Spring Cleaning with Sqwishful In Conversation with Founder Jenn Tsang
Sit down with Jenn Tsang, the inspiring woman behind Sqwishful’s sustainable sponges.
Sqwishful is the perfect example of turning bad news into something good. When Jenn Tsang learned that she had poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, she didn’t fret. In fact, she did her research! After learning that women with PCOS have higher amounts of BPA in their bodies, Jenn completely changed her diet and lifestyle to avoid plastics that contained this chemical. However, finding a new sponge without BPA proved to be almost impossible. So, Jenn made her own! Call it Sqwishful thinking. If there’s anything BWB loves more than a clean brand, it’s an innovative woman forging a sustainable future.
Sustainability starts at home. Jenn makes safe and eco-friendly cleansing utensils so you can make meaningful changes along your own green wellness journey. BWB sat down with Jenn to talk about all the little things she’s doing around the house and all the little things we can do, too.
Weekend dinner plans?
Living in New York and Hong Kong, I get to enjoy creative food scenes that I love. But, I also need to escape from them regularly. I appreciate dinners at home where there’s always a table for two, and the menu is simple but nourishing.
Favorite homemade meal?
Lentil dal with kabocha squash and cumin avocado. I use a lot of spices in my cooking because they’re delicious, anti-inflammatory, and good for immunity. A healthy diet is a cornerstone of good health. We try to eat as many different nuts, legumes, whole grains, fish, and greens because they’re high in zinc, selenium, and vitamin C – micronutrients that boost immunity.
What is your favorite dish soap liquid to pair with Sqwishful sponges?
We cook a lot and always have dishes to do. I’ve been learning how to make natural dish soaps and cleaners because it saves money and is convenient to buy ingredients in bulk. They’re also greener and healthier than store-bought ones because you can reuse the same bottles and trust that they’re free of harmful toxins. My favorite is a lavender dish soap I make by infusing vegetable glycerin with dried lavender or lavender essential oil.
I don’t have a Saturday ritual so much as a morning ritual. Every morning I wake up, put dishes away, wash the occasional spoon or cup left in the sink, make the bed, and tidy up. Twenty minutes later, our apartment feels brand new. For me, there’s no better feeling than starting my day with a sense of renewal and reward. Taking care of my home is a ritual that expresses love for my family, deepens my connection with the beauty of our space, and creates an inspiring workspace. Saturday or Monday, every day is a clean start.
Sunday run or relax?
I work every day other than Sunday, so Sundays are like a little oasis for me. I make banana soy black sesame milkshakes, listen to cha-cha records on repeat and watch old episodes of The Good Place on Netflix. Other ideas for relaxing on Sunday include having a beach picnic, eating tropical fruits with a view, and unwinding to a little Chet Baker after a long day with a whiskey neat.
Go-to clean beauty routine?
Truthfully, my clean beauty routine is getting good sleep. At Sqwishful, we use plants to design our products and know that the things that work best are from nature. I look for the same things in self-care as I do in home-care, where natural materials have been used for millennia.
Favorite shops for eco-friendly products?
Where else have you eliminated plastic in your life?
The first thing I ask when something comes in plastic is, do I need this? Sometimes eliminating plastic is rethinking what we really need and finding that less is more. If the answer is yes, then maybe there’s an alternative. Currently, I’m working on my bathroom and switching to natural shampoo and conditioning bars. They work surprisingly well! Especially since I have hair like a stray Afghan Hound.
For those of us who are open to the idea of a greener lifestyle, how do you recommend we start?
Start small. Pick something that makes you happy that you can do every day. Whether you waste less, eat less meat, ride your bike or try composting –make it a celebration of life. Because it is.
Teresa Deely is graduating from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.