By Stephanie Jade Wong
Sarah Biggers-Stewart, founder of CLOVE + HALLOW, is one of those brave creators.
The makeup motto at CLOVE + HALLOW is, “Safety, meet Swagger.” It’s about using clean products that are cruelty-free and vegan, to look and feel your best.
Sarah chose her brand’s name intentionally. “Clove” evokes the warmth you feel when using the products, and “hallow” represents your sacred relationship with your beauty routine.
We chatted with Sarah about her business and how clean beauty and indie beauty has impacted her life.
LIB: Tell us about yourself and why you started your business?
SBS: After graduating from an engineering college, I decided to pursue my obsession with makeup by working as a makeup artist.
A couple years into my booming freelance career, I became incredibly sick — to the point that I was basically bedridden and couldn't continue working. After visiting countless doctors and never receiving a conclusive diagnosis, one of them finally suggested I visit a holistic doctor. I was skeptical but desperate, so I booked an appointment, and it was the single most impactful moment of my life.
After healing my body over a 30-day regimen, I knew I wanted to introduce clean beauty to my clients, so I tried to replace my kit with clean alternatives. I discovered that most of what was on the market was too sheer, too limited in shade range, and too expensive. That's when I decided to launch my own line.
LIB: Describe your brand in 3 words.
SBS: Safe, inclusive, and bold.
LIB: What does "indie beauty" mean to you?
SBS: Passion and humility. Hustle and ethics. Community and pride.
LIB: What's your favorite part of owning an indie beauty brand?
SBS: I love the community we've created as indie brands. It's so special to be on our Instagram account messaging our customers directly and representing my brand at events and trade shows.
It truly feels like an extension of myself and that's really cool. Even more, I love how limitless it feels. I have the freedom and agility to chase after whatever ideas I want and that autonomy and flexibility is so important to me as a person.
LIB: What's the hardest part of starting and growing your business?
SBS: Staying the course. There are so many distractions and hiccups along the way. You have to be in it for the right reasons, grow a thick skin, and learn to thrive in chaos.
LIB: What one product from your range do you use every day?
SBS: Conceal + Correct liquid concealer.
LIB: What’s your daily beauty routine like?
SBS: I used to have a super glam daily routine, but I just don't have time for it anymore.
I usually go with the basics like:
My daily routine is 100% CLOVE + HALLOW but when I have extra time to play with makeup, I experiment with other brands. I'm such a product junkie!
LIB: Tell us something about your business that we can't see via Social Media?
SBS: How much work goes into launching each product!
Between initial research, packaging design and production, research and development, and multiple types of safety, stability, and microbial or preservative efficacy testing, it can take years.
Even after all of that, sometimes you launch and still discover issues over time that have to be corrected. It's a complex and never-ending process, but I truly enjoy it.
LIB: How big is your team?
SBS: 10 full-time, plus a slew of agencies and contractors.
LIB: What else do you want the Love, Indie B. community to know about you and CLOVE + HALLOW?
SBS: When you engage with our posts, share our products with friends and family, or make a purchase, you're directly supporting a small-but-mighty team comprised of truly incredible people. I always think about that when I shop from smaller indie brands.
LIB: What's next for CLOVE + HALLOW?
SBS: My goal is to complete our core collection, and then I can get really fun and creative with future launches, or maybe even expand categories to skincare or hair care.
I think our ethos, values, and price-point easily translate across multiple beauty categories.
LIB: What's your top self-care tip?
SBS: Good sleep! When I consistently get less than 7 hours of sleep, I see it on my face and feel it in my bones — and not in a good way.
I try to set boundaries and hustle hard during the day so I can fall asleep by 10 PM without feeling like I didn't get enough done.
LIB: Do you believe in beauty from the inside out?
SBS: I do, although I'm not the greatest about listening to my own wisdom.
In general, I find that eating healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts keep my skin and joints in check.
LIB: Do you wash your face every night before bed?
SBS: Every single night, without fail.
Sometimes I miss or skip the other steps in my routine, but any makeup and grime from the day must come off before my head hits the pillow.
I rarely use face or makeup removing wipes because they're not great for the environment and it's too easy to tug and pull on your skin with them, but I always have a single pack in my nightstand in case of emergencies.
LIB: What's your favorite beauty brand (aside from yours of course)?
SBS: I love Osmia Organics. The founder, Sarah, is wonderful. Her soaps are a staple in my skincare and body care routines.
I've also really enjoyed Agent Nateur products — they're pricey, but they work!
LIB: When you're not working on CLOVE + HALLOW what are you up to?
SBS: I'm usually cuddling with dogs, playing volleyball, or cooking!
LIB: What inspires you?
SBS: I'm inspired by energy in general. I like to play with the masculine versus feminine, and I find inspiration in things that radiate good energy. I know that sounds vague, but it's true!
It’s amazing what one person can do once you set your mind to it, and we love the brand and community that Sarah has created.
About the Author:
Stephanie Jade Wong is a NY-based freelance writer. She likes long walks to coffee shops, trying new beauty products, and petting strangers’ dogs.Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook