Krystin D'Agostino, independent blogger with a passion for all things wellness, interviews Maddie and Alana Alper of Alper Oils. Not only do we love the Alper sister's products [trust us, we tried them all- and their midnight boost is a must-have btw], we admire this Montreal sister-duo for the passion, care, and attention that they drive into every aspect of their business.
I’ve been a fan, admirer, supporter of Maison D’Étude since its inception.
This love stems in large part from the community they’ve built and the incredible individuals I’ve met within this community. The Alper Sisters included.
To put it succinctly - these women totally blew me away and I fell even more in love with their brand and products.
I am honoured to be sharing their story with the MAISON Community. Not only because their products are effective and born of genuine passion and care - but because I am a big believer that as consumers, we hold the power within our wallets. We can choose which brands, products and individuals to support.
I view where I spend my money as a declaration of how and what I believe in. Needless to say, I wholeheartedly believe in Alana and Maddie Alper.
Below are the Q & A’s from my interview with them.
I hope, through reading their answers, you can pick up on their authenticity, open-hearts, and genuine care and love for the people they serve - their customers.
They truly display every quality, mindset and intention I’d want in the creators of a brand. I’m certain Alper Oils are products you’ll want to proudly display in your bathroom - and the Alper sisters are women/entrepreneurs you’ll be proud to support.
Q: Can you talk in detail about Alper Oils’ story?
[Alana] I was in makeup school ready to produce my first portfolio, but I also needed to do hair.
Maddie was studying History at the time, not sure what she wanted to do.
So I said to her “You’re good with hair. Can you do it on my shoot”. She agreed and it was a success.
So I suggested going into hair school and we could work together in the industry. Since then, we worked together on shoots. And we got started in the industry through word of mouth. We build up a portfolio. And eventually got scouted by an agency (which was our goal).
I got to the point I wanted to be at within the fashion industry but I was still craving meaning.
Around this time, I was suffering from depression and acne, and I began falling in love with essential oils and aromatherapy. I was using these essential oils as a tool to care for myself.
I started bringing the oils to the shoots. And the models were ranting and raving about them - how they helped their skin, cleared their eczema, etc.
[Maddie] I have very sensitive skin and I’m very sensitive to all natural products. When I was in my early twenties, I developed cystic acne and I started trying the oils Alana was using and was blown away by the results. I was inspired by what my sister was doing and I asked if I could join her.
The rest is history.
The Entrepreneurial Journey
Q: And what about your journey as entrepreneurs, your successes and challenges?
[Alana] In terms of entrepreneurship, it is a daily struggle. I view myself as a creative person, so there are certain aspects of running the business that don’t come naturally to me. And I’m hit occasionally with Imposter Syndrome.
The biggest inspiration during our entrepreneurial journey was and is our grandmother.
We come from an entrepreneurial family - our grandfather started a business and when our grandmother was 40, she started an interior design company. So, taking something from ideation to execution was instilled in us from early on.
Our parents are also very supportive. When we began this journey, they told us explicitly “You have our 100% support, we trust you wholeheartedly”.
[Maddie] We’re also big proponents of working at the pace that works best for you. We’re not about the hustle-culture.
It is also hard not to compare ourselves to other entrepreneurs, but we do our best to honour how we feel and what we need to thrive. It really is a day by day thing. There are highs and lows. But the most important thing is to try and maintain BALANCE.
Body image & Self-Acceptance
Q: Body confidence and self-love seem to be deeply woven into your brand and mission? Can you speak more to this?
[Maddie] In the space we worked in prior, it was all about physical appearance. Showcasing models who never have a blemish. Here I was with not only acne but cystic acne. And this can take a huge toll - especially when you feel like you’re alone in the struggle.
So, at Alper Oils, we don’t want to showcase "perfect" bodies. That’s just not reality. We don’t want to promote unrealistic expectations pushed upon us by society and different industries.
So we started with this idea - which led us to a person. Someone authentic and on their own skin journey. Someone who genuinely inspired us. We wanted to share their voice. And this is our thought process for every model we work with.
[Alana] Every blend is created for skin and aromatherapy is about the experience, the ritual, the holistic approach that takes mental health [stress, depression, insomnia] into account, as well as self-acceptance.
This is why when we create the visual assets for our product launches we don’t retouch our photos and we’ll want to include a plus-size model. An image of a size 0 fit woman getting into a luxurious bathtub is 1% of the world. We don’t want to showcase that.
We want to promote diversity. We want people to see themselves in our products.
[Maddie] I am a plus size girl. And in a way, we are targeting ourselves. We wouldn’t put out a product that we wouldn’t use ourselves.
Skincare as a Journey
Q: What do you want to say to those reading this article - to those who will want a peek behind the Alper curtain?
[Alana] We care deeply about the customer. We make our products to help you feel good. We’ve blended these products for ourselves before even thinking of sharing them. It was only when we saw how much others loved them did we want to share. Our intentions are rooted in genuine service and love.
We want people struggling with skin problems to know they are not alone.
[Maddie] It’s truly a personal journey. It was a 4 year journey for me, where I ended up finding more confidence in myself and understood my body so much better. My journey included trying everything...Accutane among others.
And I never leverage my story to create false expectations about our products. We want to be real about everything. We won’t promote that Alper Oils fixed my acne.
There was nothing topical, no quick fix that healed me. It was a going on my journey, experimenting, understanding what I needed externally and internally that helped.
However, Alper Oils did act as a facilitator for self-care and helped with the scarring. My dermatologist was shocked at how little scarring I had post-breakout.
Connect with Us
Q: What is the best place for people to engage with your brand and buy your products?