Cosmic Dealer: Ayurvedic health products by Monique Foy
A few months ago we discovered this brand at the Allyours store in Barcelona and we loved it. So much so that we have become regular customers of their chocolates and incenses, as well as fans of their tongue cleaner.
Cosmic Dealer is a new brand of Ayurvedic products whose graphic design image and packaging will make you fall in love, and whose purpose is to improve our habits and therefore our lives.
A few days ago we chatted with its founder, Monique Foy, an extraordinary woman who made it clear to us that not everything is invented, and there are always different perspectives for improvement and that fighting for what we believe in, not only for our benefit but also for the benefit of others, it has a reward. Come and read.
What prompted you to create your own brand?
It’s eleven years ago now that I decided to throw caution to the wind and leave my corporate law job in Sydney to pursue a career in fashion in Paris. Looking back at it now, it was a pretty crazy move, but thank god for that moment of insanity!
After getting lucky and landing a job at a big luxury group I spent the next ten years living the dream of working for top designers, surviving fashion weeks soaking up all the wonderful drama that is la mode. It was an amazing experience but at the same time my health suffered. The impact of living at a million miles an hour in a very urban city started to catch up with me: digestive issues, troubled sleep, bad skin and hormonal imbalances just to name a few. All the types of things that affect your day-to-day life but that a doctor doesn’t take much notice of.
“So in looking for solutions, I started down the path of alternative medicine and decided to book my first Ayurvedic retreat. At the end of the week-long retreat I was feeling the best I’d felt in…ever. I was literally on top of the world, I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face!”
I’ve always been someone who has loved to try new things, weird experiences, and fringe trends in wellness. But when I discovered the amazing, expansive and eye-opening universe of Ayurveda, it all really started to click. All this fragmented knowledge and experiences I had were given a new container that made sense as a whole, because Ayurveda in a way brought it all together.
At the end of the retreat I remember our teacher announcing:
“If there is one thing you take away from this retreat, it’s that you should scrape your tongue every morning, because it will literally change your life.”
And indeed it did!
And that’s how Cosmic Dealer was really born: I loved this tool and ritual and wanted to share it with as many people as possible! But I couldn’t find one that wasn’t thin and flimsy and deformed easily so I set out to make the best tongue cleaner in the universe, one that lasted for a lifetime and that could also be a beautiful gift. And thus, our first product was born: A Tongue Cleaner Changed My Life.
Who are part of this project?
My partner Fati joined me last year. We worked together at the fashion brand Ami where I was Director of Marketing & Image and she was Director of Production. We used to take tea breaks in the kitchen for what we called “Bitch Pitch” haha. Pitching each other ideas for female-led badass businesses. I don’t think we ever actually imagined starting a business together though! About a year and a half into the brand she rang me one day and just said “I’m joining you, Bitch Pitch is happening!” And I was like yeh, cool – let’s do this!
How would you define Cosmic Dealer? and what is the origin of your naming?
At Cosmic Dealer we create high-vibes herbal chocolate and other wellness accessories for everyday rituals. We like to say that we create new-age Alchemy.
“We believe that tiny changes can lead to big shifts in your overall wellbeing. Because your health in large part consists of the aggregate of your everyday actions.”
As for the name: one of the fundamental concepts in Ayurveda is that we are a reflection of the five basic Cosmic elements – Ether (Space), Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Not only do these elements live externally in nature, but internally within every one of us.
Because these natural elements exist in both the macrocosm of the universe and the microcosm of our individual bodies, bringing our bodies and rhythms in sync with the cycles of Nature is what will keep us balanced and well.
How many products do you currently have?
We have our hygiene products: tongue cleaner and botanical mouthwash Superfoods: herbal chocolate tablets and ayurvedic tea Aromatherapy: all-natural incense and Wearable Wellness: cbd-infused t-shirts and meditation blanket
Ayurvedic treats wellness as a very holistic concept, so it was important for us to create a brand that reflected that.
One of your flagship product is a 100% copper Ayurvedic tongue cleaner. How did the creation of this product come about?
I couldn’t believe when I started to use a tongue cleaner that I had never known about it before that point. The results were immediate, I could see the gross bacteria I was talking off my tongue every morning, and how it would change according to my diet. So I started to become more conscious about what I would put into my body, and ultimately ended up quitting sugar as a result (which is life-changing!). All of this from one little tool!
But when I went looking to buy them for friends as presents, I couldn’t find any that were not in plastic packaging, and the ones I bought online turned up and were just flimsy thin copper.
So when I decided that I wanted to start my own Ayurvedic wellness brand, this was the obvious product to start with! The mission was to simply create the best tongue cleaner in the universe :) then everything else blossomed from there.
For someone who does not know anything about Ayurveda, what would you say? What benefits does it have?
“Ayurveda is a holistic mind-body health system developed in ancient India. Translated from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means the science of life or knowledge of longevity.”
Yoga and Ayurveda have the same origins. Yoga traditionally focuses on the spirit, while Ayurveda, its sister science, mostly concerns the body and mind.
Ayurveda combines detox and body cleansing techniques, nutritional and botanical remedies, movement, and relaxation rituals as well as self-care and sexual health practices.
“What’s amazing about Ayurveda is that it respects the individuality of the patient. Ayurvedic practitioners do not treat an ailment without knowing more about the body and mind of the person affected.”
So its healing system is thus based on ways to determine what is good for your individual body-and-mind type and its specific needs regarding diet, movement and lifestyle.
What would you say is your additional value?
There are so many amazing traditional Ayurvedic products out there, but I wanted to look at Ayurveda through a modern lens: bring Ayurveda into the conversation in a modern way that wasn’t intimidating to those who perhaps had never heard of it.
Also, I wanted to have fun with wellness! I think “wellness” can sometimes take itself too seriously and be a little overwhelming – but that’s not really my personality and I wanted Cosmic Dealer to be serious about product quality and perhaps a little less serious on the brand side, bringing some lightness and colour into daily wellness rituals.
Who designs your graphic image?
The formidable girls at Studio Etiquette. I have worked with them for years across the different brands I have worked with, they are amazing.
Where do you make all your products?
When we are designing a product we really try and source the best of the best.
“We scour the world to find the best artisans, ateliers, ashrams, gardens and kitchens and somehow convince them to help us develop wellness products that are up to our impossibly high standards.”
So for us for example it makes sense to make our herbal tea in France, our meditation blanket weaved in Tuscany but our incense in the Himalayan mountains with a yogi who uses local plants.
We have really personal relationships with our producers because they are all small human-scale and mostly family businesses. For example, we regularly do meditations online with our incense producer who is such a guru. We love his vibe.
You also have food products like your delicious and healthy chocolates. What can you tell us about them? Do you plan to launch more chocolates varieties?
“In Ayurveda food is also the basis of healing, and sugar is such a prolific problem in our modern diet that I really wanted to help people address this as one of our first products. Our 100% chocolate contains no sugar and our 85% is only lightly sweetened with dates.”
Reducing or removing excess sugar in our diet has so many benefits and within a matter of weeks your taste buds can realign to their natural state – appreciating the taste of ‘real’ food again! Your energy levels increase, your skin clears up and your mind is suddenly clear of brain fog. Even just those small shifts can make a big difference in your daily life.
Cacao is also one of the original superfoods, real non industrialized cacao has so many health benefits. Our cacao is bean-to-bar, single origin, I have become a complete cacao nerd and have immersed myself in the industry, it is such an interesting one. I’ve really become so obsessed with good quality craft chocolate, and the response has been so amazing, that yes, much of our focus this year will be on the chocolate side of things, with new products to come.
You have also collaborated with the artist Leona Rose and together you have created a beautiful meditation blanket. How was the process? Do you plan to do more collaborations with artists?
The process was super cool, she is one cool chicka. I had the idea when I was actually in Dubai so called her from there and she was immediately receptive to the project. Then we actually met first in Venice a couple of months late. So the blanket was conceived over Campari spritz ;) We brainstormed the symbolism we wanted to see on the blanket and then Leona went away and did her magic.
Yes we’d love to collaborate with other artists, we’ve got a project in mind for second half of the year, if we pull it off it will be veeery cool.
What is your main market? And, in addition to your website, where can we buy your products?
Our main market is France and we ship internationally via our website. But other important markets for us are Germany, Switzerland, Spain and then the rest of Europe. It was important for us to be international from day one. In Spain we have a few beautiful retail partners in clean beauty, for example All Yours, La Crème Organics, The Singular Olivia, Six Senses, Konse Beauty… and cool cafés for our food products like Dot Café Madrid and OhBaba in San Sebastian.
What are you working on right now?
We are finalising our new chocolate product which has meant many many many chocolate tastings. I have lost track of the number of samples we have tasted. It is honestly the best job! We want to get these chocolates absolutely perfect, and we just tasted the final samples yesterday and bingo! We have landed on what is maybe my favourite product yet. We’re really lucky to work with incredible chocolatiers for this and amazing quality cacao beans that have an incredible flavour. They’ll be release in April.
“We are also developing new incense scents and tea. We’re following what our clients want and what we have had the most fun creating.”
What are your main sources of inspiration?
I’d say one of my more uncommon sources of inspiration are cacao ceremonies. Most of our crazy product names have come to me during cacao ceremonies! They are known more to release emotional blockages, but they are also incredibly powerful creative portals. The breathwork + music + cacao just lifts you up to a place where your rational mind no longer exists, and you are left with just pure love, emotion and creativity. So I guess the source is actually my subconscious but the context is the ceremony.
A book, a movie / series or a song that you have recently discovered and that you would recommend.
I’m reading “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle at the moment. So far, so good.
Favorite place to get lost…
Menorca. Secluded empty beaches, incredible sunsets and a sprinkling of wild goats. It’s my happy place.
A mantra for this 2022.
“Walk into the wild”.
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