For this Summer Friday, we speak with Blair Lauren Brown, founder and CEO of Verté Essentials, an artisan skincare and wellness apothecary that intersects modern sustainability with ancient practices.
Books on your summer reading bookshelf?
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Nomad by Ayaan Hisiri Ali.
Songs on you Summer soundtrack?
The only one that matters: Glorious Sun - Karsh Kale - Brand New Dawn
Favorite Anti-Racist Resources?
My Friends and Acquaintances - Genevieve Roth - A fellow Alaskan has been doing a beautiful job of unpacking her personal racism in her interracial relationship on her instagram @genevievejroth
What has anti-racism work looked like you?
There are going to be some pretty public facing works I have been a part of coming out shortly here - so I don't want to speak to soon, but a snippet of this story for me is that I have always been an advocate for racial minorities, and understanding my own white privilege. My college thesis was on unpacking social stereotypes from the perspective of a white woman. I was an AVP facilitator in Max security prisons in the northeast for several years. I started a Hip Hop Station in LA for youth called Hip Hop for Social Change. More recently I have been serving as a mentor for a few young black women through the NYC We Connect Women's Network. All that said - what I have upcoming is really exciting because it is more cyclical!
When not social distancing, favorite summer travel destination?
Your go-to summer recipe?
Whatever I can make go together out of my new garden! [bc growing your own food is cool AF] and these Tamarind Baby Back Ribs.
Go-to Summer cocktail/mocktail?
Verté Rosemary Lemon CBD Spritz
INGREDIENTS // SERVES 4
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 fresh sprigs of rosemary
- 1/4 cup agave
- 2/3 cups fresh lemon juice (use fresh lemon so you can use the peel for garnish) (about 5 large lemons)
- 3 cups cold sparkling water
- Ice cubes
- Additional rosemary sprigs, optional
- lemon twists, optional
- Verté Essentials Rise Vital Oil (20 servings in a vial)
- In a saucepan, gently heat the lemon juice and agave
- Gently rolling the rosemary sprigs between your hands to release the essential oils, release them into the saucepan. Stir until aromatic.
- Simmer for 2-4 min with the lid on.
- Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Once cooled - remove the rosemary. (place it in the fridge to speed up the process)
- Make a whole batch by adding all the syrup to the sparkling water and ice, stirring gently and serving immediately.
- Serve individually by filling 8 high ball glasses with ice and putting 2-4 oz of syrup atop the ice, followed by sparkling water.
- Add ¾ dropper full of Verté Essentials Rise Vital Oil to the top of each glass poured - creating a float on the glass.
- Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and lemon twist.
Summer Cannabis Rituals:
There is not enough space... CBD prerolls and herbal blends at night with a glass of wine or a cup of cacao. Big fan of layering over here. Cannabis bath soaks.
Thing you’re missing most in this post-COVID summer?
Getting out of Idaho. I miss my NYC. After 15 years of NYC and BK, it has been really hard to be away from my home. Idaho has always been a part time place for me. Blessed to have it, but NYC has my heart.
Thing surprising you most about this post-COVID summer?
The strong bonds I have found in new relationships ;)