Beauty & Self-Care Interviews

Natalie Garay on Why She Named Her First Mist “Calm the F*ck Down”

Photo of Natalie Garay.
Natalie Garay. Photo credit: Nikkole Martin.

Natalie Garay is the founder and CEO of {ther • happy}, which offers handmade, small-batch mists made with essential oils and flower essences. Featuring product names like Calm The F*ck Down, the brand stands out with its sense of humor.

Photo credit: Nikkole Martin.

Before launching her line of mists, Natalie, a post-baby rehabilitation advocate and expert, owned a Pilates studio. She helped women heal their bodies after childbirth and C-section surgeries.

In addition to Calm The F*ck Down, {ther • happy} currently offers two other sprays: Go The F*ck to Sleep and Rise the F*ck Up. The mists are designed to be spritzed in a room to promote wellbeing.  

Intrigued by the tongue-in-cheek persona of her brand, we asked Natalie to share how {ther • happy} came to be.

Artisan Joy: How did {ther • happy} begin?

Natalie Garay: I began making therapeutic mists for my post-baby Pilates clients to support their emotional and energy needs. When my studio closed in 2020, I moved forward with the mists and launched more products.

AJ: When did you realize that you could turn making mists into a business?

NG: A client messaged me one day and said that I should really call the original mist “Calm The F*ck Down!” So, we renamed it, repackaged it, and well, now it’s f*cking perfect. We sold all 200 bottles of our new product over the holidays in 2019, and we just keep growing!

AJ: Where do you find inspiration, and how do you apply it to your work?

NG: I like to add humor to lighten the mood and make people laugh. When people get a kick out of my products, it makes my day. I apply it by continuing to think of products that will make people giggle.

Photo of ther • happy's three mists.
Photo credit: Nikkole Martin.

AJ: What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

NG: I am a solo mama of 3 teenage girls, so I guess my inspiration also comes from in-house testing!

AJ: As creatives, we can be continuously creating and refining. How do you handle perfectionism?

NG: I like to create new products slowly and then make adjustments as needed.

AJ: What advice would you give to a maker interested in putting a product out into the world but feels vulnerable about it?

NG: I say just give it a shot. We never know until we try, and we learn as we go.

AJ: Has someone ever criticized your photography? How did you handle it?

NG: Not yet, but it could go either way with my products. Someone could either be extremely tickled by them or extremely offended.

AJ: Creatives are often very in tune with what’s happening in the world. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. If this happens to you, how do you cope?

NG: I grab my Calm the F*ck Down mist, shake well, spritz and let that sh*t go.

AJ: Are you passionate about a cause, and why?

NG: Yes! A percentage of each purchase is automatically donated to Stand Strong Now, our local women’s shelter in San Luis Obispo, Calif. (formerly the Women’s Shelter of San Luis Obispo). Their mission is to support abuse survivors and work to end domestic violence in San Luis Obispo County. You can learn more at standstrongnow.org.

AJ: What brings you joy?

NG: A hot cup of coffee in the morning, my cozy bed, snuggling with my feisty pup and spending time with my three teenagers.

Photo credit: Nikkole Martin.

Thanks, Natalie! {ther • happy} products are available for purchase at www.youneedtherhappy.com or follow the brand on Instagram.

This interview has been edited slightly for clarity.

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