Lisa Fennessy, Founder at The New Knew

I’m Lisa Fennessy, founder of TNK. Born and raised in Boston, MA, I’m a city girl at heart currently living in Atlanta since 2017. I am passionate about access to healthy food, water, beauty, consumer goods, and more. I want nontoxic to be the norm and this drives my passion daily. On TNK, you’ll find well-researched info about better (clean) beauty, healthy living, and going gray (a journey I’ve been on since 2017!). With a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University, I explore the latest and greatest in better beauty as well as THE WHY. This has been my full-time job since 2018 and I LOVE IT. What I’ve learned is there is typically no “perfect” solution. But there are certainly a ton of great options. And what’s perfect for one person may not be perfect for another. But, as a team, we are committed to continuing the better beauty and organic lifestyle conversation in hopes of empowering every woman to feel confident about what we are consuming. Saying no to life on auto-pilot and saying yes to being your own number-one advocate. Always real. Always fun. No B.S.

Have you always been into wellness or did you one day realize the importance of it?

I wasn’t always an organic living-clean beauty advocate. After my son Quinn was born with eczema, the docs prescribed him a steroid cream that ended up discoloring his skin. We soon realized his symptoms were being treated but not the root cause. We played around with some holistic remedies but when we decided to remove dairy from his diet, his skin cleared up in two weeks and our world changed. Around the same time, I was experiencing IBS. I got all the tests and the docs were calling it “microscopic colitis.” They were basically saying my intestines were inflamed. Again, identifying the symptom but not getting to the root. I eventually realized I needed more testing and when I saw a functional medicine practitioner, they diagnosed me with Celiac. That was the last day I intentionally ate gluten (I miss real pizza!). Both of these experiences taught me that no one is going to come and hand us a solution. If we want health, we need to seek it out. If we want access to clean food, we need to support non-GMO, organic, and biodynamic growing practices. If we want clean beauty and personal care, we need to do the work and find out what that really means to us.

Do you have any guilty pleasures or is it important for you to live this life 24/7? How do you view “guilty pleasures”?

I don’t believe in the idea of guilty pleasures. As my content manager Nicolle always says, “‘Guilt’ is not an ingredient!” Plus, I’m not about making people (myself included) feel bad about their choices—or about labeling them as “good” or “bad.” No one can live a 100% sustainable, perfectly calibrated life all the time. And I don’t want to either! I wanna be able to eat Doritos and gluten-free Oreos when I feel like it (and I do) and not worry about it.

What does wellness mean to you?

The bottom line? There is something better for everyone when it comes to beauty and fashion and accessories and food. We just need to know what to look for and how to shop for it. Right now, conventional, mainstream, and big box brands formulate fast and cheap and with little to no regard for our health or the health of the planet. It’s what makes cash registers ring and it’s what lines pockets. BUT we can change that. When we educate ourselves. When we stand up and make a choice about what we allow in our homes and on our bodies. When we create a demand for clean, organic, and nontoxic….guess what? Clean, organic, nontoxic, and better become the new norm.

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