Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Cal & Dee from moJè Essentials

Tonight we are chatting with a great organic/green, local Victorian brand – Moje Essentials. Founded by Cal & Dee, who both shared a passion for green living and creating better environments for their children.

I have been using both the Hand & Body Wash plus the Dishwashing Liquid, the range is free from parabens, sulphates, bleach and synthetic fragrances. Instead the use of natural ingredients such as sweet orange oil act as an antibacterial.

I have been using their Hand & Body Wash plus the Dishwashing Liquid, which smell so good! The Hand & Body Wash leaves a delightful scent and leaves my hands feeling clean. I love the bright & happy packaging – it makes the bathroom pop!

With two different scent ranges, the Hand & Body Wash comes in Lemon Myrtle and Avocado or Lavender and Ylang Ylang. While the Dishwashing Liquid comes in Lavender or Sweet Orange & Clementine.
Recently the welcomed the Sweet Orange Room Mist to the collection, this is next on my list!

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R. Welcome Cal & Dee to Meet the Makers! I am super excited to hear about your journey and a little about moJè Essentials! Tell me, what made you both think of starting moJè Essentials?

C&D. We’ve both had a passion for natural living and making our own products for some time now and having children just made it so much more important to us. That’s when we decided to turn that passion into a business and help spread the word about using less chemicals.

R. “What if” you weren’t running moJè Essentials? What do you think you would both be doing?

C&D. That’s a tough one, we’d probably be in a job we didn’t really love and working out how to start this business.

R. It’s so common to get stuck in a job you don’t want to do, but have to do right? It’s wonderful that you were both able to form a partnership and work on this beautiful brand. What do you find the biggest challenge in business?

C&D. Balancing family life and business life. You never switch off when you run a business so trying to find the right balance can be challenging at times.

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R. Balance, it’s a common theme I keep hearing. I can fully understand, it can be so tricky to switch off and just be present in the moment.
How do you deal with negativity & self doubt?

C&D. I think that’s one of the great things about having 2 of us in the business, talking through any negativity is so important, we try and brush ourselves off and get on with it.

R. I love that, it’s so important to have a support person and great that you are able to bounce things off each other – what a team! What does any given day look like for you both?

C&D. We both have families so it starts with getting everyone ready and out of the house in time for school and activities. We try to squeeze a workout in as much as time allows then its business time. Returning emails, scheduling social media, writing blogs, packing orders and all the fun admin behind the scenes. Then we put our Mum hats back on until the kids go to bed, when we finish up any business that needs taking care of.

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R. You mentioned above that you are both passionate about natural living, with that being said how important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and your brand

C&D. We use 100% natural ingredients in our products which is extremely important for our brand. We want our customers to be putting nothing but goodness on their skin and in their homes. It’s our job to help make that happen.

R. Anything new or exciting around the corner for moJè Essentials?

C&D. There’s always something in the pipeline here at moJé essentials. We are extremely excited about our most recent product, our Sweet Orange Room Mist. Our Room Mist is perfect to uplift and freshen up any room in your home, your gym bag, your dogs bed and even bubs room after changing their smelly nappy. It’s a Multi purpose spray that can me used by many people.

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R. Yes! The Sweet Orange Room Mist is next on my list, the bright & happy label is the best. The perfect addition to any room.
We face many challenges in day to day living, especially in business. When you are faced with a challenge, how do you unwind?

C&D. We both find exercise really helpful when relieving stress and a glass of wine always helps too!!

R. Haha, yes a good glass of wine definitely helps with stress relief! Outside of moJè Essentials, what hobbies do you both have?

Dee – We love to get away in our caravan as often as we can, I love to exercise and a good cook up when I have the time.

Cal – I like to exercise and experiment in the kitchen.

R. To be honest, I’ve always been pretty slack on the exercise front but lately I’ve been trying to do more and I agree, it really helps me feel better! 
Have you both figured out your purpose?

Dee – definitely to be the best Mum and Wife I possibly can be and make a difference in people’s lives by switching to natural.

Cal – I try to be the best version of myself. I think your purpose can change over time. Before I had my children I used to challenge myself in my career but now it’s trying to be a good mum and create a business brand which people love and that resonates with them.

R. How about gratitude, is this something you both practice?

Dee – I like to think I’m quite a thoughtful person and try to help people and show compassion as much as I can.

Cal – My family answer two questions at the dinner table each night. What was a good thing that happened today and a not so good thing. We discuss the answers and this can often lead to conversations about how to be kind to people and help others.

R. Oh wow, I love that Cal. I think I might try that with my Hubby this week! 
Where do you both draw inspiration from?

Dee – My kids and my hubby! They’re my entire world and I feel very lucky to have two healthy children and a loving hard-working husband.

Cal – The amount of energy my children have and how selfless and caring my partner is. They inspire me to be a better person.

R. This last week has been pretty rough for me, I’ve had a heap on and still battling this nasty flu. I realised I haven’t really been making time for me. With such a busy workload, juggling the kids and home life how do you both practice self-care?

Dee – Take time out for yourself, whether it’s coffee with a friend or a walk in the sunshine. It can make all the difference to our sometimes stressful lives.

Cal – Remember you can’t do it all and its okay to have some me time every once in a while.

R. So true, actually today I was walking in the sunshine and it instantly made my food elevate. Onto beauty, what does your beauty routine look like?

Dee – I absolutely can’t start or finish my day without cleansing and moisturising and I never leave the house without my mineral make up on.

Cal – I have never been one for lots of makeup but I do wear mascara most days and my natural lip balm and natural deodorant is a must.

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R. I am a cleanser addict, I absolutely love them! Favourite skincare or make up product?

Dee – I’m totally in love with my fit cover mineral make up! It’s vegan, cruelty free and Australian Made.

Cal – I absolutely love using our lemon myrtle and avocado hand and body wash in the shower each morning. The smell wakes me up and leaves my skin nice and smooth.

R. I have absolutely loved getting to know you both! Do you have anything else you would like to add?

C&D. Thanks for promoting natural products and small businesses Renee. We love being surrounded by people such as yourself who are passionate about natural living and supporting small businesses. We have really enjoyed chatting with you.

R. I love that, thank you for the compliment! Don’t worry, I’m over here in your corner shouting your praises! 

Cal & Dee are offering 10% off their products, purchased from their website using code HAPPY10.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Meet the Makers!

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Anna from Edible Beauty

“The Edible Beauty Australia philosophy is based on illuminating your natural beauty using pure, wildcrafted and botanical ingredients that are literally good enough to eat.”
– Edible Beauty Website

Edible Beauty, really needs no introduction. This amazing brand, created by Anna Mitsios, has gone from strength to strength since it’s creation. The line is completely vegan (waiting on official certification) and cruelty free.

Starting her career as a naturopath and nutritionist, Anna has created a range of teas that promote well-being, nourishing the body from within and a range of skincare products to protect and strengthen the skin.
The ingredients in the skincare line are that pure and good for your skin that you could actually eat what you are putting on your face, although I would recommend doing that as they have been formulated to make you glow on the outside!

What I love about this brand is the reach it has in promoting Green Beauty. Not only is it sold at Sephora Australia but also stocked at Sephora USA, which I think is an amazing accomplishment. Let’s spread the Green Beauty Movement word!

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R. Thank you so much for sharing your time with us tonight Anna, I’m a little star-struck as I adore your brand and what it stands for! I’d love to start by asking you, what lead to the creation of Edible Beauty?

A. I became inspired to start my own skin care range five years ago when treating clients in my naturopathic practice and seeking a way to improve the management of my own auto-immune condition. It was difficult for me to find products that I could use and recommend that were both 100% natural and also luxurious. I felt there was a need for a product range which was pure enough to be “edible”, but that was also luxurious and a sensual delight to use.

The concept of “edible beauty” developed because I also felt the need to make people aware of the fact that beauty truly does come from the inside. What we put both onto our skin and into our bodies has a lot to do with our outer radiance and glow. Our ‘beauty tea’ and skin care range embodies this philosophy of “inside out beauty” and also reflects my passion and belief in the therapeutic value of botanical herbs, which are abundant in the products.

R. I absolutely adore this concept as its so true, just like unhealthy eating can really affect the skin. If you weren’t running your business, what would you be doing and have you figured out your purpose?

A. I would definitely still be running my naturopathic practice on a full-time basis. It is definitely one of my passions and is also incredibly fulfilling for me guiding people to make changes to their health and vitality. I absolutely love prescribing herbal formulas which are customised to client’s health concerns – they have an incredible ability to work quickly and effectively in getting people back on track with their health.

My mission is to spread the word on toxin free beauty and to provide people with tools to address their beauty regimes on both the inside and out. This reflects my holistic approach to health and beauty and my belief that we truly do need an “inside” and “outside” approach to clear and youthful skin.  What we often do not realise is that what we put both on and in our bodies is affecting our vitality.

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R. I absolutely love this to bits, hearing your passion when you speak about your purpose and why. It actually fuels my purpose and why which is to support small business! What do you find the biggest challenge in business?

A. One of the biggest challenges I find is maintaining a balance between work and life. When running a small business it is tempting to allow our work to take over all aspects of our life which may be required in the short-term but over the long-term can affect our health and relationships. I need to make a concerted effort to switch off and find a space of calm and still where I can reset, ground myself and allow my creativity to flourish.

R. Work/life is a tricky one, we live in an age where we can communicate with each other within moments, where work can be accessed anywhere in the world but it really can start to affect those around us. Recognising it is the first step, I also need to make more of an effort to switch off rather than checking the socials or replying to emails! One of my favourite questions, and something that affects us all, how do you deal with negativity?

A. I am always very conscious of negative thought patterns and am aware of when they start to creep in. As soon as I realise I am dealing with negativity either from an internal or external source,  I take action either by physically moving to encourage flow or by consciously bringing in new thought patterns.

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R. I can’t stand negativity, unfortunately it’s something that can affect us so easily. I like how you acknowledge it and then you try to change your thought patterns. I try to remove myself from the situation or people and work on walking a different path. Something a little more positive, what’s next for Edible Beauty!

A. We are working on a series of skin “boosters” which reflect “skin food” concoctions filled with beauty-boosting vitamins, minerals and fats designed to combat common skin ailments. Tumeric Beauty Lattes, Glowing Skin Smoothies and Probiotic Tonics will be part of the range!

R. Oh yum! Nothing like a Tumeric latte, I love to add a little ginger and maple syrup – I’m going to have to make myself one now – ha! Any tips for those wanting to start a Green Beauty business?

A. The best advice that I could give is that you must continue to have faith in your product or service and your dream. This is most important when things do not seem to be going your way or when you face adversity.  It is at these stages that you grow the most and where you realise you are often 5mm from “making it”. Always believe that there is a way to succeed, as I am a firm believer that there always is!

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R. Sometimes it’s so easy to get lost in self-doubt, I know it happens to me on a regular basis. Plus we live in a world where it is so easy to compare each other but I love how you say we could be 5mm away from “making it” – that is so true! That advice alone is worth its weight in gold!
With all your knowledge about “inside” and “outside” beauty, what does your beauty routine look like?

A. I am a huge fan or getting into daily routines. My current routine involves cleansing, apply our exotic goddess ageless serum and Snowflower Illuminating Face Oil along with our Gold Eye Cream. In the evenings I will do the same thing and alternate between using a nourish repair cream, our Coco Bliss Intensive Repair Crème or our purifying mask, Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mask.

On the inside I drink a glass of our soon to launch Native Collagen powder, a plant-based collagen formula which provides a wonderful vitamin C hit. I will also have a tablespoon of flaxseed meal and flaxseed oil mixed into a bowl of oven roasted or raw kale sprinkled with sea salt. I am always drinking a herbal tonic, my current one contains adrenal replenishing herbs and liver boosting herbs.

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R. I’ve seen a little online about the new Native Collagen powder, it looks very impressive and what an easy way to add a boost of nutrients in the morning to set you up for the day! Any go-to skincare or make-up products you love?

A. I cannot live without our Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mousse. This is a must have product for me to boost brightness and balance oil production and it works literally overnight. One of my favourite extracts in this product is the Snowflower Seed which has 50 times the antioxidant action of Vitamin C and 100 times that of Vitamin C which makes it a wonder ingredient for brightening the skin, reducing inflammation and also supporting collagen production.

R. I’m all for collagen production! I also never knew that about Snowflower seed, how interesting and a fun fact to share in my team meeting on Monday!
What’s your favourite part of the day?

A. This is definitely my daily morning coastal walk with my partner. It is an early start but it is always spectacular enjoying the sunrise together and the coastal air always energises and provides a positive start to the morning.

bloom of youth infusion masksR. Living by the sea is one thing I miss since the move from Sydney to Melbourne but that coastal air would be such bliss on the face and the perfect way to start the morning. Practicing gratitude is so good for the soul, any tips for how you practice this?

A. I make a conscious effort to always thank people for their time, efforts, skill, support, and for who they are! I think there is no better way to practice gratitude than to directly provide it to the people and things that you are appreciative of.

R. Saying thank-you is so important! I’m a massive believer of going out of your way to thank those that have given their time or knowledge. Most of us are so busy juggling so many balls, that to be acknowledged can mean the world.
Gratitude links directly with self-care, do you have any other self-care tips?

A. The self-care tip which is essential to the skin is always cleansing and applying an antioxidant serum in the morning and night. Sleep is also critical! I recommend always getting to bed before 11 pm. The hours we sleep before midnight are the equivalent of two hours of rest and repair!

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R. Insane, I didn’t know that about sleeping before 12am! Not that I’m normally up then as I love my sleep but it’s crazy to think how not getting enough sleep really does affect our skin, body and moods!
Finally, any tips for those looking to move towards green beauty? Where is the best place to start?

A. I recommend that people start by considering swapping the products they are using most regularly and on the largest surface are of their body. This is normally their body wash, cleanser, lotion and foundation.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a great site for looking up products and ingredients and finding out the toxin profile of what is being used most regularly. Swapping out these products for natural alternatives means that you are effectively reducing a substantial proportion of your toxic load just by replacing five to six products.

There are some wonderful sites which provide toxinfree and green beauty alternatives including Nourished Life and Beautiful Because. They have an incredible and affordable range of alternative skincare and beauty products to choose from which are equally as effective as their conventional counterparts.

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R. Thank you Anna for your time, as I mentioned I’m extremely grateful. You have provided a fantastic insight into life with Edible Beauty and yourself. I’ll be taking away quite a few tips (especially sleeping before 11pm) and also looking into your new  Native Collagen Powder!

I would also like to point out that all photos used today have been provided by Anna & the Edible Beauty team. l have included several as they are just too stunning not too share!

You can find the wonderful range of Edible Beauty products here.

I hope you enjoyed tonight’s Meet the Makers as much as I did! Check back on Monday for my review of the Edible Beauty Travel Set!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Ann from Pure Nut Macadamia Skin Care

It makes perfect sense, that today of all days, we meet Ann from Pure Nut and get to know her and her beautiful “one ingredient” brand a little more. Why you may ask? Well I’m fairly confident that today marks one year since we actually met.

I remember approaching Ann’s stall at a Trade Fair, here in Melbourne. The Happy Organic Girl was so new, and I actually think it was still known as @hausofmonochrome. I was so nervous to tell people I was a blogger, and that I wanted to do more to support small business’s.

Ann was so lovely though, she made me feel right at ease and I ended up buying a few products so I could take photos for Instagram. Even after meeting, Ann has been so lovely and encouraging along the way, sharing photos I took of her products. She has given me a lot of confidence, something I am very grateful for.

I have featured Pure Nut several times on the blog, you can find the articles here;

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Pure Nut is a beautiful family owned business, located in Northern NSW. On their property they harvest their own Macadamia nuts and turn that into gorgeous oils to use in their skincare range.

They have a stunning range featuring eye creams, lip balm, face scrubs, body scrubs and their most popular product pure Macadamia Nut Oil. I love how natural the range is, and the packaging is gorgeous.

R. Hi Ann, thank you for being part of Meet the Makers. Not sure what I would have done if you had said no, as I just knew you had to be part of it. Can you believe it’s been a year since meeting at Life Instyle! 

Let’s start with the all important, what lead you to starting Pure Nut?

A. As we are macadamia farmers ourselves, I was researching the benefits of macadamias as a food and I came across lots of information about how good macadamia oil is for your skin. I trialled it myself for a year and gave to friends and family to try to see if it was as good as the research says. I loved how quickly the oil soaked in and the how my skin felt so much more hydrated. I really noticed a difference in the feel of my skin and the fine lines, especially on the back of my hands and on my face. If I didn’t truely love it and use it myself then I couldn’t sell it! Macadamia oil is also very healing and repairing and great for after sun use.

R. I agree, I love the way it makes my skin feel. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but I love the moisture it puts back into my tattoos. It always helps them to look so vibrant.

Since starting Pure Nut, what have you found to be one of the biggest challenges in business?

A. Living rural on our farm, accessing resources can be difficult (even though much can be accessed online I like to look at things first). It can also be a little isolating working from home on our farm as I love being immersed with other creatives.

R. In some ways, we are lucky to live in a digital world with access to information and the tip of our fingers but it can be extremely isolating – sometimes we just crave that human connection.

How important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and your brand?

A. This is key to our business with our ‘ Farm to Face’ theme (natural farm grown ingredients). Our Face Oil and Body Oil has JUST ONE plant-based ingredient… no long list of ingredients. We want our customers to feel confident they know exactly what is in their moisturiser…..no preservatives or chemicals just macadamia oil. As our Oil is plant based, straight from Nature, it’s important our other products also have the best natural derived ingredients.

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R. I love that – Farm to Face. How often can we say that about our beauty products. Are you working on anything new or exciting?

A. We are currently having a Face Cream with Macadamia oil + Manuka honey formulated. As the farmer, we take the macadamia oil & Manuka honey (which we source locally) to a cosmetic lab in the City to have the products professionally formulated. Early this year we changed our Face Oil + Body Oil packaging to highlight it has just ONE pant based ingredient. (Australian macadamia Oil). We will also have a larger 500ml Face + Body Oil bottle available soon so you can refill your smaller bottles, which will create less waste.

R. The new packaging looks amazing, It’s wonderful that as a consumer, I have access to such a pure beauty product.

Any tips for those wanting to move away from mainstream beauty products and into green beauty – where should they start

A. Always read the ingredients ( Some brands will say it is a particular oil but when you read the ingredients it will include other ingredients).
Buy Australian made or grown (as Australian Standards in our laboratories / factories are often higher than other countries).
Give your skin a chance to get use to the product (If you haven’t used an oil before it may take a couple of days for your skin to love it).
Just because a product is expensive it doesn’t mean it will work better than another product. Sometimes you may pay more for a Big Brand name. Pure Nut 50ml Macadamia Face Oil retails for $14.95! I use to personally buy expensive Day Creams and Night Creams but now I that I use our macadamia Face Oil & Eye Cream my skin simply doesn’t need anything else! Macadamia Oil can hold its own in the big world of skin care. It doesn’t need a long list of ingredients added, PLUS it really will make a difference in how your skin feels!

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R. Checking the ingredients is so important! On the back of that, I think knowing what the ingredients could be or the terms used is just as important.

How do you relax and enjoy your downtime?

A. Late afternoon, as the sun begins to set and the sky puts on an amazing show of colour.
I am married to my farmer husband and a mum of four teenagers. A long with my skin care range, Pure Nut, I run a Guesthouse Accommodation in a cottage on our farm. Our 50 acre macadamia farm is Northern NSW and a short drive to the beach. I love walking by the sea with the family and our dog Scoot. Living and working on the farm I enjoy catching up with friends for coffee or dinner at one of the many fabulous local venues in Byron Bay, Bangalow, Lennox Head, Alstonville or Ballina! We’re pretty close to some great beaches and cafes!

R. Your guesthouse sounds amazing, I definitely need to come and pay it a visit! I love the photos you share of the farm, it looks so lush!

It sounds like you are on the go often, what are some of your self-care tips?

A. After a recent, very unexpected health scare, I love the mantra … ‘Self care is not a luxury it’s a necessity!’ Along with family… your health is everything! I read ingredient labels more and just take a little more care in what I put into my body and on my skin. With a very busy family and work lifestyle, I am consciously trying to take a little more ‘me time’, even if it’s not for long (AND not feel guilty about it). Plus for my family … stepping away from work & the computer and being more present.

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R. I’m a serious believer of “me” time. I can definitely agree with your comments about health. I had an operation in May and I’m still recovering. I’m restricted with what exercise I can do, and even the cleaning (although that’s not the end of the world ha!) but I often think about everything I could do before it.

What is your purpose and why?

A. As macadamia farmers I am passionate to spread the word on how fabulous macadamias are for your health and the amazing profile the oil has for your skin! Our macadamia oil is sourced from a collaborative of Australian farmers and is of high quality.

R. I remember our first meeting, the way you explained the products to me – you could just hear the passion in your voice!

Tell me a little about your beauty routine and how we can implement the Pure Nut products into our routine.

A. Very simple – clean, exfoliate & moisturise! I exfoliate about twice a week and after cleansing I apply Pure Nut Eye Cream (with Manuka honey) and Face Oil morning and night. For my body, I will often mix a few drops of my favourite essential oil with about 5 to 8 drops of macadamia oil to nourish my body and smell amazing! Macadamia oil is great for travelling as you can use it to take make-up off (it’s fabulous for taking off mascara), as your moisturiser (Face + Body), for the dry ends of hair and great for healing any little skin abrasions or for after sun care.

R. What a wonderfully simple and effective skincare routine. Less waste, fuss and more results! I must say, I love using the scrubs when I am in the bath as not only do they smell AMAZING, I love how it makes the water all milky.  

Ann, I would like to say a massive thank you. For not only letting us all know a little more about you and Pure Nut but also for your continued friendship and support! 

If you are keen to try the Pure Nut range, now is the perfect time. Ann has generously offered 30% off for 2 days using code FARM at checkout.

A cheeky tip – check out the lip balm! It’s another one of my favourites.

Happy Saturday!

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Kaja from Herbae Thylacini

Since launching the Meet the Makers series, the weeks seem to be flying by! I can hardly believe it’s Saturday night and time for another interview! I also can’t believe we are nearly in August, where on earth is the year going!

Tonight we chat with a Tasmanian based local Maker, Dr Karolina (Kaja) Skraskova from Herbae Thylacini. Kaja has a world of knowledge under her belt, including a PhD!

For readers not familiar with my blog I actually was lucky to review 3 products, the Calendula & Lemon Balm Facial Oil, Chamomile & Leatherwood Honey Salve and the Wattle Seeds, Lavender & Tea Tree Scrub back in March of this year. You can find that review here.

Kaja enjoying some time outdoors

R. I always like to start the interview by thanking the Makers, so thank you! I know it takes some time to put together responses. Let’s start with the all important questions, what lead you to starting Herbae Thylacini?

K. You may be expecting a variation of a story of how I’d had enough of putting chemicals-laden cosmetics on my body and so went on and developed my own skin-care range. But I have to disappoint you. The fact that all our products are made exclusively from all-natural ingredients was more of a matter-of-course for me rather than the main motivation behind starting Herbae Thylacini. What I was truly aiming to do was to introduce a range of herbal remedies for skin and dental care which is based on local, and now I mean native, Australian medicinal plants. Hence also our name: “Herbae Thylacini” is Latin for “Herbs of Tasmanian Tiger”.

When I moved to Tasmania a few years ago, I was all pumped up to broaden my knowledge of pharmacy and medicinal plants by learning about Australian phytotherapy. I was surprised how heavily is Australian herbal medicine based on European traditions. I decided to change that and that’s why I founded Herbae Thylacini. While our products do draw on the European phytotherapeutic knowledge (which is an intricate part of my pharmaceutical background), they honour Australian nature and local medicinal plants.

Next to my Pharmacy degree I also happen to hold a PhD in Analytical Chemistry and that has enabled me to start researching local plants from a very practical perspective. I have been collaborating with the local university in Tasmania and have found some pretty cool things about local plants. And there will be more, I am sure!

Herbae Thylacini is a very unique project that connects my life-long passions and expertise in pharmacy, medicinal plants and chemistry-oriented research. All with one aim: to shift Australian phytotherapy into using more of locally available medicine. It may be a long-distance run, but I am super excited about the journey!

R. With your extensive knowledge of plants and how they react with the body, how important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and Herbae Thylacini?

K. Organic and natural are both qualities that play key roles in our herbal products. And so do local ingredients, which we source primarily from Australia or (even better) from Tasmania. They are not always available this close to home, but generally, this is our ethos.

Originally, I was growing a number of medicinal plants for our herbal range myself. But that proved to be just too time-consuming. These days Herbae Thylacini supports local growers of medicinal herbs. Rather than buying certified-organic herbs imported from overseas, it is often better to buy medicinal plants from a local grower who uses organic practices although (s)he perhaps did not have the funds to invest into a “certified-organic” accreditation. It is often difficult, if impossible, to trace the path of imported medicinal plants: Who grew them? When? How were they stored before and during the transport? And many other questions, that should concern every user of herbal medicine.

Furthermore, as I have already suggested, our herbal range takes advantage of the abundance of native Australian plants. Why? Well, because we live in Australia! There is all the talk about local and organic and sustainable in the natural skincare world. But why using exotic ingredients imported from all over the world, when I can reach out to our own local herbal medicine?! I think that honouring local medicinal sources and knowledge is incredibly important for sustainability.

R. I absolutely love you are using Australian botanicals, we are very blessed to have some beautiful herbs/plants. A little like Kakadu Plum that has more vitamin C than an orange!

Whats next for Herbae Thylacini, are you working on anything new or exciting?

K. Herbae Thylacini started by releasing a relatively modest range of herbal products. We are currently offering four herbal remedies for skin and dental care. But our vision is big! I am always working on new formulations, trying to re-discover or discover local medicine. I am pretty close to finishing a brand-new product, which I plan to introduce in Spring. Keep an eye on our Website or Instagram page if you want to know what is brewing.

Apart from that, I am preparing a poster presentation of my recent research of Tasmanian plants, which I would like to share with the scientific community later this year. I share snippets of my progress through our social media channels, so that the information gets to as many people as possible.

R. A new product how exciting, another reason for me to continue to wish away winter! It’s been so cold here in Melbourne!
Outside of Herbae Thylacini, how do you enjoy some downtime?

K. After I had mentioned to my friend recently that my days consist mostly of work, work and more work, she asked: “Do you at least have any hobbies that would compensate for all the work-load?” That made me pause – “Of course I have hobbies!”, I thought, only to realize that my top hobbies are science & medicinal plants – the actual objects of my work. And to top it all off, everything else I love to do is connected to them in one form or another: I love a good bushwalk in a forest, I enjoy reading books about plants and herbal healing, and I never miss an opportunity to engage in a science discussion with my partner. What is perhaps as far from science and plants as it gets amongst my hobbies is Exercise. I started racing in athletics when I was 14 and over the years moved to long-distance race-walking and later to triathlon. Since starting my business I refrained from competitive sports, but I still enjoy a good run, bike ride or a swimming session in a pool in Hobart.

R. I love hearing how that passion, that your downtime revolves around your work. Where do you draw inspiration from each day?

K. Each day when I can learn something new is a reward for me! My work of a research scientist is surely often full of surprises. (Some of them less pleasant than others.) But the days when I realize I have discovered something new pay for all the frustration research necessarily brings with it sometimes. I also love my pharmacy-related work. Knowing that my knowledge helped someone to fight off a health issue is one of the most rewarding feelings I have ever experienced!

R. Perhaps my all time favourite question, what does your beauty routine look like?

K. This may be quite funny, but I really do not use very many skincare products – I do not find there is the need. Having said that, recently I became obsessed with natural soaps and always like to try out a new formulation from some of the Tasmanian soap-makers. I also enjoy using our Wattle Seeds, Lavender & Tea Tree Scrub to exfoliate my face and whole body. I do this usually twice or three times a week. Then I moisturize my face with Herbae Thylacini Calendula & Lemon Balm Facial Oil – a great combination of medicinal plants and botanical oils that deeply nourish the skin without making it greasy. All grown in Tasmania or Australia, of course 😊 I sometimes complement our own skin-remedies with products from other reputable natural skincare makers. Being so influenced by scientific approach, my demands on other makers’ products are usually pretty high. Luckily, there are some local makers, whose work I really respect!

Apart from my modest use of skin-care products, I sleep a lot, eat fresh food and spend every day at least an hour outside, preferably doing sports.

R. That sounds amazing. I’ve recently been making an effort to spend my lunch break outside. It may only be 30 minutes but it’s so nice to clear the mind and step away from the desk. What is your Favourite place in the world, where you can relax

K. This must be any forest in the world! 😊

R. We have some beautiful places here in Victoria, you will need to pop over and we can go exploring together!

Thank you Kaja for your time, and your in-depth responses! I especially loved hearing where you draw inspiration from. That’s inspired me!

Happy reading all,

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Jumana from Herbs and Heart

When I look back over the last year of The Happy Organic Girl, I’m not only proud of how much it’s grown but also that I’ve been able to play a role in promoting other business’s and what they have to offer.

A week or so ago, I received a wonderful compliment “you’re not like most bloggers, you actually blog”. Time will change how we do things, that much is true but really how far does a single instagram post go? How are we accepting that as a norm?

When I look back on the brands I’ve collaborated with, I love to get to know them. I want to know as much about their business as I hope they want to know about mine. After all, why shouldn’t we all just support each other?

This could not be more truer for when I first was contacted by Jumana from Herbs and Heart back in November 2017. Jumana shared so much of her passion in that first email, and her why.

I shared a review of 3 of the products I was sent plus the Face Mud, I purchased myself. You can find that review here.

As I mentioned above, I absolutely love getting to know the Makers I collaborate with. So when I was in Sydney for Finders Keepers in December 2017, I couldn’t resist stopping by and saying a big hello to Jumana (plus taking a sneaky selfie!).

Tonight, we sit down with Jumana and get to learn a little more about her and Herbs and Heart.

R. Firstly, I want to say thank you for being part of Meet the Makers. I know how busy we can get, especially those juggling a small business!
Let’s start with a little about Herbs and Heart, what lead you to starting your business?

J. I’m curious, stubborn, and a mild hypochondriac, all wonderful beginnings of what eventually lead to become Herbs & Heart. It started with my own skin troubles during my teenage years, and as every overly paranoid person, I took to google to enquire on how I could best help myself. I stumbled upon the many DIY Home remedies, and experimented a lot with my own skin, with incredible results. It’s when I first became a natural skincare enthusiast.

Things got serious for me in my early 20’s however, when my curiosity to bridge gaps in my knowledge led to me further investigating the chemicals in traditional off the shelf skincare, with the scary fact that the average Australian women puts over 515 chemicals on her body everyday. My stubborn will to do something about this lead to me enrol in further studies in product formulation & natural cosmetic science, and Herbs & Heart eventually came into being.

R. Over 515 chemicals per day? That’s an insane statistic and one I didn’t even know! Imagine that, surely that’s the reason more people are moving towards Green Beauty. With that in mind, how important is the use of natural ingredients to you and your brand?

J. It is one of our core values of course. As a brand we want to minimise the effects of harmful chemicals in any capacity we can, to our physical beings and our planet earth. Hence sustainable, plant-based ingredients remain at the forefront of our products. By choosing natural, we also encourage a conversation between consumer and ourselves to truly understanding what it is they are feeding their skin, and make empowered, informed decisions.

R. I remember at Finders Keepers, overhearing some of the conversations you were having about the products – I love that you take it that one step further and encourage that dialogue. Education is key! 
If you weren’t running Herbs and Hear, what would you be doing?

J. I’d be a doctor! I was in fact transitioning from design to medicine when I detoured into cosmetic science.

The Maker, Jumana

R. Sometimes navigating around skincare can be tricky, and scary for some taking a risk with a new product. Do you have any tips for those looking to move towards green beauty – where should they start?

J. Research, Research, Research. Knowledge is key! You as a consumer have complete right to know what goes into your skincare, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask! I want to live in a world where product labels are demystified, where the consumer is no longer dumbfounded by the language, and tricks of complex labelling.

R. Exactly! Green Beauty doesn’t have to be scary, especially if you equip yourself with the knowledge to make informed decisions. Like you said, ask lots of questions. Ask the Maker what ingredients are used, if it’s cruelty free and how the ingredients chosen will work together to provide results.

Now Jumana, you have shared a little about Herbs and Heart, now tell us more about you! The biggest question I ask people is – have you figured out your purpose?

J. I’ve always known my purpose is to help people, but I took time to figure out how exactly I wanted to do that. Herbs & Heart is my vehicle for impacting this change. Today, I can see the business helping our customers feel good in their own skin, but tomorrow I know I want to be able to give back to bigger projects, both environment and social cause driven through our business, even running our own projects. Currently we donate 10% of all our profits to environmental causes.

R. I absolutely love that about Herbs and Heart, not only are you donating a percentage of profits to environmental changes but you actually breathe this value. I’ve noticed even with the packaging you use, gorgeous recyclable glass packaging.

Tell me a little about how you start your mornings, and how you practice gratitude.

J. I’ve started to incorporate daily morning meditation into my day. I use this time to also practice gratitude – a simple recount of all the people, opportunities, and things I am grateful for. I find it sets up the day in the most brilliant of ways!

Also, another trick is the brain cannot process stress and gratitude at the same time, hence during stressful times the best way to immediately regain inner balance is by reciting 3 things to be grateful for – it immediately dissipates any stress you may feel. Currently I am grateful for my cup of coffee (which I have successfully avoided for a week), my floofball sleeping next to my chair, and my Ugg boots keeping my feet toasty warm!

Face Mud in action!

R. Don’t get me started on coffee! It’s funny, I always hated it. When I moved to Melbourne I started drinking it (it is the capital of coffee after all!) but I do find it allows me a few moments to just stop and breathe.

Now, the big question – what is the skincare or make up product you reach for most?

J. Our Face Mud. It’s Manuka honey magic blended with 16 other fruit and plant extracts. It’s the bomb-diggity! One little product that seems to be all I need for a skin-pick-me-up anytime, any occasion. 🙂

R. I have to agree with you there, the Face Mud is something else. Do you remember the first time I used it? I definitely didn’t follow the instructions ha! I love that it can be used as a mask or cleanser, nothing beats a multi-use product. 

Featured above is Jumana’s newest product – Forest Nourish which comes in two sizes and looks absolutely divine! Next on the list to try, this features Hemp, Wild Lavender and Oak Moss. You can find it on the Herbs and Heart website here.

Thank you again for your time Jumana and for supporting me along my journey! I’m incredibly grateful #girlboss

I hope you all enjoy your Saturday evening!

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Louella from Kiss Ready Lips

I was so excited to ask Louella to be part of Meet the Makers. I knew she would say a massive YES! The reason I knew this, Louella is one extremely bubbly, passionate and positive maker. I admire that Louella puts herself out there to promote her growing business.

I should take you back to how we met. I had flown into Sydney for the day to attend Finders Keepers with my friend. There were two makers I wanted to meet, Louella and Jumana from Herbs and Heart (stay tuned for her interview!).

Louella had the cutest little stall, but had maximised her space so she had the right amount of room to do a demo of the products. I was hooked, I knew I had to have the Rose Omega Face Balm, but I ended up walking off with about 4 other products. I simply fell in love with them, from how Louella spoke about them.

Some exciting news this week for Louella, she was nominated in the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards! You can vote for Louella here under the “Making a Difference Award – Business” #77. Best of luck Louella!!!

R. Yay, I am so excited to have you join Meet the Makers – and grateful! Can you start by letting us know a little more about Kiss Ready Lips and what makes it unique?

L. Kiss Ready is a range of artisanal, small-batch natural skincare made from mostly locally sourced and food-grade ingredients. My products are enriched with Australian grown Chia Seed oil, a nutrient-dense ingredient high in omega 3, 6 and 9. It’s a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and proven to be exceptionally beneficial to skin nourishment and hydration.

R. I love chia seeds, especially in smoothies, yoghurt, salads and now in my skincare! What lead you to starting Kiss Ready Lips?

L. I’ve always had an interest in the healing power of plants. I grew up in a barrio in the Philippines and I remember my fascination with my grandmother’s herbal remedies. Instinctively I knew then, as a child, that I would love to make natural products!

When I migrated to New Zealand, I was fortunate to work in the healthcare industry. It helped me understand and appreciate the science behind product formulation.

In 2012, I moved to Australia and worked for the Australian growers of chia seeds. At that time, an internationally respected medical school looked into the efficacy of chia seed oil when used by their patients with deteriorating skin conditions. The clinical study showed that chia oil can help improve skin health within eight weeks of daily use. I was so impressed with the results, I started making all sorts of balms and potions with cold pressed chia seed oil at home. My employer was focused on agriculture and health foods, but was very supportive of my side hustle. I enrolled in additional courses on natural skincare formulation, aromatherapy and essential oils. To this day, I still use and source Australian grown chia to support our farming community in Western Australia.

R. I find you incredibly inspiring, especially your positivity – it is a ray of sunshine! However we all know, sometimes business can be tough. What do you find is the biggest challenge in your business?

L. Kiss Ready was a passion project before it was a business. I do everything myself, from formulation and production to sales and order fulfilment. As I don’t have any financial backing, marketing has been my biggest challenge. Unlike mainstream brands, I don’t have huge marketing dollars to spend on advertising and promotions. I’m very, very lucky as my customers (like you Renee!) are loyal and they are helping me spread the Kiss Ready love with their family and friends.

R. Apart from hopefully visiting me in Melbourne (ha!) are you working on anything new or exciting for Kiss Ready Lips?

L. I’ve recently completed a course on cosmetic chemistry. The most exciting part for me was using natural pigments to create textures and colours. I’ve been looking at tinted lip glosses, lipsticks, creams and make up, and I would love to have more time to devote to formulating my own natural make up range. So, watch this space!

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R. Oh Louella, that is so exciting! Congratulations on completing your studies. If you need a human tester, you know where to find me! Do you have any tips for those wanting to move away from mainstream beauty products and into green beauty?

L. When I started formulating my natural products, I also found out I was pregnant! Many of my products were developed out of necessity. I wanted to use (and love) products which were safe, nourishing and effective. Kiss Ready Mama and Kiss Ready Baby are products especially formulated for expecting and new mums and their little cuddly, squishy little ones.

If you would like to explore natural skincare, I suggest starting with two staples  – your lip balm and natural deodorant. These are products which we use all the time. Sadly, there is insufficient research on the long-term effects of synthetic ingredients. Until there is enough longitudinal data on every ingredient’s use and safety, I would personally choose skincare products with simple and natural but effective ingredients. Switching to natural products may minimise your exposure to potentially harmful ingredients.

Fortunately, the growing interest in natural skincare means there is a plethora of products to choose from. I recommend trying as many products and brands as you can; you’d be surprised at the range and quality of products available in Australia today.

R. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, I feel people think green beauty has to be expensive but in reality it isn’t. There are some amazing brands out there with great natural ingredients that are affordable. Just the other day, I learnt I could use Jojoba oil to remove my eye make up, rather than a harmful cleanser! Amazing! 

What is your favourite part of the day?

L. My favourite part of the day is my morning walk with my two year old. I’m fortunate to share these moments with him. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to appreciate nature together. I try to instil in him a spirit of adventure. He’s a lot more talkative and interactive now, so most days he gets to pick where we’re going – the playground, our local park and gardens or the library. It’s amazing how quickly he is growing up!

R. Your bubba is just the cutest, I love the photos of your adventures together!
How do you practice gratitude?

L. I enjoy walking and will walk when I can. I find it quiets my mind, and I’m most receptive to positive emotions when I’m walking. I practise mindfulness walking – it’s opening yourself up to the elements around you – whether it’s a gentle breeze, or the scent of flowers or freshly cut grass, the birds chirping around me; it’s being grateful for the beauty of nature. Try it one time – let go of the ‘everyday noise’ which usually clouds our minds, and just enjoy nature.

R. How good does freshly cut grass smell, you know you can actually buy a perfume that has been made to replicate the smell of it! How about self-care, any tips?

L. Here’s an unusual one – I make at least one phone call either to a family member or a friend during the week. I’m online all the time and can easily email or message them, but nothing beats real time conversations with the people we love. My family and many of my friends are based overseas, so I really make an effort catching up with them. It makes me feel more grounded and connected. Self care means we take time out and do something which makes us feel good – and these phone calls make me feel so blessed to have loving and caring people in my life.

R. Thank you again Louella, for such an amazing and insightful interview. It has been absolutely wonderful hearing a little more about you and your passion for Kiss Ready Lips!

I’m often talking about my love of the Omega Rose Face Balm, and Louella is spreading the love to you by offering $10 off your first purchase of the 60g Balm! Simply use code HAPPYBALM10 at check out.

 

Happy Saturday!

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Kayla from Tribe Skincare

I’ve mentioned this a couple of times already on the socials, but I am genuinely so excited for tonight’s interview. The feedback I have received has been overwhelming and I’m so glad we can all learn a few things from some very talented makers.

Tonight’s interview is with Kayla from the very amazing Tribe Skincare! You will know Tribe from their colourful packaging and specialising in skincare for those with sensitive skin – plus it’s cruelty free!
With the 1 year anniversary fast approaching, Tribe Skincare continues to go from strength to strength. Even popular influencers rave about Tribe Skincare.

Personally I have quietly admired Kayla  from the moment she launched her brand. You see, we are in the same business Facebook group and I would often see her posting questions and also helping others in the group.

I love how Kayla openly shares her own business tips and what works for her and Tribe. I’ve found so many people in business won’t share their ideas or even what works for them for fear someone will do better than them. Kayla lives and breathes the #girlboss movement, even helping me with business questions I have and being so supportive of The Happy Organic Girl.

Founder, Kayla

R. Thank you for joining in on the Meet the Makers series. I mentioned above that I find you so incredibly inspirational, so I think its only fitting we start with a question about inspiration! What inspires you each day, and what is your favourite part of the day?

K. My favourite part of each day is what inspires me every day. In the 3 hours that I spend doing the daily business admin, I get to check the daily reviews that come to the website and chat to all the customers. We get so many lovely messages from customers every single day, encouraging us on our journey, thanking us for helping with their skin, or brightening their day with a funny post we do. It definitely inspires me to keep doing what we are doing.

I do also really love packing the orders though, so maybe that’s my favourite part!

R. I have a confession to make! I love LOVE your insta-stories,especially the ones where you show all the orders you have packed. Apart from starting the day with admin tasks, what does any given day look like for you?

K. I start the day with a HUGE coffee! So bad…I know. Then I meet my sister at our shop where we frantically pack all the morning orders (and from the night before). We put a lot of work into the orders with personalised notes and little surprises, so we have a lot of fun packing them. They get posted about 11am and then we spend the next 3 hours doing general admin tasks, ordering, Instagram story content and customer service.

Then it’s time to get back into the afternoon of packing orders, which we get to the post office about 4pm. That is supposed to be when the day is done, but I then spend most of the night finishing off things from the day and doing more social media. We are always busy, but I must say it’s a really amazing job doing all of my favourite things!

With sister and team member, Amber

R. WOW! So just a little busy than during the day? I like how you break the day up into blocks ie: 3 hours for admin. I have a tendency to flick between tasks which probably slows me down. What do you find the biggest challenge in business?

K. The biggest challenge in business for me is switching off. I always have a mental list of 30+ different things I need to complete and I am constantly brainstorming (it’s literally like a chaotic storm). It’s probably more challenging for the people around me, as I need to remind myself it’s my passion, and they probably don’t want to hear about it 24/7!

In saying that it’s a challenge, I really love spending every day doing something I love and I spring out of bed every morning with motivation for the day.

R. As Confucious says “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” and it sounds like you are doing just that. With the good comes the not so good, how do you deal with negativity?

Negativity breeds negativity and positivity breeds positivity. Each day, I focus on bringing positive vibes to the tribe! The customers’ skincare journey should be a wonderful, enjoyable experience the entire time. Then their positivity breeds and radiates when they tell their friends and family about their new skincare and experience.

As business owners, we do have to deal with negativity, and I find it best to give the problem as little attention as possible. Fix it if needed, turn it into a positive if possible, and then move on.

I also keep a business gratitude journal most days, where I write down a few amazing things the business achieved or positive opportunities that came our way. This really helps me remember the positive things, and the negative things become forgettable. Getting to be a part of the ‘Meet the Makers & Shakers’ will definitely feature in the gratitude journal.

R. I love that “negativity breeds negativity and positivity breeds positivity”, it is so true. I know myself sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in negativity and breaking through it. When I get in that mindset, I tend to go for a walk and try and do some deep breathing to move back into a positive space.

Tribe Skincare recently moved to a larger office, it looks like it has so much character. I bet you are loving having a little more room to move! Apart from the move, are you working on anything new or exciting?

K. Always! 😉

We recently released our “Fruit Tingle! Body Moisturiser” that smells EXACTLY like Fruit Tingles and is packed with fruit enzymes to dissolve dead skin. That one has been going crazy on Instagram!

We are currently formulating an Aloe Vera & Pink Clay cleanser than doubles as a really soothing mask to assist with facial redness. We specialise in sensitive skin, so the customers all tell us exactly what they want to see next and we made it come to life!

R. Oh my, Aloe Vera & Pink Clay cleanser sounds divine! I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with for the packaging.

Now, you’ve shared what life at Tribe Skincare looks like, let’s finish with a few questions about you! Having a purpose is so important, have you figured out yours?

K. Oh, yes! I consider my purpose being to provide skincare solutions for people with sensitive skin. There is nothing better than feedback from customers saying “I have tried so many skincare brands that reacted with my skin. Tribe is the only skincare I can use” or something along those lines. It makes me think “mission accomplished”.

We do this in a very ethical way too, with all our skincare being all-natural, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and Australian-made. People are putting a lot of trust in us by choosing Tribe as their skincare, and it is our purpose to provide an ethical and effective solution.

R. I can only imagine how busy you are running Tribe Skincare, but how do you take time to look after yourself and practice self care?

K. Absolutely! We hear it all the time, but I love reminding myself (and other people) of the saying “YOU DO YOU!” It is SO important to focus on your own journey. Find what you love doing and what makes you truly happy, and do more of that. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing and don’t compare yourself to others. If you are not really happy with where your journey is at, take inspiration for others and practice gratitude until you feel happy with your path and what you are achieving.

R. Thank you again Kayla for sharing a little insight into life at Tribe Skincare plus a little about you. I see massive things in store for the brand and for yourself. I’m sure, I like many, will be cheering you on along the way.

If you are interested in the Tribe Skincare range, Kayla has kindly offered FREE express shipping using code, HAPPY at check out. Simply click here to see the full range.

A little insider tip, I purchased the trial kit a few weeks back and absolutely love the Protect Me! Day Moisturiser with SPF15 – it smells so good. Keep your eyes peeled on Monday as a review for the Trial Kit will be going live!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Meet the Makers, reach out if you want to chat 🙂

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Ashleigh from Buddha Organics

Ashleigh from Buddha Organics specialises in organic powder blends, such as Cacao & Chocolate, Greens and Breakfast Boost which can be added to smoothies, cereals, puddings to give you an added nutritional boost. It’s an easy way to add some extra vitamins to your meal, especially if you are often on the go!

I previously shared my recipe for Cacao Chocolate Chia Puddings on the blog, you can locate that recipe here. I must say, the Cacao Chocolate Blend is one of my favourites and satisfy’s my chocolate cravings – yum!

This evening, we sit down with Ashleigh to learn a little more about this growing brand.

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R. Thank you for jumping on board and being so passionate about being part of the Meet the Makers & Shakers series! Tell me something, I don’t already know about you!

A. Hi I’m Ashleigh, im 27 years old and a mother of 7! (2 kids and 5 fur-babies). I am currently completing my Bachelor’s degree in Business. Outside of running my business I enjoy doing yoga and Pilates on a regular basis as well as spending time with the family.

R. I didn’t know you were currently studying your Bachelor’s of Business – that’s amazing! Especially with your little growing business. What lead you to starting Buddha Organics?

A. Recently my daughter was diagnosed with ADHD + ODD, I started looking into the food she was eating and came to a realisation of how much preservatives and additives are placed in to these products. I was wanting to share my knowledge and provide people with healthy alternatives.

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R. You recently launched a new logo for Buddha Organics (which I love!), are you currently working on anything new?

We have a few new products in the pipeline where we will be expanding on our superfood blend range. Make sure you sign up to our email list, located here to be the first to know when they launch!

R. Aside from the yummy superfood blends you currently stock, you also offer vegan lipsticks that look so creamy! Do you have any tip to those wanting to move away from mainstream beauty products and into green beauty – where should they start?

A. Start by reading the reading the labels and make sure you are aware of what ingredients are in the products you are using. It is very easy to be mistaken by companies that like to “greenwash” but the ingredients will never lie to you.

R. We definitely need to spread the word about “greenwashing” as unfortunately it is such common practice amongst some larger brands.

Tell me a little about how you practice gratitude?

A. I try and donate plasma as regularly as possible. This is only something I have started within the past 6 months but it has been an amazing feeling knowing that I am able to help so many people by taking 1hr out of my day every 2 weeks.

Thank you so much Ashleigh for taking the time to chat to us! I see big things on the horizon for Buddha Organics!

As a special thank you to readers, Ashleigh is offering 15% off using the code HAPPY at checkout.

You can locate the Buddha Organics website here.
Please let me know if you have any questions you would like asked in our next Meet the Maker!
Enjoy your Saturday night,
Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Sylvie from Scout Cosmetics

Tonight, we catch up with Sylvie from Scout Cosmetics which is super exciting as Sylvie has built an amazing cruelty free beauty brand!

I have been using 3 Scout skin care products for roughly 3 months now, you may have seen my product reviews posted on here.

Scout Cosmetics has 3 different ranges;
* Skincare
* Mineral Make Up
* Handcare, specifically a nail polish range and remover

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I get such a buzz every Saturday night when a new Meet the Makers interview is posted. There are so many reasons for this but namely, a brand is getting an opportunity to share their story, their purpose and their why.
Readers are getting to know the brand a little more and finally, our little Green Beauty Community gets just a little bit bigger.

I admit, I get quite nervous when I ask a Maker if they would like to be part of the series. I have self doubts, is my platform big enough? Am I wasting someone’s time, and as we know time is a precious commodity.
Then I wake myself up and say, no girl you got this!

I’m so glad I built up the courage to ask Sylvie as I find her extremely inspirational!

“As a woman, I enjoy feeling beautiful, special and self-empowered” –  Sylvie

Time for you to grab a glass of wine and sit down with us as we get to know Sylvie from Scout Cosmetics just that little bit more!

R. Thank you for taking some time to answer a few questions. I’m extremely excited to learn some insights from such a successful woman in business. Firstly, what lead you to starting your business?

S. My foray into the world of beauty was driven by a love of natural cosmetics along with an inability to find quality Australian-made organic beauty products. Before launching SCOUT l knew that many of the natural brands that were available at the time either were from overseas (primarily the US) or did not offer the efficacy, quality and colour l was looking for in natural cosmetics.

R. I love that instead of just settling on something that wasn’t what you were after you went ahead to create something that could be available in Australia and also offer the quality you were looking for. How important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and your brand?

S. Most people forget that skin is the largest organ in the body, meaning the ingredients within any skincare or makeup product we use are being absorbed into our bodies. Chemical toxins are very destructive whereas natural products, including natural plant and fruit extracts are better for your skin as they possess a nutritional value that help to support the skin.

As a brand, we have always been focused on the effectiveness, quality and integrity of our products and this is what has made the choice for natural/organic so important. When you choose a Certified Organic product, you know that it has gone through rigorous testing to ensure that it does not contain synthetic fragrances, colouring agents, ethoxylated and GM ingredients, silicones and nano particles among others. One of the most important aspects for me is that there is definitely no animal testing permitted.

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R. It’s so true, I know before I started my journey with Green Beauty I never used to worry about the ingredients or animal testing status (even though I love all animals), it just never crossed my mind. Now, they are the two biggest things I look for when choosing skincare and make up products. I think education is so important, especially from a young age! Is there anything new or exciting happening in the world of Scout Cosmetics?

S. We have a lot of exciting superfood skincare innovations in the works and definitely plan on extending the range in the near future as the current offerings have been received so well to date. Growth in face and body products are planned for the second half of 2018 and beyond.

R. Oh that does sound exciting! My favourite thing about Scout Cosmetics is the different ingredient combinations. For instance, I’m currently trialling (review due 27th) the Balance & Replenish Light Moisturise with Calendula, Red Mandarin & Pumpkin and I’m loving how you have chosen ingredients that compliment each other so perfectly!

I mentioned above the need for education, especially around ingredients in skincare and make up, do you have any tips for those wanting to move away from mainstream beauty products and into green beauty – where should they start?

S. I think this can be a really daunting and challenging concept, having to completely change-up a beauty routine. Our skin can be super sensitive to change so l would definitely recommend starting small. Make small changes to your daily routine by swapping out a cleanser or adding a serum, to help you skin naturally adapt to the changeover. Keep in mind that many organic ingredients are highly active so allowing your skin to become accustomed to the impact of an active beauty product is key.

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R. That’s a great tip, and most likely a lot easier on the pocket by starting small and working out what works for the individual before they outlay a bit of cash!
Apart from leading the way in the beauty industry, where do you draw your inspiration from?

S. As a mother and wife, my family and three boys are definitely one of my biggest daily inspirations, especially looking at the wonderful men they have grown into. I also find myself continually inspired by the SCOUT brand and our work to continually push the boundaries of natural and organic beauty and growing our brand awareness and global business.

R. I imagine a lot of research goes into what is happening in the beauty industry, and how to stay ahead of the game (as they say!). What does any given day look like for you?

S. Every day is different when it comes to owning and operating your own cosmetics business. From testing and discussing new products and formulations with our manufacturing team to liaising with stockists and retailers and staying ahead of the game when it comes to innovations in the natural/organic world, there’s really no slowing down.

R. It sounds extremely busy, but also very rewarding. With being on the go, and nurturing not only your family but the business, how do you take time to look after yourself and practice self-care?

S. I think it is so important to take time for yourself each day in any way you can, given how busy our lives can get. Whether this is taking some extra time to pamper ourselves, meditate or spending quality time with family and loved ones, it’s simply important to take a holistic approach and self-care.

I agree, and I think that is something I have learnt from the Meet the Makers Series. Looking after yourself and self-care is different for everyone, find what works for you and remember to love you!

Thank you so much Sylvie for taking the time to chat with us. I absolutely love what you are doing at Scout Cosmetics and find you, as a person, extremely inspirational #girlpower

As Sylvie says, “Every woman should be free to feel beautiful, special and self empowered”.

Have a wonderful weekend all,

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Polly from Sage Cosmetics

Sage Cosmetics is made up of an awesome duo, Polly & Lu. I’ve been following their journey for sometime now and was there cheering them on when they launched their newest baby, their website, a few weeks back.

Sage Cosmetics are based in Sydney and offer workshops, where you can learn how to make your own skincare. They even offer Bridal Showers and Hens Parties, which I think is awesome – I wish I could have had that for my Hens night!

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As I mentioned, they recently launched their website where you can pick up essential oils, gift packs and even products such as packaging for making your own skincare.

You can locate the website here, and they are offering 10% off for my readers! Use code HAPPYSAGE to receive your discount.

As part of the Meet the Makers series, today we are catchin up with one half of the duo, Polly, to learn a little more about Sage Cosmetics.

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R. Since we started following each other, I’ve been able to watch your journey which took an exciting turn 2 weeks back when you launched your website! I’m loving the feel of it, you both have done an amazing job! Being such a dynamic duo, what lead you to starting your business?

P. Lu and I have worked together for over 8 years in the natural cosmetics industry and were always each other’s wingman, we just clicked. Lu actually hired me (great choice) and taught me everything I know! At the end of 2017, when Lu was on maternity leave, our previous employers moved the business interstate, making us redundant. It was, in a word, devastating. But in hindsight, a blessing in disguise. We wanted to continue using the knowledge we had gained over the years and share our passion for natural cosmetics and ingredients. Both having natural skills in teaching, we wanted to inspire and coach others to make products with confidence.

R. Two girl bosses kicking ass, I love it! Your classes look like so much fun, I can’t wait to get up to Sydney and join in on the fun. With planning classes and running the business, what does any given day look like for you both?

P. As we are both mums to toddlers, our days are messy and unpredictable to say the least! We try hard to work during work hours, and commit to our family lives in between. Our work days really pack a LOT of intense work into the hours we have to care for our children, but with more than a fair share of questionable jokes and loud belly laughs. Our days off are filled with park dates, kids yoga, non-toxic paint spills, dog walking, summer beach days, being waaaay too noisy in libraries, museum madness and plenty of gardening.

R. I love that even though you are running a pretty hectic business, you are still setting aside time for your family. I think the temptation when you start a business is the freedom to work your own hours but rarely does it end up being a 8 hour day – more like 12+ hours. Therefore I think it is so important that time is set aside for the family – awesome stuff! If you weren’t running the business, what would you be doing?

P. Well who knows. It really feels now like this was the thing I’ve been waiting for, and I never even knew it. I trained and practiced as a Naturopath for many years, and loved being in clinic, but my sensitive personality found it hard to take care of myself while taking care of others. I don’t believe I would have come back to that line of work, but my intimate knowledge of the body, natural health, ingredients and a true love of coaching, brings the perfect combination to this venture. Creating, teaching and inspiring others in this field brings me insurmountable joy, as does working with my brilliant business partner Lu, who is beyond supportive.

R. You mention your knowledge of natural health, how important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and your brand?

P. As a person with extremely sensitive skin, I’ve been using natural products for many, many years. For me, it’s the only way to go, and I love being able to help people in the same position to be able to create products that are specially customised to suit their unique skin condition, type and scent preference. We truly believe that there are so many great natural products out there, that there is really no need to use synthetic ingredients. All our products are 100% natural, and every ingredient in our recipes is there to nourish and benefit the skin. And for us, that’s what it’s all about!

R. Apart from the launch of the website, which I absolutely love, are you both working on anything new or exciting?

P. We’ve spent the last 5 months creating our classes and building our website and online store to be a place not only to purchase your ingredients for handmade natural skincare, but to learn all about them. We are so excited to see how people go making and customising the recipes we have available. We are also working on our Recipe Kit concept, which will be kinda like Hello Fresh for skincare. You’ll receive all the ingredients you need, an easy to follow recipe and access to instructional video content. We think it’s going to be A LOT of fun.

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R. Oh my, the Receipe Kit sounds so cool. I will defintely want to be part of that, lucky I’m subscribed to your newsletter so I can keep my eyes open for when it launches! Next, tell me a little about you interests/hobbies outside running your business.

P. Well, to be honest, I’m a real nanna at heart. My hobbies include gardening, crocheting and baking. I love doing arts and crafts with my 3 year old son and playing cards with my parents. Lu is way cooler than me. Her passion is music, she’s an awesome musician and hosts a radio show called Foreign Dub Airways every Sunday arvo.

R. To be fair, I think both interests sound equally cool, nothing like a little baking on the weekend. I bet being in the studio on air would be a total buzz for Lu too! Having a purpose and a why is so important, have you figured out yours?

P. I think for both Lu and I, our why involves our families, but also perhaps even more, ourselves. We could quite easily work for others, but we know that to be truly fulfilled, pursuing this dream of ours is so important. We know how much we have to offer others by sharing our knowledge and the satisfaction of working hard to benefit our little families is incredible.

R. I honestly love that. I love how you recognise that while youre both doing this not only for your little families but also yourselves. Any self-care tips?

P. As working Mums, looking after ourselves is the best way to look after our families. So self-care is so important. I make sure I look after my mental health by checking in with a health practitioner frequently. I journal, meditate and exercise regularly. The thing I love best of all is having a “selfcare Sunday” ritual, vaporising relaxing essential oils, applying a clay mask to my face and an oil treatment to my hair and listening to podcast. Time out, intentional focus on self and a good natural beauty treatment can do wonders!

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R. I’m a massive fan of #selfcaresunday, it’s my favourite time of the week. I love how it can mean something different for everyone, as long as you are taking some time for yourself and doing a little check in – that’s what it’s all about.
Any tips for those wanting to move away from mainstream beauty products and into green beauty – where should they start?

P. For us, green beauty is very much about DIYing. We teach others how to make professional style cosmetic products from their home, and we practice what we preach. My beauty regime is solely handmade products created specifically for my very sensitive skin type. For anyone wanting to follow the same path, I would recommend taking time to get to know your skin type, understanding that although natural, not all products will suit you, and trying to simplify! Single ingredient skincare is simple, sustainable and effective. For example, using Almond oil as a makeup remover or Jojoba oil as a moisturiser.

R. The biggest thank you Polly for taking time out to have a chat. I absolutely loved hearing how you both focus on balance in your lives and I’m excited to be following along your journey as you continue to grow and teach those your natural ways.

Don’t forget, Polly and Lu are offering 10% off for my readers! Use code HAPPYSAGE to receive your discount at checkout.

Have a fab weekend,

Renee
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