Nova Cox, founding CEO of women’s self-care subscription box Honey & Sage, talks “martyr mentality,” tea ceremonies, and editing your self-care routine.
What is your mission at Honey & Sage?
Our mission is “better women, better earth.” Women are the cornerstone of our society, so by empowering them to take the time to recharge, we improve our society as a whole. Every month, we send our subscribers a care package with 3 to 7 clean beauty/wellness products (depending on their subscription level), and a “meditation card” that provides them with verbal words of affirmation.
What inspired you to start Honey & Sage?
I want to help women defeat the “martyr mentality.”
What do you mean, “martyr mentality?”
It’s the idea that you have to give so much of yourself 100% of the time, even when you're depleted, because someone else is always counting on you. If you’re giving 100% to anything in your life, something will suffer. We only have 100% to give. I started my career as a home-birth student midwife, and it was really stressful. I was always on call. The idea that I had to give myself fully these women at work, and then come home and be a wife, a mother, and deal with my own post partum issues really started to take a toll on me. It was then that I finally realized the false paradigm of having a “work life balance”: If you’re giving your all, something always suffers. Between observing the women at work, and my own need for perfection, I realized that we as women need to do better by ourselves. We need gentle reminders outside of the spectacular (like birthdays and Christmas) to care for ourselves. If you wait until you’re completely depleted to do so, when those special times do come around, you don’t have as much to give anyway. Our goal at Honey & Sage is to help make the celebration of self a little easier.
You’ve now successfully created a life centered around self-care. What’s your advice for busy, working women who want to practice a little more self-love?
Make a cup of tea.
Yes - you have to start with where you are. Start with one event, like making tea, and go from there. That’s what I did. The act, and ritual, of boiling the water is a ceremony in and of itself. It’s not too long of a process that it’s intimidating, and it’s not so short that it falls into the category of “instant gratification.” I love feeling the steam on my face, and actually really enjoy the look and feel of the tea kettle itself --- I bought mine for $6 at a garage sale and it’s one of my alltime favorite purchases.
How do you make your self-care, and beauty routine, one that you look forward to it? And avoid it feeling like a chore?
Edit. Edit out anything that’s not bringing you joy.
What does that mean for you?
Sunday nights, I take the time to apply a shower mask, cleansing creams, and bathe in an herbal steam, and love every moment of the multi-step process. But then I’ll save time in other ways like applying my shampoo and conditioner in the same cycle. And I’m always changing my routine. Right now, I’m sort of obsessed with our rose face mist
because it’s super light and delicious, and tomorrow, I might use something else. It’s really about listening to what you need in that moment to make yourself just a little bit happier.