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Photography by Winona Barton-Ballentine
Mother Stories

Meet NYC Mama Raquel Nowak, Founder of Matrescence

Written by Erin Feher

Photography by Photography by Winona Barton-Ballentine

What better way to welcome fall than a walk through a leaf-scattered NYC park with this powerhouse mama and her two fierce little girls? For today’s Mother profile, we spent the day with Raquel Nowak, the founder of Matrescence—a line of non-toxic, botanical skincare solutions for all stages of motherhood. And the nuances of life’s various stages are something Raquel knows a few things about. Born and raised in Jamaica, Raquel entered college at 16, and earned degrees in teaching, mathematics, computer science, media and communications, and film. She’s worked in casting, marketing, and prenatal wellness, but her focus sharpened on clean beauty when she digested the statistics from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on the alarming number of chemicals and toxins found in skincare that affect reproductive health. That’s when she decided to change lanes once again and teamed up with chemists to formulate a line of products that were completely free of anything that would be harmful to either mom or baby. Raquel decided to name her company after the term coined by anthropologist Dana Raphael—Matrescence refers to the process of becoming a mother, where a woman transitions from pre-conception through pregnancy and then on to the postnatal period and beyond. With her skincare line, Raquel wanted to promote the importance of “mothering the mother.” Today, she runs her thriving company from NYC, and lives in a charming neighborhood in the borough of Staten Island with her husband and their two daughters, Nahla, 5, and Emilia, 3. Click through the tour below to get to know Raquel and her girls, and take a look around her lovely home and neighborhood.

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