We had the good fortune of connecting with Claudia Rhea and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Claudia, how does your business contribute to your community and make a difference to others?
The idea of bringing a new concept Beauty Store to Florida in which beauty is seen from within and not from the outside was quite revolutionary. The term “Inner beauty” was hardly heard before in Boca Raton, unless you were talking about spirituality. We opened a store that is 100% natural, introducing products that were transformational from within, bringing awareness to our clientelle in that beauty must be addressed from within. With that in mind, all our complimentary Outer beauty products are 100% natural, made in small batches, from the most pristine and wholesome ingredients. We are bringing knowledge about the benefits and ingredients of the products and brands that we carry, along with a lifestyle of wellness everyday.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I studied Fashion Design and have always had a passion for creativity. I moved to London in hopes of furthering my Fashion Education at Central St Martins and fell in love with the city, promising myself I would stay there forever. I ended up working for Alexander McQueen, getting married, having children and settling down in the UK. Living in the UK for almost 20 years filled my life with a rich culture, with access to the best museums, shows, events, restaurants and travels around Europe. The European lifestyle was engrained in me and was the source of inspiration to open Four Winds apothecary in Florida. When I moved to Florida I was distraught to find out that all the healthy lifestyle we had in Europe, was non-existent. There was no farm to table, no organic pharmacies, no natural beauty store nor any transparent products. I wanted to recreate a bit of our European lifestyle within my community. I thought it would be extremely challenging, but what I found is that in America there are some fabulous artisans and creative minds doing innovative, all natural Beauty products and creating some wonderful Inner and outer Beauty brands, but they had nowhere to sell their products. Four Winds would be the ideal place to introduce these wonderful brands to the public and educate them about the wonderful benefits. When the doors to Four Winds opened, I thought we would be flooded with people wanting a better lifestyle, using better products and acquiring better and more transparent information. We rapidly realized that our community was uninterested in a lifestyle of wellness and that their mentality was very different to ours. It took us a long time before we started getting interest. People would come into our store and they would leave with so much information, that they were overwhelmed. Little by little they would come back and try the products until slowly they became a very loyal clientelle. We had to be patient, but we knew we could not go wrong by introducing a lifestyle of wellness.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In Boca Raton I would start with a wonderful Brunch at CHANSON, a delightful seaside gourmet restaurant located in the Royal Blues Hotel in Deerfield. A visit to the fabulous Royal Poinciana Plaza for a delightful outdoor walk and some shopping. A little pit-stop for lunch at the wonderful Saint Ambroeus, followed by a MOKE rental to go around the Palm Beach island and maybe stop and swim at the beautiful turquoise Palm Beaches.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
While living in London, as a family, we discovered a wonderful “Farm to Table” place that catered to all our needs. It was a magical place that sold only natural, organic food, grown from their own farms in the outskirts of London, offering fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and more. Once a year they would open their doors to their customers inviting them to their farms to view their Orchards, their Herb gardens, their cattle, chickens, eggs, pigs, and more, showing the processes they undertook to have everything so pristine before it went into their stores. This store was the inspiration for Four Winds but in the Beauty industry. I wanted to recreate the “Farm to Table” experience, but instead doing a “Farm to Bottle”. The brands that we work with, and the products that we create , are all “Farm to Bottle”. They are organic, when possible, wildcrafted, raw, non-irradiated, all natural, non-toxic and more. Since our skin is the largest organ of our body, these products would be food for the skin. So, even though I was not mentored directly by that store in London, I was surely inspired by it.
Linkedin: Four Winds Natural – Apothecary
Image taken in our Four Winds Store Boca Raton