Image by Jay Reilly
If you’ve ever been introduced to the San Diego storefront, Shop Good, then you’re well aware of the amazingly curated store that makes all-natural beauty lovers (like us!) swoon. Their store is a one-stop shop for all things wellness—so that means you can pick up your toothpaste as well as your face wash and maybe even get a facial while you’re at it. We chatted with its founder, Leah Kirpalani, all about her health journey before opening up the store, as well as what drew her to Palermo Body. It’s quite the read, so keep on scrolling.
Leah’s Chronic Health Journey
“I had this amazing high school counselor that pinned me as retail early on so I went to school for business in retail in Arizona and absolutely loved it. I then set my sights for working for a large corporation in fashion so I interned for Gap corporate. I then worked for them post-graduation and moved to San Francisco—it was kind of the dream job, dream city situation. I was so excited to be working for a corporation that I really admired—but unfortunately, I then got sick.
Throughout my 20’s I struggled with a chronic health journey where I started seeing symptoms like gaining weight for no reason, really horrible cystic breakouts that just didn’t seem to go away, hair loss, and also reactions to the food I was eating. Everything started crumbling, and my mood started to change as well. I was in the idyllic situation but was so devastated because I didn’t understand why my body was changing and why I felt so miserable.
I saw so many doctors but nobody could really tell me what was wrong, so I had to go about it myself since I knew there had to be a reason. I then found a lot of women online who were having the same symptoms as me and that’s when I found a more holistic approach to healing my body. This was before like gluten-free and everything, so talking about how the body works as a unit wasn’t really very prominent.
I then started shifting my diet and my lifestyle. I also realized that all of my personal care products had toxins in them as well and so when I made that shift, it was a huge aha for me. I then became really passionate about sharing this new discovery. I also realized that the corporate environment wasn’t the best thing for me at that time so I quit my job and went back to school to become a certified holistic health coach and that’s when I launched my company Good Life, which focused on helping women fit in a healthy lifestyle with ease.”
Opening Up Shop Good
“I then realized I was giving all these product recommendations to my clients but then sending them away, so that’s kind of how my idea to start Shop Good started. At first, it was only online and I curated maybe 5 different brands. Then the more I worked in the retail side I just discovered how much of it I really loved—the curating, the design and everything. I also loved knowing that I could touch so many people's lives by curating and filtering products for them. So we grew our online store in the course of 2 ½ years, but I then came to a crossroads because I really wanted to build this community, not just online and at that time, San Diego didn’t really have a one-stop shop for wellness.
We launched Shop Good at the end of October of last year and we’ve been open a little over six months and it's been awesome and so rewarding. I also love being a resource for customers to find products that really work for them. We also have a spa with an in-house holistic esthetician who does organic facials and waxing services so our customers are really able to take a load off and relax in a very enjoyable, zen way.”
I also love being a resource for customers to find products that really work for them. (Image by Natasha Boote)
What’s Shop Good Known For?
“I think what sets Shop Good apart is the back story because that’s the heart of the brand and we’ve become this voice of reason for our customers. Like I was never one to say ‘cut out everything that’s bad, like alcohol or inflammatory foods’. I did that when I was going through my health journey, and I would never tell anyone to do that. So I think what people really know us for is realism and just living a realistic lifestyle.”
Why Palermo Body?
“I think what you guys are doing is incredible. When I think about Palermo, I think about how you were one of the first brands to make clean products modern, sexy, fabulous and fun. I think Jess was at the cutting edge of not only natural products, but thinking more about what products you would want to leave out when you have company over.
I really see her as one of the first to make that happen, as well as focusing still on quality, simplicity and her commitment to the freshest and best ingredients. All of that is something that really resonates with us at Shop Good—not only does it have to look good on our shelves but we have to hold that commitment to our customers that we’ve done the due diligence and that the sustainability and processing of our vendors really matches what we stand for and I think Palermo is a great example of that.”
When I think about Palermo, I think about how you were one of the first brands to make clean products modern, sexy, fabulous and fun.
Favorite Palermo Product?
“I would probably say the body scrubs. I just think they’re incredibly luxurious and it’s just so rare that we can take an extra step in the shower because we’re always rushing. But to have this beautiful glass jar in the shower and to take those extra few minutes in the shower to give yourself a body massage, and paired with the scents since their so intoxicating—it’s just a really special treat and they make really great gifts as well.”
“This is kind of a funny story, but it ties to the store. My husband and I decided to get an 8-week old puppy like four weeks before we opened the shop and it’s still the bane of my existence to this day, I do not know what we were thinking!”