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Meet Jessie De Lowe + Tara Sowlaty, the babes behind lifestyle blog How You Glow. Based in LA, Jessie + Tara have co-created a corner of the internet to help "health-driven individuals" find everything from the best energy healer to the best chocolate chip cookie. Read on for how these ladies got started, how they get their glow, and where exactly those best chocolate chip cookies are...
Can you tell us about your journey and what has brought you to where you are today?
Tara: I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease when I was 14. I'd always heard that food was very helpful in healing the disease, but I was a little rebel, and didn't want to think about it, so I ignored food. When I graduated college I became interested in understanding the power of food and took a cooking class at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. It's a really, really cool place. It's not a traditional cooking school, it's really, honestly more about the healing power of food and how to utilize food in a very healthful and artful way. It was amazing and life-changing.
It's funny, because I was vegan before I went to the school and I went to the vegetarian cooking school, but I graduated a meat eater. For me, it's all about balance and understanding what my body needs. I used to be so strict and almost repressive in some ways. Everyone has their own prescription and they need to understand it.
Then I did IIN, and Jessie and I met right after that. I had a food blog where I talked about healing foods and recipes. I cooked her a meal based off of the Sqirl pesto bowl and she taught me yoga, and we were like, "We've got to do something together!".
Jessie: I went to University of Colorado in Boulder and that's where I discovered yoga and healthy living and hiking and nature - I became the person that I am today through being exposed to that type of natural beauty. I was also an art student and studying psychology and I wanted to blend all these things together. I literally googled my interests. I typed in 'art, yoga, psychology,' and found that there was art therapy. I applied to the masters program at NYU, and was like, 'if it's meant to be, I'll get in', and I did, so I had to go after it. In the summer before going to NYC, I got my yoga certification from Kripalu in the Berkshires and lived there for a month. It was actually amazing, because I was going through a breakup at the time, and just left my phone turned off and really immersed myself. It was the most healing thing ever. I had been with this person for four years, and literally just turned everything off, and was like, "OK, this is a new chapter." Yoga really is the most incredible tool.
I started working with teenagers in substance abuse centers and I was dating someone who got a job offer in L.A., and he asked if I would move. I never, ever thought I would move to L.A. I just didn't think it was for me, but I moved here and ended up absolutely loving it. It's where I'm supposed to be, 100%.
When I moved here, I started doing art therapy, and yoga, but I felt like something was missing because I was very isolated in my work. I was the one leading and I wanted to learn and collaborate and be taught by other people. I was seeking interesting people to learn from and I started a little blog in the search of trying to understand other people's skills and other people's passions and collaborate with people. That's right when I met Tara. We'd both just embarked on our solo journeys and we combined efforts.
What do think attracts people to How You Glow?
Tara: 'Vibrancy-seekers', that's what we call them. People who are looking to add positivity into their lives, or feel good. I think that's what we really try to promote with How You Glow. It's anything that adds goodness into your life.
Jessie: And I think people who aren't super rigid, but value pleasure as wellness, rather than restriction. Adding in amazing-ness rather than taking things out and being so disciplined. And people who like a balanced approach to wellness and a balanced approach to living.
Tara: There are a lot of different things we cover on the site, so something could be totally relevant to one person, but different for someone else. There's a broad range. I think that's what's cool about coming to our site, you can find a lot of different things. Whatever you need for your own 'wellness journey'.
Jessie: I think they come to be surprised too, because it's not always the typical thing that you would find on a site. We have a lot of varied content. You couldn't piece any of these things together necessarily, it's all so different.
What have been some of the most surprising things since you've joined forces?
Tara: Getting to know the people in my personal world who I idolize and look up to and getting to understand their journey has been the craziest and coolest thing for me.
Jessie: Just being able to experience how when something is in sync, it flows. We set several intentions, and one by one they started coming to fruition, and we weren't even doing the calculated steps to get there. We were just following what we were interested in and following our passions. I think when you are in line with what you're supposed to be doing, you are shown that it is what you actually should be doing; that its all working.
Can you talk a little bit about the relationship you two have with one another, how you nurture it, and how you deal with the ebbs and flows of working together?
Jessie: Tara and I didn't know each other before HYG, we had a blind date and then had a baby, basically. I think there's a lot of pros to that, and sometimes there's challenges to that as well. It's very helpful in that we have our own lives and we can come together separately for work. We became friends through work rather than our friendship being affected. You know what I mean? We navigate our relationship through work.
Tara: Our interests are what brought us together, but we definitely have our own lives, which is so healthy and important. We talk all day, every day. I guess we're also that type of people that both need our personal space, and since we know that about each other, we respect that. I think in a partnership you need to know what you need first, and then you can navigate everything better.
Jessie: We ended up getting to know each other through the length of working together, which is actually really cool. So much of our work borders on social stuff, and trips together, so we've actually spent so much time together.
Tara: We've been in some really funny situations.
Jessie: I feel like we have a baby. Sometimes we have different opinions about how things should go down, but we talk about it, we communicate and I feel like we do a really good job.
What's been one of the hardest things in starting How You Glow?
Tara: You know, this is going to sound weird, but nothing was really hard. That's what's so crazy about it. It all really flowed kind of magically in some ways.
Jessie: It's inspired by our lifestyles. We only do what we really want. We don't have a boss that says 'do this'. If we don't want to do something, we don't do it.
Tara: I guess the biggest challenge is, I wouldn't even call it a challenge, but finding the best new stuff, which is not a challenge in any way...
Jessie: Sometimes, though, the challenge is knowing when to turn it off or say no.
Tara: That's definitely it. In the beginning of How You Glow I did not do a good job of that just because no one's telling you to stop and you're so in love with what you're doing that it can start to overtake your life. But I think we have a balance now.
Can you share the secrets behind your most practiced routines and rituals?
Tara: We have a lot. I'm obsessed with rituals. I have a morning and night routine that I always do. It's like bookends for the beginning and end of the day. I check in with myself in the morning, and I check in with myself at night. Even simple things like lighting Palo Santo in the morning and doing my stretches and my meditation.
The routine of washing my face and brushing my teeth is also very centering. It's cleansing myself physically and mentally and checking in with myself and holding myself accountable to certain things.
Jessie: I completely agree. At the end of the day, it can sometimes be something that's so childish, like "I don't want to wash my face, I'm too tired,' but actually saying, "no, you know how good you'll feel afterwards...It's the act and ritual of you taking care of yourself.
Tara: Lately, we've obsessed with Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum, it's amazing. It's the ultimate oil that I've ever experienced, and we've definitely tried out a lot of oils.
Jessie: I always start the day by setting an intention. I think about what I want to embody, the energy that I want to have around me, and what I want to put out. And I start the day - it sounds cheesy - but really thinking about what I'm grateful for, and expressing that if I can. Then I try to do yoga every day, even in some small way. I definitely practice three times a week at least, but I really love starting my day with that and it makes the biggest difference for me.
The ocean has become a huge part of my routine. It's crazy how much happiness it brings me. I walk and I see the sunset and I sit on the beach and meditate to the waves and it's the most cleansing thing I've ever done and will ever do. And now a lot of times, I do this with my fiance [editor's note: now husband! congrats, Jess!]. We make sure we turn off the computer, we leave our phones at home and just sit and relax. It's so nice.
As far as products, I'm really into Skinowl. They have this really nice geranium oil, which is perfect for the mornings, where as Vintner's Daughter is really good at night because it's so potent, you don't want to sweat it off during the day. It's very special.
Jessie: Yeah. And the eye cream from Skinowl is the best. You can put it in the fridge and it's very awakening. It really wakes you up. I also like rosewater spray. I'm a big rosewater spray girl. I put it on every morning. Sometimes I don't wash my face in the morning and I just spray rosewater. I'm really into Earth Tu Face Skin Stick for my lips. I really like Skin Trip for lotion, and as eye makeup remover, coconut oil is the best, it's very hydrating.
Tara: It's good for your eyelashes too.
So, what's next for HYG?
Jessie: We're always trying to figure out what's next.
Tara: We've been focusing a lot on collaborations. We meet so many cool people who are doing really cool stuff and it's a nice way to make a tangible extension of our brand, but not lock ourselves down in one area. That's what we've been focusing on.
Jessie: What's so cool, is that everything is so fluid. Nothing is set in stone, nothing is rigid, so it changes based upon our state in life, our interests, what we want to learn about and who we want to work with. We're interested in a lot of travel. We're interested in making guides. We made a hotel guide for a brand recently, which was really fun.
Tara: We're both really interested in finding the best place to get this or that. Life is short, and I'm sorry, but you should have the best effing cookie that exists! I think that's what it's about, and people come to us for that and for us to put that all together in a website - or what we like to call online magazine - and give an in-depth perspective. It's not just about us snapping a photo of something and talking about it, we're getting to know the owner, we're getting to know how it feels in our body, and sharing that with people.
Ok, last question... It's a big one...Can you share your ideas of legacy both personally and for HYG?
Tara: I want to leave a legacy of making people feel really good and helping spread that goodness. Whether it's through How You Glow or my personal relationships. It's very important to live a full and happy life and I really want to make that my mission and be able to share that with others. Not just for myself, but to help others also embrace that.
Jessie: I came from a very great family, and had a really great childhood. I didn't have a lot to undo in terms of the way I grew up. My parents always said that they had to undo some stuff that their parents did, and I felt like I had such an amazing upbringing that I have no excuse not to use all that positivity and love to do something good; to help spread light and help other people, whether it's through art therapy, or yoga, or How You Glow, or my relationships. To help people lighten their load, relax, feel good, express themselves and ignite their creativity.
BONUS! HYG 'BEST OF LA' Lightning Round:
The best cookie in L.A.?
Tara: Joan's on 3rd has an amazing and melty warm chocolate chip cookie.
Jessie: M Street Kitchen has a great cookie. It's ginormous, and so good.
Tara: And in New York it's Levain. Always.
Tara: Guisados. They have really good fish ones.
Jessie: I just had really good fish tacos, in Malibu at Malibu Seafood. And Loqui Tacos. Although, they don't have fish, but really good chicken tacos.
Favorite coffee place?
Tara: Alfred's is a given but sometimes it's a bit crowded, so just grab a coffee. And I love Verve on Melrose, it's my spot. I walk there every day.
Jessie: Intelligentsia's obvious, but it's honestly some of the best coffee I think.
Favorite place to exercise?
Jessie: I go to YogaWorks on Main Street and I think it's the best yoga in maybe the country.
Tara: It really depends on what my mood is. We just did PlateFit. It's a really interesting workout, where they use power plates, which are used for medical reasons, and they shake really fast.
Jessie: It vibrates.
Tara: Vibrates. They have this class called CelluliteFit, and you literally just lay on the plate and it massages your muscles.
Favorite place to go out?
Jessie: The Pikey is great. It's on Sunset near Gardener and it's kind of like an Irish pub. It's really good, and they've got amazing chicken and french fries.
By S LIFE MAG • January 9, 2017