Organic Deodorant Maker/Co-Owner Product Of Science and Art, Sunshine Coast
Adriana Virtue is a co-owner of Product of Science & Art, an organic soap company based in Vancouver. In 2014, she split her time between working as a marketing manager for American Apparel and taking part in an organic farming internship. By 2015, she found a home on the Sunshine Coast region of British Columbia. Her side passions include yoga, swimming and meditation.
Adriana, I met you as Marketing Manager for American Apparel, one day you announced you were leaving, moving and starting your organic soap business. What happened? What made you turn your life that way?
Short answer: In Vancouver it felt nearly impossible to be in our own space so when we saw the opportunity to invest in our own place we jumped on it.
Long answer: In 2014 Matthew and I started producing and marketing PSA in Vancouver, we took part in a Small Scale Organic Farming Internship Program 3 days a week, and I became a Marketing Manager at American Apparel.
In 2015 we had the opportunity to use .5 of an acre of farmland for 3 years in Richmond, BC through the internship program. We didn’t want to be tied to Richmond so we started looking all around Vancouver Island for a place that was affordable, beautiful and might have some future opportunities.
We had a real estate agent booked one morning to look at house that had feral cats living in it on a remote island when we remembered our trip to the Sunshine coast a year before and just out of curiosity started looking at the real estate. There were fully finished good condition homes for the same price as the feral cat house so we cancelled that appointment and booked the ferry to Powell River.
It took us 3 or 4 trips to find our house just outside of Powell River. We actually moved before I quit American Apparel and I was working remotely for a few months.
Matthew and I had been living in Vancouver for 3 years before moving up to the Sunshine Coast. We have been here for almost 2 years now. We have been running PSA together for 4 years.
Looking at your pictures, we see the nature takes a big place in your life, is that a Canadian thing?
I think it is a Canadian thing! I remember growing up in Alberta, all we had were the summer months (and no cell phones) I spent the entirety of summers outside. You can be outside year round in BC.
If not in Canada and if money and language didn’t matter, where would you live?
I would probably still live somewhere remote and by water, but somewhere warmer. Somewhere in Italy maybe.
What are your side passions?
Swimming, yoga and meditation, reading and beading.
How do you see yourself in 10 years?
Traveled and explored the local areas of Vancouver Island and the BC Coast, done a Canada Road trip or two. Children, I’ll be 37.
Any plan to expand your making into cosmetics?
Not cosmetics specifically. I really want to get production going on seasonal herbal salves. This is possible online for this fall.
We have a recipe for toothpaste I am working on, but it might just be a locally available product, or for personal use. We have to look into the rules on that one. But this would be very cool.
We make a really nice lotion that packaging hasn’t been decided on. Packaging the product is always first in mind. We want it to be realistic and sustainable, plus the label has to be just right. It takes a lot of time.
I am currently reformulating soap to be from a more local source! It will likely be ready for online this winter.
What are your plans for this weekend?
Working, 3 bbqs on the same day, working
Up on the Roof – the drifters
Right or left handed?
What is the best dish you can cook?
Braised Chicken with Lemon and Olives
What is your middle name?
What do you do in your free time?
Try to get to a swim spot, read, bead, clean/laundry
What inspires you?
Sunset! A mixture of being rushed and the chance to relax
What do you do for money?
I am on the Management team at a non-profit coffee shop.
What do you do for pleasure?
Swim, bike, explore, bead
Your idea of happiness?
Greenery, a sunny day swimming, or a hot bath
Your idea of misery?
Old or dirty socks, not enough blankets
If not yourself, who would you be?
In school for something serious
What is your present state of mind?
Busy bee, I need to slow down to get more done, but it is summer!
Bedside table books?
Currently–Kurt Vonnegut "God bless you Mr Rosewater"
What do you do if you can’t sleep at night?
Bath or bad movies, Seinfeld
Do you collect?
Beading, artifacts, things that we make with Charilie Bob
Tea or coffee?
BOTH all day
What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
That if my entire body wasn’t covered up at night whatever was left uncovered would be gone in the morning, head not included or that being older/grown up meant no responsibilities.