Welcome our newest brand to the collective, Circular Bodies, and enjoy a look behind the brand from Owner and maker, Dominique.
Hi, I am Dominique Flaksberg (27 yr old). I started Circular Bodies to share how simple it can be to use natural, sustainable products when taking care of our bodies and homes. At Circular Bodies we make simplicity and quality a part of our living, making staples that bring intention and wholeness to our day to day. We design our products to naturally go back to the earth, causing minimal impact on our environment. We call that respecting the cycles of the earth (or being part of the circular economy!). Living a healthy life can be easier and more accessible than we might imagine. That is what we are here for.
How did Circular Bodies come to fruition? When I moved to the United States from Brazil, I noticed the amount of trash created by day to day products and how they negatively impact the environment. I could not find plastic free, synthetic free, affordable products to clean my home and body, so slowly I started making my own. A few years later I knew how to make everything I needed - without creating waste. My friends started asking me to share what I made, and Circular Bodies came as part of a cycle or taking care of my body, the earth and the needs of my community.
What were your initial thoughts and intentions for your brand and how have those ideas maybe changed or transformed throughout the process? My only intention when I started my business was to create a better world by being the change I want to see, and reaching as many people as I could to make a positive impact. Nothing has changed since! I have learned a lot about how to connect to community and scale my production, but Circular Bodies was not born to be a traditional business, it was born as a project of love for the earth. I still do a happy dance at every sale, knowing there is one last plastic bottle going to the landfill with that purchase.
How has your cultural background or how you were brought up play a part in where you are today? Has it? Growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil in the 90s, there was way less access to packaged goods than we currently have in the U.S. I grew up picking fruits from my family land, going to markets on the street, and watching my grandma make banana bread from scratch. My connection to "the source" (aka DIY from earth based ingredients!) started with food. When I moved to New York from Sao Paulo I wanted to eat well, know the farmers that grew my food, and create no waste in the process. I naturally expanded my awareness to my bathroom products, and then cleaning products. My upbringing was very connected to nature and I feel very grateful to have had access to fresh fruits and unprocessed foods growing up.
What difficulties have you found in pursuing your business and how have you overcome them? The hardest difficulty to me in the beginning was growing a business without outside investment while still supporting myself. I had the opportunity to welcome outside funding and partners in my journey, but it always came at the expense of my values. There are a lot of (mostly) men in the startup world creating businesses "for change", with the main incentive being financial success or external recognition. Keeping true to my values and not compromising the earth and its sacredness while living in a consumerist world is hard. I have learned so much about strengthening my values, finding the right communities to support me and trusting that the work I am doing is important and needs to be done. That has kept me strong and still reminds me what I am on earth for!
What has given you the most joy from starting Circular Bodies? Connecting to a like minded community and waking up everyday knowing I am a part of the change I want to see. I love visiting partnering stores and setting up my booth at the farmers market. Meeting people like you remind me we are stronger together and there is a community out there committed to values over looks, to the right thing to do, to connecting and respecting the earth and the beings that share it. I am so grateful for the network of farmers, makers, businesses and plants and humans I am able to meet through Circular Bodies!
How would you say your business makes a difference in our everyday life? Or if it doesn’t already, how do you think you could adjust your business plan to make more of an impact? My business is 100% connected to my daily life. I use all the products that I make on a daily basis, and I live my life intentionally with what I consume and how I consume it, making sure it is gentle on the earth and on other people. My business is an extension of my personal values and they work together.
Did you ever think you’d be here, now, running your own business? Was there always this vision to be an entrepreneur? Having my own business was not something I aspired or wanted. I have always been creative growing up and I loved making everything, designing, sharing ideas. All I knew is that I wanted a creative job when I was older. My first job was in a corporate office, and although my title was as a fashion designer, I soon realized the lack of freedom I had to design - everything was all about the money! Because profits were above all, the production of the clothing was very damaging to the environment, and there was little room for change within the corporate bureaucracy. When I left that job (what a relief!) I knew I could no longer earn a living at the expense of our Earth. I had many mentors and family encourage me to start selling the products I already made for myself and the progression to creating my own business was natural and just felt right every step of the process. I am so grateful for intuitive entrepreneurship and for the support I had to follow through with Circular Bodies. It is a dream to be of service in this way.
What is the reality behind running your own business? If you had to give advice, what would it be? The reality is an ever going process of trusting. Having a business is unpredictable and most business classes or entrepreneurs I've met are all about controlling the numbers, the sales, the ads, etc., etc. I found that what helped me grow my business is the exact opposite: letting go of control and knowing that all I can give is what I have is what I work towards. I have learned that overworking and overdoing is not the flow of nature. If my business is here to become a part of cycles of nature, how can I go in any other speed? We were all trained to overproduce and over deliver in our careers and our lives. That is a very patriarchal approach to things, and is opposite to the flow of nature, which flows slowly and respects the cycles of the seasons. Running my business is allowing me to create a different pace: where my body, my projects and my community thrive without exhaustion. It is a learning process for me, and I catch myself in cycles of fear and exhaustion all the time, but remembering to go slow, trust and flow with nature are with no doubt what has kept me afloat.
Let's get personal!Introvert or extravert?
Books or Movies?
Sewing my own clothes, pottery and lots of cooking.
A time you learned a lesson? and what was that lesson?
Life is sacred, we should live it fully without fear. (Have been learning everyday!)
We sure hope you enjoyed getting to know more about New brand, Circular Bodies and the woman behind it. Shop Circular Bodies in the Marketplace.