Few of us in this life are left untouched by grief. Whether it’s the loss of a friend or family member, coping with the finality can feel overwhelming. We look for ways to keep their memory alive, ways to let others know what wonderful people they were. For St. Louisan Ellie Hock, the death of her mother sent her searching for a special way to honor what an amazing woman she was. One of her favorite memories of their last months together was time spent having manicures and pedicures. Even though her hair was gone from the chemo, Hock’s mother still relished a sense of her femininity. So pretty hands and feet became something to look forward to.
After her passing, Hock first turned to bee keeping, a nod to her mother’s love of gardening and nature. Then the idea for nail polish took root and tying it in with the bee keeping, Urban Nectar was born. Hock knew that if she ever made a profit from selling the nail polish, she would use it to help others. That’s why a portion of every bottle sold goes to Cancer Support Community Center of Greater St. Louis, a non-profit organization that empowers and educates people affected by cancer. How HANTASTIC is that?
Urban Nectar is truly a labor of love for Hock, she fills every order by hand. And it’s become a family project too since her dad helps out by handcrafting wooden honeycomb stands used to display the nail polish. Urban Nectar is manufactured without environmentally harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, and is never tested on animals. Hock chooses the colors and comes up with their names, sticking with a “bee” theme. But her favorite part? “Sometimes when I get an order, there will be a letter included. Customers tell me how Urban Nectar has impacted them, made them feel less isolated by the effects of cancer, ” Hock says, “Or I’ll get phone calls from parents who thank me for cheering up their sick kids and raising awareness at the same time.” Two years and twenty colors later, Ellie Hock has created not only a living testament to her mother, but a way to pay it forward as well.
Look for Urban Nectar polishes locally at Sweet Boutique in Clayton, 4 Quarters Vintage in Winghaven, David’s in Clayton or find them online: www.stlurbannectar.org Pick up a bottle for yourself or as a gift for the holidays, it really is a gift that keeps on giving!