Behind the Scenes: Interns in the Spotlight!

Behind the Scenes: Interns in the Spotlight!

I had the pleasure of hosting two local high school students recently, Holly and Sulli, for a J-term internship with me at Pure Luxe Apothecary. 🙌🏽

It was so much fun! I LOVED their energy and fresh ideas.

Figuring out how to shape our time together and create a meaningful experience was a cool creative challenge. By the end,  we had many discussions, finished worksheets, tackled projects, visited some fantastic local businesses, went on a field trip, had a snow day, and made some beautiful art. (Aaaand we had one fairly disgruntled, talkative cat in the workshop with us. Sorry, Jasper!)

Read on to catch the highlights and see their work! >>>

Photography + Photoshoots


A key piece of this small business internship was learning about marketing. In particular, product and brand photography. After experimenting with cameras, lighting, and styling around the workshop, I asked them each to design their own photoshoot.

They spent time choosing their theme, gathering inspiration images, drafting their shot lists, and making a list of needed supplies. After a quick shopping trip for a few extras, they got to work creating their images. 

I was SO impressed with the creativity and ingenuity of these two. The styling and shots they generated were fantastic. I’ll be sharing more of them in the weeks to come - look out for Valentine’s Day and Spring images (their themes)!

 Rosewater Hydrating Face Tonic Argan & Rosehip Face Oil Neroli Face Mist


Interviews with Local Entrepreneurs

To give a broader view of what it’s like to run a small business, I set up chats/informational interviews with a few other local entrepreneurs. We met with:

  • Emily of The Green House to learn about her botanical-themed gathering space and lounge
  • Rachael of {made} community to learn about the evolution of her jewelry business with a community giving focus

  • Emma of Rhubarb Botanicals to learn about her flower and herb farm, herbal medicine products, and sheep

Hearing their stories, experiences, and perspectives was so valuable (for me too!). So appreciative of these talented women for sharing their time! 

*We were also scheduled to talk with a few others, but the big winter snowstorm that blew through put a wrench in those plans… 

Stanley Museum of Art Field Trip

At the Stanley Museum of Art, Iowa City

Including time for creative inspiration is a must for me. So one morning we took a mini field trip to the University of Iowa’s campus (just a 7 minute drive from my house and workshop) to visit the Stanley Museum of Art. This new museum opened in August 2022 and features the university’s diverse art collections including Modern, African, Asian, Contemporary, Indigenous, Textile, Ceramics, and more. A few favorites...



The most famous piece, and the one that required the building of a special oversized freight elevator to move its 10’ x22’ shipping crate (cheers for that detail, Rachael!), is Jackson Pollock’s Mural (1943). Explore the museum yourself here.

💡Did You Know?? The University of Iowa offered the first Master of Fine Arts in the world! Three students were awarded an MFA in 1940 and one of those three - Elizabeth Cattlett Mora - was also the first African American woman to receive an MFA.

Vision Boards

A final project was to create a vision board for a future business idea. Vision boards are useful tools to help create a visual representation of your life or the direction you’re working towards. They’re easy to create and can take a variety of forms. No matter the style, they’re surprisingly joyful, positive, and powerful.

For Holly, her board’s theme was her love of animals, dog-walking and pet sitting.

Gathering inspiration for a vision board Vision board in progress 

For Sulli, her board centered around her love of baking and experimenting in the kitchen.


These two also helped at a market last month and learned all about using the Square checkout app, conversation and service with customers, packaging purchases, and the organization and tear-down of a market booth (with some extra tear-down help from Sulli’s dad!). 

I’m so proud of them both! They're bright, motivated, and creative - and I can’t wait to see what they build in the future.

Cheers to empowering each other to follow our dreams!


I believe in keeping things simple, yet sophisticated. Using beautifully effective, natural ingredients, I create luxurious skincare and wellness goods for everyday rituals. In every small batch of Pure Luxe Apothecary products, you'll find a fusion of pure, plant-based ingredients, thoughtfulness, and intention. These modern and minimalist remedies are rooted in holistic health to support your entire being - mind, body, and spirit.

With gratitude,

Pure Luxe Apothecary blog about image

I'm Leslie, founder and maker behind Pure Luxe Apothecary. I formulate luxurious, clean skincare products to help you live your healthiest, most vibrant life. I believe simplicity is sexy and health is holistic. Join me in exploring the beauty of living well. 
Holistic Health / Skincare / Ingredients
Nature / Travel / Joy / Connection
Minimalist Style / Design / Beauty

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