CEO Miriam Alden's Morning Routine Started With Doing Just One Thing
Miriam Alden has a lot going on. The Vancouver native is busy working on her Brunette the Label spring 2022 range and, oh yeah, she’s also pregnant. But for 2021, Alden tells Swearby that she’s committed to taking things slowly and center her mental health. It’s this focus that has helped her start a morning routine for the first time in her life.
"You know the feeling where you’re just absolutely craving something in your life that isn’t a part of it yet?" she asks over Zoom, an impressive wall of books behind her. "For me, that was a morning routine."
Prior to establishing her new go-to morning motions, the fashion entrepreneur and animal rights advocate was a competitive equestrian, and that was how she started her day, out at the barn training. Now, with a baby on the way and a business to run in the midst of a pandemic, things are different, but they're changes she welcomes. "I never had time to do a morning routine," she explains. "But since I’ve been pregnant my life has changed. I have crafted this morning routine for myself that has created a healthy balance for me. It’s peaceful."
Alden's advice on doing the same for yourself? Just start. No, really. That's her biggest bit of advice. Do it, but don't go overboard. As we're talking, she compares it to starting a workout routine. If you attempt to work out every single day or do workouts that are too advanced, you might stop altogether.
"Pick one thing," she tells me. "For me, it was reading. I decided to read a chapter of a book every morning. My body was craving a morning routine, so I understand the feeling of wanting one. But every morning felt different, felt hectic, and I didn’t want to get up earlier. So start with one thing. It’s the routine habit of it. Pick one thing, stick to it every day, and it creates a sense of balance for you. Then, you can add things to the routine without it feeling so overwhelming. I feel so much more settled in my day when I do that."
Curious about Alden's full morning routine? She ran Swearby through the whole thing — product by product. If you're looking for your "one thing" like Alden suggests, use hers for a little inspiration.
Alden begins her mornings like most with water and coffee. She tells Swearby that her husband is often awake and headed to work before her, but he’ll bring in a decaf coffee for her in the morning brewed from their favorite local Vancouver place Caffe La Tana.
“My biggest goal is to have a glass of water with lemon to start my body fresh,” she tells me. “Then, I’ll not look on my computer or phone for the first 30 minutes of my day just to have some peace and quiet for my mind. I think that’s made a huge difference.”
Her morning’s beginning isn’t just water and coffee, though. Reading was one of the ways she first began her own morning routine. While her goal is to read a chapter per day (and she’s adamant that it not be a book on business), she knows that’s not always possible. That’s when she turns to options like I Am Her Tribe by Danielle Doby.
“It’s so beautiful,” she tells Swearby of the collection of poetry. “If I don’t have time to read a lot, I’ll just read a couple of poems, and I love it. One of my girlfriends gave the book to me, and I just find [Doby’s] words very beautiful. It’s something you can read if you only have 15 minutes because you slept in.”
Next, Alden “hits the ground running,” checking her e-mails, texts, and social media before going through her inspiration process. She tells Swearby that she’ll often go on Pinterest or flip through old magazines as a way to get inspired for Brunette the Label’s next collection. Then, it’s on to her beauty routine.
While Alden might have hit the ground running already, she still incorporates relaxing elements into her beauty routine. Before showering, she uses a eucalyptus mist that “feels like a spa” she got while on a getaway at Oak Bay Beach Hotel (sorry this goodie only ships in Canada). While showering, she prefers Susan Kauffman’s Body Scrub to get clean. “I sometimes get bumps on the back of my arms and for some reason, this has really helped them go away. It seems to exfoliate without drying my skin,” she explains.
Once Alden’s shower routine is done, it’s on to skincare, and for her, it’s all about hydration. She tells Swearby that her skin is dry, so it’s about “lathering and layering.”
The brand she swears by most is Biologique Recherche, specifically, its iconic Lotion P50 exfoliator. According to Alden, she continues to use the lightweight exfoliant because not only is it pregnancy safe, but it’s gentle enough for her skin. She says. “Even though it’s an exfoliant, it doesn’t feel like it rips my skin off at all.”
“I’m pretty quick and easy with the makeup,” Alden says walking Swearby through the next step in her routine. For her eye looks, she keeps things minimal using the Victoria Beckham Smoky Eye Brick in the Signature colorway. She sweeps the soft pink shade in the palette over her lids, does her brows, adds mascara, and she’s good to go.
As for her lips, Alden, like many, is obsessed with lip balm. In fact, she tells Swearby that she always keeps one nearby given her dry skin. She’ll also throw in a lip gloss as well. As for her favorite, it’s the Biologique Recherche BioKiss balm or La Mer’s balm.
For days when she wears color, Alden goes for a classic brand: Charlotte Tilbury. She tells Swearby that the brand’s Lip Cheat lip liner in Iconic Nude and lipstick is Penelope Pink are her favorites. “It’s my new favorite lip,” she says. “Even though you have to put a mask on, it makes me feel a little bit dressier.”
With her beauty routine done, it’s nearly time for Miriam to head into her office, and of course, her daily workwear is a sweatsuit — Brunette the Label’s specialty. The size-inclusive brand has recently launched a new range of basics in colors for spring, and it’s Alden’s new go-to.
“The reason I started a clothing line was that I wanted to create a brand that was for all people — for everybody,” she says. “It started with graphics, and we stuck to that, but this fall and spring we launched basics. It’s 100% cotton. The quality is amazing, and the colors are for spring. We did this French vanilla and then a peach cream. In the vanilla, we did sweat shorts, and I think it’s all I’m going to wear all summer.”