**After offering vegan, low toxin spa experiences for the last two years, Rebecca has chosen to close her doors. Maintaining the business with the escalating rent costs was no longer possible.**
If you are new to veganism or are at the stage of your journey that you are curious to learn more, you may not know that “going vegan” is not just a diet but is a philosophy to live by. Sure, eating delicious vegan doughnuts from Vegan Donut Gelato or schmearing Miyoko’s vegan cream cheese on your bagel are two really good benefits to being vegan. But living a vegan lifestyle is choosing a life of compassion – the food we eat, the clothes & shoes we purchase, the cosmetics we wear and the entertainment we support. It doesn’t happen overnight for most of us. It starts with what we eat and then grows organically as we embrace our new lives. Over the last 10 years, I have methodically made the changes that were important to me. From trading leather shoes & handbags for vegan options; to visiting animal sanctuaries instead of zoos or circuses; to finding cosmetics that were gentle to my sensitive skin while never being tested on bunny rabbits. It feels good to know the products I use every day cause no harm. But until recently, one of my favorite treats to myself – pedicures – still weighed heavily on my conscience. Most of the polishes, moisturizers & scrubs available to me were full of toxins, tested on animals & not vegan. The foot soaking tubs used by some salons are often full of organisms that can enter through your skin and cause infections. According to the EPA, something as innocuous as a bug bite on your foot or shaving your legs the night before your pedi can give that bacteria a way to enter your blood stream. And don’t even get me started about all the biofilm that forms in the tubes & screens of those relaxing whirlpools. It is almost impossible to clean out and will cause nasty infections! After years of dealing with this, something miraculous happened in 2016. Rebecca Rowan-Connors opened up Wood & Rowan – the first all natural beauty collective in downtown Napa.
Located on the riverfront, Wood & Rowan offers a Nail Bar; revitalizing hand & foot masks, Make-up, Waxing and a Blow out Bar. The soak and scrub blends used for manis and pedis are custom, locally sourced, organic blends, handmade by Sumbody. The Invigorating, Detoxing and Relaxing blends are all made using ingredients like sea salt, French clay, essential oils & orange peel and are vegan-friendly. My favorite vegan polishes include the tenoverten which is free of eight of the most toxic ingredients found in most polishes. Lakur by Londontown is not only 9-free but is also made with a combination of essential oils & botanical extracts like Evening Primrose Oil, Chamomile Extract & Cucumber Extract to help improve dry & brittle nails. Frankly, it sounds good enough to eat! Julep is another favorite of mine. It is fast-drying; 5-free and includes Hexanal for strengthening & antioxidant green coffee extract. Again, this polish is making me hungry! When I let Rebecca know that I am a vegan, her team also ordered a special vegan moisturizer from Sumbody. My experience here is truly vegan from my finger tips to my toes! The anti-microbial & anti-contamination copper basins used for foot soaking are wonderful. The basins make a beautiful visual statement and are portable. They are not only sanitized between each use but naturally stop the buildup of those icky microbes!
The Blow Out Bar uses Kevin.Murphy products and offer four signature styles. Kevin.Murphy is known to be at the forefront of hair care using micro cultivation, organic growing practices and ecologically sound wild harvesting techniques. I admit that as of yet I have not needed a blow out on my short, pixie haircut but the women I’ve seen use the services leave looking breathtaking! Many of the products Kevin.Murphy crafts are vegan but take this helpful list created by Arrowroot Journal with you to the Salon to confirm before you get your next blow out!
Rebecca’s awareness of toxic products goes back to when she lived in Shanghai. At the time, the regulations protecting consumers were very “loose”. There were days that sometimes spread into weeks and then months that her young child could not go outside to play. Rebecca was forced to purchase things including her child’s diapers on the black market because the brands readily available to her were laced with carcinogens! This experience really opened her eyes and led her to take an active role in educating herself about the ingredients that were in the products she and her family uses. When she finally settled in Napa, she found that she was forced to go to three different salons to prepare for a single event. She thought to herself, why not open a one stop shop with products that “a client can trust?” And that is exactly what she did. Designed to accommodate even the busiest person, you can get your nails, hair and make-up done and throw in an eyebrow wax for good measure all at Wood & Rowan. Truly the one-stop shop of self care!
Thanks to Rebecca and her team we vegans can now enjoy a compassionate spa experience right here in downtown Napa. Isn’t it awesome feeling beautiful inside and out? Located on the Riverfront at 750 Main Street, the salon is open Tuesday through Saturday; closed on Sunday & Monday. Every Tuesday they offer a locals discount so that is when you will find me there! So when you are ready to be pampered, follow this LINK to set your appointment. Remember to mention that you are interested in the vegan experience & let them know you heard about them on my blog. I know you will enjoy the services as much as I do and as always…eat, drink & be vegan!