Ethical and sustainable — those are the two words that Elizabeth McComsey, owner of I.D.E.A. Boutique – Inspired Designs by Elizabeth Anne, lives by. She opened I.D.E.A. Boutique in 2010 as a jewelry shop featuring natural and ethically-sourced gemstones. Since then, the shop's inventory has grown to include sustainably created handbags and backpacks, beeswax food wraps, vegan candles and her organic skincare line called IDEA Skincare.
In 2022, you may have noticed that I.D.E.A. was closed for an extended period of time for renovations — from April until October, to be exact. This seven-month period allowed Elizabeth and her team time to completely renovate the space and lean into the business's eco-forward mission and values.
Elizabeth says, "The renovations have really allowed us to lean into our eco-friendly values through the additions of a beautiful moss wall and other natural design concepts. It really all started with renovating the back end of the space, but then we figured that we may as well renovate the rest of the space since we were already closed."
Elizabeth goes on to explain that bringing natural and eco-inspired design and decor to the forefront really places emphasis on her goals that have been there from the very beginning. She says, "My goal has always been to provide ethically-sourced, environmentally-friendly products. We have always worked towards this, and now our space truly reflects it."
The store's inventory further reflects Elizabeth's values, as it has been specially curated to include products that don't have a large impact on the planet. Some of the most beloved products in I.D.E.A. include cork handbags, jewelry made from ancient Roman glass, water bottles made from bamboo and Lefrick products that have been made using recycled plastic water bottles. What's more, is that each of these products is ethical and sustainable in its own way.
For example, the cork bags are hand-harvested in Portugal and are considered carbon negative because of the unique harvesting process. Elizabeth explains, "The only tools used to harvest the cork are an axe and a ladder. When the bark is cut off the tree during the harvesting, a stimulation occurs that causes [the tree] to take in more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere."
Another popular product in the boutique is IDEA Skincare. Every product featured in the line features ingredients that have been very carefully sourced and include no genetically modified ingredients. Additionally, all of the products have gone through extensive testing — including by Elizabeth and her mom.
"When I was early on in the testing phase for my IDEA Skincare products, my mom served as my guinea pig," says Elizabeth. "What's crazy is, after three months of using it she looked 10 years younger."
Some of the most popular products in the skincare line include the Brighten Pearls which contain a skin-brightening plankton extract, the Rose Face Lotion which is packed with seven collagen-enhancing peptides, the Azul Night Cream that combines the powerful trio of frankincense, turmeric and spirulina with deeply nourishing marine-derived ingredients and the Hemp Seed Facial Oil for its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to being sold in-store, IDEA Skincare is sold online at IDEA-Skincare.com and in boutiques across the globe.
Visit I.D.E.A. on the Historic Medina Square, right between Medina Sports Cards and Hershey’s Barber Shop, at 108 W. Washington St. to see the revamped space and peruse Elizabeth's selection of ethical and sustainable products. You can also shop online and subscribe to the I.D.E.A. newsletter at IdeaOnlineCatalog.com.