adina

Courtesy of S.W. Basics

There are many, many skincare companies out there, from the soap seller at the street fair, to the sugar scrub-making farm hippie. With such a crowded market, it’s hard to stand out. But Adina Grigore made it happen with her thriving skincare company S.W. Basics.

To look at her from afar on the interwebs, you would be excused for being intimidated. Her Brooklyn-based company is obviously well-run, with an intuitive online store, gorgeous packaging, and a team of very cool people including a former activist. You can find S.W. Basics all over the United States and as far away as Australia and England. (Obviously, her items are completely toxin-free, with just enough ingredients to get the job done, and nothing more.) And if that weren’t enough, a write up by Cool Hunting made her look, well, very cool.

And then I met Adina, and I was surprised to find that I immediately felt like we could be friends. She’s just so adorable and friendly. Adina managed to answer these questions for me, even as she was preparing for her wedding that week. (See? So sweet. And efficient.) Read up on how she lives her sustainable Brooklyn life:

What’s your favorite NYC restaurant?

Ugh, I almost feel silly saying this, but Five Leaves. I know that they are so sexy in the media, but seriously I’ve never had a meal there that wasn’t incredible. So really, the media is just right. [Editor’s note: This is the second time I’ve gotten this answer.]

Your fave bar or club?

There is a place called Red Star in Greenpoint that is my favorite, and also every beer-drinking sports fan’s favorite. I like it because it’s nothing like NY but also in NY. Weird, I know.

Describe your perfect Sunday.

Laying out in the park in our neighborhood after stuffing my face at brunch.

You can only see one musical artist perform this year–who do you choose?

Jeff Mangum [of Neutral Milk Hotel], if we could ever ever get tickets. Adam [her new husband!] and I have waited at the computer for the minute they go on sale and still never been able to go.

What’s your favorite place to shop in the city?

Brooklyn Flea!

Your favorite NYC-made brand?

Oh, this is just impossible. Grady’s Cold Brew, TumericALIVE, and Brooklyn Brine. All in my fridge right now.

You have three days free to get the heck out of the city. Where do you go?

Home! South Florida. Three days is the perfect amount of time for that crazy place.

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Do you vintage shop? Where do you go?

Yes! Mostly at two places called Junk and Monk Vintage in Williamsburg. I prefer hand crafted places though, like The One Well in Greenpoint.

What’s your biggest, unsustainable bad habit?

CARS. Ugh. I am the worst. I am addicted to ZipCar.

How has living sustainably change your life for the better?

Less guilt? Less worry. Less money.

Do you ever lecture your friends on their non-green choices?

Oh my Lord, you should have one of them answer this–they would give you an ear full. I like to believe that I am gentle and do not obsess over these things outwardly or make people feel pressured. None of that is true.

What do you find most challenging about living sustainably?

It’s definitely less convenient and requires a lot of thought and constant action. Sort of like pursuing information or an education. You always have to be on your toes and up to date on how to do it right. Worth it though, obvs.

When it’s yellow, do you let it mellow?

Totally. My mom used to get so so mad at my sister and I when we were younger about this. We were probably a little more into it than I am now. AKA, back then I didn’t care about guests or strangers, now I do. But when it’s just us, hell ya.