I recently spent the morning with Elizabeth, a former barista at Café Lomi, turned #GirlBoss of her own hair and skin care brand, The Butter Lab. Originally from Copenhagen, Elizabeth has plunged into the world of entrepreneurship in Paris, while enjoying her free time biking around Paris, doing Yoga, whipping up homemade beauty recipes, and taking advantage of all Paris has to offer. Learn more about her journey to Paris and her exciting new project!
Describe yourself in a few words…
I am born and raised a little bit outside of Copenhagen, Denmark and I am 30 years old. I’ve lived in Paris for about three years. I recently stopped working as a barista in the 18th, which is also where I live. My daily life is therefore in complete transition these days.
I have a Masters degree in Cross-cultural Studies and I am generally very interested in gender and race related issues. I try to read a lot and I like to write too.
I lived in Paris before for a year. I felt like I hadn’t finished my adventure so I found an internship and came back. A big part of why I want to live here is that I experience a greater cultural and ethnic diversity. I feel better represented here than in Denmark. Besides that, there is more of everything. Of restaurants, food from all over the world, languages, nightlife…
I feel like there is a better possibility for self identification and personal and artistic expression. In Denmark trends are so unbelievably uniform whether regarding fashion, interior or food tendencies.
Where I live in Paris I’ve often thought that I ought to do a photo series of the people I crossed walking home from work. People dress up, they speak up, they do whatever they want. They don’t care. And that’s inspiring and liberating to me.
In your opinion…
Paris is… It is a place where you can be over stimulated in every way, which is fun at times, but in the long run it’s also exhausting.
Paris isn’t… the place I see myself live forever. It’s simply too hectic, too expensive and dirty. As a Dane I am used to the sea and miss that a lot – looking at the horizon and breathing fresh, salty air.
Tell us about The Butter Lab?
The Butter Lab is a hair and skin care concept using pure raw oils and butters. I mix different ingredients, for example shea butter, coconut oil and other oils plus essential oils, to make whipped lotions and body butters. What I want is something completely natural, I would actually like it all to be edible. And part of the products are exactly the same as I have in my kitchen. As much as possible is organic.
I create each product with an idea of how I would like to use it, skin or hair, and what kind of sensation and result I am going for. But with that said each product can be used on both skin and hair.
What inspired you to start this project?
I came up with the idea on a trip to Burkina Faso. I brought back some shea butter and thought it might work to make products that are free from harmful additives and cheaper than those in the health food stores. Also, I don’t feel represented on the market of organic hair and skin care. So even if I think that I could afford a conditioner for example it wouldn’t be made for my hair and it’s needs. Voilà, so I’ll make it myself.
I tried a lot of different recipes and now I have about ten products that I really like, and use several of them daily. And ever since my skin has been oh so soft! I want to create more, while keeping it simple and good.
What’s next for the ButterLab?
I need to create my visual expression and my website. And when I have a logo etc. I could start looking into packaging as well. I will continue developing and improving recipes as well as creating occasions to present my products in different settings.
Top 5 places you recommend in Paris to:
EXPLORE: La Petite Ceinture ( an old railway that used to surrounded Paris, it’s supposed to be all green, with rare birds). Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil (Perfect escape from the city where you can pretend to be on an exotic vacation).
EAT: I love eating! Miznon in the Marais. Also, in the 18th there are a lot of very good italian restaurants.
SHOP( natural products): Even if it’s too expensive I shop in Naturalia for some oils and essential oils, in Aroma Zone, and in local grocery stores in the 18th that have oils and shea butter.
NEIGHBORHOOD: I spend all my time in the 18th and 10th, occasionally extended to the 11th, 19th, 3th and 4th arrondissement. Maybe boring, but true. It’s bikeable.
Where can we keep up with your adventures in Paris?
Website: Coming soon!!!