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.