Meet Your Maker & Giving Back

We are happy to introduce a new bi-monthly feature in our journal, Meet Your Maker. Here, you'll get the inside scoop on some of our favorite vendors and what rocks their worlds. We are also teaming up with some of Tucson's great photographers, who will be taking time to capture our vendors through their respective lenses; we will give you a little intro to each of them and their craft as well. Enjoy!

Kaelen Johnson
Founder of Pure Aesthetics Natural Skincare School & Kaelen Harwell Organic Skincare

Kaelen Johnson is a truly inspiring gal. She is an unstoppable business woman, and all around lovely lady. She somehow embodies both pure ambition with the sweetest humility and goodness. She recently launched her new, organically-harvested skincare line, Kaelen Harwell Natural Skincare, which we all use and love. We are honored to be carrying a selection of this fantastic line at MAST.

Q: As a child, what seemed the most out of reach to you? How does it seem today?
A: I think I have to say being in charge of something i.e. running my own businesses. I love being my own boss but I still have a hard time when my employees call me their "boss". Although it's ultimately me that makes a final decision, I value my employee's opinions and think it's important that they feel empowered too. 

Q: What is 1 of the top 3 ethics that you abide by in your craft?
A: In this day and age we're subjected to many toxins. I feel it's so important to use high-quality ingredients that are free of carcinogens. It blows me away that in the US personal care ingredients are not more regulated.

Q: As you reflect, what has been the consistent theme in your life?
A: Perseverance. I don't give up easily.

Q: What continues to elude you?
A: Organization. A business advisor once saw my desk and said, "oh I see you're a creative person."

Q: If you were not the founder of Pure Aesthetics Natural Skincare School and Kaelen Harwell Organic Skincare, what would you be?
A: A backup singer, if someone would hire me.

Q: What is the very first creation you remember making?
A: When I was a kid I used to like to make mud pies. I remember someone once told me that mud was good for your skin… I guess that inspired me to move from pies to masks. 

Q: What are your top three necessities?
A: Au Natural lip gloss. Vegan food from Tumerico. Strawberry Synergy Kombucha. 

Q: What have you been listening to while you work most recently?
A: Carla Morrison, Eleni Mandell, and David Bowie

Photography by Sloane Ehnat, Film Photographer & Make-Up Artist specializing in intimate portraiture, personal, and professional branding. Sloane is super excited about her newest project, exploring love and intimacy!

Since we are focusing on non-profits and the community this springtime, we thought we would show you a couple of our pieces that benefit Tucson non-profits that we are crazy about.

Our Perfect Cut Blouse, is just wear with jeans or a skirt, to dress up or down. We know the value of a versatile and simple piece in our wardrobes. This is what the Perfect Cut Blouse inhabits, speaking to a wide variety of women. Made in limited edition runs of gorgeous silk, cotton, linen and rayon (and available in our brick & mortar store), the blouse is a collaboration between Mellow Dawn, her mother Debbie Barrett, and her aunt Marty McCrea. A motley crew, to be sure.

Sofie Albertsen’s My Heart Belongs In Tucson Compass Necklace is a piece that Sofie modified a year and a half ago when we were having an in-store raffle to support Youth on Their Own. Sofie took her solid sterling Heart Compass Necklace and engraved Tucson inside a banner, with an arrow piercing it. On the flip side sits a working vintage Japanese compass. Perfect to point you back to where your heart is...Tucson, obviously. 

We’re confident that both of these pieces are made even more alluring by the fact that all of post production profit benefits Tucson's Idea School, an independent K-8 school focused on student inquiry and social-emotional development. The Idea School develops critical thinkers, problem solvers, and productive, engaged citizens. A school promoting an education a child can love can’t be over-estimated. 

Tucson Gives! April is a time for renewal, clearing the way for the coming seasons, and creating growth within our community. With that in mind, we would like to illuminate a few of the many local non-profits that we love and what they offer to the community. The two that we are highlighting are having fundraising events during the month of April, so it seemed appropriate to make these non-profits our focus this month.

This Tuesday is Arizona Gives Day, so be sure to donate to your favorite causes! We happily donate to all of these groups, and are so proud that they are part of what makes Tucson so special. 

Firstly, MOCA Tucson, our local Museum of Contemporary Art. 

MOCA brings our local creative community together in a very special way. We LOVE them and their vision for Tucson.

Inside Scoop: Each of us has donated a very special, custom designed piece for their upcoming gala on April 16th.

*All photos courtesy of MOCA Tucson. 

Therapeutic Riding of Tucson (TROT) has had a huge impact on our community, offering equine therapy to Veterans and children with PTSD, TBI, and other devastating physical and emotional disabilities, along with many other people in need. 

Their annual fundraiser gala is April 9th at Loews Ventana Canyon. 

Please check out these great local non-profits, and/or do some research and find a charitable group that rocks your world. It feels so good to be a part of making things better.

XO from the MAST girls!