Amal Elbahnasawy, a spa industry veteran, has acquired over two decades of experience in the wellness + beauty sector. She has been included in publications such as CNN Arabia, Readers Digest, Robb Report, Yahoo Finance, Business Insider, and American Spa to name a few. Elbahnasawy’s Egyptian heritage has been vital in the process of creating and running her company ARTISANskin, a natural skincare brand. She was raised in the United States, but currently resides in Bali, Indonesia with her two children. When she’s not formulating with plants, she’s discovering treasures in the ocean with her daughter Eve and son Ayden.
WHAT WOULD MAKE YOUR SOUL SING? WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Creation. It’s everything to me. I love working with plants and creating products through their source power so it could be something complex like creating a new skincare product that will be launched to thousands of people. But it could also be something simple, like creating a craft with my daughter or my son. The size of the creation isn’t important, but it’s the act of creating that brings me joy.
A CHILDHOOD STORY THAT ANNOUNCED THE CREATIVE PERSON YOU ARE TODAY
My sister would always tell the story of when we were kids and she would find her clothes and other items around the house with giant holes cut out of them. Apparently, as a child, I would cut pieces of fabric I liked and I would sew them together as purses. I never went into fashion, but I would say that was the most prominent memory of myself as a child in the creative process. It was all about seeing normal everyday objects as a new invention.
BEST CONTEXT EVER FOR INSPIRATION WAS:
For me, it has always been about quantum physicists. Discovering the unknown, the unseen, the unexplained. Creatively, it opens up portals to other dimensions. Everything becomes possible. I’m a big believer that quantum physics is the future of living. Companies like Microsoft and Lockheed Martin are just a few of those investing time and money in being able to create and use quantum computing technology. It will change the way people live.
There’s a great series by Nova: “The Fabric of the Cosmos” hosted by physicist Brian Greene that can be a fantastic introduction into the quantum field for those interested in a little inspiration.
THE PROJECT YOU LOVED MOST
Creating the ARTISANskin brand is the dearest to my heart, but also being a part of the creation of Eau Spa in Florida was especially important to me, because it was that project that eventually led me to create ARTISANskin.
Eau Spa is a 42,000 square foot wonderland come to life. I met and worked with some of the most creative and interesting people I’ve ever known. We incorporated many subconscious and creative designs throughout the spa. Being a part of such a well thought out creation led to so much internal inspiration for me. A few years later, I created a brand called ARTISANskin which is a line of natural skin products. It’s an echo of the ancient Egyptian method of making natural potions and skin solutions as well as ingredients incorporated from different countries that have been an inspiration. I also placed an immense amount of time into creating the type of branding I always wish existed. The result was something that resonated with people.
THE PROJECT OTHERS LOVED MOST:
I’ve found that ARTISANskin has acquired a very loyal fan base over the years and I believe so many people have made a connection with the brand because the creation of each product is a ritual. It goes beyond just mixing and matching ingredients. It is spiritual in a sense because there’s an energy associated with the formulation process. The enthusiasm people feel for the brand, just inspires me to create even more.
THE BEST THING ABOUT EGYPTIAN CREATIVITY IS:
Egyptians are some of the most creative people on the planet! We can make something out of anything. Whether it be out of necessity or desire, we can always make due with anything that’s available to us and still create a unique or useful item.
BEST STATEMENT OF EGYPTIAN HUMOR:
First of all, humor is basically life to Egyptian people. It runs through our veins and the culture itself is filled with comical expressions, jokes, or stories. We are known as the Hollywood of the Middle East so our humor is something that is reflected in famous films and songs. You will never come across an Egyptian person who doesn’t love to laugh! We also have the Egyptian actor Adel Emam who is synonymous with the word humor. He has made some of the most famous comedy films in the Middle East and for many, all you have to do is say his name and they’ll start smiling!
ADVICE FOR INTERNATIONAL HEADHUNTERS, RELATED TO EGYPTIAN CREATIVES
There is an intensity with Egyptian creatives that is unmatched. They feel deeply, they create intensely, there is a passion for every move that is made in their work. My only wish is that more Egyptian creatives could have the spotlight and be discovered more often.
BEST PLACE IN CAIRO
Apart from the classical Nile River and the Pyramids, Cairo’s Opera House is a place everyone should visit at least once. There are different artistic events that are held throughout the year, my favorite being the recent hologram performance of the famous Oum Kalthoum just this past February. To see her realistic image projected on the stage 45 years after her death, singing her songs, was truly surreal.
BEST PLACE IN EGYPT
The Red Sea is a magical place. Full of life and history, but also the serenity one feels there is worth experiencing.
MOST DISTURBING CLICHÉ ABOUT EGYPT, IN THE MEDIA OUTLETS OF THE WORLD IS:
The media mainly showcases the historic points of Egypt which don’t always give the country the well-rounded image it genuinely deserves. Modern, everyday life in Egypt is brimming with a varied culture. It’s a mixture of old and new and there is an entire way of life that does not have the opportunity to be portrayed in the media. We have art galleries and the most amazing restaurants, then combine that with grabbing roasted corn being grilled on the side of the street by a woman fanning the flames on the ground or buying veggies from a horse-drawn cart. It’s a mix of the old world and the new world.
EGYPT SHOULD BE KNOWN FOR
It’s energy! Not just the chaos of the city, but even in the stillness of the desert. Egypt’s energy is unsurpassed. It always leaves an imprint.
YOUR VIEWS ON SPIRITUALITY
Without it, it’s almost as if life is lived in black and white. There is so much to the world that is unseen and spirituality, whether it be through prayer or meditation or just feeling a connection to the universe, allows us to connect with that level of living. So I guess you could say that spirituality allows me to see the unseen.
YOUR VIEWS ON MONEY
This idea may be a challenge for some, but I think a rich life is possible without money. Do we need it to survive? Yes. But do we need it to really live? That’s where most judgments become clouded and will ultimately live their lives seeking something they already have.
AN INSPIRATION SOURCE YOU RECOMMEND FOR A YOUNG CREATIVE
The most effective source of inspiration is anything that challenges your comfort zone. When we have a bit of internal ‘chaos’ it shakes up our views about things we once knew. That experience can be a catalyst for creativity and change. So my advice is if you’re looking for inspiration, ask yourself what you’re afraid to do, then do it. It can be something as simple as riding a roller coaster or traveling somewhere you’ve never been before. Take small steps if you need to, but jumping over the wall of fear always leads to a FIELD of inspiration.
AN EGYPT BASED FEMALE TALENT THAT DESERVES TO BE PROMOTED AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL, AS EXPONENT OF LOCAL CREATIVE SPIRIT
There’s an amazing woman by the name of Amina Taha (ig: @aminahtaha) who constantly amazes me. She’s known as a yoga/wellness instructor based out of New York, and you’ll quickly see her energy is full of light + inspiration.
If you are interested in having a special SPA day at home with ARTISANskin goodies, check out her collection here.