Downtown Farmers’ Market Vendor Spotlight: Pure Luxe Apothecary
Looking for a booth to visit at this weekend’s Downtown Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines? Don’t miss the chance to stop by Pure Luxe Apothecary where you can find healthy skincare and wellness goods.
Leslie McNeilus Q+A
Q: What is your business?
Leslie McNeilus: Using beautifully effective natural ingredients, I formulate skincare and wellness goods to help you live your healthiest, most vibrant life.
My products are rooted in holistic health (supporting mind, body and spirit) and help turn everyday rituals into rejuvenating, healing experiences. Everything is handmade by me in small batches.
Q: What do you specialize in?
LM: I specialize in keeping things simple, yet sophisticated. Every product I formulate celebrates the intelligence of nature and eliminates all the unnecessary and artificial ingredients that are harmful to both our bodies and our environment.
The raw ingredients I use — essential oils, floral waters (hydrosols), nutrient-rich nut and seed oils, plant powders — are packed with therapeutic properties and synergistic compounds. When combined with intention and care, these natural ingredients create the most beautiful, vibrant remedies.
Pure Luxe Apothecary products are always:
synthetic-free | paraben-free | colorant-free | preservative-free | additive-free | gluten-free | cruelty-free | stress-free
Q: How did you come up with the idea for your business?
LM: My first career was in Higher Education, working with college students and coordinating study abroad courses. That led to me Iiving and working in London for about seven years. While I was there, I had the chance to formally study holistic health and specialize in working with essential oils. That entire time in my life was incredibly inspiring and creative, and it fueled my fascination with how we live our best lives.
After that degree, I started formulating products for myself — the kind I wanted to see and use but couldn’t find. Initially, I just made them for myself and loved ones. But eventually, I created Pure Luxe Apothecary as an official business.
You can read more about my background here. And learn about the values that guide my business here.
Q: How long have you had your business?
LM: I officially launched Pure Luxe Apothecary in 2014 while I was living in Washington state. I started on Etsy, then started selling at the weekly Olympia Farmers Market and few artisan markets in Seattle and Portland, and then eventually expanded to my own website.
At the end of 2018 I moved myself and my business back to Iowa, my home state, to be closer to my family here.
Q: How long have you been a part of the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market?
LM: This is my first year at the market! I’m really enjoying the atmosphere and camaraderie.
I’m here for five dates total this season: two at the beginning and three more coming up this Fall (Sept. 9, Sept. 30 and Oct. 14). Hot temperatures are tough on oil-based products, so I chose dates in the (hopefully) cooler months of the Market season.
Q: What products do you normally bring to The Market?
LM: I make 25 different products (some in two different sizes), including Face and Body Skincare products, Natural Perfumes, Room & Mood Mists and Herbal Bug Repellant. I usually bring about 12-15 different products with me to each Market. The full range is always available on my website. I ship online orders nationally and internationally, and if you happen to live in the Iowa City area, I offer free delivery there.
Q: What’s your favorite part about The Market?
LM: I love the positive community atmosphere and the huge number of people (and their pets!) who come support local growers, makers, creatives and musicians. I especially love all the dogs (and the occasional cat in a cat stroller!).
Q: What memory stands out the most when you look back at your time at The Market?
LM: So far, my favorite memory at The Market was listening to @sharanecalister perform, just a few feet away from my booth. Her voice and emotion are incredible (she was on Season 14 of The Voice). She sang it all that day … Aretha, Whitney, Adele, Bruno Mars, her own original songs … and I LOVED it. It was like having a front row seat at a fantastic concert!
Q: What advice would you have for new vendors?
LM: I enjoy talking and connecting with people! Asking questions, listening and getting to know customers, vendors and Market staff is really valuable. It’s a wonderful community full of kind, talented and supportive humans.
Q: How can people support your business outside of The Market?
LM: You can find me online at pureluxeapothecary.com. I have an email community where I write about clean skincare, wellness and holistic health (and share news of upcoming events and new products). Please join me there if you’re interested!
I post all my in-person market dates here. And you can also find me on social media: @pureluxeapothecary Cheers to good health and happy skin! Thank you!
From May to October, experience local artists, live music and entertainment at the Downtown Farmers’ Market featuring more than 300 family farmers, bakers, artists and crafters from around the state. It’s easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options. Find the latest updates for The Market each week on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.