In the Hills with Carson Meyer
In the Hills with Carson Meyer
INTERVIEW : NOAH PHAM | PHOTOS : ANTWAN VU
Born and bred right off the coast of Malibu, Carson Meyer emanates the classic California girl vibe. From an early age, the twenty-something-year-old actress and business owner has been focused on creating a cleaner and greener planet. It’s simply who she is.
In addition to acting and taking the wheel with her natural beauty company, C and the Moon (which has gained huge love from celebrities like Kim K), she also serves as birth doula. We had a chance to visit Carson at her beautiful home in Malibu and gain some insight into her world.
You started as an actress, can you take us through how that started? I moved to New York to attend NYU and was really interested in art therapy, alternative medicine and how we use self expression — different forms of art in a mental-health field. I always considered myself a creative person and that kind of propelled me further into other crafts like music and visual arts and that let me utilize all the amazing courses that NYU offered. I saw how I can apply art therapy in a theatrical form. So I took my first acting class in that vein. If I’m gonna learn all these different mediums, I’m gonna take an acting class. When I came back from break I attended the Ruskin School and shadowed a class and I completely fell in love. I’ve grown up in LA and Hollywood and knew about filmmaking from more of a business perspective but not really from a creative side. Did they teach you about the business side of films in school? Just growing up out here and having a family in the business, that’s how I knew what it was — but not at all when it came to the craft of acting. I was just so drawn towards the work and enrolled in the class immediately and just dove right in. And you started auditioning right after? I started auditioning shortly after. I did “SPF 18,” which was actually shot in Malibu! I did “Code of Many Colors,” the Dolly Parton biopic while I was still in school. What were you hoping to pursue once you graduated? After graduation I went to Williamstown, which is a theater festival in the Berkshires. A lot of stuff starts there and goes to Broadway. “Elephant Man” with Bradley Cooper started there and went to Broadway. It’s been around forever; it’s one of the best theater programs in the country and I’ve never done theater! So I thought of it as my right of passage and did 12 weeks there. Shortly after that I met a midwife and meeting her pulled me into being a birth doula.
Can you explain to me what a midwife is? It’s similar to a doula and they do share the same things as you’d do for a prenatal check up. So they handle more medical aspects rather than a doula, who is just physical and emotional support. They usually work in hospitals, catch the baby, take heart tones, exams and all of that. Before you met your midwife, was being a doula a thing you thought about? No, I don’t think so. But I did see “The Business of Being Born,” which is a documentary that Ricki Lake did. It really blew my mind. I saw this during college and I think it planted this little seed in the back of my mind. And meeting my midwife kind of reintroduced me to it. Take us through the process of being a doula. There’s a certification, but you don’t necessarily need to have one to have a doula. I just wanted to follow the rules (haha). I studied at Beanie Birth over the hill. You have to do three births and have a review after your course. And are you still practicing as a doula now? Yes, I take about three clients a month. I get clients at the beginning of their pregnancy to people contacting me 2-3 weeks before their due date.
Let’s talk about your business, your brand C and the Moon. How did it start? So my mom was a part of the NRDC and they work with scientists and lawyers to defend the environment. They’re an amazing organization. A number of really important pieces of legislation and laws that have been implemented in this country were rooted with the NRDC. Obama said if the planet had a lawyer it’d be the NRDC. So I’d sit in on my mom’s meetings that would be at the house and one time they had a conversation on toxic chemicals in beauty and skincare. If my mom caught me painting my nails I’d get in so much trouble. Because I was able to have that information at my fingertips I knew the dangers early. There’s a website called Skindeep and I remember looking at all my makeup and being terrified of what was in it. So I started making my own products and the body scrub was something that I made for myself for friends and families. It was my go-to gift for people and they always wanted more! I gave some to my younger brother and he always mentioned how it would always go missing and he’d find it in the bathroom of the frat house! So he told me I need to start this as a real business so I started making more in my kitchen and sharing about this online. Then people actually wanted to purchase it. So I took it off the Instagram market and relaunched it a year ago with actual branding, packaging and all of that. I took it out of my kitchen and into a processing facility.
Can you go through the list of ingredients? So it’s brown sugar, coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and castor oil — and they’re all organic. The preservative is a glycerin, which is a non-toxic stabilizer that allows it to be in your shower and get wet without it going bad right away. We use vanilla for the fragrance but the thing about fragrances is that there is a law that has been around for decades that has protected companies from disclosing what is in their fragrances. That’s why you can be like this a clean brand or a totally clean product and list all your ingredients and say fragrance but you don’t have to tell anybody what’s in that fragrance. So a lot of toxic chemicals get thrown under that word. So in order to get around that for me, even as a manufacturer, there were things that they wouldn’t even tell me about the fragrance. So I was able to go with a food-grade vanilla, which is a vanilla I knew would be clean enough for people to eat. It smells delicious, like a cookie, and is technically edible. What is the biggest misconception with beauty and skin care products that are supposedly good for the environment but are not and people are still using them. Well I think the fragrance thing for sure. Greenwashing is a huge thing where you see the word, “Natural.” Nobody’s regulating the word natural so anybody can say that. I also think that we are not healthy if our environment is not healthy. It would be great if we could buy a day cream that would stop air pollution but we can’t and there are only so many things we can do as consumers to make ourselves look more beautiful or look younger or have better skin. It’s in our environment; we have lost harmony with nature. I think brands that are making an effort to reduce their plastic use and source things sustainably are important things to look for when researching for clean products, because you really can’t have one without the other. We’re an ecosystem. So what do you think the big change could be for that to initially happen? Oh man, I think we’d have to have a full complete top-to-bottom change in our society. We’re in a system where if you don’t grow, you’re irrelevant. People ask why I have only one SKU. I want to have more products but I think I see a lot of brands release a lot of products just to stay relevant or to have something just to post about or share, which I understand. It works and it drives sales but it’s unfortunate that we just have to keep producing at that level. So I don’t have the answer but I think it starts with the idea that less is more. Which is why I love Basic Space because it’s good to reuse things and give things another life and work with what we have instead of trying to create more waste.