Sara Panton, co-founder of essential oil brand Vitruvi, discusses her inspiration behind the brand and her value of high-quality products both for herself and for her customers.
Where did the idea to start Vitruvi come from?
I was fascinated by my medical anthropology studies and travels to Morocco and Kenya where I learned about traditional practices with botanicals and the importance of scent. But it was my time in medical school where I learned about how scent could influence the brain through the olfactory nerve and the toxicity found in most synthetic fragrances used for scenting home and personal care products.
Where did the name “Vitruvi” come from?
The name Vitruvi is named after Vitruvius, the Roman architect. Vitruvius believed that anything designed should have 3 core themes: Durability, functionality, and beauty. Vitruvius was also responsible for discovering the symmetries found in nature and the same mathematical symmetries in the human body. Leonardo DaVinci later named the famous ‘Vitruvian Man’ after Vitruvius -- It’s a nod to our company’s connection to both plants and people and our emphasis on design.
You co-founded the company alongside your brother, what is it like working with family?
Working with family is incredible -- if it works then it works really well. Sean (my brother and cofounder) and I have always been very close, we grew up in a small farming community and there weren’t many kids around, so we naturally had to become friends. We have a level of trust that allows us to communicate with complete honesty and that has enabled us to grow our company quickly.
Why is it important to you to create products that are pure, organic, and without fillers?
Transparency in the quality and purity of oils we use is paramount to everything we do — We make the certificate of analysis showing the purity and potency of each batch. Much like a fine wine we record the batch and share the details of each allotment of oils. Our community and customers are smart, discerning and want to
know that they are using the best.
How does your appreciation for products with quality ingredients translate into the rest of your life?
Quality is something I prioritize in all aspects of my life. I am someone who doesn’t like to accumulate ‘things’, and I would rather invest in a few great pieces of clothing, eat simple but highly nourishing food and have authentic real conversations with the people in my life.
What daily rituals do you perform to maintain your own personal wellness?
I love routine so I try to keep my days as simple as possible since I travel often. There a few key things that I find keep my wellness on track regardless of where in the world I am. I always drink 1L of lemon water before starting my day. I eat a vegan diet and consume really simple plant centric food. I go to sleep with Vitruvi’s Dusk diffuser blend or just Lavender and Eucalyptus in the evenings. I believe part of wellness is gratitude and perspective. I keep a journal of daily happenings, reflections, thoughts and questions. I find my perspective shifts for the positive after writing, and I believe it’s important to be informed, and to try things and learn about topics that are new. I make sure to read the global news, to learn about what different parts of the world are experiencing.
How would you describe your style?
Comfortable and consistent. I wear pretty much the same thing on a Saturday that I would to a board meeting.
What is your “go-to” denim style?
High waisted anything.
What do you look for in a brand when you shop?
I care immensely about the story behind the clothes I choose to wear, and the people involved in designing, creating and sharing them. There is power in purchasing choices.