One on One with Amber Makupson of Meraki

Meraki, a hair care brand, was introduced to me by a friend and colleague. I have officially become obsessed by all their products. I use their products everyday from their Glow Oil to their amazing Conditioner. One of my favorite things about Meraki’s products are that they are infused with crystals, not only does it give my hair and body the best energy but it gives my soul the most fulfilling energy.

I had the chance to interview the founder of Meraki, Amber Makupson. She is a true gem and inspirationg. I am honored to have gotten to interview her for my series on amazing female founders.

Here is a little bit about the amazing founder, Amber:

Meraki was founded in 2018 by Amber Makupson, as a labor of self-love, self-empowerment and dedication to wellness.

A native of Ohio, Amber moved and settled in Atlanta, Georgia at a young age, and started to focus on a healthy, holistic lifestyle and make her own natural remedies during her pregnancy when she developed skin sensitivities. 

Her background as a licensed aesthetician specialized in botanical treatments helped when, after suffering a serious chemical burn from an over-the-counter beauty product, Amber was fed up of the toxic ingredients damaging so many other women and decided to create Meraki Organics, a non-toxic vegan haircare brand infused with gemstones to nourish skin, hair, body and soul.

1. Tell me how you got started. 

I started Meraki in 2018 after experiencing 2nd degree chemical burns on my face from an over the counter beauty product, I set out to curate my own collection of vegan, non toxic hair care and skin care products. I found great joy and passion in formulating, and learning about different ingredients from around the world and their natural Ayurvedic healing abilities.

2. Where do you want to take your already successful brand? I really want to continue to focus on organic growth within my direct to consumer channel. I also have a few really exciting retail partnerships that are launching this fall. Ultimately I want Merki to become a household name and continue to bring clean, innovative and healing  products to the market.

3. What are the top 3 things you have learned over the years building your brand? 

I literally learn something new everyday. My top 3 would be. 

  1. The importance of building a great team. This  is crucial to your success.
  2. Keeping a clear vision and being laser focused on the direction I want to take my brand.
  3. Understanding my customers’ needs and values.

4. How have you had to pivot during this last year?

Yes, one pivotI have taken this year is moving from inhouse manufacturing to contract manufacturing in order to keep up with inventory demand and to focus on growing my brand.

5. What values do you stand for? What values do you want to inspire in others? 

“ I believe self love is the key to unlocking your full potential in life. Keeping my  faith in God  is where I pull my strength and direction from. I trust the timing of my life. I believe that we all have special gifts that unlock our highest, truest selves.”

“The word Meraki means to do something with love, soul, and creativity; To put the essence of yourself in your work! I hope that my brand will inspire others to flourish in this beautiful space.”

6. What is your favorite piece of advice you have gotten? 

My favorite piece of advice I have received is never let fear stop you from achieving your goals. Also learning the power of my thoughts and the importance of controlling my thoughts.

7. What are your favorite books and podcasts to go to for inspiration?

A few of my favorite podcasts are How I Built This, Glossy, and Super Soul Sunday. A few of my favorite books are The Alchemist and 7 7 spiritual laws of success.

Be sure to follow along with Amber and Meraki on Instagram at @merakiorganics_Thank you to Amber for coming along on this. journey!

Have a joyful day!

~Iced Tea & Top Knots

Top 10 Self Care Gifts For You or Your The Ladies In Your Life

“Self Care is a priority and necessity-not a luxury.”

In these uncertain times and us all being at home, Self Care now more than ever is so important. It needs to be made more of a priority that we fit into our day. Self Care will help us get through this all. Here are some of my favorite Self Care gifts to either give to yourself or to girlfriends and family (some of these work for your guy friends too). Stay Tuned for the top 10 Self Care gifts for the guys in your life next week!

  1. Anthropologie Palo Santo and Crystal Bundle , Choices: Positivity, Clarity, Love, Protection

“Palo Santo is traditionally used for relieving common colds, flu symptoms, stress, asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, inflammation, emotional pain and more. This Essential Oil is great for Aromatherapy and can also be used during massage work to assist in healing.”

I have made this a part of my daily routine for all of these reasons and it has continued to do wonders for me during these unfamiliar times. Both Palo Santo and crystals bring about the best energy into any room.

  1. P.F. Candle Co. Essentials Mini Candle Set

Candles have always been a part of myself self care routine and this line of candles is one of my favorites. Candles lighten the mood and scents bring about the best memories whether it’s just reading or taking a bath while they burn, it is the best. 

  1. Olive & June’s The Everything Box

If you love doing your nails while being at home like I do, then definitely check out Olive & June’s The Everything Box and all their amazing products.  Their products are 7-Free and that makes me love them even more. Their products are your at home manicures are going to make you smile. An added bonus, their owner Sarah Gibson Tuttle is awesome! 

  1. True Glow by Conair Heated Beauty Hand Mitts

This is another gift perfect for yourself or loved ones. I got these for my dad for Christmas and he loves them. They are perfect for just taking time for yourself and putting your favorite lotion or hand oil then put them in and sit for 20 minutes, makes for such a special self care moment. Also be sure to follow the directions for safety 🙂 This is definitely a gift that will put smiles all around and make for a great at home time. 

  1. Farmhouse Fresh’s 3 MEGA RADIANCE BOOSTERS IN A Box! 

Face Masks are a great way to boost your skin and in turn boost your mood. During this time of unfamiliarity, giving your skin and mood a boost is important so lets mask together 🙂 

  1. Star’s Above Cozy Robe

Can never go wrong with a cozy robe whether you use it as a coat while you work or cozying up on the couch while watching your favorite show. When I think self care, a cozy robe is always on that list and makes for the perfect gift for yourself and/or friend. 

  1. Little Book of Self-Care

There are moments, especially now, that we know we want to incorporate self care into the day, but feel stuck on how to do that. This book gives you so many options on how to incorporate some self care, which I love and I have definitely given this as a gift before. May have to gift it again soon 🙂

  1. Sephora Mini Hydration Set 

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration is always key for your skin. It is a great way to take care of yourself when you incorporate a skincare that works for you. I know finding the right products, gets me excited to take time for my skin, which is great self care. 

  1. Cohorts Green Camo Print Long Sleeve Sweatshirt

The uniform for this time is a cute lounge that can also work for virtual dates and happy hours with friends, which is my newest self care must. Being cute and comfy is so fun and this lounge set below is one that is on my wishlist. When feeling cute while being comfy, that lifts your mood and creates a great self care moment. 

  1. Sedona Crescent Meditation Cushion

Meditation and breathwork are so important for staying grounded in life especially in uncertain times. We all have a different look on what meditation is whether it is using an app like Calm, painting, organizing or prayer. Whatever your way of mediation is having a meditation pillow that you can dedicate your mediation on and when you sit on it you feel that peace. I plan on gifting this to many, I know will love it. 

Here is a great definition of meditation: “Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.”

Here’s to Self Care! 

~Iced Tea and Top Knots 

P.S. What is your favorite Self Care item?