Starting the new year with Katy, founder of Crowbar Apothecary, has us embracing the hibernation feels that winter brings. This season, take extra care of your body with Crowbar Apothecary's The Bar, a solid moisturizing bar that will quickly become a staple in your body care routine.
Come cuddle with us as we talk about sustainability, the spirituality book that Katy keeps rereading and offer our gratitude to the TTC.
HH: It feels good to connect with you at the beginning of the new year. For some, this is a time of reflection and intention-setting for the course ahead, and for others, it’s a time of deep rest and hibernation. What feeling does the new year bring for you? How are you moving through this January?
KATY: It’s funny you ask, as I've been feeling a bit guilty this January for not being very social, so I’d definitely say I’m in hibernation mode. The grey skies and shorter days certainly help with that. I definitely keep movement and exercise as a priority, but I’m happy to spend the majority of my time inside trying new recipes (IG Reels are amazing inspiration), working on my Crowbar to-do list, reading the Sunday papers and dreaming of my next holiday.
HH: Let’s imagine we’re in your favourite room in your home. What room is it, what surrounds us and how does this room make you feel?
KATY: Do balconies count? :) Like many of us living in Toronto, I live in a one-bedroom flat and always crave a bit of outdoor space. I have French doors that open out onto my balcony, so I treat it very much as an extension of my living area. I don't have another balcony above me, so I get tons of sun!
This past summer, I tried my best to create an oasis with comfy chairs, an ottoman, plants, and lots of flowers, I even installed a little balcony bar crafted by a local Toronto company. The view faces north and is quite expansive so I get the best sunsets! I look over a neighbourhood of low-rise homes - so it’s also very green with the trees, at least in the spring and summer.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention I also overlook a CN Rail train track, which to many reading this will sound like torture, but to me has become oddly soothing. In the summertime, I spend almost every evening out there - reading a book by candlelight, on my laptop, or enjoying a glass of wine with a friend. It is, by far, my favourite ‘room’ I have.
HH: Crowbar Apothecary is a climate-conscious brand with 100% recyclable packaging, which we love! What are some ways you uphold this environmental ethos in your personal life and why is that important to you?
KATY: When it comes to the homes we inhabit, we each have a part to play in keeping them safe, clean, and sustainable. In fact, I wish more onus was put on us, as citizens, to do more. Apart from being a meticulous cleaner of recyclable containers (anyone else like me?!) and composting where I can, I also try to cut down on plastic use in general.
I love shampoo and conditioner bars, I pass on vegetable and fruit bags at grocery stores, and I love solid dishwashing soap and pretty glass straws. I’m also a big fan of the TTC - maybe it was my days living in London where the only affordable and efficient route was by tube, but there’s something so satisfying about navigating to a place by TTC. I also love riding my bike!
HH: We love a good book over here! What books will we find stacked at your bedside table?
KATY: Spare by Prince Harry, of course! I can’t put it down.
I love a good book on spirituality, an all-time favourite being Michael Singer’s ‘The Untethered Soul’ - I’ve read almost all of his books and once visited his temple in Florida.
My dad recently gave me Peter Lynch’s investing book “Beating the Street” from the early nineties…struggling to crack a page there, but will get to it eventually.
Love a good Michael Lewis book, so have a couple of them in the stack. And I'd say the most surprising one is Nancy Drew. I loved Nancy Drew growing up, so I borrowed one from my niece and pick it up occasiaonlly for pure nostalgia.
HH: Joanna Macy, environmental activist and mindfulness teacher says, “If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear.” What are things in this life that you love and how does that love influence your choices, in both your business and personal life?
KATY: I love that quote, and wholeheartedly believe that too.
I adore being out in nature, whether it’s a canoe trip in Algonquin Park, hiking, forest walks, swimming in lakes or sitting under the stars - there is simply nothing better. I feel very lucky to live in Ontario as we have it all. Spending time in nature instantly improves my mood and gets the creative juices flowing. But it’s also a time when I connect best with friends or family - I think I've solved almost all of my problems by simply going on a walk with a good friend.
I also love entertaining and hosting friends and family for meals. It’s a chance for me to get creative, and experiment with healthy, uncomplicated tasty food. I try to make everything from scratch (well almost everything). It’s really where my love for simple, clean living began and what inspired me to venture into simple, clean skincare - things don’t have to be complicated to be effective (or delicious)!