A PURA Muse is a woman who inspires us with their content, business, work ethic, values or beliefs. This woman is aligned with the goals and motivations that we strive for each day here at PURA Botanicals (if they are already a PURA lover, it makes it all the better!). Our muse is working to elevate their community through their business, volunteerism, or their commitment to wellness, and they consistently advocate for well-being & intentional living.
The PURA Muse Makes Us Our Dream Mask: Megan Lawrence
Tell us a bit about yourself…how did your mask company, Brick House Goods, come to fruition?
Ever since I was a child, I was drawn to creative, hands-on activities and when I was heavily pregnant with my son, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to teach myself a new skill. I discovered that sewing came naturally to me and with the guidance of YouTube, I started quilting at my kitchen table. Fast forward eight years to 2020, I still had a fabric stash on hand, completely unaware of its impending significance.
I distinctly remember being unprepared for the pandemic shutdown. We did not hoard toilet paper or any grocery items so during the first week of closures, I was headed to the grocery store for essentials. Even though masks were not required at the time, I ran to my basement and anxiously sewed up a makeshift mask for my first pandemic grocery shop. We were told to reserve masks for healthcare professionals during the pandemic’s first wave and that is when I realized that I had the opportunity to provide a high demand product. I started experimenting with different mask designs and materials, posting ‘masks for sale’ in the local community and on Facebook Marketplace. I also approached a few local clothing retailers, such as Red Ribbon Boutique in downtown Edmonton, who were in desperate need of stylish mask options. My experience with retailers was the catalyst for creating my own website as I realized how widespread the demand truly was. Drawing on my background in marketing and graphic design experience as well as my personal drive to rise to any immediate challenge, I was determined to create a mask company that gave individuals the opportunity to express their personal style. Once masks were mandatory, I found that people were missing the personal connections that come with a smile. Therefore, I created Brick House Goods with the intention of elevating the required face covering into something that is inspiring, intentionally chosen, and ultimately, a beautiful expression of the person behind the mask.
How would you describe the process of building your company in the midst of a global pandemic? How did you draw on previous experiences to create Brick House Goods in such a short amount of time?
Creating Brick House Goods at the beginning of the current pandemic, I realized the necessity of maximizing online platforms. Even though I had owned and managed a brick and mortar home decor business in the past, I did not have the experience of operating in an online space. Once again, I taught myself the skills necessary to be successful. Building a website from scratch was a steep learning curve at first, but I also enjoyed the potential of using online platforms especially during a time when we were not encouraged to maintain face to face relationships. I found that many of the skills I had learned from owning a home decor store translated into the online space and potentially became even more important. For instance, without in-person interactions, aspects such as packaging, photography, and online customer service became absolutely paramount. I also realized that people are often looking for eco-friendly options and reusability features which I have intentionally integrated into my masks and packaging. I have also embraced the possibilities of social media as it gives people a window into how their masks are made and creates a community of loyal customers.
What does the term ‘self-care’ mean to you currently and how are you practicing self-care during the current pandemic?
Over the years, I have grown to understand the importance of self-care as I become a more well rounded person when I practice rituals that refuel my inner being. I love taking moments throughout the day for myself whether it be listening to a podcast, drawing a nightly bath, reading a book, or finding the space to meditate. During the pandemic, I have realized the importance of home as a place of renewal and the importance of creating an environment that fosters creativity and cultivates positive energy. Working from home offers so much flexibility, but can also be a balancing act. For the most part, I try as much as I can to keep my work in my basement studio while my husband is at work and my kids are in school.
Describe your AM/PM skincare routine. What is your favourite PURA product/ritual? What PURA product do you look forward to trying next?
I am a minimalist when it comes to skincare. My skin is very sensitive and finding products that are plant-based and infused with essential oils is important to me. I’ve been integrating PURA products into my daily skincare regimen for quite some time, and when I recently discovered that all of their potions are formulated, mixed, and packaged down the street from my house, I was even more impressed. I rely on the basics everyday starting with a mild cleanser and then moisturizing with PURA’s Radiant Face Drops followed by their Princess Clementine Lite. If I have an extra moment before bed, I love applying PURA’s ultra hydrating Overnight Watermelon Mask or Overnight Mango Mask. I’m so excited to try PURA’s Gemstone Face Roller as I have been learning the benefits of at-home spa treatments. The Hyaluronic Ruby Serum has also captured my imagination and will likely be my next beauty purchase.
What role has your community played in the growth of Brick House Goods and how have you contributed to your community through your business model?
My family, friends and community have been incredibly encouraging since I started Brick House Goods. My first wholesale account, Red Ribbon Boutique, has been amazingly supportive and I love collaborating with and supporting other female owned initiatives. I purchase all of my fabric from locally owned, Canadian businesses. At first, I recruited my grandmother to sew for me but as the demand grew, I hired a couple of amazing mamas to assist me in the sewing department. It's special to know that I can help them stay home to raise their children while they simultaneously contribute to their families and themselves.
Over the summer, I was also able to give back to my community by supporting SMA babies who required expensive drugs. I designed a specific mask for them, sold these masks online and donated the proceeds to their treatment. Designing and sewing a mask for PURA Botanicals has also been a recent highlight (this Ethereal Face Mask is exclusively available at PURA Botanicals while supplies last and is also sold as a set with our antibacterial Rosemary Clarifying Mist).
What’s next for Brick House Goods assuming masks are not here to stay?
I’m definitely focusing on the mask business while there is a need and I would love to keep supporting those who are sewing for me. I am also expanding my business to include home decor since that is my ultimate passion. During the pandemic, I realized how much extra stuff we tend to accumulate and my family and I have made a concerted effort to purge and live more minimally. Lately, I’ve been more mindful of what items we use everyday and I’ve been consumed by finding those items on an elevated, yet affordable level. I will start this new venture with a curated online shop filled with functional goods that are also beautiful.
When it is safe to jump on a plane again, where is the first place you will be going?
I would love to go to Portugal as I am drawn to their handmade goods. We can’t wait to travel as a family again and I would also love for my kids to experience Europe. In the meantime, we just purchased a tent trailer that I will be refurbishing so we can enjoy the Canadian outdoors this summer.
* Photography by Emilie Iggiotti and Emily Schutz.