Conscious Beauty And Beautiful Minds: Interview w/ Cheryl Fork of FORK & MELON
Cheryl Fork is the founder of FORK & MELON, an elevated, non-toxic line of hand & body care made with watermelon seed oil. Leading up to the brand’s inception, challenges with fertility and pregnancy loss led her to start cleaning up the products she was using on herself and in her home.
She had been a beauty/skincare enthusiast since as long as she could remember, and though there were many wonderful non-toxic beauty brands available, she wasn’t able to find some of the everyday products that were 1) made with clean ingredients 2) effective and enjoyable to use 3) looked beautiful in her home and 4) weren’t so expensive that they were only relegated to the guest bathroom. And as these were reoccurring purchases, she also wanted to support a company that was trying to do some good.
When she couldn’t find what she was looking for, she went on an extensive research journey and learned about the wide-ranging benefits of watermelon seed oil for all skin types along the way. Eventually FORK & MELON was born. Cheryl’s mission with the brand is to bring clean luxury to your daily routine without making it complicated.
What was the first beauty routine you adopted as a child or teenager? Which emotions do you connect with this memory?
I started experimenting with beauty at a young age — I always loved trying different outfits & accessories, playing with makeup, applying leave-in conditioning hair treatments and pretending I was at the spa. These memories evoke a sense of innocent joy and glamour when I think back on them. I started a daily skincare routine as a teen, when I first started to experience skin breakouts, which consisted of face wash, salicylic acid toner or “astringent”, and face cream, which back then included an acne-fighting ingredient like benzoyl peroxide. Though the actual products and ingredients in my routine have switched entirely, my basic nightly skincare routine is similar: facewash, toner, and then a lovely moisturizer and/or face oil made with clean ingredients.
CONSCIOUS BEAUTY — What meaning do you give this term?
Though the term “Conscious Beauty” isn’t well-defined, I see it as a very positive trend in the industry when it’s coming from an authentic place. At FORK & MELON our aim is to bring clean luxury to your daily routine without making it complicated, which means bringing a bit more beauty, health, & joy to the everyday, without adding additional products, things to your to-do list, or wastefulness in general. Making a conscious choice to do better, in your personal choices and your choices for the world around you.
Which aspects of sustainability in beauty are especially important to you?
Creating a product line with sustainability as a key focus was/is very important to me, and it’s part of how the brand aspires to “conscious beauty”. We manufacture our products locally in Southern California in a certified organic facility that uses 100% wind-powered energy. We keep the product line minimal, with products that have multiple uses, and our packaging is minimal, refillable, fully recyclable, and non-BPA. We’re also cruelty-free (no animal testing), and all of our formulas are vegan.
When do you consciously feel beautiful?
Sometimes when I first get out of the shower and I’m clean and natural — I love being clean. Or sometimes when I get dressed up, wear makeup, and put together a “look” for an event. Having a good hair day makes such a difference too.
Did your approach to beauty change within the last 1–2 years?
I’ve been into skincare from a young age, and I have always had a daily beauty routine that I would follow every morning and evening. But since the pandemic, I will usually shower after a quick workout in the morning and then not put anything at all on my face the whole day unless I’m going somewhere (and I often don’t put anything on when I am going somewhere). My nighttime routine has become simpler as well. However, it is fun to start playing with makeup again for more social events now though.
How would you like to see the image of beauty change within the next 5 years?
I think it’s so great how the concept and ideals for beauty are becoming more and more inclusive and I hope that trend only continues — with more emphasis on being interesting and real, and less emphasis on perfection and fake ideals. I’d like to see the idea of conscious beauty continue to grow, where consumers are paying more attention to how, why, what, and who they choose to buy from.
What or who inspires your beauty routine?
I’ve always been inspired by more natural-looking beauty and have leaned into that even more as I’ve gotten older.
What is your best beauty advice to others?
Always wash your face before bed each night. Take care of your skin and be gentle with yourself.
Is there anything you would like to share that we have not asked you here?
I started my company when I was looking for healthier products to use in my beauty routine and in my home, as my husband and I were struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss. I’m so happy to announce that after 5 years of trying, we are expecting our first child this November!!!
Follow FORK & MELON on Instagram.
Demee Koch about the MEDIUM interview series on CONSCIOUS BEAUTY:
Hello! I am a serial entrepreneur with more than 2 decades of experience in the health & beauty industry. This interview series is intended to create awareness about the movement of Conscious Beauty.
We are in a beautiful time of Conscious Beauty — you may have heard of this term, but what does Conscious Beauty mean, and why does it matter?
For us, beauty is a way to love — it is about self-care, art, nutrition, exercise, life, self-love. I invite you to become part of a movement that re-defines beauty. Let’s empower beautiful minds.
Thank you for being the change. I’m looking forward to learn from you. Reach out to me via LinkedIn.