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Mother Essentials: Jenna Levine of LINNÉ Botanicals

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

When looking back at her roots, it’s no wonder Jenna Levine went on to become the creator of the nature-meets-science skincare brand LINNÉ botanicals. The Charleston-based mama grew up in a medical household with her father, a surgeon and professor of medicine, and her mother, a talented cook whose style was rooted in the Hipporcratic axiom “Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine.” By the age of 11, Jenna was her mother’s sous chef, and even created edible face masks using pantry staples like apples, honey, and almonds.

Fast forward a couple decades to 2016, and Jenna’s continued tinkering with plants—including stints at Marie Veronique, True Botanicals, and studying plant-based remedies at Middlebury College in Vermont—eventually lead to the launch of LINNÉ. The eco-centric brand (which utilizes recycled packaging) creates its luxurious botanical skincare line in small batches and from a diverse collection of natural, wild-harvested, and organic plant ingredients, making it gentle on one’s skin and on Mother Earth. Perhaps it’s no surprise that her “Mother Essentials” for herself and brand-new baby girl Elle are as conscious as they are practical. Enjoy!

Lovevery Play Gym + Play Kits. “These exploratory toys excite Elle so much—she giggles with glee. I love them too as they aid in the development of important intellectual and motor skills, and as a bonus, afford me a few minutes to myself.” The Play Gym, $140, Lovevery; The Play Kit, starting at $36/month, Lovevery.

The Well Journal. “Like most newborns, Elle has gas and some days it’s worse than others, so I’m using this amazing food journal to help me track what I consume and observe its effect on her behavior.” The Well Journal: A Guided Journal for Mindful Eating and Better Living, by Mia Rigdonn, $18.39, Bookshop and Amazon.

Swaddles by Pehr and Mushie. “Elle is about to outgrow her need for swaddling, but these felt incredibly necessary in our first months. Pehr has the sweetest prints— our favorites are Love Bug, Strawberry Fields, and Daisy. The Mushie swaddles come in calm solid colors and are just a bit larger in size, making them easier to bundle a growing baby.” Swaddle, $24, Pehr; Mushie Swaddle, $18, Amazon.

Super Angel Twin Gear Juicer. “I start most everyday with a smoothie or juice. As a working mother, smoothies are easier to pull off on the weekdays, but on the weekends we juice. This juicer is old school and a work horse. I’ve had mine for over a decade and I feel like it will last forever. It’s not as fast as newer models, but slow cold processing yields the highest quality juice and because it uses gears to grind, I can grow and juice my own wheatgrass for a super boost.” Angel Juicer 5500 Twin Gear Stainless Steel Juicer, $1,170, Extreme Wellness Supply.

Sister Katie Set. “These 100% organic cotton loungewear sets were the only thing I could comfortably wear in my final days of pregnancy and the only garments I wanted to wear immediately postpartum. The brand has a strong sustainability mission and the founder is a super cool mama—what’s not to like?!” Sally Shirt, $168, Sister Katie; Gillian Pants, $148, Sister Katie.

Perelel Vitamins. “I found Perelel towards the end of my pregnancy but I love that they have a vitamin blend for each stage including conception. I’m using their postpartum pack now. This is another small, female/mother-founded brand with a great brand story.” Perelel Vitamins, $48/month, Perelel.

LINNÉ Skin Tea. “With 13 organic and biodynamic herbs, fruits, and seeds, this delicious blend contains herbs known to do more than just support the skin. It’s great for overall well-being and helps me stay hydrated. I recommend it iced with lemon or hot with a splash of nut milk and honey.” Skin Tea, $26, LINNÉ.

Welly Water Bottle. “When you are breastfeeding you are extra thirsty, especially those initial weeks. Having a good water bottle full and at the ready is essential. The Welly Bottle is the perfect size and includes a strainer, perfect for infusing our LINNÉ skin tea. (We have one sold with our tea, at a discounted price, on the LINNÉ site).” 12 oz. Traveler Bottle, $30, Welly; LINNÉ Insulated Bottle and Skin Tea, $54, LINNÉ.

LINNÉ Rise & Rest. “I created these functional fragrances while pregnant, but never would have anticipated how much I would benefit from them postpartum. I use RISE every morning to help me start the day with energy and focus. And while I hardly need any help getting to sleep at night, REST is super soothing before bed. REST was also incredibly helpful during labor to ease the pain of contractions and keep me calm and confident.” Rise & Rest, $86, LINNÉ.

Silver Cross Wave Stroller. “This stroller combines total comfort, beautiful features, and clever attachments with a rugged body that can seemingly handle any terrain, allowing baby Elle to travel in style as we traverse unpaved territory in our nearby park.” Silver Cross Wave 2021 Convertible Stroller, $1,299.99, Nordstrom.

Silverette Silver Nursing Cups. “The adjustment to breastfeeding can be a bit traumatic to nipples. These little nipple caps use the power of silver to heal and protect sore nipples. They, coupled with a balm I crafted from nutritive, food-safe, cosmetic ingredients, kept my nipples supple and safe. This product effectively doubles as a nappy balm and we are excited to share it with the public in the coming months—stay tuned.” Silverette The Original, $60, Ingrid & Isabel

Ghostflower Active Flossing Challenge with Bonnie Crotzer. “Bon’s fascia flossing classes have been the perfect reintroduction to exercise. They are helping me rebuild strength, stay limber, and correct my posture/alignment, plus Bonnie is quite possibly my favorite instructor of all time—she is so playful and I always learn something new about anatomy, physiognomy, or Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her line of activewear is inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine and is beautifully and thoughtfully made.” TheFloss.com.

LINNÉ The Collection. “I’ve always been diligent yet low maintenance about my morning and evening personal care routine. I love that our products are so comprehensive in their ingredient function—I need very few products to provide my skin with what it needs to stay healthy and radiant. My morning routine includes REFRESH, RENEW, and BALANCE and my evening PURIFY, REFRESH, RENEW, and REPAIR.” The Full Kit, $150, LINNÉ

Meals At Home. “Before life with a newborn my husband and I used to really enjoy crafting complex meals. We both love procuring ingredients and cooking, but I have little time for that as of late. My husband however still manages to whip up super nutritious and flavorful meals daily, and for that I am super grateful.”

Beach Days. “We recently moved from Brooklyn to Charleston and the weather has been perfect! We live near the largest park on the peninsula and are 15 minutes from the beach. Few things give me greater pleasure these days than walking the beach with my family and seeing my joyful pup leap in and out of the waves.”

House Plants. “As a perennial student of botany and herbal medicine, it’s no surprise that I’m a major plant enthusiast. I have lots of house plants and over Valentine’s Day my husband and father filled our house with 8 new orchid plants. My favorite of the group are the Paphiopedilum Julius and Grammatophyllum speciosum.”

Dancing It Out. “Daily dance parties with Elle are often the highlight of my day. My husband has the perfect Sonos setup throughout the house, but we tend to boogie most in the kitchen. He does a bum slide with Elle across the counter tops that cracks me up!”

For more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with Material founder Eunice Byun, best-selling author Joanna Ho, Brave + Kind Bookshop owner Bunnie Hilliard, TV personality Leslie Antonoff, author Rio Cortez, Kido Chicago owner Keewa Nurullah, small-space mama Laura Fenton, Curasalve founder Kelley Williams, Trade Street Jam Co. founder Ashley Rouse, Weelicious and One Potato founder Catherine McCord, interior designer Susan Work, author Tiffany Dufu, Les Gamins founder Veronique Nguyen, Lonny editor Angela Tafoya, Wiley Body founder Vanessa Wade, designers Anna WallackCynthia RowleyRebecca Atwood, and Dana HaimOlympian Alysia Montano, cookbook author Hetal Vasavada, model and muse Slick Woods, wellness influencerJoanne Encarnacion, author LaTonya Yvetteand many, many more!

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