By Valerie Milano
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 3/17/22 – When people think of gardening, they often picture a sizable outdoor space set aside in a beautiful backyard. But for those who live in apartments, this is not always possible. That’s why Liana Blomquist came up with the idea of creating Brooklyn Rooftop Botanicals, New York City’s first and only “beauty farm” that grows and processes over 50 plants to create extracts and products out of.
“My mission is to show and educate how beauty botanicals can be farmed in an urban environment so we can think more locally, sustainably, and consciously when it comes to our beauty consumption habits,” she told Hollywood Times.
The farm, which spans over three rooftops, (2K sq. ft.) started as an idea back in the spring of 2018, when Blomquist was ready for a career change after working for 10 years at beauty companies Elizabeth Arden and Revlon as a global marketing and product development executive for their fragrance and skincare divisions.
“At that time, I was getting back into gardening,” Blomquist explained. “I already had some basic knowledge, but it quickly became a passion where I spent every minute of my free time learning all about botanicals. During that same time, I was also becoming more conscious of my beauty consumption habits and how they were affecting the planet.”
It was at that time that Blomquist had an epiphany. “I realized if I grew potent botanicals, I could merge my passions for beauty and possibly change the way raw materials are farmed, processed and sourced in the beauty industry to help combat climate change,” she enthused.
Blomquist feels the work she is doing is imperative in leading more of a sustainable life.
“City dwellers will always rely on rural farmers for raw materials, but since 86 per cent of the United States’ population currently lives in urban areas, we must rethink how we’re going to supply raw materials and essentials in a more sustainable and secure way.”
She continued: “According to the United Nations predictions, which cites that more than two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, (need link to prove this quote) we also need to be aware of the obvious: cities are going to be even more polluting than before.”
While Blomquist’s rooftop farm will never be able to fully grow and process 100 per cent of the ingredients needed to create their botanical beauty products, she still wants to grow as many of those ingredients.
In this way, she can generate awareness around how raw materials are being grown and processed globally, to increase local urban agriculture investing.
The veteran beauty executive also hopes to acquire more commercial rooftops that can help further her cause.
“The end goal would be to have a real learning space where people can come and visit and learn how to grow and to formulate their own products. By doing so, we’ll be drastically reducing the carbon emissions emitted from processing and shipping these raw materials from halfway across the globe.”
“Having rooftop farms in cities also takes advantage of unused roofs, which improves urban ecology, enhances quality of life, creates jobs and provides environmental and agricultural education to those of us who live in and love cities!”
In the future, Blomquist hopes to be able to sell more products and eventually, her extracts and raw botanicals. “We’re still growing so this will take some time! I would also like to establish a school program where children can come and learn how to grow and more.”
Their new gel moisturizer, BRBotanicals’ Rose & Chamomile Gel Moisturizer, is formulated with Brooklyn rooftop-grown rose and chamomile extracts combined with hyaluronic acid, squalene, USDA organic glycerin, and vitamin E.
You can buy Blomquist’s products at www.brbotanicals.com