If you’re following The Stell on Instagram, then you’re probably well aware of their seriously killer aesthetic. Their founder, Carol Hu, has a keen eye for all things beautiful and has curated an online boutique which mirrors just that (which any skincare-lover would be sure to fawn over, might we add). We chatted with her to get to know a little more about her, her store and why she chose to go the skincare route—as well as why she digs Palermo Body as much as we do. Want to know more? Keep reading.
Opening Up The Stell
”I studied visual arts and art history, and then worked in museums, galleries and as an artist prior to starting The Stell. I'm obsessed with aesthetics and have always been a creative type. I thought I would only work in art for the rest of my life, but the importance of skincare was always something my mother emphasized and that stuck with me. It may also have something to do with battling skin issues since childhood. Prior to starting The Stell, I was constantly trying out new products. I was the go-to person for my friends and family for all things beauty, building up a catalog of brands I liked and researching what ingredients worked for me.”
From Art, Home Decor And (Of Course) Beauty
“To a degree, I did always want to have my own business—I come from a family of entrepreneurs. I had been working with them when I decided it was time to start something of my own. My partner, Joshua, and I talked about starting a company based on my passions: art, home decor, and beauty; when first launched we sold goods from all three categories.
After some time, we noticed that our customers were really gravitating towards beauty and skincare, and were really passionate about finding the best products. We saw that as an opportunity to shift entirely to independent, clean beauty products—and it really resonated with our customers. ”
How Do You Choose Product?
“It’s easiest to see if a brand is aligned with our aesthetic; then we look at product ingredients and try to understand more about the founder and the brand's story. It's also really important that we feel good about their practices, such as being sustainably sourced, organic, and non-toxic. Finally, we go through a testing phase to determine whether or not the products are truly effective.”
What’s The Stell Most Known For?
“Our customers recognize that we bring them clean, natural and effective products that look gorgeous on their vanity or bathroom sink.”
Why Palermo Body?
“Palermo Body was on our radar a few years back when Jessica was showing it at Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn. We were interested, but we watched the growth for a little while. When Jessica rebranded, we decided it was time to hop on board. The new design really elevated the brand. Then we tested it and it really impressed our team. There are several products in the line that we each personally use daily.”
Favorite Palermo Product?
“I had a baby boy in April! During my pregnancy, I was super concerned with the products I was using. I was already using 99% clean products, so I wasn’t too worried about toxic ingredients. However, there are some botanic products that aren’t pregnancy or baby friendly. Who knows— we might launch more mama and baby friendly products in the future.”