“Connected to the self and connected to nature,” this is how LINNÉ (pronounced lah-nay) Botanicals founder Jenna Levine describes the spirit of her luxurious and wildcrafted skincare line. Formulated to safely and effectively promote healthy radiant skin, each formula is made in small batches from a diverse collection of natural and organic plant ingredients.
So much of the brand’s ethos and mission revolves around Levine’s love of learning about the relationship between humans and plants — even showing in the line’s namesake as it’s named after Carl von Linné, a Swedish botanist known as the father of modern botany and biology.
“Linné was an amazing teacher. He taught in Sweden and was always inviting non-students and people from the town into the classroom to learn, taking them out into nature to explore,” Levine explains, before offering her own mission: “Today, our whole M.O. is to share the wonders of the plant world with our customers and encourage them to make the best decisions for themselves.”
Growing up in downtown Chicago, Levine spent much of her childhood in the kitchen with her mother, cooking as a form of play. At 10, after a friend’s mother gave her the book The Herbal Home Spa by Greta Bredlove, plants became a part of young Levine’s very foundation.
“I was absolutely fascinated with plants,” she laughs. “I have memories of being young and silly with friends and doing things like rubbing papaya all over our faces.”
As she grew older, Levine further developed her passion, educating herself on plants mechanisms and the way they could help humans. She even shadowed a traditional Tibetan doctor and spent a summer in Ecuador and the Amazon exploring the forest.
“Travel was an amazing way to experience the world of plants. I think that’s why we use so many plants that are sourced worldwide for LINNÉ — because we want to promote species diversity and we love how plants can connect us to a place,” explains Levine.
When her sister developed painful cystic acne and was on a course of Accutane, Levine knew she wanted to use her studies in herbal medicine to help her sister and began concocting a plan. It was then that she developed her first product, the BALANCE face oil.
The seed had officially been planted for the budding entrepreneur and she was hooked. After being given the opportunity to work with Hillary Peterson, the founder of True Botanicals, she decided to give her own skincare line a shot and headed to NYC to launch LINNÉ Botanicals with a goal of creating products that would not only help her sister, but the skin issues of her entire family, as well as others.
And she’s succeeded tenfold. Today, the brand has a full line of eight products consisting of ACTIVATE body wash, PURIFY face wash, SCRUB face mask, REFRESH face mist, RENEW face serum, REPAIR face oil, BALANCE face oil, and SMOOTH body balm. And that’s not all… next on the horizon is a holiday lip product launch.
Sign us up… plant you very much!
Sable Massingill is a writer, creative connector, and entrepreneur exploring the intersection of wellness, culture, and travel. Visit her at sablemassingill.com or on Instagram at @sablemassingill.