COSMETICS - Mary Wilkinson the big personality behind ELEMENTS ANTIGUA
Prepare to be inspired:
Every now and then you meet someone and you stand in awe of their energy and charisma that is just BIGGER. In Antigua for me, that has been Mary Wilkinson. She is one busy lady, with a natural beauty product line of her own, owning a spa, living between 2 continents and bringing up a young lady too. What can I say, but wow!
Justifiably proud of her brand Elements Antigua, Mary has followed her heart to develop a line of products that is 100% natural. Uniquely, all of her products contain sun and mosquito protection. I LOVE her products! When, like us, you are bringing up young children on a tropical Caribbean island like Antigua you want their skin protected but not constantly covered in a layer of chemicals. It is so refreshing to find these great treatments that smell good AND look after you harmoniously.
Let’s meet her!
Can you tell us where are you from and what has led you to doing what you do today?
I am from Canada! Slowly seasoned with a mid Atlantic accent acquired through yachting, which I found after being an Art Director in film commercials and television for a dozen years. When I was fed up being kept inside and in studio and I thirsted to be off leash, I ran away to become a sailor. My hands and my imagination have always been my source of income. There is very little I can’t do once I put my mind to it. Health and well being is a continual and essential source of happiness for me.
What brought you to Antigua and what do you love about it here?
The Trade winds initially. They kept blowing me back for years too. Global wanderlust took over again for a while but when it was time grow roots I looked for a place where horses ran wild. There are about 5 at the end of my road! Antigua is definitely on an energy meridian and it is restorative to tap into it. I love it when people are excited for the rain.
What part of your work do you love the most?
Healing, creating goodness, positivity. Giving great massage that alleviates stale energy. Encouraging energy flow. Making great products that feed our largest organ.
What is the inspiration behind Elements, how has it come about?
I was the president of the environmental group in my university. I knew chemicals we buy in sunscreens and bug repellents seep into the groundwater and are toxic for aquatic life and the environment. Before I was only concerned about the environment. Then I had my daughter. I was even guilty of putting on toxic commercially produced products “to protect my child the best I can”. Then, one day I woke up with a start and propelled by fear – what was I doing? How did I fall under their spell? I know that scientifically, chemicals are stored in fat. I knew statistically the rise of cancers since the beginning of the use of sunscreens. On Gods great earth and the cornucopia of healing herbs and plants, there most certainly was a better way and others who think this way as well.
What products have you developed and why?
Almost 3 years of development and experimentation and I have developed (not alone but with the help of Georgina Falzon and Tracie Flynn at different times) 6 products. As necessity is the mother of invention, products have been developed as needed.
Sunscreen and bug repellent first – out of self-defence (of cancer causing products) and then out of comfort knowing it doesn’t sting eyes and cuts and heals the skin. The niche of this initial product line is Sun and Insect protection in every one of the 6 products.
Waterproofing is a sugar and salt scrub for the shower, rich in nourishing oils that are locked into the skin, so the water literally beads off you, and no moisturizer is necessary after the shower.
Gun Powder is a mineral based body and face powder that keeps the body cool and fresh in the Antiguan heat.
Lip balm is necessary, with the added bonus of 6 vitamins and sunscreen as you apply. No more ingesting toxins off our lips!
Lastly the Bomb Balm, which is the bomb for me, I love it. Long chain fatty acids healing the skin, anti bacterial, anti-inflammatory, – a little pot cure-all for all of life’s ailments. I always have it with me.
The products are organizing themselves into 3 product lines. The original 6 products above are of the “Cuerpo” product line. I have also developed “Cara” the facial line and expanding on “Casa” the house hold cleansers.
But this is truly just the beginning. I will make everything I need eventually! Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, facial cleanser, polish, serum ….
What are your hopes for Elements, the business?
I want the farm! A community based incentive to grow, harvest, and create essential oils. There are so many healing herbs in Antigua that need not be lost by modern consumption. I want to create niche products for export, created with pride by the people of Antigua and revered in the world marketplace. I have always had this vision of a community based project/product that is cultivated with inspiration that interacts on an international level. I have explored many facets of this inspiration but feel excited that Elements Antigua is at the heart of the consumer’s consciousness.
Where do you look for creative inspiration? (internationally / online / people)
I find it every where! I am have just returned from Canada and almost overwhelmed with the amount of conscious products available with incredible style. I find that level of awareness incredibly sexy. Great resources for me online are extensive, but of the best are Wellness Mama and the Holistic Squid. It may sound a little crazy, but Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau I am finding to be really inspiring lately at many levels. A great combination of charisma and grace; great father/husband to great leader.
What inspires you most in Antigua?
I believe Antigua is at the crest of change socially, which I find very exciting. I have seen more economic incentives. Raising awareness of culture and arts. As others adopt this new community attitude through groups like Hub Dot I believe it will see the decline of inter racism which expands social mentality which in turn supports economic growth. Exciting.
Where is your favourite ‘liming’ spot in Antigua?
What day of the week is it?! In season, Catherine’s on a Saturday; once a season Shirley Heights on a Sunday; Sushi Club for Quiz night on a Wednesday, Papa’s by the Sea on a Friday, and I always find myself at Café Bella for a coffee. But I love it where I find myself most, BOOMrestaurant.
Where do you like to go on a day off in Antigua?
Must get more of those! When I do, I go exploring and try something new.
Have you got a favourite view in Antigua?
Green Castle Hill, not really for the view but the energy. I want to bring awareness to the importance of this site as Antigua’s Stonehenge.
I love your products, where can I buy them?
– Island Gourmet on Redcliffe Quay in St John’s. The whole area is spicing up and Michelle the owner deserves accolades for being such a massive supporter and promoter of small business.
– Bella Cafe, Village Walk.
– Treehouse Body Shop in English Harbour is offering the Elements Antigua “Cara” as their facial line as well as products on sale.
– BWA Yachting
Coming Soon to Sea Island Trading’s new Friars Hill store, the airport and Coco Bay, and more to come! Excited!
As owner of The Powder Room spa at BOOM in English Harbour, she also offers a full range of treatments from bio seaweed gel manicures to chakra cleansing massage with signature treatments of Water Proofed and Gun Powdered and Fresh Food Facials.