Felicity Evans

issue date 08/06

Author: Matt Fells

When Felicity Evans began IMBIBE it was out of a sense of necessity to create products that offered high quality formulations combining science with clean, sustainably sourced ingredients. Since 2014, IMBIBE has established a cult following, known for result driven offerings & reconsidered sustainability practices. When hearing of Felicity’s journey with IMBIBE, there is a common theme, a desire to dedicate more, whether it be creating higher performing formulations through the emphasis placed on product development or the continual evolution and commitment to sustainability. When considering this, the partnership between St. Agni & IMBIBE for AAWFW felt like a natural affinity. For this edition of In Her Shoes, we were lucky enough to gain further insight into the life of Felicity, from her journey growing IMBIBE whilst being a mother to learning experiences that ripple across all aspects of life.

In your own words can you tell us what you do & the journey that got you to where you are today? 
I run a Byron Bay based Beauty company called IMBIBE, which was founded very humbly in 2014 at my kitchen table with my two-year-old at my heels, and my second daughter strapped to my chest. I was at the breaking point in my journey to wellness after being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition that was affecting nearly every part of my life. I knew I needed to find  a way to bridge the gap between my depleted health and the vitality I knew I needed to keep up with the demands of being a mum. I searched far and wide to source clean, effective products that would help me on my journey, but everything I found was packed with fillers and excipients, and didn't have the science and high-performance product profile I was looking for. So I decided to make my own.

Since IMBIBE’s inception, we have been fuelling the clean beauty industry with high quality formulations, clinical results and delivering our customers the natural luminosity they deserve, from the inside out. Driven by efficacy, naturally-sourced ingredients, clean design, science-backed formulations and sustainable choices, the company has now grown into the supplements, skincare and sexual wellness powerhouse it is today. We pair sustainable business practices with science-backed product formulations.

IMBIBE places an emphasis on creating products that are functional & result driven. How have you managed to maintain consideration of sustainability at the same time?
It’s honestly not been easy!  In an era where products are rushed to market to capitalise on the latest trends without care or thought given to sustainability, innovation, quality and the intense chemical burden that most women are experiencing on a daily basis, we are different.

Our Make Beauty Better™ initiative is the next logical step in pioneering a sustainable beauty offering: We use biophotonic miron glass jars and 100% compostable and biodegradable refill bags printed with vegetable inks that can be refilled or recycled as a whole rather than having to remove stickers with non-biodegradable glues. Our 100% compostable refill pouches are certified by the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) to fully biodegrade within 26 weeks in your home compost or a rubbish bin. They are made from sustainably grown eucalyptus trees from managed plantations and should set a benchmark for the ingestible beauty industry.

My point is, all of these things are available, but you have to be willing to commit to sustainability and do the research and development as a brand - and commit dollars to making it work. For us at IMBIBE, sustainability is not a hurdle but a logical step in our product development. We’re just at the starting line in our mission to change the industry to focus on products that are good for you, based on science and sustainability - and good for the planet.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for change in the beauty & wellness industry today? 
Empowered ageing is something I am passionate about. For decades society, and as an extension the beauty, wellness and fashion industry have made us believe that particularly women are not allowed to age at all. Wrinkles, pigmentation, shadows - what a taboo topic! But this is not the reality; we all age, and we are all beautiful doing so. I would love to see us embrace and empower ageing rather than trying to mask and hide signs of a life rich in experiences. My focus is 100 percent on health, inside and out, so as long as you’re happy and healthy, then who cares if you’re rocking the laugh lines. It’s all about feeling vibrant, radiant and beautifully confident in your own skin.

Additionally, the greatest opportunity for change comes down to brands investing in the research and development in the science of their formulations, and clinically driven products that are 100% clean - alongside sustainability measures. We are in the process of becoming B-Corp Certified which goes a long way to ensuring company wide sustainable practices.

What has been a significant learning experience since establishing IMBIBE & what is an achievement you're most proud of?
The most significant learning experience would be when to pivot and when to stay the course and dig in deeper and really flex that resilience muscle even more.   Being ok to ride the waves of intensity that come with being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, colleague, boss, householder - all at once!  I still don't have the flow fixed in - but now I am learning to relax into the intensity and ride the wave with a little more joy and a little less “white knuckles”.

I often get asked about which achievement I’m most proud of, and honestly it's about our commitment to creating science backed formulations that have literally turned my health around.  In the process of being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition I made the commitment to do whatever it took to fix my health - so that I could be that “Can-Do” Mum I knew I needed to be for my daughters.  This is 100% what I am most proud of.

St. Agni were lucky enough to partner with IMBIBE for AAFW 22 can you tell us about the product selection used backstage? 
We were so excited to partner with you for your amazing runway show at AAFW this year, and what a success it has been! Since St. Agni and IMBIBE are on similar pages when it comes to conscious living, sustainability and longevity, we wanted to use products that would compliment the experience, and support and strengthen the models backstage before their moment on the runway. 

For our hydration station we used Beauty Renewal, which is a multi-strain liquid probiotic concentrate for gut health and glowing skin. The delicious drink nourishes the microbiome in our bodies, it hydrates our cells and feeds the skin with antioxidants. This probiotic is an absolute no-brainer when it comes to overall health, and the fact that it’s gluten free, vegan and actually delicious(!) makes it that much more amazing.

To prep the models’ skin before going into hair and makeup we used our collagen skincare range which consists of the Collagen Lift, Collagen Restore and Collagen Protect. These three products have been clinically formulated to resurface, re-hydrate, protect and repair the skin barrier and most importantly, maintain deep collagen production. 

We worked those products in with our Gold Sculpting Tool, which is an upgrade to your regular quartz Gua Sha. The sculpting tool glides over your skin with microcurrents to stimulate lymphatic flow, circulation, and cellular renewal. It tightens and defines the natural features of the face. Voila, the perfect canvas! 

Felicity Evans

Felicity Evans

What does a typical day look like for you balancing motherhood alongside being the founder & CEO of Imbibe? 
If my baby lets me sleep at night (and that’s a big ‘if’ at the moment), I usually start my day with a quick 15-minute pilates session and then drop my kids off at school. I head straight into the office for emails and meetings, fuelled by a delicate mix of decaf coffees and matcha, tiptoeing that fine line between awake and manic, ha! 

My husband usually takes care of the afternoon pick ups in an effort to avoid my two oldest gate crashing meetings at our office, which happens once in a while! I usually work late, and work-from-home days are a regular occurrence. Because we work in different time zones, I might be in a meeting with our PR agency at 6pm whilst everyone is home cooking dinner.

When I do get home, it's typically another round of ‘get this, do that’ with making sure all the school notes are ticked, lunch boxes are ready to go, and stories are read before collapsing into bed - ready to do it all again the next day!

As chaotic as this may sound, I realise that I am extremely lucky. I get to run a business I am passionate about, I meet smart, creative people every day, I work with amazing brands, and I get to challenge myself professionally while having a beautiful family that is my everything. It is a lot of hard work, don’t get me wrong, and sometimes I arrive at the office with yoghurt stains on my shirt - but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wearing multiple hats as both a mother & CEO, how do you find balance?
I am very conscious of the unfairness of the notion of balance. I think as any full-time working parent who doesn't have much extended family support (like us) there is no such thing as balance - just waves. Sometimes the waves are leading to exciting busy intense things, and sometimes the waves smooth out and things glide along a little more freely. I like to reframe balance with flow. Sometimes there is more, other times there is less.

Consciously taking time off during the week, whether that’s meditating before getting the day started, a cup of smooth matcha in between meetings, or a Friday morning spent at the farmer’s market before heading into the office - that’s what makes me content. There might be madness in the day-to-day, however, we must remember to take a breather every now and again. My husband and I do retreats at Soma whenever we get a chance to ground ourselves and remember that there is more to life than deadlines and spreadsheets.
Moving my body is also a great way to remind me that it’s not all just work; I love to do FluidForm pilates on the weekends, generally via their online platform so that I can pick it up in between everything else.

Do you have any rituals or practices that keep you grounded or you return to? 
I love my incense. I light them at home, at the office, wherever I can. Our olfactory senses are one of our most direct links to our limbic system which is the place in the brain that controls memory and emotions. Burning incense with a particular scent can be utilised like any other aromatherapy to curb stress and decrease anxiety, so that’s a great way to ground myself when I feel like stress is building. 

I also love to simply unplug. If I feel overwhelmed, I turn off the phone, and simply just bake, cook, put my feet in the sand. A daily wellness practice for me is my collagen matcha in the mornings. The ritual of measuring out the matcha, whisking the oat milk, adding in the Miracle Collagen, sipping with some incense on - this all grounds me for what may come in the day ahead.

A piece of advice or lesson you will pass on to your daughters? 
Nothing lasts forever. The good times, in-love times, bad times - they all morph into something else because everything is energy, and everything is moving.

Lastly, I would tell my daughter to use certified organic skincare and wellness products; the toxin burden women are under is real and a total threat to our health long term. 

Lastly, what are you currently working on or towards?
Without spoiling the surprise, we are currently working on a great new product that is long overdue in the market and will nicely complement our collagen skincare range. Onwards and upwards is the motto, so we always aim to grow our assortment and improve our products. 

Personally, I am obsessed with pushing the boundaries of the beauty and wellness industry, bringing our customers the most potent products on the planet that do more with less. We’re just at the starting line in our mission to empower particularly women across the globe to access a new level of health, vitality and radiance.

Photography by Hayley Nedland

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