Recently, I had the chance to chat with Nicholas Bradford Fritz, the Founder and Maker of Vancouver based nutrimental Skincare Brand Asklepios Garden (way on it's way to becoming the next cult beauty brand) about his journey and inspiration. Join me in my discovery session and find out why Asklepios skincare products are quickly making their way onto Beauty Editors top shelves!
Nicholas, how did your journey to launching Asklepios Garden begin and what was your inspiration?
My background is varied, but one common denominator is that I’ve always been in a creative field. From furniture design, interior design, to branding and marketing, even a brief stint in chocolatiering! I then had the opportunity to work in skin care. Soon, I ended up being in charge of making most of the products, as well as developing new products and experimenting in natural perfumery. When that chapter came to an end, I found myself at a point where I could either go back into the workforce or start my own business.
Then COVID hit... which was a blessing in disguise for me. The pandemic was an opportunity for me to further my education in the science of skincare. I graduated from Formula Botanica out of the UK with a diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation, and began my journey to Asklepios Garden.
I have always been obsessed with art history and mythology. So I wanted Asklepios Garden to take inspiration from the past and weave it with skincare science of today.
What distinguishes Asklepios Garden from other Brands in the beauty space?
In an industry that has mainly focused on the female consumer and marketing towards her fears of aging & wrinkles, I wanted to ensure that with Asklepios Garden, words like “toxic” or “anti-aging” or “age-defying” were not used, and that all genders, whether you present as female, male or gender non-binary, that you feel like you are being represented without the scare tactics. Quite simply, I wanted to create an inclusive space. Celebrating beauty in all its forms.
I formulate nutrimental skin care that works on everyone's skin, delivering phyto-nutrition directly to the epidermis. Of course our product will reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, but more importantly, I believe healthy skin is beautiful skin. Asklepios Garden is plant-based/vegan, I source the finest organic, cold pressed oils and butters without the use of filler ingredients.
How would you like your brand to impact those who choose to use your products and the beauty space?
Asklepios Garden is for "everyone" that is looking for high quality ingredients, and a complete sensorial experience. For me, if your daily skincare ritual is enjoyable, as well as soothing to the mind and spirit, it’s a win/win. That is why the whole experience from brand presentation, to the thick Italian glass vessels, the textures & aromas are designed to ignite the senses. I’ve even creates a Spotify playlist, that incompasses the soul of the brand musically.
I also wanted to give generous portions in my products and samples as well. Not only does it save my clients from having to re-order too quickly, but it was also an ecological choice I made so that less packaging would end up on the market.
What is the best business advice you’ve ever received and from whom?
Well, launching a business from scratch during a global pandemic has had it’s challenges. I guess an example would be, ordering and shipping of my glassware from Italy which was hit extremely hard during the pandemic. Communication with a 9 hour time difference always means a 24 hour (at least) delay in response. Così è la vita!
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur just starting their journey in launching a new brand or starting a small business?
Be yourself, stick to it. Even small steps are better than no steps. Really celebrate your uniqueness and make it your niche!
What do you do to unwind?
I have a Standard Poodle named Phoebe. My husband and I are obsessed with her. We go on very long walks all together and spend a lot of time at the beach, soaking in nature... I also LOVE a long, hot bath with salts & oils & maybe a glass of wine!
What does wellbeing mean to you?
I think it’s important to disengage from media and the internet daily & to try to centre yourself by instead engaging in the beauty of nature, by being present, and of course feeding the soul and body with beauty, kindness, nourishment.
What is your favourite daily ritual and why?
Playing with my poodle! Haha
What are some skincare products that you just can’t live without?
I cannot live without my Prima Materia Serum, I use it day and night! Also a good lip balm & daily SPF!
What makes you feel most inspired and why?
Travel... oh, miss it so much!! Experiencing the food, art, architecture & culture of a new country is always tops for me!
How do you continue to stay inspired on a day-to-day-basis?
I live for art & design blogs, Instagram is great for that too, I love magazines & coffee table books. I’m definitely a visual person. Nature of course! During the pandemic, I’ve really gotten into philosophy and spirituality.
How do you find strength and balance in your life as a small business owner?
Good question! I’m still trying to figure that out! Haha.
I think it’s really important, especially working from home, to book in multiple moments of relaxation & fitness that take place out of the house, or set aside time where you put your phone away, and reconnect with loved ones or a good book.
What does the future hold and what are your aspirations for your brand? Where would you like it to be in 5-10 years?
I have big plans, big dreams. I really hope that Asklepios Garden can reach global recognition. That we continue to create exciting, meaningful plant based products with minimal impact to the environment, that remain timeless and defy beauty tropes and trends. That we remain engaged to our clients needs and desires.