Retrouvé’s founders source its ingredients on their 25-acre ranch
In kindergarten, Jami Morse Heidegger used to “work” in her grandfather’s store in New York City, a pharmacy called Kiehl’s, punching the keys on the cash register. As a teen, she experimented with essential oils and creams there, many of which inspired the signature Kiehl’s products we know and love. She eventually became the president and CEO, and sold the business to L’Oréal. She was just getting started.
She and her husband, Klaus, decided to raise their family in California, where she went to high school and developed a love for an active lifestyle—a passion that flourished into their 25-acre Palms of Malibu ranch overlooking the Pacific Ocean, complete with show horses, ponies Spotty and Sally, two rescue dogs and two cats, found as kittens in an RV they once kept in their driveway. (The couple split their time between the ranch and their house in Chatsworth.)
When she couldn’t find the right products for her parched skin, Jami collaborated with her cosmetic chemist back east to concoct the nourishing creams and oils she needed, much like she did as a teen at Kiehl’s. “I really just wanted to make the best skin care with the best ingredients,” she says. Her husband started giving out samples of the lotions and potions to friends in Europe—who kept asking for more—and he suggested they turn it into a business: Retrouvé was born in 2014.
The luxurious unisex skincare line, packaged in black airless, hermetically sealed containers that protect the integrity of the ingredients, is a “labor of love,” says Jami. Translated from French as “to find again,” Retrouvé is all about taking care of skin so that it’s healthy and youthful-looking. In June the couple will introduce Skin Brilliance Priming Pads that prep skin for the antioxidants, peptides, apple stem cells, algae extracts and vitamins in the Retrouvé serum, cream and moisturizer.
The Heideggers are hyperconscious about each product’s ingredients, incorporating elements like the avocado oil harvested on their Malibu ranch in their Luminous Cleansing Elixir. Klaus grows everything there according to the principles of permaculture, a closed-loop way of farming that’s in keeping with the ecosystem. Jami says they plan to use more of what they grow in Malibu in the Retrouvé formulations, such as vitamin C extracted from their citrus fruits.
Content with their permaculture world of self-sufficiency—growing produce and composting on the ranch—they spend quality time taking walks with their dogs (and cats) to feed the horses. Beauty is still central to their lives, but these days it manifests more organically: “I used to go to Beverly Hills for a manicure,” Jami says. “Now when I’m out here, I just stay put.”
Written by MARTHA McCULLY.
Photography by TESSA NEUSTADT.