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Plus, a local business to lather in.
The Incline

📽️ From Pittsburgh to Pixar

Plus, a local business to lather in.

Welcome to Tuesday!

Does Pittsburgh have a smell? Local body care maker Miko DeHoniesto wrote about a fragrance she dreamed up for her Element Body Buttah.

"It reminds me of the way Pittsburgh smells after a summer rain. Some people might get it if you know the smell of the wild plants that grow all around Pittsburgh properties. It's the way that I designed it, and I love that a year later it still evokes those same feelings of a lovely rainy summer night," she wrote on Instagram.

Today, we're turning the spotlight on Miko's business, Tonic & Sage, for a look into her vegan philosophy and thoughts on self-care.

In other news today: How the May primary will look very different from the last election, what’s new at the History Center, a penguin pic you have to click, and how you can share your thoughts on "Completing the Loop."

What Pittsburgh is talking about

Stay in the loop. | Tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @darin_dinapoli)

4 things to know today

🗳️ Voters can expect to return to their in-person polling places for the upcoming May primary elections, but there will also be mail-in or absentee ballot options. You can request a mail-in or absentee ballot before the deadline on May 11. (90.5 WESA)

🕯️On her 50th birthday, Dannielle Brown ended her hunger strike at Freedom Corner in the Hill District with the launch of The Marquis Jaylen Brown Foundation. Her hunger strike began in July of 2020 on that same corner as a protest for answers from Duquesne University about the death of her son Jaylen. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

🎢 Ride at your own risk: Kennywood is scheduled to open on Saturday, May 8, at 50% capacity. Masks are required — which is extra important for when you’re screaming all the way down the Phantom’s Revenge. (Pittsburgh Magazine)

🇺🇸 “American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith,” Heinz History Center’s new exhibition, showcases how democracy has expanded through voting, protesting, and citizen participation in politics to become the nation we know today. (TribLIVE)

4 things to make you smile

🏆 “It’s Such A Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers” won a Grammy for Best Historical Album. The compilation includes familiar tunes from the WQED show: “Won’t you Be My Neighbor,” “You are Special,” and “Today is a Very Special Day.” (KDKA-TV)

📽️ From Pittsburgh to Pixar, native writer Jesse Andrews is working on the upcoming film “Luca,” a coming-of-age story of a young Italian boy with “fantastical elements like sea monsters” to be released in June. (Pittsburgh Current)

🍰 Life is what you bake it. These Pittsburgh pals are staying connected during the pandemic with a super sweet #spatulachallenge. (@sopheating on Instagram)

🐧 Waddle on over to The National Aviary to visit this fuzzy African Penguin chick. You can see the chick for a limited time as it makes daily appearances around lunchtime. (National Aviary on Instagram)

Five questions with Tonic & Sage’s Miko DeHoniesto

Meet Miko DeHoniesto, the founder of Tonic & Sage, a handmade, vegan body care company based in Wilkinsburg. She’s 27 and has a background in fine art, pastry, herbalism, and has practiced cosmetic formulation as a hobby for eight years. We chatted with Miko about her business journey, her favorite products, and her tips for self care. Responses are edited for clarity and length.

What led you to start a vegan skin/body care business?

I started my obsession in making skin care as a teenager because of my dry and sensitive skin. I always wanted to sell my products, but it took time to form fully. I decided to go with a vegan approach to skincare because it's sustainable and accessible to more people than products derived from animals.

How are your products made?

All of my products are made by hand in small batches. I source only plant based, eco-certified ingredients. The shea butter, which is an ingredient I use a lot of, is certified fair trade from Ghana.

What's the story behind the name "Tonic & Sage"?

When I decided to start this business, I knew that I wanted the name to be something that relates to what I do as a business but also to me personally. Tonic and Sage are two things I consistently reach for to take care of myself time and again. Tonic is actually not referring to tonic water but really herbal tonics, which I make for myself often especially when I'm feeling sick. Sage is a favorite herb to grow and work with.

Tell us about one of your favorite products you make or something new you have in the works.

I love all of my products, but of course my number one is of course the Body Buttah. I used these in my daily regimen to keep my dry winter skin moisturized. I have super dry skin so I use it on top of a lotion to seal moisture. I even use the “plain jane” on my face at night to seal in all of the moisture from my hydrating moisturizers.

On your site, you said: "The product is just a tool to reconnect and check in with ourselves." What tips do you have for us all for slowing down with self care?

Be intentional, mindful, and gracious. As a company, I'm really only representing a part of taking care of yourself, but there is so much more to self care. Our fast-paced society makes us major consumers of time, and we tend to want things instantaneously. When you take time out for yourself, try to put yourself in a head space to be kind to yourself. For example, one of the ways I like to self-care is to take baths. I try to make this moment about letting go of things that I cannot control and just allowing myself to process things that have happened within the week, without interference.

For more about Tonic & Sage, check out our full interview here and the shop here.

Help us shine the spotlight

Into our features on amazing local businesses like Tonic & Sage? Then help us make this work possible by supporting our local journalism as a member.

Get in on the fun by becoming an Incline Insider today.

Today

⚖️ Be inspired by dramatic readings of the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's most monumental opinions and arguments from today’s acclaimed feminist voices at this Women and Girls Foundation event (Online)

📜 Get nostalgic and reflect on the lost treasures of Pittsburgh with The Incline's Rossilynne Culgan, who is writing a book about local history (Online)

Tomorrow

🗺️ Hear from the experts on redistricting, gerrymandering, and how it affects communities in Pennsylvania in this Spotlight PA event (Online)

📜 Travel 19,000 years back in time — all from the comfort of your couch — on this exploration of Meadowcroft Rockshelter (Online)

Wednesday

👩 Join other female-identifying and gender-nonconforming artists, arts administrators, and arts supporters for lively conversation on womanhood and the arts (Online)

Thursday

🎭 Catch Pittsburgh Public Theater's virtual benefit reading of North of Forbes, a contemporary Pittsburgh adaptation of Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles. (Online)

📣 Find your capital S 'Story' with tips from marketing pro Paul Furiga, who founded Pittsburgh's WordWrite (Online)

🏥 Meet with Pittsburgh's Cancer Caring Center for "A Night of Education and Hope" focusing on colorectal cancer during Colorectal Cancer Month (Online)

🏠 Learn about the life and legacy of Pauline Rosenberg (1863-1940) and her Deutschtown home in this Preservation Pittsburgh event (Online)

Saturday

☘️ Tap your toes to the musical stylings of Colm Keegan, from Celtic Thunder, in this livestream with the Pittsburgh Irish Festival (Online)

🎭 Calling all educators: Learn practical ideas on how to enhance student engagement using basic drama methods at Prime Stage Theatre's All the World's a Stage: Creative Ways to Bring Your Lesson to Life (Online)

♻️ Help beautify Hazelwood in this seasonal winter clean-up (Hazelwood)

🌯 Support SHIM's March to Sack Hunger campaign by ordering Chipotle in the South Hills where proceeds go toward the campaign (South Hills)

Sunday

📗 Discus the book "Veganism of Color: Decentering Whiteness in Human and Nonhuman Liberation" with the Pittsburgh Vegan Society (Online)

🎭 Spend a night at the theater (at home) with this one-act play "A Matter of Trust," with the Pittsburgh New Works Festival (Online)

🌳 Zumba in the park with Kemah — and bring the kids, too (Hazelwood)

One more thing …

Have you heard about the “Completing the Loop” project yet? It’s vision is to connect people and communities to the riverfront, and you can share your opinions to make it come to life.

What parts of the riverfront matter most to you? Watch the public presentation video of the project and fill out this survey to help Riverlife link and enhance the 15 miles and 1,055 acres of Pittsburgh’s riverfront.

That’s it for today! See you back here tomorrow.

— Francesca at The Incline

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