172: Price Latimer & Maya Crowne— Alkemis Paint: Discover How A Non-Toxic Paint Can Boost Your Health and Sleep!


Price Latimer and Maya Crowne are the co-founders of Alkemis Paint, the world's first wellness paint. Price Latimer is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and curator with over 25 years of experience. She collaborates with a diverse range of clients on creative direction, fine art, interiors, branding, and hospitality. Her work spans private residences, collections, public spaces, and commercial projects, consulting on all things art and design related.

Maya Crowne is an experienced Financial Services and startup professional. She started her career on Wall Street and was an early employee at the energy-tech unicorn RigUp (now Workrise). Her expertise in finance, technology, the oil industry, and home improvement has provided her with a deep understanding of global economic dependencies on petrochemicals and the potential for sustainability in the home improvement sector. 

Together, they combine their unique backgrounds and passions to innovate in the paint and wellness industries.

In this episode, we discuss:


😴   The pandemic-inspired exploration into healthier paint alternatives

😴   Indoor environment for better sleep

😴   Problem with conventional paints

😴   Benefits of mineral-based, non-toxic paint

😴   Alkemis paint's mold prevention and breathable walls

😴   The psychological benefits of Alkemis paint

😴   Alkemis paint's sustainable innovations

😴   What do ancient cultures reveal about the spiritual power of colors?

😴   Significance of Cradle to Cradle certification

😴   What can we learn from Price & Maya’s sleep-night habits

😴   And more!


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The information contained in this podcast, our website, newsletter, and the resources available for download are not intended to be medical or health advice and shall not be understood or construed as such. The information contained on these platforms is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.

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I am the founder of Sleep is a Skill, a company that optimizes sleep through technology, accountability, and behavioral change. As an ex sleep sufferer turned sleep course creator, I am on a mission to transform the way the world thinks about sleep. Each week, I'll be interviewing world class experts on sleep.

Experts ranging from researchers, doctors, innovators, and thought leaders to give actionable tips and strategies that you can implement to become a more skillful sleeper. Ultimately, I believe that living a circadian aligned lifestyle is going to be one of the biggest trends and wellness, and I'm committed to keeping you up to date on all the things that you can do today to transform your circadian health and by extension, allowing you to sleep and live.

Better than ever before.

Welcome to the sleep is a skill podcast. We've spoken about building biology many times on this podcast in reference to how your environment could impact your sleep. But have you ever given much thought to the paint that you're using in your bedroom and living environment? And have you considered just how long it takes for the average paint to off gas?

Well, you'll learn about this and so much more. As well as how new advancements in the world of paint could best support your sleep. Now, a little bit about our guests. Price Latimer is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and curator for private residence collections, public spaces and commercial projects with over 25 years of experience.

She works with a broad range of clients and collaborators on creative direction, fine art interiors, Branding, hospitality, and entrepreneurial adventures while consulting on all things art and design related. In 2021, she co founded Alkemis Paint, the world's first wellness paint with her friend and business partner, Maya Crown.

Now, a little bit about Maya. Maya Crown is an experienced financial service and startups professional. Maya began her career on Wall Street covering the consumer tech and upstream E& P industries, and then became one of the original employees of the Founders Fund backed Energy Tech Unicorns rig up, now WorkRise.

Her last role prior to Alkemis, and as a senior manager at American Experience, Express, where she managed Amex's Relationship with Home Improvement Retailers, Lowe's, and oversaw the Lowe's American Express co brand card for business. As an art, philanthropy, and wellness enthusiast, she aims to help make the world think differently about sustainability, consumer goods, and modern ways to include technology into the customer experience.

Now I think you're going to really be fascinated with this episode and the depths by which these two women have explored this wild, wild west of paint and really, really bringing a level of integrity to this conversation. I am not connected with this company in any way, shape or form, just really fascinated with any area of wellbeing that And who would have thought paint might be an area of well being that is acting as a disruptor?

And this is really what they're aiming to do is to really bring a new level of care and awareness on this topic So again, I think you're going to really enjoy this now first a few words from our sponsors And please take the time to listen to our sponsors They really keep this podcast alive. And so check them out, check out their websites, their offerings.

We only align with people that we actually believe in their products. So take a listen to them and then we'll jump into the podcast.  If you're listening to this podcast, you're likely looking to improve your sleep. And one of the first places that many people begin when they talk to me about sleep is they want to know what's the supplement I can take.

Well, I got to say, I honestly don't take that many supplements nowadays for my sleep. And I'm very grateful for that. A lot of things you can do for free. However, one of the supplements that I do consistently take and have taken for ages is magnesium, specifically magnesium breakthrough. It's an all natural supplement that helps you reduce fatigue and sleep more peacefully.

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And welcome to the sleep is a skill podcast. This is the first of its kind, this topic where we're going to go much more in depth onto the space that you're spending your time in. We know in certain studies point to that the average person is spending what appears to be at least 93 percent of their time indoors, if not more, these are old stats.

So probably more. So it makes a lot of sense to be thoughtful about the environment that you're spending your time in. And like, what are you bringing in? What types of, you know, kind of paints are you using, uh, the colors that you're having in your space. So we're just really going to go in deep on these topics and so much more.

So thank you so much for taking the time to be here. You are so welcome. Thank you so much for having us, Mollie. Oh, amazing. So great. So maybe we can just start at the beginning of a little bit of background into how you both found yourself in this space and, you know, really making a difference and leading the charge from a building biology perspective, if you will, on how to bring certain materials into your space that can help support your biology.

Yeah, absolutely. I can start. Um, so the, the idea really was a function of me being a conscious consumer. Um, it was the middle of the pandemic and I was looking to repaint my apartment in New York City, which unfortunately is not very large. Um, like most people inhabiting, uh, this part of the country. Um, and so I was, interested in repainting my apartment, but then I thought about the fact that I wasn't going to be able to breathe in here, um, if I repainted it, which led me down a rabbit hole as to why is it that paint smells so bad?

Um, and not surprisingly, one of the First things that I discovered was the fact that paint is, in the United States at least, is primarily made up of acrylic or latex, um, which by definition is plastic. And we've obviously been painting our interior spaces long before the advent of plastic, and so, um, you know, where was there an opportunity to create a product that was, um, you know, better for us, better for the environment, but that also not just Met conventional paint standards, but ultimately would, um, exceed them.

Um, and then coincidentally, I also met Price, um, who's here, um, in 2020 as well. And I shared this idea with her. Um, and it really, um, was a perfect marriage as it relates to a business partnership, because my background has always been, um, you know, in business development and finance, um, whereas Price has always been in interiors and design and art.

And so, um, you know, Price, uh, you know, feel free to share a little bit about your background. Um, but it was, it was really, really great when I shared it with her and we sort of going to started going down this path because there's just so much to learn about paint, um, and how to make it better for us and better for our environment.

Yeah. Yeah. Price would love to hear to your background. So my background has been in art and design my whole life, and, uh, Maya and I met on a wellness retreat. I've also been a very conscious consumer my entire life, and have been very interested in naturopathy, holistic living, um, homeopathy. And, um, you know, Maya and I always pride ourselves on being interested in, like, you know, Hey, we care about, you know, what we put on our skin.

We care about eating organic food, this very, you know, holistic approach to what we're putting, you know, in our bodies and surrounding ourselves, uh, you know, with in our environments. And this is really a topic and I always like to approach it from the standpoint of, again, I've been an artist and designer now for 46 years of my life, and I thought I knew about paint.

And this journey of really delving into and researching what conventional paints are made of has been both eye opening and horrifying. Um,  so really understanding this fact that, you know, traditional conventional paints are made from plastics. And paint is the number one contributor of microplastics in the ocean.

So again, you know, creating a brand with the, um, you know, goal to, to do better. How can we, how can we, you know, create a product? That will, um, you know, shift in industry away from these, you know, deleterious practices that are, you know, harming both the earth as well as our health, because there are so many studies that are tied to, you know, these PFAs and phthalates and, you know, um, on and on and on these toxic pigments, biocides, fungicides, preservatives, and they're linked to, you know, endocrine disruption, hormone disruption, um, All sorts of negative health impacts and you know, Maya and I were like, well, we, there's got to be a better way.

So we really went back to how people had been painting for tens of thousands of years and utilizing these earthen mineral pigments,  ochres, oxides, crystals, and marrying that with, um, you know, modern technology. And so our, our paint is, um, the base of it is a clear quartz binder. Which is fundamentally different because it's all made from minerals than traditional petrochemical paint technology Yeah, that's amazing because on your website you say the world's first wellness paint all natural non toxic zero vocs Cradle to cradle certified which i'll have to learn more about No odor, handcrafted, self priming, high performance mold resistance.

So lots of things that you're hitting on that we also, from a sleep perspective, have some concerns around. Notably the molds piece, the VOCs, and I mean the whole world of the odor. All of these things that many people when they're searching, especially if they're particularly sensitive to their environment, they might be searching out for new builds and options of how to get themselves in a space that hopefully is mold free or not having to deal with certain concerns.

But then they get in and then they might be dealing with the off gassing from these traditional paints. And when building biologists will come into your space, they have a whole litany of things that they are judging and assessing your environment on. And those VOCs and mold and these concerns can show up in your readings.

So one, the fact that you've been able to kind of find a way to navigate and create something like this is really feels noteworthy. And I know that you also pointed to even the awareness from an emotional perspective too. So we can get into that and more. But first, I guess just laying the groundwork of what else is out there and how you all.

stand out? Is this an area that's like beginning to be emerging? This is brand new topics for me. So I don't really know the scope of this. And as you pointed out, it's a rabbit hole. So is this an emerging piece of the interior decorating world, if you will, uh, wellness paints? Are you really the only game in town?

What's it look like? What's going on there? I think that's a really good question. I mean, so Mollie, it's kind of surprising because when we kind of put it out there and we're talking to industry experts, um, I mean, a lot of people, as you mentioned in the building biology space, this isn't necessarily net new, but when it comes to the interior design community, when it comes to the general consumer, when it comes to a lot of these really big design publications that we speak to, when we even just say that fact that paint is, you know, by definition, plastic based, like it's usually a moment for people where they don't have never really thought about it before.

Um, and you know, I, I honestly think if it wasn't during the pandemic where I was concerned about suffocating inside of myself. space and I couldn't actually leave my house. And because we were in New York City, like you affect all of your neighbors when you're painting your space. And at the time nobody could breathe.

Like, I don't really think that I would have necessarily thought about it either. I would have just thought, you know, this is the status quo. Um, and so within the United States. Um, you know, mineral paint, which is what, um, Alkemis is. We are fundamentally different in that our paint is made out of rocks and not plastic.

Um, we are the only game in town. Yeah, right. I really feel like we address an opportunity within the market. Um, you know, there are, um, paints that sort of fall into, um, you know, elevated paint brands. There are certain paint brands that consider themselves clean. There are certain paint brands that consider themselves modern, but there's really not a paint brand that sort of sits in the middle of this Venn diagram of being clean, modern, and also aspirational.

And that's really what we think Alkemis is. Like, we believe that you deserve to have the best quality products inside of your home, for them to be durable, for them to be beautiful, but for them to be healthy for you, to not offer. gas and even better, they can include some cool things like all natural crystalline pigments that depending on who you are, like if you believe in eastern medicine can help, you know, produce positive ions, activate your space, um, help with grounding and clearing of energy.

Um, you know, in addition to obviously being functional, um, from the standpoint of, you know, not generating mold, being completely, um, flame resistant, all of these things that you would hope you would have from a, you know, home improvement type of product. Absolutely. Oh, so interesting. And so for if someone's listening, what is the standard length of time that someone might deal with off gassing?

Or does it just wildly depend on what they're using? Just trying to understand more of the scope of the breadth of the problem for people because in case they're like, Oh, well, I guess do I need to just like, evacuate my home for  five months or something and then does that clear the problem or is it an ongoing thing or is it hard to say?

It's definitely ongoing. It's ongoing.  Pains can off gas for up to two years. Um, so, um, and I think Christ, you had an interesting stat about paint being one of the biggest indoor air pollutants.  Yeah, so paint, EPA has released kind of all of these statistics and paint is also one of the, paint is, you know, the biggest contributor as well as, you know, kind of, Um, textiles that off gas, um, flooring, carpeting, you know, insulation, all those kind of building materials that have off gassing capabilities.

And you know, it's really interesting to think about these conversations again around,  you know, let's create a beautiful environment. Let's get an, uh, organic mattress, organic sheets, let's use organic towels, let's use organic cleaning products, but then to not have a conversation about. What we're actually building those environments out of and I feel like that's a conversation that's kind of been sorely lacking and it certainly was for, you know, like Maya and I said, we wouldn't have necessarily thought about this, even with both of us being incredibly conscious consumers and, you know, very health minded.

So it's something because.  You know, there are no, um, governmental standards. There are no, um, specific labeling requirements as to what you're required to disclose regarding material health. So a lot of times, you know, just the VOC conversation, right? We've learned it's not, and this has become the industry standard of what, you know, people of how people quantify and measure a quote unquote healthy eat, but it's not actually measuring anything as far as the material health.

So you can have carcinogenic ingredients. You can have prop 65 ingredients, and you can still say it's low or zero VOC. And a lot of times, the zero, zero, the VOC measurements are taken prior to adding chemical colorants and, you know, again, fungicides, biocides, preservatives, which again affect the material health of the product, so.

And your personal health, most importantly. I mean. Um, you know, the conversation around mold, which I know you mentioned, Mollie, is important to the people, you know, listening in is it's really fascinating because let me paint a picture for you. Um, no pun intended. Um, but  effectively, the reason why mold often grows in homes is because you have an underlying substrate like drywall and you're covering it with liquid plastic, which is paint.

Right, right. And so when you have moisture inside of the air, which happens all the time, you turn your shower on or it's humid outside. The moisture gets trapped behind the plastic impenetrable layer of paint and your drywall,  so therefore the mold forms because it can't escape. And what these conventional paint brands do is they, you know, infiltrate similarly to the way that we treat like, food and other things within, you know, our country is they'll put in a bunch of fungicides and biocides into the paint so that mold can't grow.

But at the same time, these chemicals are super unhealthy for you. And that's part of the reason why paint smells so bad. Alkemis paint. Um, you know, by definition is a mineral based pain and so it would look like crushed up rocks in a microscope. It's completely porous and vapor permeable allowing your walls to actually breathe so moisture can never get trapped behind it.

It's like a rock.  Wow, so interesting. And I so appreciate the context that you're all bringing in of how much time and energy and effort and money is going into so many individuals conversations around the mattresses we choose and the air purification and all of these certain items, which are great, and yet the forgetting, um, or just not even considering.

And this is, I feel really grateful that you're coming on today because this is an area that I feel very unclear about and I have not navigated on my own accord. And it feels like it goes into a similar argument that I've heard from, so we've certainly had, you know, More content on this podcast around mold, since it's, you know, becoming much more of a conversation and part of what we hear from many mold experts is because of the way that architecture is kind of shifted, and now we're having less breathability in many of our spaces.

And we're kind of in these like Tupperware kind of spaces nowadays as compared to like, think of whatever, hearken back to like a log cabin or something. There was all kinds of breathability that was happening. And so if anyone's listening, because I think sometimes people will hear some of these things and be like, Oh, geez, are we really this fragile?

Like, come on, can't we have, you know, a little bit of stuff in our environment and conquer this. But when we think about this exact problem that we that everything is kind of shifted of there's more kind of energy efficiency elements and the thinking is we can make it to keep our perfect temperature controlled environments and all those things which are great and they could be coming at a cost and especially if we're in a Tupperware like environment and breathing in all of those fumes and off gassing and odor and all that you're also.

it really does add this whole extra layer that I'm certainly getting presence to how much this is stepped over or not considered. Absolutely. Unfortunately, you know, a lot of the conversations that Price and I are having with people who are well educated in this subject are generally a function of their own personal health.

Like they had a mold issue and now they have to get educated on it because there are. being forced to remodel their homes and they're not going to go through this again, or, you know, as I mentioned, obviously, the building biology community is well versed in this type of stuff, but it is really surprising, um, you know, that more people aren't aware.

And that's really what, you know, we're looking to achieve is. to educate people first and foremost. But, you know, Price and I always say, like, unfortunately, you know, not everybody is as environmentally conscious or even as health conscious as we would like them to be. So we first and foremost want them to see something beautiful.

And that's really what Alkemis paint is. The colors are so stunning. The way that they reflect a light because of the clear crystal quartz binder is really unlike anything else.  And so if we can, you know, appeal to people's superficiality because they go into a space and they're like, Oh my God, like, I love the way that this looks.

And then they find out that it's good for the environment and it's good for them. Like, Price and I don't care how you get there. Like, we just want you  to, you know, Lessen your, lessen your dependence on plastic and, you know, have a healthier interior space because as you mentioned, people are spending like 90 percent of their time indoors.

Absolutely. Yeah. No, I'm taking a look at your website and just definitely the beauty aspect that you're pointing to. So even if people are coming in through that angle, that could be one way to get there. And to that point, I know you mentioned some of the same kind of color theory and components there.

Now, naturally, often when we're talking about sleep optimization, we are going very science heavy, but at the same time, there's a  unequivocal clear component where We're looking to go into a space where we feel good about the space that we're in, have that kind of sleep oasis. We know that there seems to be a measurable impact when people go into, say, like cluttered rooms or just the space that they perceive to not feel good, that they're not feeling good in.

So this goes into this other realm that has some of these intangibles or that subjective experience. I'm wondering if you could maybe speak to some of that. I mean, we're so interested and did, you know, so much research on the history of paint and the history of paint making, right? Like just starting back from the, the genesis of human history, like when people were making cave paintings and interestingly enough, some of the pigments that we use such as, you know, hematite, gothite, these have been found in some of the oldest cave paintings in the world.

Oh, wow. So, um,  Hey, those things have lasted a long time. Yeah. And, and so again, just this idea of, you know, creating a product that comes from the earth can come, that can go back to the earth. And like my, my idea, you know, my, my thought is nature. Nature is the best artist, right? I mean, mother earth is the best inspiration we have.

So what can we do? Because we're spending so much of our time indoors, like what, what can we do if we can't spend more time outside? What can we do to bring nature and that environment into our homes? And how does that affect our mental health and our, you know, what's the psychology behind it? You know, so there's, I mean, there are so many examples, you know, just from like just the colorful history of paint and, you know, what colors have held, you know, kind of spiritual significance.

And, um, You know, like, uh,  just, you know, blue symbolizes the sky above and invokes the sea below and, you know, uh, many Native Americans painted the doors of their adobe houses bright blue to ward off evil spirits. I mean, we can go through every single color, um, You know, purple, um, was used by the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas, um, was associated with religious ceremonies, um, and then, you know, red has had like all sorts of different interesting uses throughout all different cultures and, you know, can signify clarity, charity, fertility, love, you know, good fortune, happiness.

And it's also the color of the earth because it comes from naturally occurring, you know, iron oxides. And so again, these iron oxides and ochres, those were like humanity's first red. And those were used in the Blombos, Blombos and Lascaux cave paintings. Um, so I can go on and on and on about how this like kind of affects our, our mood and, um, the way that seeing colors, um, and experience them, um, affects your prefrontal cortex and like causes the neurons in your brain to, you know, fire off, you know,  dopamine and, and just like get your brain excited and make you happy and feel something or conversely, you know, make you feel more tranquil or calm if that's what you're going for.

So we're really interested in, you know, the, just. Celebrating the natural beauty of, you know, the colors that are available on Earth and bringing those to people's indoor environment.  Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, certainly even in large companies like there's notably Steve Wynn, who would bring into his resorts, the feng shui components and would be really mindful of those and There was anything that wasn't conducive to some of these feng shui practices would make sure that they were abolished from, you know, kind of the architectural design or what have you.

So even from a purely from a corporate, if, if you will, perspective seems to be some level of importance that people can put on from a business perspective. And then it goes right down to to your point from historical aspects. And and it makes all the sense in the world for us to spend a little bit of time on looking at.

this space that we're spending so much time in both before bed and leading up to bed. How can those things elicit the kind of emotional response that we want to get? We also have certain studies pointing to things around nature esque elements seeming to have a physiological effect. So ocean like kind of experience, nature elements, we see that in design now for Corporate spaces bringing more of the outdoors inside and seems to have this actual measurable effect in certain studies for productivity.

And so it's like you can't divorce the fact that our environment creates a response to our biology. And so it's the figuring that out. And it sounds like you've thought deeply about this and how to bring this in. Are there certain things that you would recommend for, say, like a bedroom space on that?

Nope. I mean, it depends on what you're going for. Um, you know, I actually, the, our house in Los Angeles, we have, I've had a red bedroom forever. I've had one of those. Yeah. Like a deep dark red, which is like very, you know, kind of soothing and womb like, um, obviously greens, blues, you know, dark, uh, dark grays, you know, it just, I think a lot of times people are afraid of dark colors.

Sure. And it's, A little bit of a misnomer or, you know, misconception about it feeling, I don't know, you know, depressing or something and it really has the opposite effect. It actually can make you feel incredibly cozy and especially for a sleeping space. I mean, I'm a big, I'm someone who is really a big proponent of like cave sleeping.

I mean, I want like the most intense blackout curtains possible. I want it to be as quiet as possible. Um, you know, either fresh air at a certain temperature. Um, you know, got the humidity, right? So, but yeah, color wise, it just depends on kind of your personal preference. Do you want something, do you want to feel like you're sleeping in a forest?

Do you want to feel like you're sleeping next to the ocean? Do you want just clean, minimal, bright white, uh, you know, blank slate? I was just going to say, I'll just throw in there, um, since we are talking about science, um, you know, actually Harvard has done studies on neuroaesthetics, which is this concept that we're talking about, which is the idea that your pre functional Front frontal cortex and other parts of your brain will simultaneously light up at the same time when you see things that are beautiful, which is certainly inclusive of your interior space.

And this is why people feel moved by art and beauty. It's not just like a hypothetical. It actually is something that's happening inside of our brains. Um, and so that's really something that yeah. And I, you know, as we've mentioned that or the concept of bringing the outside in, which is referred to as biophilic design.

Um, you know, both of these concepts are things that we're really, really interested in. And I would say, like, make up some of the core pillars of, you know, the way that we think about, you know, our design ethos, really, um, and our messaging.  Are you looking for an easy and impactful way to elevate your fitness and sleep quality simultaneously?

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I love that. And I also love the name of your company too, which I think speaks to this thoughtfulness. I happen to be reading the Alkemis at this point in time. So it's actually a very timely, but But what you're doing is kind of taking these materials and creating something totally new for a modern society and yet hearkening back to how things were to a certain extent if I'm, if I'm encapsulating it and that and more in alignment with mold resistance and the certifications and all the thoughtfulness that has gone into this.

So before we shift over to how you both are managing your own sleep, is there anything we want to make sure that we get across or share anything that we missed? I think it's important to talk about the Cradle to Cradle certification. Thank you. Because, and just within the landscape of what sets us apart, um, from this competitive perspective of what's available out there.

So we are one of the only Cradle to Cradle certified paints in North America, and we are incredibly proud of that. We worked really, really hard to get this certification, and Cradle to Cradle is the world's most stringent, actionable, environmental. Uh, measurement and certification. So there are a number of other, um, eco certifications in the U.

S. that people use, Declare, GreenGuard, GreenWise. Those are all great. It's a wonderful start. We'll get it. We'll take all the help we can get for people moving in this direction. But for instance, those have a list of 5, 000 chemicals that are banned, which is like in line with the red list is 5, 000 chemicals.

The cradle to cradle list is over 10, 000 chemicals long that are not allowed within. Um, these products. And then another, another thing that's really important about cradle to cradle is that it measures, um, so typically these other, um, kind of sustainability certifications. They tend to focus on a single measure of sustainability and cradle to cradle, um, assesses all aspects of product design in manufacturing across five categories, which are material health, obviously the ingredients that are going into the formulations, product circularity, Um, clean air and climate protection.

So actually, all of our manufacturing sites use renewable energy, 100 percent recycled water, photovoltaic systems, so we, to reduce our carbon footprint.  water and soil stewardship within that same vein. And then social fairness, how are we treating all of our vendors, employees, everybody we come in contact with.

So it really is this next generation standard. And again, I think the most important thing to point out is the majority of our competitors out there, um, would never even qualify for cradle to cradle certification. because of their dependence on petrochemicals.  Wow, that's so interesting. And real quick too, for anyone that's listening that's saying, well, okay, so maybe down the road when I build a house or what have you, then this would apply.

But is that not accurate? Would it be applicable for someone like in their apartment? Kind of like your, your story, the COVID story, if you will, the pandemic story. So could this apply for some, like would there be benefit if say they're already have a painted space to then use your product to go over their existing paint for the mold resistant benefits and all that?

I'm just curious to learn more on that aspect. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's a great question. Um, I mean, people are repainting constantly. So, um, if you want the full breathable surface, um, you know, is it, unfortunately, we can only guarantee, um, you know,  The product up until the point of the last acrylic paint.

So well, You know while we I wish it could just like eat whatever you have on your wall. Um, but the reality is  The reality is and we see this like there are people that are genuinely concerned about Um mold or obviously if they're doing a reno like they're gonna have to rebuild the wall Anyway, and so They're opting to go for something that's a fully breathable surface.

Um, you can always like strip your wall if you really are concerned. But, you know, at the same time, though, like if you're looking to repaint regardless, you should be thinking about the fact that you don't want to reintroduce all of these chemicals into your space. If you're painting a nursery in particular or like You know, you're immunocompromised.

Like, these things aren't even a question. Like, they're non negotiable. Um, you know, and the one of the biggest and I think most obvious benefits of this paint for people who maybe aren't as conscious or this isn't like as relevant of a conversation for them is just simply the fact that the paint has a significantly, significantly less chance odor at or virtually none relative to these traditional paints.

So like, if you're somebody that like is repainting your space because you want a different color or, you know, for whatever reason, um, like you want to be able to go back into your home the next day. You don't want to have to be forced outside for the next two weeks, um, or even longer than that and get headaches.

Um, so for people in New York city, like I always say, like, this is an obvious choice. Um. But there are a ton of benefits, of course, to be, um, you know, taken just from, you know, repainting your space. Um, you know, whether it be, you know, a beautiful new color, some of the new aesthetics that we talked about, like you need to regardless, like, let me use a better product.

And certainly if you want to have the full end to end experience, because you really are mold conscious, you know, you would have to be taking that paint off of your wall anyway.  So true. Ah, so good. Well, I know that for me with my next paint job that I will be doing in the future, I will definitely be using this paint.

I mean, I am already learning a lot on this podcast  right here, right now. So it's just illuminating to me how much I had really not considered this topic enough. So thank you for the work that you're doing. really, really important. So having said that, given that the two of you have clearly thought deeply about many aspects of health and well being, very curious to hear your answers on a couple of these things of just how you're managing your own sleep and environments and what have you.

So we do ask every person that comes on the podcast for questions. And the first one is, what is your nightly sleep routine looking like right now? Well, I consider myself very lucky because I have always been a really gifted sleeper. Yeah, so I consider that truly, um, one of my super powers. Um, so I mean, I go to bed regularly.

Like, I mean, obviously if I'm going out to dinner or something, but I try to be in bed by like 930 as often as I can. Um, and you know, one of the things that I've really been, um, trying to implement. A is always taking magnesium, um, just for my hormone health. And, you know, like I said, I already sleep pretty well, but I do find that, um, it really helps, um, you know, just the quality of my sleep.

And then I'm really trying to put the phone away and even turn it off, um, while I'm sleeping. Because I'm becoming a little bit of one of those like EMF freaks, um, you know, which I feel like just goes into this like broader conversation about building biology. So I would say that's, um, you know, really, really my nightly routine, turning off my phone and taking magnesium.

To wind down. I love that. Well, that's fantastic. And it does speak to, it's having me see for myself that when I've been speaking about building biology, it's been about the EMFs. It's been about the mold. It's been about the magnetic levels in the bedroom or what have you. And, oh yeah, don't, you know, burn a candle or the certain formaldehyde or what have you.

But I have not been paying enough attention and it would be, I think what I've been, the misnomer or the failure that I've had as I think about paint is, well, if you're not smelling it anymore, it must be there. We know that's not true. And yet I think that's been sort of how I've been thinking inappropriately.

So anyway, I appreciate this conversation because it is really, really crucial. So, and Price, what about you for your evening routine? Yeah, and so I think just like from a broader perspective, creating a serene environment in the bedroom, right? So that starts with Alkemis paint, so you're not breathing in VOCs and you're getting the uplifted, elevated vibes of the crystals in the paint.

Um, you know, all organic, all natural bedding that's  breathable. So, you know, everything down to the mattress pad, to the pillows, to the pillow covers. I mean, just being really mindful that those things are all breathable. I'm a big fan of avocado and Huston's mattresses. Yes. Um, and then, you know, I, it's really dry here in New Mexico, so humidifier and again, like taking magnesium and drinking a really beautiful, you know, organic nighty night tea with some passion flowers.

So, and then, you know, doing the whole, uh, beauty routine, that's my night, night, nighttime ritual. I'm a night owl. I'm a night owl. So I, you know, I've tried to fight my whole life. People are like, just, if you start getting up early, you'll get used to it. And I don't mind getting up early, but my natural circadian rhythm is like, I'm, it's hard for me to get to bed before midnight.

So I just, I just roll with it. Just roll with it. Totally. Well, and then speaking to that on the flip side to your point, morning routines, what might we see in your morning routine with the argument that how we start our day could impact our sleep health?  So I happen to be like a morning person if I could, which is great for Price and I because like Alkemis is on all day every day, um,  between the two of us.

Um, but yeah, I mean I actually just came back from Spain and I've been jet lagged and I'm waking up at like 3 a. m. and I'm like loving it. So much. I don't know what that says for my general circadian rhythm, but like, again, if I could, if I could wake up at 4am and watch the sunrise and go to sleep when the sun sets, like, I would be totally fine with that.

Um, so my morning routine, um, favorite time of the day consists of, like, me waking up and, like, for 30 minutes I try to just generally be, like, Quiet and not touch my phone and just like be really present and I like to drink water with lemon Um, and then I like to um, you know Like eat a little bit of something before I have like my coffee or tea in the morning because again I feel like having caffeine on an empty stomach is like not great for your hormones At least that's like what I have been reading.

Um And then I also have been getting really into like oil pulling and doing gua sha and like some like personal self care like, um, in the mornings. Like it really makes me feel like I'm taking care of myself by doing some of these like intentional Ayurvedic things to like clean my mouth and like, you know, massage the limp in my face and do some dry brushing or something like that.

Um, and then I like to do, um, you know, when I, when I have the time, I get into periods of time where I'm super regular about it. And then sometimes not so much, but I really like to meditate. I'll meditate, you know, anywhere from like five to 20 and sometimes even 30 minutes when I'm really, um, you know, Uh, doing it regularly, but I find, and then if I can do a yoga class in the morning, I am like the best person in the world that day.

I love that. Yes,  it's amazing. You have a very vibrant morning and then Bryce, I'm wondering if for you with the night owl tendencies, does your morning look different or what do you see there? No, I mean, well, my biggest, I'm also really, I've been blessed to be a really good sleeper as well. And I like to, my grandmother lived well into her nineties and she looked incredible.

And her, I swear her, her beauty secret was sleep. She slept like 10, sometimes 12 hours a night.  I know, I know. Yeah, right. So we can all I really, you know, it doesn't really try and get in a good amount of sleep. And my biggest luxury are those days when, you know, on the weekend when I don't have to wake up with an alarm.

So, um, but my morning routine, I also make concerted effort. I never sleep with the phone in the bedroom. I put it in a completely other room, turn off the wifi, the whole thing. So, um, yeah, wake up. And then I'm also obsessed with oil pulling. So I do that for 20 minutes, uh, first thing and, you know, make the bed, open up the shades, um, get going.

I have, um, herbal tea in the morning as well. And then I like to go on a walk. Um, so just get outside first thing. And even if it's cold, just like get out there, get going, like get a little bit of sunshine, you know, on our face. And  Now I'm thinking I need to add in oil pulling again. I, there's, I've, I'm such a phase person and I go through phase and there's a period, I'm getting presents on this podcast, that there's a period when I was really into oil pulling and then something happened.

I think a travel or something and I got out of the routine. And now I think I'm going to bring it back after this conversation. How often or how long do you guys oil pull? What's your regular kind of cadence? Because I remember I was doing it so long, was my brain thinking that it was like a long in time investment, but I don't know.

How long are you guys doing this for? I try to do 10 to 20 minutes. Yeah. Okay. But you know what? I do it and I like, I sort of will like jump in the shower sometimes, like I'll do my wash while I'm doing it. We'll just kind of be like, I'll be walking around, you know, doing the oil pulling. Habit stacking.

Yeah, exactly. Okay. All right. All right, I'm inspired. Thank you guys. I go, I get my hot water for the tea going while I'm oil pulling. I make the bed while I'm oil pulling. I do my little morning chores while I'm oil pulling. That's what I need to do.  All right. Well, see, a lot of things are changing for me out of this podcast.

Great. I hope that the listener is being inspired by these various things as well. And then the third question is, what might we see on your nightstand? And or, you know, you're traveling or what have you kind of proverbial nightstand things in your environment or ambiance. Certainly we'd assume the Alkemis paint, but are there things that we might be missing as well?

Books on my nightstand  and my journal generally always on my nightstand. Um, you know, I'll randomly get inspired by things or, you know, there are periods of time where I'm tracking my dreams and trying to like get into my subconscious. I had like, a brief period of time where I was really interested in, um, uh, what is that called when you're like proactive in your dream?

Um, oh, so, uh, oh my god, why am I forgetting this? Ah, the um, Blake, what's it called? Blake's over here. Um, the type of dreaming. Why can't I think of this? Lucid. Lucid dreaming. Lucid. Thank you. We were all having a blank. We were all having a blank. Totally. Okay. So lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming. I was doing this.

I mean, I, I lucid dream. I don't know what. I think that means that I'm not always in deep sleep, Mollie, you would know better than me, but I was lucid dreaming, like, for a relatively, like, consistent period of time, and I was doing this meditation retreat, and I was talking to somebody there who was talking to me about lucid dreaming, and she told me, like, that there's a really cool way, effectively, to figure out if you're, to figure out how to become conscious in your sleep, And what you do is during the day you create a tell like you count your fingers like so often that it becomes like  normal in your brain to recall this so that when you're actually sleeping you then try to count your fingers and you'll remember this tell but you'll notice that you'll have like 15 fingers instead of like  And that will like make you conscious that you're dreaming and that's like the first step and then you can like do all of this like subconscious programming with it.

Um, so yeah, that's why I have my journal because I was into that for a little while. That is so good. So it's so funny about the lucid dreaming topic because we actually haven't done really any podcast on that topic. And we do have some, I believe, lined up in the very near future. Now, part of the reason that we had kind of hesitated was some of the concern from a sleep optimization perspective is that often some of the ways to augment, or the thinking, some of the theories anyway, of how to augment your ability to tap into lucid dreaming can be to wake yourself up throughout the course of the night or have ways right to fragment your sleep.

And so, since so much of what we're doing is trying to minimize then the fragmentation and what have you, then we're often not going in much in that direction. However, that doesn't discount the fact that there are plenty of people who have spoken to, you know, lucid dreaming as being a vehicle for them for self development and growth and all kinds of things.

So that's going to be a whole new chapter that we're going to be looking into. So stay tuned.  I appreciate that you're going to speak to that. And so it sounds like you've delved into that. Very interesting. And Bryce, what might we see on your nightstand? I'm also a big reader and I'm a big proponent of actual physical books and publications.

Yes. Um, and just trying to get, you know, it's like we're in front of our computers all day long. So trying to get away from reading on devices. So lots of books and magazines. And then again, humidifier. I have a humidifier like right next to my face. We lived in Vegas for during some of the lockdown. And so being in the desert, totally get, you know, my husband works a lot of poker players and I work with a lot of poker players.

So we go back and forth to Vegas quite a bit and that desert air totally hear you. Okay. Smart. Yeah. You do that.  And then, you know, again, like, Egyptian magic, castor oil, I use castor oil as eye drops, which is an incredible old Ayurvedic, um, method as well. And, um, just like a ton of, a ton of water. Um, as well as I have some really great kind of like sleep scent, some herbal, um, you know, mugwort and things that encourage interesting dreams and sound sleep that I like to spray on my pillow.

Amazing. I love that. I didn't know that about the castor oil. So funny, I was just, literally just today reading something about, you know, castor oil for kind of anti aging, beautification, and I think I had had it as a use for, you know, the, the castor oil packs, and then maybe some skin irritation, psoriasis, eczema, what have you, but it was kind of a, it was a newer way for me to look at it for, you know, anti aging in particular, and then, but the eye piece I had never heard  of.

Look at all these things I'm learning on this episode. Jeez, amazing. Yeah, it's a real, it's a real cure, it's a real cure all.  Yeah, right? There's a lot of application there. Okay, cool. As many ancient things are, and this is why we need to look to ancient wisdom and apply modern technology to create new things in this world that have worked and always will work.

Yes, it's so funny. I was just having a conversation about that just recently because I found out that I had some iron overload. So part of the treatment for that is blood donation. And it's actually shown up on some of my sleep results. It's helped with my heart rate, all these benefits. And so since then I've been learning about blood donation.

So it's like the old school bloodletting, right? Like it's  the 14 hours or something. And the thinking was, so now that I've been diving into it, one, they're talking about how there's seems to be theories of Even the benefits of certain heavy metals and chemicals and certain things that we might be dealing with that we're actually being able to excrete that through regular lead donation.

And going back to what you're pointing to, that there's theories that if things stood a bit of the test of time in history, they there's likely a reason or it did had some clear benefits that it would stick around for so long so there's wisdom there for us to potentially look at so anyway so good so good then the fourth and last question would be so far and it's clear to me that the two of you are continually looking and evolving and seeing what you can do to up level your game and health and wellness.

But so far, where are you at as far as the, like, what could you point to that's made the biggest change in your sleep game, if you will, or made the biggest difference in managing your sleep, um, to date? I mean, I would say getting rid of all devices. Like, I mean, unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of multiple rooms.

But yeah, I mean, it is so crazy how addicted we are to our devices. And you know how much we just like scroll to turn our brain off. So I mean, even having to just adjust to, like, not having my phone next to me and on, like, said, like, a true millennial. But, like, I just, you know, it's really, I really find that I sleep so much better, even though I, I do have to detox from it for, like, a couple of hours.

Like, it feels uncomfortable, but it really makes a difference. Ugh, I completely agree with that one. And I know exactly what you're talking about, having lived in New York for ages, over a decade. the trickiness of in smaller spaces. How do we create those boundaries for ourselves? So I really acknowledge you for finding ways to do that in smaller spaces.

Totally get that. And Price, what about for you? So for me, some of the biggest things that have contributed to having better sleep, I mean, I've always been a good sleeper, but cutting out alcohol. Oh, huge. Yeah, 100%. And then intermittent fasting. So really trying not to eat past a certain hour. You know, I mean, I try to stop eating by whatever, you know, not be so, but like, Yes.

Five, four or five hours of Yes. you know, finishing dinner before I go to sleep.  And that has been a complete game changer. Ugh. Are you tracking your sleep or do you just feel that intuitively? No, I don't do any. I just, I, oh, it's, it's like, it's more than intuitive. I mean, it's like every system in my body is just like, yeah, I feel so much better.

It's, it's so clear. That is amazing to me because that is one of the clear things that we see objective data to, you know, kind of underscore exactly what you just said, that it makes sense. such a difference from a data perspective. Um, when we move back that last bite of food, and so we'll put it in the bucket of circadian rhythm, intermittent fasting.

So you're aligning, you know, kind of, again, more of what we're talking about, kind of almost ancestral wisdom. It makes sense that in the past we would have eaten most of, front loaded our calories, like had most of our food when the sun was out, almost like the Amish or something. Uh, and then when the sun would set, you know, you just didn't have access.

You wouldn't go hunting or something in pitch black, so you couldn't eat much later, we would presume. So we're aligning with these rhythms of nature. And often what I see is that so many people being disconnected, sometimes myself included at different points in my life, disconnected from our own physiology, that it takes the tracking to say, Oh wow, look at the difference this made.

My heart rate came down, my sleep improved, all this. But that's fantastic that you're able to kind of feel that, the intuition to know that that makes that level of difference. It's amazing. Yeah. And when I have just like conversely, you know, when I have a night where I'm like, okay, I'm not going to be strict about it.

And I go eat a, you know, meal at 10 30 PM. Then I'm like, I everything is effective and you're like, wow, okay. It's really making a huge difference. A hundred percent. I know there's now times for me where it feels akin to, so to your point, the cutting out of alcohol, that's another big one we see with the wearables where it's just so unequivocal.

And of course, to your point, uh, from a intuitive standpoint, But then the next day. So now that alcohol is largely not in the conversation for me as much anymore as it used to be. Now the food piece, if I do go later, it can almost feel like a mini hangover or something the next day. So I totally totally  so good.

Okay, so having said all this, we talked about a lot of things. I just got a lot out of this conversation myself, and I hope the listener did as well, and I'm clear that they have learned a lot on this topic. At least what we're seeing, I mean, the levels of conversation that are out there on social media.

these topics of building biology. I feel like this is such a missing and you're kind of pioneers in this area. So how can they follow you, test out this paint, learn more about what you're kind of sharing for people? Absolutely. Well, thank you so much, Mollie. We can't thank you enough for, you know, being the first podcast that we've ever been on and having the opportunity to talk with your audience about what it is that we're doing.

Um, we can be found online. We're Alkemis, A L K E M I S, um, Alkemispaint. com. Um, or you can follow us on Instagram at Alkemispaint. Um, And, you know, if you want to follow me and price it like my Instagram handle is Maya Crown. Um, but yeah, I mean, I hope we gave everybody a little bit to think about.

All of our paint can be purchased online too. It's really easy. Um, you can just go on the website, you can pick out a Pretty eight by 11 sample if you wanna test out a couple of colors. We also have quart sizes so that you could put it straight on the wall and see what it looks like in different lighting.

Um, and then we offer gallon sizes as well as three and a half gallon sizes. You're gonna need less paint than you would with conventional paint, so that's great and always good to save a little bit of money there. Um, but yeah, I hope you, I hope we've convinced you to paint your walls with rock instead of plastic.

Um, totally. Because certainly.  Certainly better for you.  Absolutely. No, this has been very, very eye opening and so important. So I'm so grateful. And Price, anything you want to add on ways for people to follow you all? Um, I think Maya said everything. And again, we're just so grateful to be here and such fascinating subject matter.

And I just love the idea of sleep being such an integral part of our overall health and our, but until then You know, overall, just like the way we approach life and our holistic environment. So thank you for, you know, spearheading this to be spearheading these conversations. And I would like to just end on our like motto, which is together we can write, we can raise the vibration of our home planet by starting with our most intimate space.

our foot walls. Oh, I love it. So well said. And I so agree with that. Kind of the mantra, the maxim, the approach that you're putting out there, because that's so in alignment with the things that we're speaking about too, is this fact that. so much, there's can be so much harm that can come from an indoor space that's not thoughtfully and consciously designed.

But on the flip side, on the positive, when we do find the right vendors and the places and sources that can help facilitate biophilia, building biology, all of these components in a thoughtful way, then we can actually thrive in our, between our four walls. So really, Fantastic. Well, thank you for taking the time.

Appreciate it. And more to come. Our pleasure. Thanks so much,  Mollie.  You've been listening to the Sleep is a Skill podcast, the top podcast for people who want to take their sleep skills to the next level. Every Monday, I send out the Sleep Obsessions newsletter, which aims to be one of the most obsessive newsletters on the planet.

Fun fact, I've never missed a Monday for over five years. Five years and counting and it contains everything that you need to know in the fascinating world of sleep. Head on over to sleep as a skill. com forward slash newsletter to sign up.


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