On & On is a free-flowing wellness brand with water-centric sensibilities. The brainchild of Chelsea McCarthy, ON & ON started as a spa on the magical island of Kauai and has morphed into a full-fledged wellness brand with a signature line of Frankincense hand and body washes. Steeped in the rituals of self-care, ON & ON takes a holistic approach to how we nurture our bodies from the inside out. Their sole interest is to create a new era of skin and body health that validates how we feel rather than only focusing on appearance.
Things are a little different right now, we’re in an unprecedented time…where are you getting inspiration from these days?
Nature is a real source of inspiration, especially on my best days. On days where I am blue, conversations with my friends keep me inspired. My tribe inspires me constantly, the perspectives, interests and lifestyles of my friends are wildly different. The flow and cadence of how and what we share is a real thrill.
You’re a water-centric brand with roots in Kauai, Hawaii but are now based right next-door here in Malibu, can you tell us about how the water and ocean influences your creative process?
When contemplating my relationship to water, I am in awe. In the moments where I am with the ocean and that giant horizon line, water teaches me how it is infinite and contained, all at once. The buoyancy of the ocean, the sense of weightlessness, I crave that. I need the heaviness of fresh water too. What a dream to be like a river, flowing, with little effort from a source usually unseen. In direct relationship with gravity but also slightly defiant and responsible for moving mountains.
We know that your wonderful (we are obsessed with it) Frankincense ON & ON hand and body wash hit the shelves right when hand washing became a vital focus of conversation, can you tell us the genesis of that specific product and how it’s importance has evolved during this time?
Frankincense is rooted in ancient history, performative, quiet & spiritual. When burned in resin form, the smoke spells out all these secret messages from within. After being with Frankincense, a subtle transformation happens, a cleansing of sorts, expelling unwanted energy. I am learning and re-learning that the most radical acts are so simple.
When we were in the discovery phase of what we wanted to create as our first product, performance was a large part of that discussion. We reasoned that most people bathe often and we wanted to share our reverence for Frankincense in these daily acts. We are here, creating another voice for Frankincense in contemporary history, to be a steward for Frankincense is an honor we take seriously. Get in the shower, experience Frankincense, touch it, wash with it, smell it and change the world.
The spa in Hanalei is a real dream…plus you offer treatments that are a little outside of the box (i.e. skin brushing, radio frequency, cryo-sauna, infrared sauna) how do you get locals and visitors alike to embrace the alternative(s)?
Word of mouth is a huge part of our business. When our Hanalei space was open, we actively sought out community members and leaders to invite into our space. Once the relationships were fostered and trust was established, these allies felt the joy, sense of presence and vitality our treatment offerings provided. It is critical to build lasting relationships with our community, to invite everyone in, to create a space that feels cozy, elevated AND accessible. Since we are curious, we invite our clients to remain open to experimenting what feels new to them. Our treatments were selected to be experienced in combination or on their own which also invited people to add skin brushing to their Endermologie treatment last minute or hop into the infrared sauna before their facial. The journey of vitality has many lanes with no fixed destination, we encourage everyone to embark wherever they are.
The collection of products that you offer are so well thought out and specific to your philosophy, how do you source and test all of the things you sell? Moreover, how do you make all of the choices not feel intimidating to the buyer, what’s the trick?
Many of the botanical products we carry, In Fiore, Julisis, and May Lindstrom were discovered by my business partner, Melissa. She is an avid researcher, open to experimenting and invested in supporting modern alchemists. We partner with formulators & artisans who believe in sharing and acknowledging all that is the mighty plant kingdom. I pay attention, read, observe and stay open to my urge to discover and share. Hunting & gathering is a natural instinct and something I truly enjoy.
When selling products to our peers and clients, we each share what we are specifically drawn to. We honor personal experience as a tool of authenticity. We agree to share the knowledge we retain, without making up claims, it is okay to not know everything. Speaking from experience helps to navigate how and what to share, and with whom.
What are some of your daily particulars that you always put on (jewelry, accessories, body and skincare…etc.)?
I love jewelry. My close friend, Jenna Katz, makes incredible, modern heirlooms. She has made a few special pieces using stones I have been collecting from family heirlooms, said flea markets etc. I love my silver band by Alexa de la Cruz, I wear it on my pinky. There are two Pippa Small rings Melissa gave to me that I treasure, one aquamarine, one with a hefty moonstone. My jewels make me feel like a dragon, in the best way.
I keep my Hanalei Hand Dyed x ON & ON silk pillowcases in rotation, year-round. Skin and body care in the summer requires the biggest shift for me.
I am layering body oil (circle of protection by Max & Me) followed by body balm (In Fiore Kashmir Body Balm) to help drench my legs and arms in moisture. Dry brushing when I remember since I don’t take many baths in the summer. Lots of showering outdoors, rinsing salt from my hair so naturally drawn to La Tierra Sagrada Jojoba Oil. The ON & ON Frankincense wash is next to every sink and in every shower. Definitely exfoliating 3x per week (Heart of Gold Red Tara Mask), Vintner’s Daughter Treatment Essence is my new favorite toner. I layer Odacite Papaya Geranium serum, In Fiore Pur serum on my face, neck, chest & then mist Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator all over myself, literally.
What I do in the morning is usually what I follow in the evening, keeps it simple. I live and love these products, it feels like my dose of daily medicine for my skin. It is a simple gesture that grounds me, requires my time and dedication. I like that about these rituals.
Everyday I am drinking at least one Saffron Latte, it is soothing and delicious, I love how easy it is to make, it is usually my afternoon snack on ice.
With summer on the horizon, what’s next for ON & ON?
Finding our voice and what we want to share as a company is taking shape. I feel empowered to continue the conversation of vitality and accessibility. Creating and engaging is a theme for the summer. ON & ON has a gorgeous new website, where we share ideas, inspirations and products, for the first time! Here we are adding to our library of articles, artists and ideas that feel potent and exciting to explore.
Sharing our Frankincense wash with the world is the beginning, I can’t wait to meet the unexpected.