Spirituality is more than rose quartz crystals and sage smudge sticks. According to Chloe Norlander—certified reiki and founder of Pittsburgh-based beauty brand RadRitual—it’s about clearing all of the inner machinations of your mind, regardless of how tucked away they may be. And she’s ready to help you heal from your emotional baggage, one CBD-infused facial oil at a time.
Below, Norlander opens up about the whitewashing of spirituality, the healing properties of CBD oil, and the conception of her “self care” company, RadRitual.
COOLS: Why did you decide to create RadRitual?
Chloe Norlander: “The concept has definitely evolved and shifted a lot, but the one thing that really served as the foundation was the mission to provide healing in the form of safer and higher quality personal care rituals, and just to instill a sense of self-love through self care. It’s difficult nowadays to recall the power of slowing down, and our self care rituals are at the heart of enhancing our well-being. The mission has really been to encourage this practice in small and accessible ways. One of the things we say a lot in regards to our beauty line is that we go more than just skin-deep—and that’s really the root of what I want RadRitual to be.”
COOLS: You also have a background in holistic medicine and spiritual healing. How did you tie that into RadRitual?
CN: “That journey into spirituality and holistic healing lead the way for me. It started around the same time that the idea of RadRitual formed in my mind. I moved back to New York City post-undergrad and was just kind of feeling unfulfilled and lost, as cliche as that sounds. I don’t remember how, but I was looking for something to get moving in a direction that felt fulfilling. I started my training in The Spirit School, which technically was a reiki certification program, and it was definitely the catalyst to where I am and where RadRitual is now. I wanted to create my own business and do something that felt truthful to me and my mission. I don’t think I would have been able to do that without the backing of this spiritual, energetic background and practice. It taught me that spirituality in the mainstream has become this whitewashed version that people promote. But the root of spirituality is more than that. It’s tough, it’s griddy, and it pushes you into uncomfortable places. For me it’s all about overcoming and finding out your capabilities.
COOLS: Could you delve a little more into the whitewashing of spirituality?
CN:“Whether on social media or in the outside world, people are consuming spirituality or promoting it. But, it’s not all rainbows and light and all of those sort of positive things. If you don’t look a certain way into your spirituality, then it’s not adequate or frugal. You’re doing it wrong. It’s unrealistic, and it’s frustrating to see.
“For very few people, it can be all positive and a really beautiful thing, and spirituality is different for every single person. But, through my experience, it’s so much deeper than that. I really value the people and brands that are transparent about what it is to them, and that it’s not as easy as people make it look. There is no certain way to practice spirituality or to embrace it, and you can figure it out by doing what feels the most authentic to yourself.
“There’s also a little bit of fear or nervousness from people to show the reality of it, and to not post or share all of the aspects of healing and energy work that isn’t so pleasing or positive. I get a lot of inspiration and value from the people who push past that sort of fear and want to share their reality and the truth behind their practice and their healing. I think that opens the door for people to be more truthful with themselves and with others about how to embrace their own authentic spirituality.”
COOLS: How is RadRitual educating the masses on the real factors of spirituality?
CN: “Whenever I am sharing or doing anything with the spiritual identity of the brand, it’s always coming from a personal experience or lesson as part of my journey—and I think that’s what sort of touches people. It’s something different than what is most commonly seen, and I think it’s just more relatable.
“I think one of the goals was to keep that personal experience behind our brand. Trust is important to everything that we do. We want our brand to feel authentic and real to the people who are interacting with us.”
COOLS: CBD is such a major part of RadRitual, why does it have such a huge presence in your brand?
CN: “Because we really, truly, wholeheartedly believe in and have experienced first-hand the magic of CBD. Every single person and animal in my personal household utilizes CBD, and we’ve all seen an immense quality of life-enhancing benefits from it; it’s become such a staple to us.
“Personally, before it was such a big part of our brand and product line, it felt selfish to just keep it to ourselves. It really went perfectly with the entire mission and goal of what I’ve always wanted RadRitual to provide to people, so it made a lot of sense to incorporate it into what we were doing.
“It started so much differently than where we’re at now. I’m lucky that my husband has worked with CBD for a very long time; he’s the one who introduced it to me at a time when I was in a similar place where a lot of our customers are. I was in chronic, debilitating pain and I tried everything, but nothing worked. From the first time I tried it personally, I knew it was something I had to offer to our customers.”
COOLS: Why do you believe self care is such a vital part of beauty, and overall wellness?
CN: “For me, it’s this belief that every time we partake in a self-care ritual, we’re reminding ourselves on a base-level that we are worthy and we deserve our own self love. Our tagline has become that RadRitual beauty builds a lasting confidence and creates a calmness and peace, which for me personally is where beauty stems from.
“With RadRitual, even before getting into making our own brand and product line, there’s always been this focus on self-care rituals; they’ve been proven time and time again to reduce stress and anxiety, and are scientifically beneficial to your wellbeing. Since it’s so difficult to prioritize self-care nowadays, the products we create really are in collaboration with our belief in self-care. We wanted to do products that further enhance the anti-stress and self-love qualities of a self-care ritual.. The whole purpose of having CBD in skincare and really putting thought into our ingredients is to provide results and give you a good sense of self-care and enhance general wellbeing, and to provide tangible changes that you can really see and feel both on a surface level and within yourself.
COOLS: What’s next for RadRitual?
CN: “My favorite thing that anyone has ever told me about RadRitual as a brand is that we kind of have a bit of edge, or a “F*ck you” quality—we stay true to ourselves, our vision, and our morals in the face of an environment that pushes more bland ideas or selling out. We hope that what’s next for us—because RadRitual Beauty is so new, we hope to see success that allows us tol stay true to our mission.