GILAH ELUL on UNAPOLOGETIC BEAUTY & MOVING THROUGH UNCERTAINTY

New York based Gilah "Gee" Elul in dedicated to living “a life fully lived,” through curiosity, expansion and connection to all part of self. In 2020 she co-founded Muri Lelu, a trailblazing skincare line fuelled by the magical properties of full flower hemp. The brand is dedicated to establishing cannabis as a central player in the beauty & wellness space (all while achieving that vacation skin glow).

Below, Gee dives deep into her inspirations, matriarch & mentors, offering a fresh perspective for moving through all of life’s ups and downs.

Who in the generations before you served as inspiration in your life? What lessons have you picked up from them, re style, intuition, spirit in life?

I come from a long lineage of women who have sacrificed and survived against the odds — these are the ancestors that inspire me every day and who I feel protecting me in uncertain moments.

My mother is one of my biggest inspirations, and an extraordinarily beautiful person, inside and out who teaches me about the type of woman and person I want to be. Although now you'll mostly find her in hiking shoes and gear (she's an avid hiker who loves reconnecting to nature), she used to be quite the fashion queen and always had a closet filled with iconic, one-of-a-kind pieces. I have vivid memories of the pieces that held a place of pride in her closet — many of them have even made it to my closet today.

What was the incentive in co-founding your brand, Muri Lelu? Where did the idea for cannabis-based skincare originate?

Muri Lelu was founded to elevate cannabis and make it a central part of the beauty + wellness conversation. We're a diverse collective of different ages, backgrounds and skin types, but the one thing we have in common is that we've all engaged with cannabis in different ways throughout our life. As we started to see CBD trickle into the beauty industry, we felt there was room for a brand that unapologetically celebrated cannabis while still meeting the highest standards of luxury, efficacy and clean beauty.
We see a great alignment between ritual of beauty & the ritual of conscious cannabis consumption. Muri Lelu exists to bridge those conversations. We work with the top chemists, developers and creatives in the industry to make products that deserve a place of pride in any routine.

Was there ever a moment you wanted to give up or felt lost along your way, and how did you find grounding in yourself again?

That moment happens multiple times a week. Choosing a life that strays away from the common path or peoples' expectations can be isolating and lonely at times. It requires you to get comfortable with discomfort, and to maintain a strong sense of duty and commitment. When I feel lost, inadequate or uncertain, I grant myself a few private moments of grace and kindness. It's important to feel your emotions and then release them by doing acts of service for yourself or others: anything from cooking for yourself, to adding a few songs to your sad-girl playlist, to journaling, affirmations or incense lighting. I have a toolkit of grounding practices and the list keeps growing -- it's all about experimenting to find what makes you feel whole again in any given moment.

Do you have any mentors in your life who have encouraged you in your personal and/or entrepreneurial space, or expanded your sense of what's possible?

SIDIA's founder, Erin Kleinberg, is a big one :) She graciously supports every move I've made in my career, and is always generous with advice, time, introductions and encouragement.

Lately, I've been meeting so many incredible Black women and Women of Color innovating in the Beauty spaces and beyond. These are my peers and I've learned so much from them while also feeling welcomed into this industry too. I believe that your manifestations become possible when you see, feel and embody the things you desire — being connected to these women as they pursue fundraising goals, innovate new community solutions and develop products + storytelling that serve the needs of people of color is nothing short of inspiring.

When do you feel the most comfortable and confident in yourself?

When I'm dancing :)

You can read more about Muri Lelu on their website and on Instagram, and follow along Gee’s journey @theladiesfirst

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