Located in Seattle, Spruce Apothecary is a holistic skincare studio and retail space that focuses on clean and effective beauty products. We love their beautifully designed store and assortment of wellness and lifestyle goods. This year, with retail locations heavily effected by the pandemic, it has been incredibly inspiring to see the resilience of our stockists — especially dual function spaces like Spruce Apothecary. We chatted with Spruce's co-founder, Jenn Kenner, to learn more their shop and how they are navigating this period of uncertainty. 

Photos by: Juliette Laura Photography for Spruce Apothecary

What is the inspiration behind Spruce Apothecary? 

My business partner and I are both experienced holistic estheticians, and we wanted to come together to provide a space where clean and effective skincare, wellness, and sustainable lifestyle goods intersected, and where each product we carry is beautiful but also mindfully made and non-toxic. I have also had a long journey with Chronic Lyme Disease, so that also inspired some of our focus on wellness and immunity- as well as lowering the toxic burden on our bodies through cleaner products. I focus my buying on supporting small makers who have great design but also prioritize the environment and sustainability. I've been a Norden Goods customer and huge fan for many years, so carrying Norden at Spruce is a real dream come true!

How do you feel about operating a small business in 2020?
It has been quite the challenge! We opened up Spruce a year and a half ago with a small retail space and a skincare studio in the back. At the beginning of this year, we decided to expand and turn our office into a second treatment room, so I was deep into designing that when COVID hit. While we still went ahead with the second spa room, we quickly realized we also had to pivot and create a webstore. So we were building out an additional room for services, creating and managing a new online shop, and trying to stay alive as a new business. We didn’t receive any grants or loans, so we’ve been surviving thanks to a lot of hustle, a dedicated and passionate staff, and our wonderful, supportive community.

As both a retail shop and a holistic skincare studio, what additional barriers have you had to overcome as a business and a team to ensure the safety of your customers?

Sanitization is a big part of our training as estheticians, so we already had that part down, but we’ve upped our game and added additional PPE like face shields and extra time between clients for intensified deep cleaning. We've had to adapt quite a bit as the rules and regulations have been constantly changing, but the silver lining of this is we’ve been inspired to develop and add new treatments to our skincare lineup. My favorite brand new offering is our super restorative, full-body treatment, which allows both parties to wear a mask and for clients to comfortably receive human touch and much needed TLC. We’ve also been offering virtual skincare consultations and will be launching a “facial at home” kit later this month.

What’s ahead for Spruce Apothecary?

We are hoping to continue spreading our love of clean beauty and wellness in order to help clients become their most vibrant, healthy selves. Along with that comes growing our brand, increasing web sales (a lifeline in this COVID era!), and providing educational and intensely healing services for our customers. Most importantly, we're working hard to advocate for and nurture inclusivity, to continue to diversify our shelf space, and to promote more lines made by WOC.

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