The Buddha Spotlight introduces you to CEO and founder of Urban Minerals, Sarah Sumnauth!
Hailing from Toronto, Urban Minerals is the creation of eco-entrepreneur Sarah Sumnauth. The extensive line of 30 organic loose mineral foundations was created to represent women of every colour, race and ethnicity. Each foundation is hand-made with natural, organic and locally-sourced ingredients keeping you healthy and beautiful from the inside out. The collection is a true reflection of the multiculturalism represented in the streets of Toronto.
Goddess Mena Love: Tell me about Urban Minerals.
Sarah Sumnauth: Urban Minerals is a loose mineral foundation that I created, that’s homemade, natural, 30% organic, gluten free, vegan, and locally made where I live (Canada). I wanted it to be as Canadian as possible. I wanted Urban Minerals to be a representation of Toronto, because I felt like there was just not enough foundation colors out there for women of all diverse backgrounds. I also felt that I needed to be the one to make that change because accessibility in the natural industry is a real thing!
I launched Urban Minerals in 2013’s Summer Solstice. I’m so excited to be celebrating the one year anniversary of Urban Minerals this summer! It’s been a whirlwind, it’s wonderful, and it’s growing!
Goddess Mena Love: So, how did you get into the beauty industry?
Sarah: Originally, I went to school for environmental studies. I have a bachelors degree in environmental cultures, the philosophy arts technology education, and that was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself! I am a student of life, in general, and I always had this connection to mother nature. Somehow, my parents who are first generation Guyanese immigrants, decided to put my sisters and I into Girl Guide (similar to Girls Scouts). I was in Girl Guide for about 10 years. I just had a real strong connection to the outdoors. While I was finishing my degree, I actually got a job in a place that sold all eco-friendly products. For any of the products to be sold in any small department store, it had to be recycled, organic ingredients or non GMO ingredients. They sold a fair number of “green” beauty items.
Some skin care and make-up brands, I noticed that over time, people were coming in, and it didn’t really matter so much how dark their skin tone was or how light they were. A lot of people had problems with finding their shade and didn’t want to buy two, only one that would be the right shade. I kept thinking to myself, “I think I can do this!” That’s where the idea to start a business came from, and at the beginning of 2012, I decided to just go for it!
Goddess Mena Love: What’s the process of how you make it?
Sarah: I hand craft with organic natural minerals and botanicals, such as aloe vera, chamomile, willow bark, rosemary, and calendula. I found out that a lot of women were breaking out with conventional store bought brands and were having issues with skin balancing. I wanted Urban Minerals to be gentle and to have a fair amount of good quality botanicals, all of which are grown and made here, in Canada. Once blended all together, I infuse Reiki. I am a level one Reiki practitioner, so I infuse Urban Minerals with LOVE and universal life force energy.
Goddess Mena Love: Yes! I am also a Reiki practitioner, and definitely can relate to infusing many things with the same energy!
Sarah: I decided I wanted to chronicle my experience. I set myself the intention to write every single day for a year while I was starting Urban Minerals. I wrote a blog every single day! If you’re ever interested, you can check it out on UrbanMinerals.ca.
Goddess Mena Love: So, what’s in your playlist right now?
Sarah: I like all genres! Currently, I’m listening to Disclosure, and a little bit of that electronic house music. I LOVE hip-hop! I LOVE R&B! I LOVE house, funk, and Motown, all the good stuff! I don’t close myself to really anything.
Goddess Mena Love: What’s your spiritual practice like?
Sarah: Every single day when I wake up, I read a quote and afterwards I lie in bed with my eyes closed for about five minutes. In those moments, I just breathe and set an intention for the day. If there are moments throughout the day where I feel stressed and feel the need to take time for myself for a centering practice, I simply just ground myself anywhere. I like to go for walks in my area, being conscious of what I’m seeing and being mindful of where I’m going. I’m very connected to animals, so I’m always fully aware of animals that show up for me. My practice is always changing and always evolving! I like
Goddess Mena Love: A spiritual connection to animals is always very interesting to explore. What animals are showing up for you?
Sarah: I see robins, sparrows, and really just connect with the winged-animals a lot. Yes, swans and hawks, too! Hawks are my main animal totem. It’s interesting, because when I first got the idea for Urban Minerals, I was intuitively hit on the side of the head, and started to see hawks everywhere, I mean, everywhere, like soaring next to me! I would ask myself, “what is this?” because this was kind of before I tapped into the synchronicities of what this all meant. I started doing research and asked around, and finally landed on animal totems, which has always been a terminology I’ve heard of. Upon doing the extra research, I realized that the hawk totem is the ability to soar above and have vision in your life. To be able to hone in and dive down into something once you have looked at all the greater parts of the whole. It was definitely something that guided me through my practice.
Goddess Mena Love: What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned on your spiritual path?
Sarah: Instilling the belief that you can do anything you put your mind to. Truthfully! Being forced to kind of see the different aspects of what can comprise as a business and recognizing that I’m the soul driving force in all of this, and if I want to see it happen, I have to make it happen, are the kind of lessons that are big for me on my spiritual path. If I can imagine it, if I can envision it, then I can make it happen. That’s so true for a lot of things! It’s not that things just happen or just come true, I am definitely manifesting things on a higher level.
Goddess Mena Love: When did you become aware of being spiritually led by your intuition?
Sarah: When I started my business, is when I really began to see a spiritual connection. However, I’ve always been spiritual, I’ve always been connected to what’s beyond the veil, and I’ve always seen things. For me, there was no one particular moment, it has always been a leading up to a greater experience type of thing. I think, potentially, it was also part of that cocooning period before I even had an idea for Urban Minerals.
As I was finishing up with the University, starting out, and figuring out what I wanted to do, I started meditating and I downloaded this Deepak Chopra stress app. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so much stress and anxiety, so I downloaded his app, and it had tips on things that clued you into Ayurveda, meditational practices, and honing in on what is the feeling of stress and how to work through the process of de-stressing. That was quite a large catalyst, because it definitely clued me into figuring out what I wanted to create, what I was feeling, understanding my emotions, what is in my gut, and things I needed to see to make things happen. I’ve always been a writer, so when I tapped into that energy is when I really started to see some momentum.
Goddess Mena Love: So, you keep a journal?
Sarah: I keep a journal on my iPad, whenever I feel inspired to write. I wrote everyday for a year when I started Urban Minerals and since then I release a monthly newsletter. I’ve stepped back from writing consistently because my mother passed away, and right now, it’s just something that I can’t force to happen.
Goddess Mena Love: How’s your yoga practice?
Sarah: I have a budding yoga practice. Currently, I’m in school, but when I have my time at home, I get up in the mornings and do some yoga.
Goddess Mena Love: When did you fall in LOVE with yoga?
Sarah: I registered by business in June of 2012. In April of 2012, I decided I would get myself a yoga groupon. I was trying to figure out if I really had the time to commit to yoga, but I needed inner peace and didn’t know what else to do with myself. So, I got this groupon to attend a yoga class and it was a really small intimate class. I was able to really see how I’m suppose to stand, stretch my body, move my muscles, how to strengthen myself, and it was just so powerful. Currently, I do yoga at home, it’s kept me very strong and it’s just something that I continuously go back to. If I’m feeling out of sorts , I will stop and do a full on sun salutation, and then get right back to life. I think apart of my work, this lifetime, is to be a bit of a messenger, but also a warrior, and I do feel very powerful and very strong in my femininity. I do use my yoga practice as a means to feel like a warrior.
Goddess Mena Love: What’s your meditation destination?
Sarah: Meditation, normally for me is attempting to quiet the monkey mind and to pursue that beautiful blue inner pearl of quiet. It’s funny you ask that question because as the spring started here (Toronto, Canada), and the snow thawed, and as the green buds began to emerge, I was starting to see a lot of black birds. With research, I found out that black birds are messengers, they represent magic and omens of good luck coming to you. Black birds are also a very good meditational tool to help you move to the next level in your life. I meditate on different animals that come to me and just think about what their potential message is for me, or even ask what messages they bring to me.
Goddess Mena Love: What about diet? I know health and beauty go hand in hand with diet, and being natural, and all of that. What is your eating lifestyle?
Sarah: (giggling) Mine is up and down. I mean, I’m not perfect by any means. I just have access to really good information and my day job for the last two years, was at Whole Foods. I was their body care buyer. I’m blessed to have been able to get trained on supplements and good wholistic eating practices. Generally, my mantra is “lean and green, when in doubt, just green”. I do bless my food when I eat it, saying “Thank you, Mother Earth for this food. Thank you, for nourishing my body”. I also try to be aware of when I feel full and paying attention to what my body is asking for.
Goddess Mena Love: What’s your favorite healthy comfort food?
Sarah: Hmmmm, my favorite healthy comfort food is chaga tea. Chaga is a kind of medicinal mushroom that grows in bush trees, and it is a potent immune booster. It also helps to open up your heart chakra. I’m a bit of a tea junkie! I LOVE herbal tea like chamomile, lavender, ginger, and cinnamon.
Goddess Mena Love: Oh, you sound like me! I LOVE tea! Do you drink your tea straight up or with a sweetener?
Sarah: Generally without sweetner, if I do, it’s with raw honey. I tend to stay away from refined sugars. Again, I am not perfect. Sometimes, when I don’t have honey, I’ll use raw brown cane sugar.
Goddess Mena Love: What’s your favorite herbal plant?
Sarah: Well, I like rosemary, basil, mint, green plants! I have a pretty nice garden outside.
Goddess Mena Love: I really want to get into herbal gardening. I’m trying to nurse a flower back to life right now.
Sarah: Talk to it! They listen, they totally do!
Goddess Mena Love: They do listen! My family and I did the rice water experiment, saying “I hate you” to one covered container of rice water, and “I LOVE you” to another covered container of rice water, and you really get to see how words affect your environment. It was awesome to see, and I’m kind of doing that with my plant.
When you’re not at home, how do you create peace for yourself?
Sarah: I guess it starts before I leave home. I try to be in a state of zen or calmness, and I’ve experimented a bit with projecting my energy out into the world. I think I have a pretty good strong energy about me. It’s interesting, because I tested this recently, I was at a bar on a Friday, it was a Friday 13th, full moon, and I was there to see this Norwegian DJ, Kygo. Before he came on, people were ancy. It was very interesting to see how tense people were, and so finally I felt like I couldn’t deal with this energy, and just got centered. I started to project a calm energy out into where I was, and I could see people starting to calm down their energy. I do this on the subway, too. If I feel ancy, I just take a moment and take control of whatever I can to get into that centered space.
Goddess Mena Love: That’s awesome! That’s that light worker in you, to be able to center yourself in an instance to change the energy around you. Speaking of sending energy, I just received my ART in Reiki, and it’s such a really good feeling to be in tuned with healing energy and projecting it where it needs to be. What inspired you to become a Reiki practitioner?
Sarah: That’s a good question. The beginning of 2012 was big for me, in terms of big changes. I received my level 1 degree in May of 2012. So, I actually think the big changes probably contributed a lot to my spiritual expansion and growth because, as soon as you go for it, as soon as you have those attunements, you’re wide open to whatever is coming through.
Goddes Mena Love: (laughing) You made me think about my own experience, I had to pause for a second, like, “yeah, that’s right”, so right on!
Sarah: Yes, (laughing), it totally changed my life! I think it was such a beautiful experience that I just started to explore into learning, growing, and wanting to find out more stuff on philosophical topics. It totally changed my perspective on life and spirituality in a big way. It also strengthen me in a lot of ways. The day after I received my Reiki certification, I felt strong enough to smudge my house for the first time. Progressively, things started to happen. I started to feel so good when doing this and I felt like this was something I needed to incorporate in my daily lifestyle. I don’t know if I would be doing sessions with people, but now I incorporate Reiki in Urban Minerals, which is a wonderful thing.
Goddess Mena Love: Yes, well you are definitely helping people with infusing Reiki in Urban Minerals.
So, I don’t like to wear make because I don’t know how to apply it. I don’t know if I’m ready to start getting into it, and I want to make sure I look as natural as possible. I wear a little bit of eyeliner and lip glass or gloss. My major thing is looking natural and not like a whole different person. I would LOVE to play with eye shadow colors, but I’m very hesitant. I see people, at times, who wear an excessive amount of make-up and I’ve gotten offers from MUA’s to let them make up my face. My whole issue with that is, “can you get me to look as natural as I am, right now, with a few enhancers?”
I say all of this to say, I feel like my complexion is somewhat of an awkward color.
Sarah: Awww, you’re beautiful!
Goddess Mena Love: Thank you! (laughing) I didn’t mean to come off in a negative way, my skin is weirdly beautiful to me. It’s like a glowing, orangey, golden brownish, caramel color, and that shade of foundation is really hard to find!
Sarah: I can find it for you. I made it!
Goddess Mena Love: Another problem I have is trying on packaged make-up. What’s an easy way to find your tone?
Sarah: The first thing you need to do is get good lighting. I am a medium skin tone, I’m not very light, I’m not very dark, I’m kind of in the middle. I would say you’re a medium to dark skin tone. Importantly, you want to find what your under tone is. Your under tone refers to the tone of the shade of color you are. Tone is how much gray you have in your skin tone, and also how much yellow and red. So, you’re trying to figure out what that balance is. For me, I have a fair amount of yellow in my skin tone. A good way or a barometer for checking that is to look at your wrist and see what color the veins are. If they appear to be a blue or a purple, then you know you have a very cool skin tone. If your veins appear to be green, then you know you have a warm skin tone, like yellow and orange. From that point on, that’s where you want to get the actual physical product and start checking it on your skin to see how it looks and match. The best place to check, would be right on the jawline. You want to put a few swatches next to each other. The color that disappears totally, is the color you want to choose, because that’s the color that’s going to be flawless and easy to apply, probably do just a few swipes and then you’re done.
Goddess Mena Love: That’s totally awesome information. I’m so thinking about exploring Urban Minerals. Something I can apply by myself, with the right shade, that doesn’t break me out, would be perfect.
Goddess Mena Love: Any book you’re reading right now, that’s so awesome?
Sarah: In my free time I’m reading, E Squared by Pam Grout. It’s essentially a session or a bunch of experiences to test manifestation. So, I know that I am a very good at manifesting, I’ve manifested a lot of stuff, but this book is interesting because the author (Pam Grout), is linking a lot of what she’s talking about to physics, in terms of synchronicities and how you can influence the set intentions and manifest them. There’s also different exercises in the book.
I always keep Eat, Pray, Love, at my bedside because I LOVE Elizabeth Gilbert. I think she is a wonderful, author. She’s actually one of my heroes. I LOVE her voice, I think she is so funny, so smart, and so witty. Honestly, if I feel a certain way about something, not knowing what to do about something or feeling off, I just pick up her book and flip through. It’s a really good book.
Goddess Mena Love: Do you have any advice for people who are just starting out on their path of awakening?
Sarah: Just be curious. Be open. The more open and the more curious you are, the more you’re open to amazing enlightening life experiences. Be willing to re-examine and be a bit of a feminist about your own ideals, and ways you look at the world, and the patterns. Be willing to change your opinion about something, there’s so much out there.
Goddess Mena Love: I like the idea of being willing to changing your opinion, because your opinion changes all the time. We are always growing and transforming into things that we need to re-examine in our lives. It’s such a healthy mindset to have.
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, experience, and journey with me.
Sarah: I LOVE your blog! I am very much like you, too. Thank you for inviting me to share about Urban Minerals and my spiritual journey .
© Copyright 2014 – Goddess Mena Love. All Rights Reserved