Frustrated by the overwhelming and contradictory information in the skincare industry, Ro Brahmand, the visionary founder behind The Wilds Skincare, sought to simplify and educate.
During an afternoon of discovering Ro’s favorite spots in Vancouver, she shared the inspiration that ignited her journey to create her own skincare line. Ro’s personal values are intricately woven into the fabric of the brand's mission, which embraces transparency, inclusivity, and holistic skin health.
Discover how Ro's love for self-care, commitment to sustainability, and appreciation for Vancouver's environment shape the brand's philosophy.
What was the inspiration behind launching The Wilds Skincare, and why was it important for you to create a genderless and clean brand?
As a rather skin-literate skincare consumer, I often found myself overwhelmed by the amount of information (and often, contradictory information) that was out there.
Skin-education was being offered in such an overly complicated way, it almost felt deliberate? As if we were meant to aimlessly go from brand to brand, with little to no understanding of what we were doing, as if to encourage over consumption and a broken cycle of trying, misusing and trying again.
Skincare products were being viewed as trends versus formula compositions.
“Perfect skin” was being offered as the destination and the only vehicle to get you there were topical products.
At this point, I understood very clearly, that not only is “perfect” skin unattainable, the vehicle was also missing some major mechanical parts. In addition to topical products, we need to consider diet, hydration levels, sleeping habits, stress management, all of which are major contributing factors to overall skin health.
This started to pose a bigger question: if the skincare industry is misguiding us at the very foundation of our products, what else is being excluded from the conversation?
I started to look at ingredient efficacy, packaging lifecycles, manufacturing practices, brand story-telling. All of which I felt lacked a level of transparency.
I started looking at the Founder’s behind the brands I was consuming, noticing a lack of representation. I am Kurdish-Canadian and growing up, I relied heavily on beauty campaigns to understand what it meant to be beautiful, rarely being able to see myself in what was being advertised. I considered how meaningful it would have been growing up to have someone like me describe beauty through their lens.
When I finally sat down to conceptualize The Wilds, it became clear to me that it needed to be: transparent from its ingredients lists to its manufacturing process, highly effective yet uncomplicated, and a brand that offered healthy, happy skin as the destination.
How do you prioritize self-care and encourage mindfulness both personally and as part of The Wilds' brand philosophy?
I have genuinely fallen deeply in love with the “practice of taking care”. Some of my most treasured rituals are cooking a healthy new recipe, going to the beach with my dog Frank, or even the time spent in my bathroom in the morning/before bed. I don’t look at those moments as boxes I have to check in a day but instead, as commitments and acts of love to myself.
I think like anything in life, when there is love and respect (towards your passions, loved ones, yourself etc), you show up as your best version. Your commitment to “taking care” should be no different.
In what ways does Vancouver's unique environment and culture influence The Wilds Skincare?
Vancouver as a city was hugely influential on The Wilds. Growing up near the ocean and the mountains, I have such a tremendous appreciation for our planet and feel a really great sense of responsibility in making sure it’s taken care of.
I considered The Wilds’ environmental footprint at almost every step of the manufacturing process. We produce in small batches to minimize waste, our packaging is 90% recyclable, the suppliers we’ve chosen to work with practice ethical production and we contribute to the 1% for the planet organization. There is a lot more we can do as a brand and I look forward to expanding our impact but I’m also super proud of the choices we’ve made so far.
Your personal style is undeniably distinct and a true reflection of your personality. Can you provide some tips on how to explore and confidently embrace your own unique fashion choices without it feeling too trend-driven?
I think we're really lucky to be living in a time where individuality is so highly valued and celebrated — it makes for a really fun fashion playground where you can be as creative as you want.
This environment, paired with the “self-work” i’ve done over the last few years has really enabled me to have more fun than I ever with all things that are creatively driven — interiors, florals, fashion, music.
Launching The Wilds required a great deal of vulnerability and introspection. The process taught me many valuable life skills but a few of my favourites (that have impacted my relationship with fashion):
- Your worth/value/competence has nothing to do with anyone other than you so compare yourself to no one
- Believe in yourself first and the rest of the world will follow (it will never work the other way around)
- t is far more comforting/validating to be seen for who you are then for how you think people want you to be seen
- Creativity is objective — your definition matters because its yours
Which destinations have you found most inspiring or memorable during your travels? Can you share some of your favorite places that have influenced your work with The Wilds?
I’ve been fortunate enough to some really beautiful corners of the world — Chile, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden. Even closer to home, I’ve seen places like Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, all of which feel very grounded in their local identity. I think anywhere I go that feels culturally authentic has inspired my work with The Wilds, further reinforcing the belief that people, places, things, in their truest state, are the most beautiful.
Lastly, can you share some of your favorite restaurants, shops, or must-visit spots in the city, and what makes each of them special and noteworthy to you?
Over the last few years, Vancouver has really flourished creatively. Restaurants have become more conceptually diverse, neighborhoods have distinct identities, florists/café’s/homeware shops are importing influences from around the world. It’s super exciting. My list is long but to narrow it down to a few —
La Bomba Floristry — Chinatown
Designed by Studio Roslyn, this floral studio is beautifully designed with the best selection of flowers and homeware.
Inform Interiors — Gastown
Whether you are designing a space or just looking to be inspired, Inform is a really special place to walk through.
Commercial Drive — Commercial
Home to italian deli’s, vintage shops, specialty grocers and some of the best restaurants in the city (Oca, La Tana, The Lunch Lady, La Mezcalaria)