Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Sarah from Summer Salt Body

Welcome back to Meet the Makers! This week we are chatting to Sarah from Summer Salt Body, and I couldn’t think of a better brand to interview in the weeks after arriving back from Hawaii (take me back!).

I met the lovely Sarah a few months back at a trade fair here in Melbourne. It was lovely getting to know and chat with Sarah, it felt like we were old friends even though we had only chatted on social media before meeting. Sarah established her brand, Summer Salt Body in 2014 and it is a Melbourne based brand.

Summer Salt Body creates skincare and beauty products that are natural and vegan, and that are utterly beautiful!

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R. Hi Sarah! Thank you for taking part in Meet the Makers, I know you have a bunch on your plate so I really appreciate it.

Walk us through how you decided to start Summer Salt Body!

S. I was working as a sales rep in the health food industry and became very inspired by the people I would meet everyday who all owned their own businesses. I am passionate about natural remedies and so started creating products and selling them at local markets. It grew from there as we gained stockists very quickly and after about a year I quit my job and took Summer Salt Body full-time.

R. That’s amazing you were able to grow the brand significantly in a year, what an achievement. As the business grows what does a typical day look like for you?

S. I head to the factory in the morning then make a start on emails/ orders/ invoices ect. The courier arrives to pick up all the orders for the morning then we start production of any product low in stock. We have a great little team who work so hard to get everything done.

R. I would think the most important thing in small business is having a supportive and capable team around you so it’s great to hear you have got that. 

What would you say is the biggest challenge in business?

S. Keeping up with everything all at once! As the business grows it becomes harder and harder to keep track of everything at the same time. That’s when you need to start employing people and delegating a lot of work which I find very hard to do.

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R. It’s a challenge isn’t it as you want to balance what you have, cash flow, staff, timeframes – the list goes on!

In business and in life, when a challenge or a tricky task occurs how do you tackle it?

S. There are always challenges in business. I try to step back from it and find a solution. It’s very easy to get swept up in a challenge and let it worry or stress you in some way. All you can do is accept it, find a solution and move forward.

When I find myself over thinking things I try to have a bath and a herbal tea surrounded by crystals, candles and relaxing music. Another thing that’s always good is to get back to nature. Take yourself to the beach and watch the waves roll in or go for a walk in the forest. You’ll always feel rejuvenated and you’ll realise the thing that was worrying you wasn’t really that bad at all.

R. Yes! I think removing yourself, by taking a step back helps immensely. It can help clear the head so you can think of a solution and move forward.

I mentioned above you focus on natural and vegan products, why is this important to your brand?

S. We only source the highest quality natural, vegan friendly & organic ingredients. It’s really important to us that we only use these types of plant-based ingredients in our products which all serve a purpose in nourishing the skin. Anything you put on your skin goes straight into your bloodstream so it’s extremely important to stay away from synthetic or toxic ingredients. This relates to everything you use.

R. This is why I love the products coming from Australian Makers, the awareness around what we put on our skin and how important it is to choose natural products. I love that consumers have access to these wonderful ingredients.

What’s next for Summer Salt Body?

S. We’ve been very busy creating new products in the lead up to Christmas this year! We have just launched a range of Face & Body Oils infused with 24K Gold, Wild Flowers and Crystals as well as crystal infused mists and Crystal Face & Body Rollers. I have a bit of an obsession with crystals so there may even be a few new crystal inspired products launching soon.

I’ve also had a lot of requests for mens and baby products so this will be something to think about in 2019.

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R. I absolutely love the Body Oil, I actually have it packed already for Hawaii. It smells like heaven!

What would you say to someone who is considering starting their own small business?

S. If you’re passionate about anything then just start! I always hear people saying that they want to start something but can’t because of this or that. For me this business started out as a hobby and I never dreamt it would be as big as it is today. You may need to juggle a new business with full-time work but if you just start and put time into it then it will grow and eventually you may be working for yourself full time instead!

R. Oh Sarah, it’s so true. I often say this to people, just start! I wish I had started years ago, but I could find a reason why. I look back and think, I should have just done it, made mistakes, learnt from them. It’s the only way!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

S. I am constantly inspired by the people around me. Wether it be other business owners, successful athletes or someone busking on the street. I absolutely love seeing people follow their passion and it really inspires me to be a better person myself.

R. Very true, inspiration is all around us. Our time here is so short, I love seeing those around me taking risks to get the life they want. 

What are your thoughts on purpose and gratitude?

S. I think it’s really important that everyone feels they have a purpose in life. I am really passionate about the things I believe in. I don’t know that I’ve found my purpose but I think it changes depending on what stage you are in your life. Right now I’ve got a little one year old girl and another baby due very soon. I just want to provide the best life I can for my little ones and give them lots of different experiences that this world has to offer.

I always try to remind myself of how lucky I am in this life. There are always things to be grateful for. I try to go to sleep each night with a thought of gratitude in mind. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of wanting more or never being satisfied with what you have. This isn’t a bad thing as it keeps you motived to keep working hard but it’s definitely important to step back from time to time and appreciate what you’ve accomplished and what experiences you’ve gained. It’s not about material possessions and I really believe that less is more.

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R. It’s such a fine line with material possessions. I’m struggling with that a little at the moment as I head to Hawaii. I absolutely love Sephora, but do I really need the stuff I want to buy there? Would I be better doing a boat cruise or snorkelling adventure – it’s a tough one!

As it is #selfcaresunday, any self-care tips you would like to share?

S. Self care should be practised everyday and it can be as simple as accepting help from others when you need it instead of overextending yourself. It could even be simply appreciating your body for how amazing it really is rather than picking out all the things you don’t like about yourself. Self care doesn’t always mean taking a relaxing bath or treating yourself to a face mask. It’s about the way you treat and talk to yourself from day-to-day. Talk to yourself as you would a friend.

R. I like that, sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves. I am going to make a note to talk to myself as a friend this week and consciously keep that a the front of my mind – thank you!

What is your go to skincare or makeup product?

S. Summer Salt Body! 🙂 I pretty much only use my own products or I create something that I’m looking for. I’m all about natural remedies so I’ll never put anything on my skin that is fake or toxic.

img_7726-e1540094115894.jpgR. Amazing! I wish I could just whip something up to suit whatever I needed for my skin. That’s an achievement in itself having those skills!

Thank you again for joining us Sarah, best of luck with the new Bub and the Christmas rush!!

You can read more about Sarah on the Summer Salt Body website located here www.summersaltbody.com and via Instagram here @summer__salt

Enjoy your Sunday lovelies!

Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – Biome Skin Care

Biome is a truly gorgeous business doing some amazing things for planet earth. They sell a range of products from reusable coffee cups and straws to lunch boxes, skincare products and books.

All products listed on their website and in store are inline with their core values which I have copied below directly from the Biome website, it includes hyperlinks back to the Biome website. The strict set of core values are;

Source – www.biome.com.au

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Biome also has their own skincare range, which is where I come in! I was invited to try a selection of their products which was very kind but also very exciting! I LOVE the less is more movement – reduce, reuse, recycle!

The products all come in environmentally friendly glass packaging, which you can reuse (I’ve already got flower ideas for the 3-in-1 Skin Trio bottle).

The products are as pure as can be, they are palm oil free, cruelty free and vegan. No additives or preservatives are added and they do not contain any synthetic fragrance.

I selected the following products to review;

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Biome 100% Jojoba Oil 100ml – $22.95 AUD

I choose the Jojoba Oil as the benefits, such as acting as an antibacterial plus it is very mild, makes it perfect for the face. I picked this with removing my makeup (surprise surprise) in mind and I love that it is 100% pure.

I start by massaging the oil into my skin and around my eye area. Although this is non-greasy, I find it easiest to remove the oil from my skin with a damp cloth.

It is light on my skin and leaves it feeling smooth.

The Jojoba Oil is multi-use, you can also use this in your hair as a treatment, in the bath and also as a massage oil.

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Biome 3-in-1 Skin Trio Face Clay Normal – Seaweed, Green Clay & Spirulina – $39.95 AUD

Not only can you use the 3-in-1 Skin Trio as a mask on #selfcaresunday (or any day!), it can also be used as a cleanser when mixed with castile soap or as an exfoliator when mixed with a hydrosol.

I enjoy using this as part of my weekly masking session. I am obsessed with the ingredients! Seaweed provides nourishment, the Green & Yellow Clay draws out impurities while the Spirulina acts to stimulate the skin. Gentle pumice stone powder acts as an exfoliant. Plus it smells like the ocean – delicious.

Never let a clay mask dry completely as it will pull on your skin when you remove it. This is where one of the Biome Hydrosol’s come in handy! I love to spritz around 3 minutes into the mask with the Biome 100% Pure Hydrosol Chamomile to provide moisture and added nutrients.

When the mask is removed with cool water (I prefer it), my skin is left feeling cool, refreshed and incredibly smooth. The ocean smell lingers but it is refreshing and not a bother.

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Biome 100% Pure Hydrosol Chamomile – $27.95 AUD

What’s a hydrosol you ask? I have written about it before, it’s a fairly new term being used in Australian skincare. A hydrosol is where plants/flowers are steam distilled to create an infused floral water.

Aside from using the Hydrosol mid-mask, as mentioned above you can use this with the 3-in-1 Skin Trio to exfoliate the skin or even just to freshen your skin during the day. I enjoy the calming properties of chamomile, especially if I am feeling stressed!

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Biome Scrub + Soak Citrus Burst – $29.95 AUD

My favourite time of the week, is when I get to take a soak in the tub. Usually on a Sunday! The Scrub + Soak in Citrus Burst has been such a delight to use.

I start by sprinkling a little into the tub before I jump in, to let the Epsom salt blend into the water while Calendula and Chamomile flowers swirl around. Once I am in the tub, I place a little into my palm and massage into my skin. The inclusion of coconut sugar and oatmeal work to exfoliate the skin.

A citrus blend of essential oils works to lift my mood and makes me feel energised. So much energy in one bottle – I absolutely love it!

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In conclusion, I absolutely love the Biome range. Not only are the ingredients pure, natural, vegan and cruelty free when I use them I know I am leaving a positive footprint in the world with the sustainable packaging and naked ingredients.

I love the bright packaging that sits beautifully in the bathroom too – the photos don’t do the bright packaging justice!

For the full range, head over to http://www.biome.com.au or via Instagram at @biomestores

Let me know your thoughts if you have also used anything from the range!

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.

The Kiss Ready Lips website is here https://www.kissreadylips.com

Happy Saturday!

Renee
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