Photo: Charles Grabeler Design (portrait); Marko Metzinger/Studio D (soap)
In the age of Kardashian, Cary (far right) and Meryl Gabeler are a refreshing mother-daughter business team. They're low-key and committed to ensuring that their beauty company, Anjolie Ayurveda, gives back. Here's how they do it—and why.
The mission: "We take the healing ingredients of Ayurveda—a holistic system of medicine from India—and combine them with pure essential oils to create moisturizers and soaps that feel pampering," says Cary, 58, who spent four years studying in India in her 20s. "Traditional Ayurvedic remedies are wonderful for your skin but can smell very medicinal."
The method: Anjolie Ayurveda manufactures its oils, body butters, and soaps at a women-owned facility in India, sources raw materials directly from local farmers so they receive a fair price, and pays for its workers' children to go to school. "We think of ourselves as a for-profit social enterprise," says Meryl, 23.
The mantra: Keep it simple. Cary's last entrepreneurial venture—a children's-wear line—was all-consuming, and she didn't want to repeat that experience. By outsourcing manufacturing, Cary and Meryl can focus on bigger-picture aspects of the business, like sales and marketing.
The other mantra: Have fun! "We're constantly high-fiving or doing a celebratory dance," says Cary. And, adds Meryl, "sometimes I get to tell my mom what to do—which is really fun."