Leigh grew up picking fresh carrots and beets near the Nanaimo river in Vancouver. She witnessed a generation of resilient First Nations women rely on nature for plant foods and medicine. At a young age she grew to deeply respect and understand the connections between food and culture. Although her family witnessed the intergenerational effects of residential schools, the elders continued to teach lessons of love, culture and identity.
Sḵwálwen was born as a blend of science and Squamish tradition, a careful combination of ancestral knowledge and modern ethnobotanist research. It is through her work with plants that Leigh continues to give her family a connection to their traditional roots and the land itself. Through her business she hopes to contribute to the Indigenous cultural knowledge renewal, shining pride on where she comes from and sharing the teachings passed down from generation to generation.
Each Sḵwálwen product is hand made with care, starting with an ethical sustainable harvest and ending with each bottle being hand labeled by Leigh herself. With a growing awareness of what goes into skincare products, Sḵwálwen is proudly free from chemicals, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colors and parabens.