Andrea Racey is the Founder and Designer behind Helena Quinn, a luxury environmentally-conscious, hand-produced silk fashion brand who is on a mission to create affordable luxury. Named after her Grandmother’s - who each embodied the elusive feminine balance of strength and gentility which she wanted to line to convey. Andrea designs with the goal to make everyone feel confident and beautiful in their own skin.
We sat down with Andrea to discuss ways she is setting intentions and empowerment through her own brand & self care rituals.
How would you describe your self care rituals (both skincare and otherwise: exercise, gratitude journals, meditation)?
I struggle with anxiety, so for me self-care was an essential part of staying balanced pre-pandemic. But when the pandemic hit, I really had to take a hard look at the non-negotiable rituals for my day, and commit to those for the sake of my mental (and physical) health. I love to wake up super early, about 5am - mornings are my favorite time of day. I typically start the day with a 15-20 minute meditation or breathing exercise. This really helps me get out of my head and into my body right from the get-go. From there I try to do 20 minutes of non-fictional reading, usually something with a spiritual lean to it - I love to read/learn something first thing new first thing in the morning. During the pandemic it has helped me feel like I’m moving forward and growing, as opposed to just stuck in time and “waiting” for this to be over. Exercise has always been a key part of my daily rituals, but like everyone else I had to adapt and create a new routine at the start of this. My goal every morning is to just get on my mat. From there I let myself do whatever online class I feel like, or just move on my own.
Define great skin in 3 words.
Healthy, lived-in, authentic.
How do your skincare rituals make you feel?
My skincare rituals make me feel calm, present, and taken care of.
What skincare or beauty memory comes to mind from your childhood?
I’ve loved both skincare and beauty for as long as I can remember. But the memory that stands out the most is also the most embarrassing….I was obsessed with long acrylic nails when I was about 8 years old. My mom was obviously opposed, but I wore her down and brokered a deal: she agreed to let me wear the press-on acrylics from Rite Aid from Friday night-Saturday, but they had to be taken off by Sunday morning for church. :)
At what age did you really start prioritizing your skincare? What made you do it?
I would say I had phases of prioritization, but I really dove into it when I was about 24. I started to struggle with cystic acne and it really had such an impact on my confidence. I began studying all about my skin and experimenting with different products and ingredients. It was also when I really began to educate myself on the effect of my internal well being on my skin, and look at the full picture of whole body wellness.
What age did you feel the most beautiful? And Why?
I feel most beautiful when I’m in a place of peace and truth with myself. And that has happened on-and-off at many different ages and points over my life. I really do believe that beauty is what you exude from an inner place. And many times when I was younger, there was so much inner turmoil happening. So while my skin may have been tighter and my a*s may have been higher, I don’t know that it mattered in terms of actually feeling beautiful. But growing into myself and cultivating a peace within has made me feel beautiful. So I guess I would say, now.
What inspires your line at Helena Quinn?
I’m deeply inspired by nature, which I think is reflected in our prints. Nature always provides the best color palette. When I’m out on a walk or run I look at the way different colors and tones work together in nature, and compliment each other in a way I may not think of otherwise. I take reference photos and then pull those swatches together when I get home. I’m also very inspired by our customers and the women who wear Helena Quinn. I love hearing feedback from them (good or bad), and that always informs the things that I add into or adjust in future collections.
Why is sustainability important to you?
Sustainability is important to me because I like to breathe air. I will never understand the opposition to sustainability or an unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of our current climate crisis. I think that as I’ve gotten more into mindfulness, it has caused me to think about every aspect of my life in a sustainable way. From small things like where the items I consume will end up, and eliminating waste by turning my juice pulp into veggie burgers (I get made fun of for that one), to larger things like the way I run my business, and what kind of planet my friends and sisters' children will live on in 20 years. Sustainability informs almost every decision I make.
What's your favorite Furtuna Skin product?
It’s really a toss up between the Porte Per La Vitalitá Face & Eye Serum, and the Replenishing Balm. I am obsessed with the way the serum smells, the earthiness makes me feel grounded and I’m getting a breath of Sicilian air every time it melts into my skin. The Replenishing Balm is a product I needed, but didn’t realize I was missing. My skin has been very dry the past few months and I’ve tried loading on heavier creams, but the balm has an element of healing that I haven’t found in other products.