Meet Parisa Morris of Town & Anchor

Tell us about your products.

We offer affordable, luxury skincare without sacrificing animal rights or sustainability. Everything we make is vegan, cruelty-free, and 100% natural. We source only sustainable, fair trade ingredients and package in reusable, glass containers. We a family owned and operated shop and hand-craft and pour each product ourselves in micro-batches.

Tell us about your connection to Chicago.

I (Parisa) was born and raised in the Chicago Suburbs while my husband moved here for me from Wilmington, NC.

What do you love about your business.

There has been a huge shift in the skincare and food industry as far as animal testing, health, and sustainability is concerned. Longevity and quality of life is finally getting the recognition it deserves. People care what they're putting in and on their bodies now, where their products are coming from, and what's inside. We're able to provide them with a ethical, effective options. To me, that's a dream come true.

Tell us about your design inspiration.

We truly value the less is more approach to skincare. We've learned the hard way that the saying "quality over quantity" is the best way to live. Because of this, our space is very minimal. Tones consist of darks, whites, and I have to have gold present. Think Victorian meets modern. I grew up in a flower shop, so it's been obligatory to have plants and fresh flowers surrounding me at times. Soy candles burning from our favorite indie makers...

What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

Get real used to failure and go ahead and throw comparison out the window the second you decide to start a business. Failure is inevitable. It's the only way you'll grow and if you accept that somethings just won't go your way now, you'll learn to fail better and that's what's going to help you succeed the most. Comparison is simply a waste of time. In our current day and age we're forced to use social media platforms as a way to gauge our success with other companies. A photo, caption, or amount of followers has nothing to do with one's success. Instead choose to be inspired or motivated by others. That will get you give you the most positive energy and ultimately most success.

Share a favorite quote, a mantra. 

I have so many, but I think this one is most applicable: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Surprise us with your secret talent, fact, etc. 

My parents immigrated here from Iran back in the 70s. My culture has gifted me the ability to speak Farsi. I can also type 98 WPM. Completely unrelated, but I feel worth mentioning!

What's the most common question you get about your business?

Do you make these yourself? And yes, yes we do!

Tell us about your process for making + creating.

Everything we decide to create comes from a personal need for it. I think that's what helps our drive and inspiration for our products so much. We know we need it and so we're more motivated to perfect it. Once an idea for something is made we go through a very tedious trail and error process. Ingredient sourcing takes the longest as we always make sure to use ethical ingredients from places we trust and are familiar with. The formulation process has gotten much easier than when started, but once an item is "figured out" we move on to testing. We're a 100% cruelty-free brand, so friends and family are often lucky enough to test our products for us. And finally, once an item works we begin making a certain amount in very small, fresh, micro-batches every two weeks.

Name 3 local makers/brands that inspire you and why.

1. Hearth & Hammer: Also family owned and operated. They offer literary inspired candles with the most gorgeous packaging and smells. They're vegan and use a soy base. Every room in my house has one of their candles! 2. Knot and Splice is a women owned jewelry making company. Her pieces are very gorgeous and unique. Truthfully I love her approach to advertising as she's extremely vulnerable and transparent. Her hard work is showcased in everything she makes and she's extremely passionate! 3. Muddy Heart is a female ceramic artist that I've been lucky enough to watch grow for a few years now. Her drive and passion is always evident in the work she makes and every piece is always so gorgeous!

What is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped you and your business? 

"You can't please everybody." I'm not entirely sure where I heard that from, but it has helped me in my most difficult business owning times. I'm naturally a people-pleaser, heavily driven by other people's opinions, but you simply can't make everyone happy at all times. It's impossible. So I've learned to stop wasting my time (all the time) on what someone else might think is best and began trusting my decisions. You have to do this as a business owner and CEO. Ultimately you know your company best and while other's suggestions are always important, you have the last say and need to trust that. Your sanity and time will thank you for it.


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kendra chaplin