By Lance Avery Morgan Photography courtesy of EvolvE
As we think past COVID-19, we definitely have some luxury health treatments in mind for the near future, don’t you?
In a world run with autoimmune diseases, allergies and chronic pain, it’s not surprising that in Austin, a city known for its propensity for health, is making great strides in the arena. EvolvE has become a sanctuary free from harmful toxins and brimming with holistic services. “I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s nearly 10 years ago and didn’t feel medication was the best option for me,” says Shannon Maddalena, one of EvolvE’s founders.
“So, I consulted my nutritionist who put me on a healthy path to recovery. She has a Ph.D in Biochemistry and I trusted her guidance immensely. We’ve had great success working solely through nutrition. People are looking for alternative options to medications, options that don’t include treatment that can create other conditions. That’s how EvolvE was born as a destination in Austin: we are working with the body’s natural abilities to accomplish a goal, whether it be better sleep, improved immune function, reduced pain, more energy or recovery. Holistic services work with our intrinsic healing powers.”
At EvolvE, every service and product is vetted thoroughly before being added into Austin’s State-of-the-art Wellness Center. Housing myriad services for Austinites and travelers alike, their core principles are focused around the whole health of the human. “We only have this one body. In order to thrive, we need to make great choices for ourselves, our families and our future,” says Shannon Maddalena, as we caught up with her to learn more about creating more health in our lives…
LANCE AVERY MORGAN: What is your favorite motto for yourself and the way you live your life?
SHANNON MADDALENA: In order to care for our loved ones, we have to have our own basic needs met first. Self-care is significantly underrated. Please place the mask over your own nose and mouth before assisting others is what parents are instructed on flights in case of need. We often don’t take enough time for ourselves.
LAM: What inspired you to open a wellness center?
SM: After I was diagnosed with Hashimotos, I decided to embark on a journey to find real answers. I worked with a nutritionist to avoid medication and to keep my health intact. We have had great success through diet alone, but avoiding toxins is part of the plan to keep me thriving. While I was on a non-toxic path prior to my diagnosis, I pay much more attention since then and employ it in every aspect of my life now.
LAM: How has your diagnosis changed how you look at products?
SM: We don’t typically learn what we’re putting on and in our bodies until we get sick. When our members tell their stories, they resonate with me because I’ve been there. I think the take away is to share our experiences more. We should be on our own path to become and stay healthy, rather than working to correct sickness.
LAM: How do you choose which brands to carry?
SM: We curate brands based on various guiding principles. I look for botanically rich skincare, sourcing organic or wild crafted ingredients without fillers, synthetics and toxins. It’s important to us that the brands we carry are mindful about ethical and sustainable sourcing, as well as avoiding animal testing. Green beauty takes a tremendous amount of time, attention and awareness to create, but reaps amazing rewards in terms of both results and, more importantly, our health. While these products are a bit more expensive, it’s important to understand that quality ingredients are more expensive to procure and produce.
LAM: What does ethical beauty mean to you?
SM: For me it starts with passionate founders of companies wanting to create products that are not only great for the people who use them, but foster a positive work atmosphere, and offer fair pay. It also means keeping the environment in mind when producing and manufacturing the ingredients in their products, and making decisions about how to test their products.
When it comes to purchasing products, it means understanding that we put our guests’ health first and helping them learn how to source great products in everyday life. In supporting companies that avoid toxins, we are not only improving our health, but that of our environment as well. As sales of organic, sustainable, ethically oriented companies increase, sales of dirty products decrease and large companies take notice. Your best vote is with your dollar.
LAM: How do you apply this to your business?
SM: We thoroughly vet all vendors to ensure their philosophy is in line with ours. We look for companies who refuse to use harmful ingredients on principle, and foster meaningful relationships with companies who share our core values. We often have events where we can spend more time with our guests answering questions and helping them make the best choices for where they are in life. Clean options are not the least expensive, but they are worth the purchase. We help guide people within their budget.
LAM: What beauty services do you provide?
SM: The skin division of our Wellness Center offers corrective BioEnergy, Nanotechnology and Stem Cell treatments as well as Hydrating Treatments and facials to get acne under control. Utilizing nature’s most nourishing ingredients, we can get the response we are looking for with our skin. Our products are botanically rich, nutrient dense collections housing peptides, vitamin c, hyaluronic acid, and superfoods.
LAM: Plus, I personally love the Cryo chamber treatment. There’s nothing like it that I have ever experienced as a treatment for reducing inflammation, which also is a leading cause of disease. Why is it important to stay away from toxic ingredients?
SM: Toxic ingredients age your skin and are absorbed into the body. It isn’t a one-off application that makes a difference, it’s the combination of the products we use all day, every day. It makes a big impact over time. In fact, everything at EvolvE is clean, from no VOC paint to the laundry protocol. Our entire facility is curated with health in mind. We clean the facility with the same ingredients I use in my home, Tea Tree and Peppermint Oil. Our Massage Oils are certified organic or wild crafted, and our products are vetted for purity, sustainability and ethical practices.
LAM: How do you source the brands you offer at EvolvE?
SM: We procure everything from organic skincare to products for everyday life. Most products on the market today contain toxic ingredients. The key is to learn which ingredients to stay away from and read labels, or find a trusted source for your daily needs.
For more information, visit EvolveATX.com.