Meet Michelle Gagnon – founder of MKG Active
Michelle Gagnon is as chic as her name sounds. An adventurer with a mission, born and raised in NYC, Michelle travels to gather her the top of the notch essential oils. From Yemen to Oman, by air or on the back of a camel. Collecting memories along the way, her scents are hearty, pure, luxurious.
We met at an event in one of my favourite shops in New York West Village , Cap Beauty, where Michelle was hosting a talk the essence of essential oils, the techniques and potency of these golden drops, the integration of oils in our beauty regime and casually launching her first skin care oil under her name MKG Bio Alchemy.
Her face oil feels like velvety kisses on the skin.
Michelle grew up in a family of alchemists. Mixing blends for reputable stores in NYC she has learnt the ways and knows where to source the best quality oils. Not surprising that she works hand in hand with the luxurious essential oil boutique Enfleurage A place reflecting a sustainable ethical lifestyle, run by people who walk the talk.
Which is exactly where I feel comfortable too. “We are what we eat” and we absorb what we put on our skin, through the skin. It might be a overly stated quote, but oh so true and important for us ladies especially to switch to toxic free beauty, for obvious health reasons. Whilst some skin care products are okay to diy whereas others I prefer to lay my trust into expert hands, like Michelle Gagnon.
Inspired by her presence and her know how, we stayed in touch. After a super busy time in the Sultanate of Oman, Michelle agreed to let me represent her skin oil on shop and to share a bit of her story with us here on Abi’s Journal.
I travel around the world to source the plant materials I choose to work with so I truly understand how they are cultivated/harvested and the extraction method which is used to produce their oil.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did u start your brand, MKG Bio Alchemy?
MKG Bio Alchemy was born from curiosity and perusal exploration of plants and phyto-medicine and has developed through my travels and work very organically.
What are your principles?
True luxury is knowing the source. In my opinion, words like “organic” and “wildcrafted” are thrown around very loosely. I travel around the world to source the plant materials I choose to work with so I truly understand how they are cultivated/harvested and the extraction method which is used to produce their oil. I want to fully understand its evolution from the earth to my hands.
All essential oils used are grown with the utmost consciousness and respect, and are extracted without solvents. Formulations are created based upon chemistry and results, aromatic pleasure is a given when working with such precious botanicals. I don’t work with a material until I fully understand it’s capabilities and personality.
(Michelle in her element-traveling, foraging, distilling, blending for MKG Bio Alchemy)
What inspires you?
I am inspired by plants growing wild in their natural habitat- the smells, sounds, sights, textures and shapes that surround them.
I am inspired by explorers and ethnobotanists, as well as my own travel.
I am also inspired by change, transformation and my dreams.
I love your journal, it is beautiful and truly spoken from the heart. It seems to reflect the beauty you radiate.
How do you integrate conscious consumption & sustainability in your everyday life?
I keep it simple and clean and I don’t over complicate things. I enjoy living in harmony with nature and my environment. I like to know the source of my food and herbs and always work with seasonally and locally grown produce (where ever I am in the world) and shop mindfully at farmers markets – ask questions! MKG Bio Alchemy supports small farms and distillers around the world with ethical and innovative growing and harvesting practices.
If I am wild-harvesting or foraging food, I do not over harvest and if I am unsure or unaware of a topic/plant/sustainable issue I will educate myself thoroughly on a matter and take a stance that feels most appropriate for myself and the environment.
MKG Bio Alchemy supports small farms and distillers around the world with ethical and innovative growing and harvesting practices.
(Michelle Gagnon at home in NYC, at Enfleurage)
What are your favorite spots in NY&Brooklyn?
Enfleurage, this place is an aromatic farmers market of the world for essential oils. Even before working with them, this was one of my favorite special treasures in the city.
Te company, Oolong tea from Taiwan is a very specific interest of mine and this lovely tea house on 10th street has an extensive collection. It is small cozy and Elaine and Federico are as beautiful as the exquisite tea they serve.
Woom Center – A special place to bathe in sound, disconnect, connect, and raise your vibration.
Abc kitchen. – local, organic, wholesome food.
7115 by Szeki – Designer Szeki has sustainable simple clothing with perfect attention to detail. Her aesthetic is inline with her philosophy, pieces are expertly crafted in small batches
Shop Michelle’s face oil
30 ml glass bottle with pump ¥22,000