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“Ethically and sustainably sourced” With Penny Bauder & Brianna Gilstrap

We strive to formulate clean, uncomplicated yet highly effective skincare that provides and promotes overall skin health. Our products are suitable for all skin types without the use of toxic, harmful or aggressive ingredients in our products. We use ingredients that are healthy, healing, ethically and sustainably sourced. As part of my series about what […]

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We strive to formulate clean, uncomplicated yet highly effective skincare that provides and promotes overall skin health. Our products are suitable for all skin types without the use of toxic, harmful or aggressive ingredients in our products. We use ingredients that are healthy, healing, ethically and sustainably sourced.


As part of my series about what “What Our Company Is Doing To Become More Sustainable”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brianna Gilstrap.

Brianna Gilstrap, founder and CEO of Stone & Tumble, spent years working as a retail buyer with extensive focus on e-commerce. Through the years, she always had fairly nice skin, but when reaching the height of her career all that changed. Induced from stress, her skin suddenly “freaked out” and she was left with cystic hormonal acne, rosacea, dryness, and hyperpigmentation. Desperate to find a solution, she spent thousands of dollars on over the counter products and prescription medications that ended up doing more harm than good. As she researched the ingredients in the products, she realized the ingredients were not helping to heal, but instead, causing real damage to her skin. She knew she wasn’t alone in the battle to find skin relief, thus, her mission began and Stone & Tumble was formed.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I came across this career path by accident. I spent years working as a retail buyer with an extensive focus on e-commerce. I’ve always had fairly nice skin, but when I reached the height of my career all that changed. My skin suddenly “freaked out” and I was left with cystic hormonal acne, rosacea, dryness, and hyperpigmentation to name a few.

Desperate to find solutions, I spent thousands of dollars on over the counter products and prescription medications that ended up doing more harm than good. As I researched the ingredients in the products I was using, I realized that the ingredients were not helping to heal, but causing real damage to my skin.

I finally took matters into my own hands with the help of scientists, chemists and certified skincare labs. The products we developed not only helped to heal my skin, but family and friends as well. Thus the company began.

What is the mission of your company? What problems are you aiming to solve?

We strive to formulate clean, uncomplicated yet highly effective skincare that provides and promotes overall skin health. Our products are suitable for all skin types without the use of toxic, harmful or aggressive ingredients in our products. We use ingredients that are healthy, healing, ethically and sustainably sourced.

Can you tell our readers about the initiatives that you or your company are taking to address climate change or sustainability? Can you give an example for each?

A big focus for us has been on plant waste, and something that isn’t talked about in the skincare industry enough. Many companies use the root, seed, or fruit of a plant and leave the rest behind as waste. We use as much of the plant as we can. In Soothing Serum, one of our hero ingredients (Cardiospermum Halicacabum also known as Balloon Vine) we use the flower, leaf, and vine in our Soothing Serum formula.

We know where all of our ingredients are sourced and focus on buying the best and most sustainably sourced options.

How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or example?

Making choices that are more environmentally friendly may come at a higher cost at times, but our beliefs and values drive us to make the most responsible choices that we possibly can. We are passionate about health and sustainability in our personal lives, and this translates to how we operate our business.

One way we are becoming more sustainable is we are currently in the process of testing product formulations and packaging with new types such as glass, ocean recycled plastics, and compostable options. This packaging may cost more in the short term, but as we grow and scale as a company, these costs will become a negligible difference to the bottom line.

In the end it comes down to the type of company we want to be and that is one that cares about more than just profit.

The youth led climate strikes of September 2019 showed an impressive degree of activism and initiative by young people on behalf of climate change. This was great, and there is still plenty that needs to be done. In your opinion what are 5 things parents should do to inspire the next generation to become engaged in sustainability and the environmental movement? Please give a story or an example for each.

It is great that people are becoming more involved in activism efforts and so inspiring to see it unfold. Some things I’ve seen parents do to engage their young ones in raising environmental awareness that I’ve personally found inspirational include:

  • Practice recycling and composting efforts at home so kids can get an understanding of waste from a young age.
  • Spending time outdoors and bringing an empty sack with them to make a game out of collecting any rubbish you spot while you’re out walking.
  • Planting a veggie/herb garden that encourages eating fresh foods.
  • Reading story books that talk about climate change to kids.
  • Making crafts and art supplies out of household items such as sponges, recycled magazines, popsicle sticks, and old party supplies.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

Five things I wish someone had told me before starting a business include:

  • How lonely it will be at times. That was one of the hardest adjustments for me. Being the founder and leader of this company has been incredibly rewarding, but very isolating and lonely at times, especially in the beginning.
  • Be selective about who you work with. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with and building a strong and diverse team is essential.
  • Listen and understand instead of talk and persuade. The best leaders I’ve worked with are ones that are humble and listen vs just trying to get their ideas across.
  • The path to success is not always a straight line. The dips and curveballs are a part of every start-ups story. So enjoy the journey and don’t let small things discourage you.
  • It will take more money than you think, so plan accordingly.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There have been so many people who have helped me get to where I am today, but the people that have shaped me the most, are the ones that taught me lessons of what not to do. I had several managers and leaders I’ve worked with that I quickly learned lessons on ways I never wanted to behave.

These lessons range from fostering toxic and shameful work environments, micromanaging, gossiping, bullying, and not being self aware of those actions. All of those experiences helped shape me into the leader and manager I am today, and I feel so lucky to have learned those lessons.

You are a person of great influence and doing some great things for the world! If you could inspire a movement that would bring the greatest amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could inspire anything it would be to encourage more kindness. There are many events happening in the world, and if we approached solutions from a kinder perspective instead of meeting them with anger and hostility I believe it could move mountains.

True story, shortly after my father passed away, my family received a letter in the mail from a woman who worked in the same building as my father. She worked in the kitchen and helped prepare meals. Every day my father thanked her and the rest of the kitchen staff for their hard work and she said that little bit of kindness is why she decided not to commit suicide and keep living for her four kids. You never know what people are going through and a bit of kindness can literally change someone’s life.

Do you have a favorite life lesson quote? Can you tell us how that was relevant to you in your own life?

Some of the best life lessons I learned from my father were to always be true to yourself, be kind, and “stick with it”. He woke up everyday with a smile on his face, no matter what, and he treated everyone with respect. His wisdom and kindness are things that stick with me to this day and how I approach my life.

What is the best way for people to follow you on social media?

Follow us @stoneandtumble on instagram to learn more about us and what we are up to.

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