Kolya's Q & A with Ayla Rose Fahey, founder of Communion Botanicals

Based in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, the focus of Communion Botanicals is the provision of pure and ethically-produced beauty. Communion supplies organic and wildcrafted botanicals to wellness spas across the country. Keeping with our passion for local and sustainable natural skincare, we caught up with herbalist and former Kolya member Ayla Rose Fahey on the inspiration behind the founding of Communion Botanicals.



Where does the name "Communion" come from?

{Tell us about the inspiration for Communion Botanicals.}

"There is a long answer to this question but I’ll try to keep it short.

Before starting the business, while traveling in the Rocky Mountains, I had a meaningful experience that allowed me to tune into a profound sense of interconnectedness with nature. The best way I could describe the feeling was “communion” with the natural world. It felt truly mystical and changed the way that I experience nature.

My usual herbal skincare practices began to take on more meaning and became simple daily rituals of communing with the natural world.

Although modern, city life may distract us away from nature, we can still tune into it’s harmonizing energy with simple botanical rituals. At any moment, through the body, we can tap into the felt-sense of nature nurturing us by simply applying and using ingredients from the earth."


Could you tell us about your professional background, and what led you to herbal skincare?

"I was fortunate to be involved in the aromatherapy and skincare workshops held in the early days of Earth’s Aromatique and it was here that I learned some of my first formulating techniques. I completed an 8-year apprenticeship with my herbology and aromatherapy teacher. Throughout my years of education, there was a significant emphasis placed on the sustainability and ethical practice within herbalism and aromatherapy.

By 2017, I had spent about a decade working in organic spas and felt inspired to create my own line of ethically-made botanical skincare. There are a lot of beautiful brands out there but overtime I became disenchanted by the lack of sustainable practices and the use of at-risk botanical ingredients. I wanted to create a line that didn’t rely on these ingredients and that was truly pure."


What does "green beauty" mean to you?

"For me, green beauty is a holistic practice that considers not only the impact of products on our skin but also the well-being of the land, the farmers, and the quality of ingredients that go into each product. It means that the botanical ingredients we use are organically-cultivated or harvested using ethical wildcrafting practices. We support local herb producers whenever possible.

We love that we can visit our suppliers’ farms and see the growing conditions of the herbs, visit the workers, and rest assured that our values of ethical practice are aligned."


How does Communion Botanicals fit into the world of modern cosmetics, particularly in a time where social media floods us with often-unattainable beauty standards?

"Our products were designed to nourish the skin while also reminding us of our connection to the earth. For us skincare is not a superficial practice, it is one that helps us tune into ourselves and the elements. I formulated our collection to inspire customers to connect to their bodies, to celebrate their natural and unique beauty."


You once worked at Kolya Naturals, can you share a fond memory of your time with us?

"I loved my time at Kolya. I learned a lot from working there in the early days of my career as an herbalist. One of my favourite parts of being there was simply being around the amazing team of people. Everyone had something to teach each other and we were all there with the common interest of living a healthy life and learning about natural wellness. I remember feeling so inspired by everyone."


From your product line, what is your favourite product, and why?

"This is an incredibly tough question! I seem to cycle through products in our collection when it comes to having a favourite, but the Cellular Renewal Facial Serum is probably the current one. It is a concentrated oil serum that features some of my most-loved skincare herbs and oils like comfrey, rose, and helichrysum. The synergy of the ingredients creates the most beautiful aroma that lingers after you apply it and it leaves your skin looking radiant. For those clients who only want one skincare product to apply daily, this is always the one we recommend. It does it all; it’s nourishing, soothing, youth-preserving, restorative, and seals in hydration."     


What is bringing you comfort during these pandemic restrictions?

"Spending more time in nature. I am fortunate to live among an incredibly beautiful landscape with thick forests and rivers that inspire me daily. Watching the lilacs bloom and foliage become lush and green right now is my most precious medicine."       


Ayla's Favourites:

  • Colour: Dusty sage green
  • Plant: Wild rose
  • Herb: California poppy
  • Animal: Deer
  • Beverage: Nettle & ginger tea
  • Book: A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield
  • Movie: Benny & Joon
  • Essential Oil Blend: Geranium + Peppermint


Image © Communion Botanicals.


Shop our collection of Communion Botanicals handcrafted skincare online.

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