What was it that inspired you to go cruelty-free?
I went vegetarian when I was eleven years old after receiving a packet in the mail from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA). It was the first time I realized that I was actually eating dead animals. Inside the mailer, there was a sticker of a little baby chick that said “I’m not a nugget” and well, my life changed forever after that.
Was there a particular time in your life that you can recall that led you to creating your cruelty free brand?
Similar to when I stopped eating meat, it was education that inspired me. I had been an animal activist for 15 years yet still didn’t know that my makeup was also a culprit of animal cruelty. I started looking for vegan and cruelty-free lipsticks and I couldn’t find any that I liked. Mostly, they were all super drying. So, I thought it would be fun to learn to make my own lipstick at home. For years and years I worked on Axiology for it to be what it is today.
What was the biggest obstacle that you faced when going cruelty-free/vegan?
Personally, an obstacle was just that people judged and made fun of me. When I went away to college, everyone on my dorm floor knew where the “vegetarian girl” lived and when there was a weird smell in the dorms, they would automatically blame me and my weird food. I learned pretty quickly not to care what other people think and to follow my own heart.
What do you enjoy most about being cruelty free/vegan?
I really, really love food and all the amazing vegan foods these days! I am definitely happiest when I’m eating!
Favourite all time healthy food/recipe? My grandparents immigrated to the US from Mexico so I grew up eating mostly Mexican food. My favorite dinners are a big plate of rice, beans, salsa, guacamole, tortillas and all the toppings!
What honest advice do you have for someone starting or thinking about going cruelty free? Listen to yourself and don’t worry about having to prove yourself to everyone. If you’re dropping meat, come up with a one-liner for when all your friends/family/co-workers ask the inevitable question, “but where do you get your protein?”
What’s next for you and your brand? We are launching lots of new planet-friendly products Earth Day, 2022!
GETTING TO KNOW ERICKA
Favourite all time healthy food/recipe? See above!
Morning routine consists of? Journaling, petting my cat, meditation
Current mantra: Be present and enjoy each moment.
Favourite song at the moment: All songs by Camila Cabello
Currently reading: Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Favourite documentary/movie: Fav Documentary is Kedi and The Gamechangers
Hidden talents: I can catch any and all flies that are buzzing around the house and get them safely outside.
Favourite education platform for wellness? nutritionfacts.org
Favourite leaders in the health and wellness space? Dr. Michael Gregor
Top tips for managing stress? Don’t overwork! Life is meant to be enjoyed.
Besides living and sharing a cruelty free lifestyle with your brand … what else are you passionate about? Veganism and meditation