Gab, 24 is the owner of holistic herbal skincare business, Studium Essentials. We have been inspired by her work ever since we came across Studium last year, and admire her grace and commitment to spreading the message of holistic health and re-framing the way we look at beauty.
Gab is currently juggling a Naturopathy degree, Studium and her other partnership/ business maker store & studio. Her downtime consists of reading, getting too emotionally attached to movies/ TV shows, cooking for loved ones, spending time in nature with her dog & dancing to hip hop music at full blast when no one is home.
Here Gab answers our questions, uncovering personal titbits and wisdom behind the woman who brings us Studium Essentials.
What is your full name and star sign?
Gabriella May Abell
Leo sun, Leo rising, (Leo venus!) & Pisces moon
How do you spend your working days?
I’m terrible at work/ life boundaries but I’m working on it. It’s usually split between computer admin, making products/ formulating new products & packing orders in my studio or it at maker store & studio.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
Passion. Passion for friends, family, work, good food, those magic moments in everyday life. I know it’s cliche but it’s true. I guess I’m a bit of a romantic in that sense. I am so grateful for the life I have lived so far.
In life and in work, where do you draw most of your inspiration?
Nature first always. The complexity & beauty of it. And secondly, the wonderful women that surround me at maker store & our community.
Rituals are something we are drawn to in our daily lives. Do you have something you do everyday for yourself?
A cup of herbal tea every morning as soon as I wake & one at night in bed with a book. I have so many others - movement, meditation, self massage, incense... but tea is something I never miss.
If you could change one thing about your industry what would it be?
Inclusivity. I feel the health & wellbeing industry is moving towards a place of privilege or as an unaffordable luxury generally pushed by white cis women & it’s really fucking scary. Also misinformation - the words ‘detox, green, natural’ etc don’t hold much merit in my opinion anymore.
Who is your favourite artist, and why or how does their work move you?
Robin Wall Kimmerer. The way she describes our experiences on earth through her writing feels like a homecoming. Each page is a meditation. She has an incredible gift.
You started Studium Essentials in 2018, what was the driving force behind this decision?
I started out under a different name selling just oil perfumes but in 2019 I rebranded to studium and branched into skin and body care too. It’s something I’ve always been called to do as I’ve always loved making my own products, even as a child I have memories of picking fresh flowers and letting the petals sit in water for their scent to infuse. I also experienced pretty bad cystic acne around 17 & tried all the treatments. It kind of got to a point where the urge to do it was greater than not doing it all.
What has been your greatest challenge and greatest triumph as a small business owner?
Oh so much. It’s a rollercoaster. You always hear people saying do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life but it’s not really like that. It’s hard work. It’s hard not to take things personally. It’s hard to not to identify yourself with your brand, have that boundary. It can be consuming - I’ll often wake in the middle of the night with new ideas and won’t be able to sleep until it’s all written down somewhere. But when you get messages from customers saying how a product has transformed their skin or they finally feel confident enough to go out without make-up on or that they’re no longer afraid of standing under bright lights when out with friends it makes it all worth it. It’s everything. Heart exploding happiness.
You are going to a desert island and can only take one studium product, what would it be?
Ohh that’s mean! I try not to have favourites but probably the protect oil.