Walking into the home of one of New Canaan’s newest residents, it’s almost impossible not to capture that feeling of Zen right away. There’s the pleasant scent of Palo Santo essential oils diffusing through the air and the massive windows make the place feel sunny, even on an overcast spring morning. Everything seems organized—from the perfectly stacked books on the coffee table to the fresh orchids blooming near a window. This isn’t the feeling you typically get from a just-moved-into home. Especially since this new resident uprooted her three young children, several dogs and not yet enough furniture to fit the various rooms inside.
But this is the home of Tata Harper, the 45-year-old Columbian-born creator and leader of Tata Harper Skincare, a thriving non-toxic luxury beauty brand that in just ten short years has grown into a multi-million dollar privately-owned and operated business. Harper, armed with a degree in industrial engineering, started her skincare company after her stepfather was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. His doctors believed that his cancer developed at least partly because of his exposure to synthetic chemicals. It was then when she made the switch to clean eating and nontoxic cleaning supplies at home but finding skincare products without toxins was harder. So, she did it herself.
Soon Harper had moved from Miami to Shoreham, Vermont where her company’s operations remain today. It all happens at that 1,200-acre farm from growing the ingredients found inside her signature green bottles to the packing and shipping processes. There are about 150 people on the ground at the farm, and while Harper used to spend the majority of her time there working on everything from product research and development to production, she’s begun to grow the business in a way that requires her to travel quite extensively. She has made a habit out of visiting her various retailers worldwide, teaching “master classes” where she shows consumers her own skincare regimen and educates them on the process of using the products. She even did one of those right here at Space NK on Elm Street in 2015.
In addition, Harper has begun to open spa service rooms—there’s one in Le Bristol Hotel in Paris and a full Tata Harper facial available at the Four Seasons Los Angeles. She is also expanding through Australia and Asia.
The farm is located quite far—a couple of hours drive—from an airport, so Harper said it made sense for her to move to a place within arm’s reach of the New York City area. This would provide easier access to airports as well as allow her to spend more time at her offices in the city. Hence, the move to New Canaan.
“We looked around a lot, visited schools with the kids — I thought we may even end up in Bedford,” Harper, who is newly divorced, explained. “But my kids loved the school here, so I like to think they chose New Canaan.”
Harper’s children, Hunter (10), Grace (9) and Tata Mia (7), chose to attend New Canaan Country School.
“They love it, they have their friends, their activities, and it’s such a great environment, we are all happy,” she said.
Next up, a home in town. She looked at some places but fell in love with the home they chose on the west side of town. It’s nestled on lush landscaped grounds, tall trees and up on a hill overlooking 4.6 acres which also includes a salt water pool and expansive guest house. It was on the market for some time, and Harper knew it was the one almost immediately. They moved in in August, just before school started.
“I feel so lucky to have found this house,” Harper said while sitting in her living room — one of the rooms she has completed with a big cozy sectional, lots of greenery and a super-soft shaggy rug. “It has such great energy, I felt it right away.”
It’s pretty amazing indeed that a grand 15,000 square-foot English Manor style home built in 2006 could have such a cozy, inviting feel. Especially lovely is the master suite, located on the main floor and totally decorated by Harper. The fireplace is lined with crystals, stones, Buddhas and a sound bowl — a perfect little mediation spot. She chose a calming, feminine pink paint for the walls to complement soft pink bedding and mother of pearl lamps that she purchased at The Linen Shop in town. She calls The Linen Shop one of her favorite stores in New Canaan, even promising her vice president of creative and brand development, Pav Volkert, a trip there before she heads back home to the city later that day.
“I love that the town feels so quaint, charming and safe,” she said of downtown New Canaan. “One thing that really struck me is that you see kids walking around downtown on their own. That just shows me how safe it is, somewhere I wanted to be.”
She also frequents New Canaan Healthfare for its selection of healthy foods and supplements as well as Sole when she’s looking for dinner out with the kids. She also said that she was impressed with the food at the new Pesca restaurant in town.
“Sole has a really great menu and I love that I can get something that I enjoy, and my kids can get what they want too,” she said. “I also love Pesca, it’s the real deal Peruvian food.”
Harper says that she would like to eventually make some changes to the interior of her new home but will not be doing any renovating anytime soon. She has too many other things going on. For starters, this weekend she is hosting a slumber party for Tata Mia and ten of her little girlfriends from school. Complete with mani/pedis for all.
“I’m so excited to be able to spend some time with her friends and meet some of the moms,” Harper said. “I’m travelling so much so I’m looking forward to spending some time at home.”
And for Harper, she will be at home in New Canaan for a long stretch—three weeks. Then it’s off to a few stops in Asia, where she will begin to launch the line with Joyce Beauty in Hong Kong. She’ll be stateside again in mid-May for a co-branded retreat at Twin Farms in Vermont. May is when the company will also launch a couple of new products including the Hyaluronic Gel Moisturizer, which is meant for light summer coverage. They’ll also be launching the new upgraded packaging for the Supernatural line, which includes highly active serums to target specific skincare needs. Just another day in the life of Tata Harper.