She couldn’t meet on Monday because she was rescuing a cat. So we postponed our meeting.
I met Gabi Star at The Backyard Farm and Market (Mississauga) earlier in June, where she sells her cosmetic products and co-manages the market. On that day, I was volunteering at the Eco-Kitchen but I managed to escape and roamed around her stall, asking to test her natural sunscreen. She intrigued me, as well as the name of her brand, Captain Jamie’s. I decided that I needed to meet her again.
Intuition seldom misleads me. Gabi answered enthusiastically that we should definitely meet. A rescued-cat later, we met at the Thrive Organic Kitchen & Café in Etobicoke.
A Captain behind a brand
Why “Captain Jamie’s” was one of my first question but she answered before I could ask. The Captain is a man who survived many storms, (as beautifully stated by Gabi), including two cancers, and whom Gabi seems to deeply admire and respect. He talked her into exploring her creativity at a deeper level. After making first soaps that were not exactly successful, she persevered and decided to create her own body-care product line, entirely based on natural ingredients. Offering gentle and safe products for fragile people is also what pushed her to undertake this project. The vision behind Captain Jamie’s product line is simple: “to promote a healthy lifestyle, create awareness and inspire”.
Among other things, Gabi makes sunscreen creams, lip balms, deodorants, body scrubs and soaps. She uses only natural components and none of the harmful ingredients found in conventional cosmetics. (Parabens, aluminium, fragrances, to name a few). Nature provides Gabi’s ingredients. Her favourite spots to forage are secluded places in Toronto and Niagara Escarpment. There, she finds the lavender, peppermint, geranium, chamomile, strawberries and other treasures that end up in her products.
After testing the sunscreen she gifted to me this morning, I am in deep love with it and can confirm its total efficiency (I am editing this article after a summer spent using it). The texture is amazing and I had to refrain from eating the cream right from the pot. Ingredients? Coconut oil, shea butter, apricot kernel oil, mango butter, aloe gel, beeswax, essential oils and zinc oxide. (If you are interested, here is an article that explains how zinc oxide works).
More products are to come to complete the line, but she can’t tell me what yet, as she herself doesn’t know. She “goes with the flow” and mostly, listens to what people need and answers their needs.
The soul of a Shaman
At the market, Gabi Star became a doctor to many, though she insists that she is not a dermatologist. But people keep asking her how to treat their skin conditions, and from their questions she draws enormous motivation to keep learning about the healing power of plants. But how does one become some sort of a modern shaman in a city like Toronto, today?! I’m glad I asked, because it turns out that her grandmother was herself an Aboriginal shaman and a healer in Moldova, where Gabi grew up. She taught her that Nature has to be listened to and has treasures to offer if we love and respect Mother Earth. The wisdom and knowledge of Aboriginal peoples is also a deep source of admiration for Gabi, namely for “their ability to feel the oneness”.
Speaking of which, she explains to me that the intention she puts in creating her products, which is all love, will be felt by the persons who use them. Because we are all connected. I could feel what she meant by that. As if I was stretching my arm to grasp this oneness concept I have heard about, but it was just an inch too far away. But I guess you need to experience oneness to really understand it. Like you need to ski to understand the feeling of skiing.
Message in a bottle
“Choose a better way. Choose a better path” is the message that Gabi and the mysterious Captain send to people who want to use safe, affordable and authentic cosmetic products. After trying them, I’m on board!