At Pithy Apothecary, we focus on healthful skin by designing our natural skincare products with Traditional Chinese Medicine principles and local botanicals. We blend eastern and western ingredients to create unique, natural beauty products that are handmade with love in Vancouver, BC—a city defined by its intrinsic multiculturalism. Inspired by Vancouver’s dreamy landscapes and the poetic interplay of its mountains and seas, and emboldened by the wisdom of traditional Chinese botanicals, Pithy channels a deep love for nature through clean and healthy beauty products.
Our philosophy—we source natural compounds of the highest quality to showcase nature’s potent ingredients. From sagacious Chinese apothecaries to local markets here in Vancouver, we combine 100% natural, healing ingredients that are fresh and intriguing, to create products that are truly extraordinary.
With over 20 years of experience in creating natural skincare products, we’ve carefully selected our items through rigorous testing of our beloved recipes. Tradition and modern practicality are united to change the skin from within. All our products are made in-house where we can secure extensive quality control. Our pledge to quality and integrity ensures that our products are natural, cruelty-free and free of synthetic colours, preservatives and parabens.
We are currently a small team of three, and we are proud to be female and minority owned and operated.
Vivian Li-Tessier is the owner and soul behind Pithy Apothecary. She holds a Masters of Science from the University of Oxford (UK) in Contemporary Chinese Studies focusing on modern Chinese history, politics and society. Besides being passionate about Chinese culture, she also comes from a family of aestheticians and has been an enthusiast about skincare all her life. As a first generation immigrant to Canada, she brings a loving understanding to the two realms she has simultaneously lived in all her life—the western world she was brought to at a young age, and the Asian culture and traditions that are carried in her roots and household to conceptualize products that embody sustainable luxury. With an impeccable eye and a timeless aesthetic, she creates each product from conception to final detail with intention and care. She hopes to bring joy into your homes through these products, to inspire a love for natural ingredients, and to educate a wider audience on the healing qualities of her beloved culture’s herbal traditions. She currently lives in Vancouver with her husband and Australian Shepherd.
Vennie Chou is the magician that propels Pithy's dedication to clean beauty ingredients and practices. She is a scientific board member of the International Perfume Foundation in Paris, France and has been working as a Histo-technologist (professional studying human tissue using dyes) for 28 years. She is currently working at the BC Cancer Agency and BC Cancer Research Centre in Vancouver. She started making soap and natural skin care products when her first son developed eczema at a very young age, and now has been creating natural skin care products for over 20 years. Vennie is also a keen advocate for Chinese Traditional Medicine; she looks to the past to time-honored traditional ingredients and recipes to design effective products that celebrate the natural world. Promoting the flow of qi and maintaining the yin-yang balance for health and wellness, she has zealously encouraged a zero-waste lifestyle. She has an enduring passion for botanical research and for sharing her findings with others.
Sharon Tam is our amazing, in-house skincare specialist—she's been working as a licensed esthetician for 21 years! She provides a wide-range of expertise regarding skin and beauty issues, and she dramatically enhances the quality of skin through facials, massage, aromatherapy, microdermabrasion, amongst other treatments. After receiving her certified license in British Columbia in the year 2000, she returned to China for a period of time to further hone her skills by training in Chinese facial and massage techniques in acupuncture and pressure points. Her proficiency in combining Chinese and Western methods truly shines in her signature facial treatment style. In 2002 she opened her own esthetics studio to the delight of her customers. In addition to promoting beauty, reverence and artistry, Sharon enjoys a healthy and active lifestyle. She currently practices yoga about 4 times a week and is an engaging member of her local community.