The Edit

Interview with Edna from ed&i

Posted on Tuesday, 26 January 2021 - By Amelia

ed&i is a brand that is designed to cater to all your sun and skincare needs. Made in New Zealand and with real whisky, these products smell amazing and will leave your skin healthy and radiant after use - perfect for achieving that summer glow all year round!

Interview With ed&i Co-Founder, Edna Stewart

Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with us! Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself and how the brand ed&i was made?

Hi! I'm Edna Stewart, co-founder and creative director of ed&i. Growing up I had a passion for adventure and the outdoors. This translated into a love of sports, where I excelled in athletics throughout my childhood, competing at a national and international level. Competing at this level taught me discipline, perseverance and responsibility, traits which I have transferred to all aspects of my life. I completed my Bachelor of Finance Degree at Massey University which helped me kick off a career a career in finance and banking.
Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I suffered from severe acne, which I still have to manage to this day. My personal struggle with my skin and body confidence is the driver behind what started ed&i and what it stands for. In 2019 I set out to create a transformative skin and body care system, designed to give all women body confidence.

All of the ed&i body line products contain a shot a real Whisky. Why is this? 
When we started creating the line of ed&i body products, I knew I wanted a point of difference from other brands. Having always been a whisky lover, I started researching into whisky as an ingredient for skin and body care products. I discovered that the antiseptic properties of whiskey control excess oil on the skin and help prevent pimples and acne. From there, the use of whisky in ed&i products just made sense, and all came together perfectly.
The application of whiskey on the skin has been found out to be a boon for the skin. Not only does it facilitate the skin to ravishing but also helps remove all the embedded dirt within the pores of the skin. Whisky purifies the skin and invigorates the process of rejuvenation. Additionally, we also discovered that these antiseptic properties also assist with other skin conditions such as eczema and rashes. 

Can you tell us more about your new product, the Morning Coffee - Facial Scrub / Mask?

Just like whisky, I have always had a love for coffee, as many others do. I wanted to create something versatile, gentle enough to use on your face morning or night, and strong enough to use as a weekly mask. Something you can add to your daily routine just like a coffee in the morning. 
Morning Coffee Face Scrub & Mask is a sensorial facial scrub with a shot of real caffeinated goodness which refines, detoxifies, and replenishes with its French Green Clay extract. This 2 in 1 face scrub/mask helps with removing impurities, tighten pores, exfoliate away dead skin, help reduce inflammation of acne and control excess oil on the skin.

Why is it important to you that your products are vegan and cruelty free?
There are many reasons why vegan and cruelty free skincare products are the better choice. Firstly, I believe that no product should be tested on any animal, particularly when it comes to skin and body care. Our skin is very precious, and I would rather use myself as the guinea pig so I can be 100% confident with the product I'm bringing to consumers.
Secondly, it’s just unnecessary; there are thousands of ingredients that have already been proven to be safe that can be used to create a new product. Vegan, cruelty-free products tend to be plant-based products which contain NO by-products in them. Such products give your skin a rejuvenating glow, with the purest ingredients that are gentle on the skin and provide longer-lasting results.
Lastly, I believe the future of the beauty industry is vegan and cruelty free, not every company has realized this yet, but a lot of them have, and those are the ones that are going to get ahead. The fact that ed&I is vegan and cruelty free is something that I am very proud of and is extremely important to me on a personal level. 

You've recently re-formulated your Part Time tan - can you tell us a bit about the reformulation and what sets it apart from other tanning products? 
Something really important when running a business is listening to customer feedback and making the necessary changes to improve products to satisfy customer needs. When creating our Part Time tan, it was really important to stick to our values and create a point of difference. For ed&i this meant our tan used completely natural ingredients. We quickly realised the corn syrup used for the natural colour and smell was too high, so we simply brought that percentage down and since then our customer feedback has been great.
Our Part Time tan is suitable for all. Made with real whiskey and the scent of whiskey cacao, it is vegan with no animal testing and it's great for sensitive skin. Additionally, it is absolutely proudly New Zealand made, right down to our whisky source.

Are there any challenges you've come across being a female business owner in New Zealand? 
I do feel very lucky that being a female business owner in New Zealand specifically hasn't been what's caused the challenges with growing and running ed&I. However, the one and only challenge I've really faced is being taken seriously with banks - I don't know if that's because I am a woman, or my type of business. Nonetheless, it is very frustrating as I have been on the other side working in the bank, and I know how it all works.

If you could only choose one product from the body range, what would it be? 
That’s a real hard one. I used to be very much obsessed with the Before - Dry Body Scrub, and used it religiously to prep and care for my skin. While I still do love the scrub, over summer I realised just how underrated our SPF is. Different to all other sunscreens, our During SPF is incredibly hydrating and protects the skin while still letting the inner glow come through safely. Not to mention it doesn't feel or smell like sunscreen at all.

Do you have tips or tricks for customers using your products? 
I've found the perfect routine for my products that leaves my skin glowing and feeling amazing all year round. Firstly exfoliate using Before, but make sure you are only doing a full exfoliate of your skin twice a week, any more than that your skin will begin to dry and become irritated as it needs time to heal. After I exfoliate, I wash my body scrub off in a hot shower. In contrast, while my skin is still hot I immediately lather my skin with the After body oil - this will help combat your skin drying from the hot temperatures of the shower. To seal in oils, I always apply my Always moisturiser on top, which sets the oils into my skin and leaves it feeling silky. Exfoliating twice a week and using oil and moisturizer on my skin daily helps me keep my glow and remain body confident. 
However, everyone’s skin is different. If you suffer from acne or eczema, you need to listen to your skin, nourish it and tailor your skincare routine and usage to how your body is feeling. 
My last tip and the most important is that sunscreen isn’t just for hot summer months - winter sun can seriously damage your skin. I apply my During SPF to the parts of my body that are not covered, like my hands, neck and face, to keep my skin youthful and combat any sun damage.

ed&i has come a long way since it was first debuted - where do you hope to see the brand expanding to next? 
Since closing the swimwear side and solely focusing on body, we are really excited to be working on a number of new body and skincare products. Our vision is to create the ultimate body care brand, which will include external and internal products to help with skin.
We also have big plans to be as accessible as possible by increasing our number of stockists and moving into the international market. So make sure you're watching this space, big things are coming!

You can follow ed&i on Instagram here:

The Product Range

Before is an exfoliating scrub that can be used all over the body in the shower making it the perfect start to your day and body skincare routine. The level of exfoliation that Before offers takes off the top dead layer of skin without being too harsh. The result is smooth, glowing skin. leaving skin smooth. Using Before is the best way to prep your skin before tanning to give you salon quality results.

During is possibly the nicest smelling SPF 30 sun cream you have ever used. Burnt skin is neither cute nor comfortable, which is why During has your back - being sun smart has never been, felt and smelt so sexy! Packed with naturally hydrating botanicals, it is a non-sticky and tan protecting formula - a summer must have.

After is an after-sun body oil designed to soothe, cool and hydrate skin after sun exposure. The perfected formula glides easily onto the skin and ensures you can enjoy silky skin into the night.

Always is a body moisturiser and as the name suggests, it can be used at any time of the day, any day, everyday! It helps to hydrate skin and lock in tan, leaving you bronze for that much longer.
Part Time is a self-tanning mousse which now has a new and improved formula. Part Time will give you that bronze summer glow all year round and slides smoothly onto skin, especially when Before has been used prior to application!

The Self Tanning Mitt is the Part Time's favourite friend. It is hot pink and ensures for steak-free tan application. The Self Tanning Mitt is reusable as it is machine washable and avoids your hands getting stained which is never so cute!

Morning Coffee - Face Scrub / Mask is the newest product to the ed&i range. This super gentle scrub is your skincare dream - it exfoliates away dead skin, reduces the appearances of pores, tones skin, helps reduce the inflammation of acne and helps control oil balance on the skin. It's the perfect way to start and end your day and can be used as a mask if left on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.

Shop The Full ed&i Range Here