that’s when I know I’m home. My hope is that MONTA products are a tool to take others to that place, that our scents bring back that same serenity I felt in the mountain, desert, or canyon originally.
What Monta is…
Your assortment is great for many reasons, including the fact that you can use them ALL within your daily regimen. Tell us how YOU use each of your products?
I’m most diligent about using MONTA aromatherapy; before meetings or in moments I need calm, I swipe on Canoe Beach or Smoky Mountains, close my eyes, and inhale. My friends joke that you can sense when I’m in a room or if I’ve been in a room because I carry a consistent ‘mountain aroma’ (their words!) with me. I suppose there are worse things to be known for. In the summer, I was frequently misting with our Joshua Tree Desert Mist for relief from the summer heat. Now that a Michigan winter is looming, though, I’ll be reintroducing our Mojave Facial Oil and Red Rock Clay Mask as skincare staples to keep hydrated.
Song that best sums up the Monta vibe:
Kaleo’s “All the Pretty Girls” is a song I was listening to on repeat when I first started creating the original MONTA rollerballs; the song feels like a rush of crisp mountain air. I love the gentleness of it.
Best and worst advice you ever got…
I have some wonderful advisors who have reminded me that it’s the person behind a business that truly makes it special. I take a lot of comfort in that sentiment, because the only constant thing in your life is you at your core. Circumstances change, businesses evolve, life happens: you’re only in control of your actions and who you are.
As for the worst — this wasn’t just one person advising this in my life, but I reject the collective message that I needed to pluck my eyebrows thin growing up, dye my hair, or that I needed to just generally change myself to be ‘better’. Luckily, I didn’t listen too much, but there are a LOT of people in this world interested in letting you know how you should alter yourself based on their preferences. As I referenced in my ‘best’ advice, even trends and preferences change; you are your only constant. It’s fruitless to let the opinions of others shape who you are.
Where Monta is headed next…
What’s next for Monta?
I’m really excited to get back to the drawing board and create! We’ve been tackling logistics as the company grows for so long; it feels wonderful to have the time and space to dream again. In 2019, we have a few new rollerball concepts (one inspired by a limited edition body oil that was really popular this past year!), plans for exciting collaborations, and a desire to bring MONTA to more wellness-minded customers.
Lead image by Gabrielle de Coster.