Tara Tarbell at NY NOW
Tara Tarbell’s Niawen Skincare line’s one-of-a-kind claim is no doubt true: The Akwesasne, N.Y.-based company, which exhibited this week at the NY NOW home/lifestyle/gift market trade show at New York’s Javits Center, is surely “the only skincare that combines science, nature and smudging.”
“Smudging releases negative thoughts and energy,” said Tarbell, a member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy whose Mohawk name Tekahentakhwa means “holding the earth.” Smudging, she explained, involves tightly braiding the plentiful sweetgrass plant into three strands representing mind, body and spirit, then igniting an end, extinguishing the flame, and smudging the body, not only to eliminate negativity but bring forth positive energy.
“Sweetgrass is given to us by Mother Earth,” continued Tarbell, whose Niawen company name in Mohawk means “to give thanks.” She founded it while recovering from cancer at age 37 “as a way to give thanks to our creator.”
Niawen combines “the best of nature and science with the sacred power of our traditions and their healing effects,” Tarbell added, with smudging being “one of our people’s healing secrets.”
As every Niawen Skincare product is smudged prior to shipping, “you’re not just getting proven beauty formulas,” noted Tarbell. “You’re getting a connection to Native American traditions along with our spiritual healing benefits.”