Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Sydney Makers Meet Up

On Friday, I hosted a lovely lunch with some beautiful Sydney based beauty makers at the Grounds of Alexandria. When I say hosted, I really didn’t do much as the moment everyone arrived magic just happened. I loved that it was intimate enough that everyone got to chat with each other, that at one point Louella whipped out some products for a little demo and that there were so many smiles to be seen.

A special thank you to Davroe and Malie Organics for sending over some surprise goodies for the ladies! They loved them!

img_8924

The Grounds are a beautiful place to meet, there is so much to look at and to talk about. Kevin Bacon has left the building but they had the cutest little piggy in his place!

I loved seeing the spring blooms everywhere against the lush green backdrop – so beautiful!!

img_8953

Of course I started with a cocktail, it was called a Garden Pavlova – oh boy! It was so yummy with Gin and St Germain the free dried raspberry was a treat!

The Grounds also still had some left over Halloween decorations which was fun to see, I love the styling of this place. They know how to do events!

img_8872-1

After lunch we enjoyed some vegan ice-blocks which were perfect as it was so hot once the sprinkler system shut down! This was the tropical ice-block with kiwi, raspberry and blueberries!

img_8883

I thought for this Meet the Makers, it’s a day late – I’m on Hawaii time, I would recap the day and who came along to celebrate all things beauty!

The beautiful Makers included Louella from Kiss Ready Lips, Polly from Sage Cosmetics, Louise from Devine Oils, Sara from Mermaid Cove Organics and Marisa from Marisa Robinson Beauty. My Mum also came along.

All of these beautiful ladies have been so gracious with their time, taking part in my Meet the Makers series. So I thought for this week, we will also recap on their interviews!

img_9012
The Makers!

Starting with Sara, my was my first ever Meet the Maker interview. This beautiful lady has gone from strength to strength since opening her online store, Mermaid Cove Organics. Specialising in small-batch products from green beauty makers such as Herbs & Heart, Black Robin and Ili Skincare, Sara has now launched her own face oil range too. It was so lovely to finally meet in person!

You can read Sara’s Meet the Maker interview here.

img_8879.jpg

The beautiful Marisa from Marisa Robinson Beauty and I hit it off! We have built a lovely friendship online as Marisa is so supportive of all those around her. It felt like we had been friends or years.

Marisa specialises in the digital world, but blogs about beauty after hours. Just last week she launched her first e-book titled “A Bloggers Guide To Working With Brands and Agencies and is a perfect read for those new & old to the game. Marisa also runs Blogging Bootcamps, which sound amazing and something I need to take part in!

You can find Marisa’s Meet the Makers interview here.

img_8910

The beautiful Louella from Kiss Ready Lips and I have been friends now for close to a year. I met Louella at Finders Keepers Sydney, where she gave the most passionate demonstration of her products that feature Chia Seed oil.

Louella was kind enough to bring along some goodies for me to try, her new Skin Veil and the very stunning Glowing Dawn Body Oil. With a quick demonstration of the oil that left everyone in awe, friends you seriously you need to check this oil out – so shimmery!

You can find Louella’s Meet the Makers interview here.

img_8851.jpg

Beautiful Polly from Sage Cosmetics, it was so wonderful to meet you. Another soul that I’ve met, where it felt like we had been friends for ages. It was refreshing to speak with you so openly about life, motherhood, everything and anything.

I love what you and Lou are doing, running workshops to teach those how to make their own skincare products, I can’t wait to come along to one when I am in Sydney next.

You can read Polly & Lou’s Meet the Maker interview here.

img_8894

Now, the beautiful Miss Louise from Devine Oils and I did not get a photo together. How did I let this happen? Not happy Jan! Ha! It was beautiful to finally meet you Louise, such knowledge of the industry which I think is wonderful to share. I’m glad you were able to experience The Grounds, you will have to make it your new go-to place/

I also just realised I haven’t interviewed you for Meet the Makers! We will need to change that ASAP. Instead, you can read my review on the beautiful trial set from Devine Oils here.

img_8920

What I took away from the lunch, was how beautiful it was that I was able to be 100% myself. I was nervous to meet so many faces, what to say, do, act etc. The thoughts we all have when we meet new people, but I was instantly relaxed and happy.

I am so grateful to you all for joining me for lunch and sharing more about yourselves.

Truly grateful.

Renee
x

Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Christina from Bayeco

Tonight’s Meet the Makers is short but sweet! We are chatting with Christina from Bayeco. Another Maker whose journey I’ve watched go from strength to strength, a Maker I’ve chatted with and cheered on from the sidelines.

Christina has created a lovely skincare brand, whose mission is to “is to help women look beautiful on the outside and to feel confident on the inside”. The product range consists of the following;

  • Green Tea Correcting Eye Cream
  • Green Tea Multi Action Serum
  • Green Tea Nourishing Night Cream
  • Green Tea Foaming Cleanser
  • Green Tea Brightening Day Cream (just launched!)

The products are made in Australia and use active ingredients such as Green Tea and Kakadu Plum (my favourite!) and contain no parabens, SLSs, phthalates, mineral oils or formaldehydes.

Now I’ve explained a little about Bayeco, let’s get to know Christina!

img_7637

R. Thank you for joining us tonight! It’s been such an incredible journey for you, I still recall our regular chats all those months ago when we first met!

What was the driving factor behind starting Bayeco?

C. I’ve always been interested in research and skincare. I like to pick up everything and check out the ingredients list before using a product. Everytime I looked at natural skincare, I’d often put it back down and not use it because I didn’t see active ingredients that I think would work on the skin. And when I look at cosmoceutical skincare, it often contains ingredients which I wouldn’t like to use on my skin because it contains chemicals that I don’t think are good for us.

So for a long time, I haven’t really found anything that I was completely happy with. And it was just an idea to formulate a pharmacist formulated natural skincare which when I speak to people, they also seem to be interested in the idea so I decided to take the plunge and formulate something together with a formulations chemist. It’s hard for someone to know what is good for their skin and what isn’t good. Bayeco takes the guesswork out for them and they can use it with confidence knowing that it contains ingredients that are good for them.

R. Knowledge is such a powerful thing, especially when it comes to what we eat or what we put on our skin and I agree if you aren’t familiar with the terms and ingredients – it can be a real battle.

Walk us through what a typical day looks like for you.

C. I have a bit of a ritual in the morning. I start the day with jumping on the trampoline for 15 mins to get my heart pumping. Then I meditate for 10 minutes after that and then have breakfast with all my vitamins and goodness before I do anything. This way, I know that I’ve got my mind in the right place and it’s easier to make better decisions.

After sending my kids to school, I’ll usually do online packing or wholesale packing, check my to do list, answer email enquiries, talk to my PR guy about any updates. I’m also planning for the next 3-6 months and working out what needs to be done now for later because time flies so fast and everything takes time to make it happen.

I’m lucky to be able to pick the kids up from school and take them to their activities. I often will bring my laptop with me and work while they do their activities.

Then home and dinner. By night, I’m usually exhausted but as a business owner, it’s really hard to switch off so I’m usually still chatting to someone somewhere about Bayeco. And at some point, I’ll crash in bed with a book to relax my mind.

img_7639-1

R. While I have no doubt that your days are jam packed, it’s lovely to see you are able to juggle family and work life balance – it’s true though, it can be so hard to switch off!

Are you currently working on anything new or exciting?

C. The Day cream has been something we’ve been working on and we’re so excited to say that it’s now launched! Apart from that, we’ve been working on a toner and a sleeping mask. These are some exciting products that are in the pipeline.

R. Oh my a sleeping mask! The perfect way to look after your skin and provide some much-needed nourishment as you sleep!

What are your thoughts on gratitude, is this something you actively practice?

C. Being grateful is really crucial in every way. I think when you’re grateful for things in life, it really puts things into perspective. It also helps you to have a more abundant mentality, where you think that there’s more than 1 pie to share. When you’re grateful, it helps you to see opportunities and helps you to think creatively. Either in the morning while jumping on the trampoline or last thing at night, I will make sure that I think of at least 5 things I’m grateful for.

R. I love that, especially the abundance mentality. I’ve written a note to do a little more reading on the subject.

As the founder of a skincare business, talk us through your beauty routine.

C. My beauty routine is really simple. I hardly do anything to my skin! When you use good ingredients on your skin and you’re eating healthily, you really don’t need to do much to your skin. And it’s also really important to use sunscreen everyday. That’s always part of my beauty routine and of course Bayeco skincare.

img_7640-1

R. Oh sunscreen! So important and the one step that is so easily forgotten.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

C. I’ve travelled to many places in the world because my husband and I love travelling. My absolute favourite place in the world is Japan. I’ve been there 3 times now. I love every season there. I love looking at the autumn leaves, I love their scenery, I love the snow there, I love the food there, I love the people and I love the culture. I love that they live their lives in sync with nature. So much of their beauty is about going with the flow of things and not trying to force something. That’s the Japanese way. It has to be my favourite country hands down.

R. Japan is on my list, it looks stunning! The scenery is perfection, and don’t get me started on the food. I could be easily tempted to make it my next place to visit.

Thank you again for spending some time with us, and sharing a little more about yourself and Bayeco. It’s been lovely!

If you would like to explore the Bayeco range, you can do so here; https://bayeco.com.au or via Instagram @bayecoskincare.

Who would you like to see next on Meet the Makers? Send your ideas my way!

Renee
x

Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Marisa from Marisa Robinson Beauty

I am so so excited for today’s Meet the Makers! As Meet the Makers grows and develops it excites me to broaden the range of guests that I have on the series.

Today, we chat we a fellow Beauty Blogger, Marisa Robinson, who has been extremely supportive of not only myself but the wider Beauty Blogging community – gotta love that girl power!

img_5153

While I have (and will continue) building relationships in this industry, at times I have found it challenging to develop on those relationships. We are all moving through this life at an extremely fast pace so it is easy to get carried away in your own bubble.

Not with Marisa, she is always so engaging with myself and other followers and is even running a Beauty Blogging Challenge over on her website right now!

R. Good Morning and Happy Sunday! My favourite question first up, tell us, what lead you to starting your business?

M. I was always inspired by the bosses of the small businesses I worked for and the lives they were creating for themselves. My parents raised me with a really strong work ethic and I always gave 110%, but one day I started thinking ‘instead of making them (my bosses) rich, why couldn’t I work that hard for myself and live the amazing lives they were?‘.

It didn’t happen overnight, I was still working full-time when I launched my first business which was an online jewellery boutique selling collections from independent designers. I loved doing that and it was successful but unfortunately the timing in my life wasn’t right and I didn’t pursue it.

I continued to work full-time, all the while wishing I was doing my own thing, until about 4 years ago when I started freelancing as a Digital Marketing Specialist, studied makeup artistry and worked at a retail makeup counter just to be more hands on with makeup. I did wedding and occasion makeup for about 12-18 months before I realised that blogging was what was really filling up my cup and it made me feel so fulfilled that I was able to help other people by sharing my skills and knowledge.

Fast forward to today and I am still freelancing as a Digital Marketing Specialist while also being a Beauty Blogger and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

R. As I mentioned above, I absolutely love your presence I the beauty world, your passion and the fact you are so supportive of others. 

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t running your business?

M. Probably working for someone else and making their dreams a reality haha but I would like to say travelling the world or running an animal sanctuary.

img_5151

R. Running an animal sanctuary would be actual goals! We have an amazing one here in Melbourne called Edgars Mission, I will take you there when you visit Melbourne.
What does any given day look like for you?
M. I wake up (usually by my cat Bear) and check my emails and social media accounts. If I am seeing Digital Marketing clients I have breakfast get ready and head out to see them which may be all day or just for a few hours. I do a lot of my digital work remotely so I am lucky that I have the flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime!
But when I am blogging or creating content I usually set myself up on my laptop and try to write a few blog posts or set up my camera and film some videos for YouTube. I don’t have a strict schedule and mix it up so no two days are the same.


R. I’ve found the beauty industry (like most industry’s) has it’s fair share of drama – with some influencers willing to “spill the tea” at any moment

How do you deal with any negativity that comes your way?

M. I have been fairly lucky and not had to go through negativity in my blogging career but I have been faced with some difficult clients and strong personalities in my day jobs. It actually took a lot of internal work for me to realise that those people are generally more unhappy within themselves than they are with me but it can be hard to see that at the time.

img_5148

R. I completely agree, and while it can be challenging to make sense of, generally those that are making things difficult or causing trouble tend to be frustrated in themselves.
 

What’s next for Marisa Robinson Beauty?
M. I am excited to announce that I have launched a Beauty Blogging Bootcamp where I will teach budding bloggers how to successfully create a blog and turn their passion for beauty into profit.
R. When I heard you were launching the Beauty Blogging Bootcamp, I was so excited for you. What an absolute gift to those that are curious about the industry and want to learn how to make something from their social media!
Any specific tips for those wanting to start a business in beauty?
M. Find your niche. It is a very saturated market so you need to find a way to stand out and your unique point of view.
img_5150-1

 

R. Yes! Finding that niche is important, and also having a creative edge. I also think being your genuine self helps too!

I note that from January 2018, you ruled out using any products that were tested on animals and not cruelty free. How important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and your brand?

M. I have been using more natural products lately, especially skincare, and I think it is super important to recognise what we are applying to our bodies. Just because something is applied topically doesn’t mean your skin isn’t absorbing it. People are so conscious about the food they are digesting but I think caring about what products you’re applying to your skin is equally as important.

As a Cruelty Free Beauty Blogger I am also very conscious of using products which aren’t tested on animals or sold into Mainland China where animal testing is a legal requirement.

R. Who has been the most influential person to you and your business?

M. It would definitely have to be one of my clients who I met through a previous job. When I told her I was going rogue she believed in me 110% and lined up a lot of the clients who I still work with to this day. She will never know how truly grateful I am for the support and the opportunities she has given me.

img_5149

 

R. Sometimes we just need a little push, a little motivation and a bit of support to help us take that next leap of faith.

Time for some reflection questions! What’s your favourite part of the day?

M. It would have to be the mornings. I have been waking up early (mainly because our fur baby Bear wants me to feed him hehe) and the sun just streams in through our windows and it makes me feel happy to be enjoying another day! I can’t say I am a morning person but waking up like this certainly makes my day 🙂

R. I love seeing Bear in your stories, he is the absolute cutest!

I often speak about purpose (another favourite question of mine) and what it means to someone. Do you think you have figured out your purpose?

M. I feel like teaching is my purpose. As a blogger I get to teach people about beauty, makeup and share my gift of makeup artistry. I get a lot of self-satisfaction from helping others and love watching them flourish and succeed which is definitely what has inspired me to start my Beauty Blogging Bootcamp too.

img_5152

R. This leads me onto gratitude, how do you practice this?

M. I like to take time out and give thanks to the universe for all the amazing people and opportunities I have in my life. I am polite and kind to everyone I meet, I smile at strangers and I try to support the people I love as much as I can.

R. Yes! It costs nothing to be kind. I couldn’t agree with you more!

Ok, walk us through your beauty routine, I’m super keen to know this one!

M. In the morning I always start by washing my face and spritzing it with a facial mist. It is an instant pick me up and super refreshing.

If I am having an off duty day, I just apply a tinted moisturiser or SPF but if I am putting on a face I generally go with the products I have listed in question 8. They are my go-tos and can take me from zero to one hundred in minutes!

In the evening I ALWAYS remove my makeup – that is a non negotiable. I then cleanse my skin (I am currently using one from DermaEnergy) and then apply my night cream/mask and eye cream. I love the Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream and Glow Lam Eye Serum.

img_5154


R. Haha! Make up off before bed is an absolute must! I admit, there are a few instances where I haven’t followed this rule and my skin has regretted it immensely in the morning.

What would you say are your go-to skincare or make up products?

M. I have so many! Here are my essentials:

– Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Rosewater
– First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturiser
– IT Cosmetics CC+ cream (I am currently trialing the matte and illuminating finish and I can’t quite pick which finish I love more!)
– Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
– Kat Von D Beauty Signature Brow Precision Pencil
– Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb


R. Finally, where is your favourite place in the world where you would travel back to, time and time again?

M. Definitely Bali. Not only because it a stones throw away and there is a spa or beach club on every corner, but because I love nothing more than booking a private villa, chilling in the pool and watching the clouds float by.

R. Oh Bali! Take me back, I’ve been twice and couldn’t agree more. One of the best places for a little downtime and relaxation!

Thank you again for taking the time to chat with us! I wish you the best of luck with your Beauty Blogging Challenge! I have no doubt it will be a success!

If you wish to connect with Marisa you can do so here – @marisarobinsonbeauty on Instagram or via her website http://marisarobinsonbeauty.com/

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Renee
x

Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Erin from Tinka the Label

I always envisioned Meet the Makers being this beautiful thing that constantly was evolving and becoming better. So it excites me to see all the wonderful Makers from Beauty, Food, Bloggers and Designers who are excited to be part of this.

With that being said, I’m excited to welcome Erin from Tinka the Label to Meet the Makers. Erin is an extremely talented designer of jewellery and is located right here in Melbourne. This wonderful business she has created and grown, started when she was just 17 when she designed the pieces she wanted to wear for her school formal – amazing!

I met Erin nearly 2 years ago (time flies!) at Rose St Artists Market in Fitzroy, Melbourne. I was new to Melbourne and was just so impressed with her gorgeous pieces!

Not only is Erin extremely talented at design, she is and extremely driven business chick having collaborated with Square in their campaigns.

img_3443
“To me, jewellery is the instrument used to state who you are” – Erin Browne


R. After such a massive week, with the launch of your new Spring/Summer range on Wednesday I wanted to thank you for taking part tonight!
Although I touched on it a little, tell us – what lead you to starting Tinka the Label?

E. I always knew what I wanted but couldn’t find it anywhere so I started making it instead. After years of making jewellery as a hobby (with love ones telling me I should sell it) I decided to give it a crack (but that was only once I had cured my itchy feet and was content in settling in one place)

R. If you weren’t busy designing beautiful new pieces (the Spring/Summer range is gorgeous!), what would you be doing with yourself?

E. I always wanted to be in the film industry so I’d probably be chasing that dream…having said that, it is still something that I see doing, just need to focus on one dream at a time haha

R. Since starting Tinka the Label, what have you found to be the biggest challenge?

E. Social media. It’s not something I’m particularly into personally but it’s grown so dramatically that your business suffers without it. I guess I’m a bit of an old soul that needs to keep up with the times

R. Gone are the days of traditional marketing. Social media is such a crazy beast. You are correct in saying, that every business needs to have it. Not only that though but engaging with customers is extremely important too. At Tinka the Label, what does any given day look like?

E. Definitely starts with a coffee…and then some. As a small business owner the “to do list” is never-ending but I have to write it out and cross them off so I can physically see what I’ve accomplished in the day, otherwise I get a little hard on myself and think I’ve done nothing all day (even though I’ve worked like 14 hours).

img_3440
Gia

R. The to-do list is a great idea, I need to jot things down so I don’t forget ha!
What is your best tip on how to overcome hurdles in the business world?

E. The best thing to do is deal with it, things just don’t go away. Nothing ever comes easy and even when things get tough you’ve got to step back and assess the situation because it’s not the end of the world, just a little obstacle to overcome. If you learn from these situations, you’ll become a stronger person (and business) for it.

R. That is honestly the best bit of advice I think I’ve ever heard. It’s so true that when things get tough, just re-asses as it isn’t the end of the world – amazing!
A friend comes to you and mentions they want to start a business, what advice would you give them?

E. Don’t go into it half heartedly. We all have expectations and goals but sometimes they take longer than we hope, so you just have to go with the motions. There’s no such thing as an over night success.

R. What’s next for Tinka the Label?

E. Yes! I have just launched my latest collection Secret Garden. I’ve worked on this collection for a long time so I’m so happy to have finally released it!!!

R. The launch party looked fantastic and the new pieces absolutely stunning! So proud of you girl! Now I know there is no rest when working on your own business, but how do you let your hair down and have fun?

E. I’m definitely a beach bum so soak that up any chance I get (was much easier when I lived on the Gold Coast), I love doing outdoor activities and try to tick off as many items on my bucket list when I can (like skydiving, hang gliding etc), I love camping and road trips, belly laughs til I cry, and basically anything where I am with my close friends and family. I’ve also been skateboarding so hopefully I get a little better this summer.

img_3444

R. Skateboarding is one sport I’ve never been able to manage – even with a bunch of practice as a child so that’s some skill right there! Where do you draw inspiration from?

My customers. They’re everything to me. The advantage of selling in person at the markets is that I get to know my customers! There’s nothing more rewarding when they come in to see me, even if it’s just to say hello or to have a chat.

R. I love the client/maker interaction, it’s wonderfully rewarding building those connections. Have you figured out your purpose?

E. My purpose is to not only create jewellery that is different to the mainstream market, but for my customers to have a memorable experience with Tinka the Label from start to finish. I don’t want to just sell a product, I want them to be proud of their investment, because that’s what it is, they’re investing in you!

R. What is your biggest self-care tip?

E. Learn to switch off. I’m always on some sort of screen for work so it’s the last thing I want to be looking at when I’m not working. I’ve pushed and pushed myself at times but it eventually catches up with you, so you need to learn to have balance.

R. I’m trying to be mindful of having all my work done before I get home so I can just refocus on being present at home – but its such a challenge! As a jewellery designer, what is your favourite piece of jewellery?

E. Oh god, that’s too hard…but you’ll always see me in one of my statement pieces!

img_3442
Flora

R. Of course I need to ask this next questions, what is your go-to skin care or make up product?

E. Red lippy. Straight away I feel instant glam!

R. You manage to get some time free to explore, where is your favourite place where you can just zone out and enjoy life?

E. I have two spots that are my favourite places in the world and they both involve a lighthouse and are the perfect spot for whale watching. One of them is Byron Bay and the other…well I’m just going to keep that one for me.

R. Oh no! You can’t keep a secret like that from us, perhaps you can let us in on where to get the best coffee in Melbourne? 

E. Oh god, that’s hard! Some places it depends on who is the barista but I’ve found The Glass Merchant in Balaclava to be spot on 👌🏼

R. Ha! So the coffee question is a new one as I am curious where the best coffee in Melbourne is as I absolutely love it. Thanks for the suggestion!

img_3441
Meka

Congratulations again on the launch of the new collection and thank you! You are are a wonderful influence and I love your passion for what you are creating.

You can find Erin’s designs here.

Have a wonderful Saturday evening all!

Renee
x

Note: All photos used in this interview are courtesy of @tinkathelabel, thank you!

Weight Loss Surgery

The Honest Truth

I shared a photo last week of my recent weight-loss. I hadn’t really noticed the difference, sure my clothes are a little loose (majorly loose) but other than that I’m still the same person.

I didn’t expect to receive so many positive comments. I have to be honest with you, normally I post on my personal Facebook and I get 1-3 likes and that is normally made up of my mum, Husband and stepdad. So to receive 68 likes and close to 50 comments was overwhelming and unexpected.

The reason I’m talking about this now? Well I didn’t even know if I wanted to talk about it. I mean does it really need to be talked about?

Evidently it does as I put my trust in someone who I thought was a friend, and I had asked them not to speak about this to anyone but I have since found out they have spoken about me to others. Why? I have no idea, it is my journey – is it even that important to anyone else?

So how did I do it? Everyone is asking for the magic formula. Well here it is, I had weight-loss surgery. Let me tell you this, it is not a magic formula, what is the magic formula is a lot of pain, tears and self-doubt. It definitely hasn’t been easy, it was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make, I’ve had to change my diet dramatically and my lifestyle.

Why did I do it? I have always had issues with food and over-eating. I never felt full, and have had such a difficult relationship with food. My body ached constantly from the extra weight I carried, I had an extremley low immune system and always had a headache.

I’ve always been such a confident perso, it was never about how I looked. If you know me, I think I’m pretty great. Sure never knowing my actual size or finding clothes that fitted bothered me but I alway made it work somehow.

I actually lost close to 30 kilos on my own. on the back of a relationship breakdown, so I knew I could do it. Although, the way I lost it was extremely unhealthy. I was partying all night, and living on a diet of wine. At this time I was also taking Duromine (which helped with the non-sleeping part) but it was so unhealthy and messed with my mind.

I will say Duromine is wonderful if used properly and in small doses.

The most important thing that I want to come from this is -How you look and how much you weigh does not determine the person you are. You are beautiful exactly the way you are. You do not need to change for anyone. Just do what you need to do, to be a happy and healthy.

Life is too short not to be happy, trust me on this.

Reach out if you would like to speak further about weight-loss surgery or even details on my experience with duromine.

Sending much love,

Renee
x

Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Mary from Davroe (Dresslier)

Welcome, welcome. I hope everyone is comfy and holding a glass of delicious red wine, or in my case a Maccas Soy Cap!

Our next guest in the Meet the Makers series is incredibly inspiring, without giving too much away, our guest started with the company she eventually took over at the tender age of 15 years old – how amazing is that?

I was doing a little research into Dresslier, and was fascinated to learn it was founded in 1930 by chemist John Sloan. In the mid 1980’s the concept for a natural plant-based hair care product was born. In 1987, not only was I born (ha!) but Davroe was also born – perhaps this is why I love this brand so much!

img_1503-1

I’ve written two blogs previously on Davroe, I love this brand! Why? The products are vegan friendly, cruelty free AND use native Australian botanics such as Kakadu Plum (one of my faves!) and Desert Lime. You can find my review of the Scalp Remedy Trio here.

R. Welcome Mary to Meet the Makers! I love all my interviews, but your story is very exciting – I can’t wait to hear more about you and how you got to where you are today. Tell us, how did it all unfold?

M. I started with Dresslier in 1984 as the company telephonist/receptionist at the age of 15, I then had the opportunity to take over the company in 2007. This was a big decision as I had been with the company for approx. 22 years and had two young children.

img_1497-1

R. That is incredible, I love that you had the guts to take that next step and take over the company. Especially with juggling 2 young children.
What would you say is the biggest challenge you face in business?

M. Finding the balance between business and home, having amazing staff is a bonus, it has taken us some time to find the right people but we are in a great space at the moment.

R. Good staff is so important, and it’s a common thing I hear. Even today #9tothrive, one of the speakers was talking about the importance of having staff that are capable, inspired and passionate – especially if you ever need to take time away from the business.

Challenges in business is inevitable, how do you unwind or move through any challenges you are faced with?

M. I have just learnt along the way to cope with different things as they come along. I think maturity and experience with dealing with things over many years also helps. I know this sounds cliché, but in all honesty life is too short, so make hay, while the sun shines.

R. I love that proverb. It’s something I’ve been trying to focus on, enjoying life and living for now. If you weren’t running Davroe, where do you think you would be?

M. That’s a very good question as I really haven’t had a chance to think about it in the last 34 years. At the time when I was asked to interview for my original position I was 15 and didn’t really know what I wanted to do. So this is all I have ever done and needed. I have been fortunate that my roles along the way have involved many varied “jobs” all of which I have loved.

img_1506-1

R. Variety is the spice of life, or so they say! I personally believe being stagnant in a role is one of the contributing factors as to why people change roles so often these days. We just need that variety sometimes.

Talk me through what your day-to-day looks like.

M. Up in the morning, help the kids get ready for school, both John and I get breakfast ready as we still like to have breakfast together every day, same as dinner, we think that’s very important for our family unit. Either John or I will take Michael to school, Sophia drives herself now.

Once at work I will address emails that have come through overnight, get ready for any meetings we have scheduled for the day. I still oversee the financials of the company as well as all marketing and promotion for Australia. Most my time is taken up with export and new overseas markets.

R. Wow, there is certainly a bit of variety in your day. I love how you balance that important family time with John, Michael & Sophia in the mornings then be able to conquer all the business related tasks!

Davroe is cruelty-free, vegan friendly and uses plant & flower extracts – how important is this to the brand?

M. Very important, in a world where we watch what we eat and put on our faces and bodies, that’s equally important for our hair. We have access to so many wonderful ingredients nowadays.

img_1502-1

R. We really do have access to some amazing ingredients and I absolutely love what Makers are doing with them – I must say, the Murray River Sea Salt Spray is genius – taking Australian ingredients to the next level!

The next question is one of my favourites, what’s next for Davroe?

M. We are always working on new and exciting things, we have just launched our Revive Dry Shampoo and our Complete Aerosol Hairspray.

We have some new products being launched very soon, actually we are just about to launch our new Styling product, Body Volume Texture it is a liquid to foam volumiser. Our focus groups have absolutely loved this product, we can’t wait for it to hit the shelves!

img_1500-1

R. Oh my, I’ve seen a few sneak peeks of the Body Volume Texture on Instagram! I can’t wait for that!

One of my favourite topics is purpose and gratitude, I absolutely love hearing about people’s thoughts on this. Tell me, have you figured out your purpose and how do you practice gratitude?

M. My purpose? Not sure about that, I just want to be a good mum, daughter, sister, friend and help as many people along the way. Being a good employer and being here for my staff while taking our great Australian brand to the world!

I love to give where we can, I am a very big believer in doing good and the universe will give good back.

img_1501-1

R. Mary, I honestly love that so much – see you have your purpose down pat! I’m with you on the gratitude aspect, I’m always saying “just be a good person”. It’s honestly the most easiest thing to do and the most rewarding.

What is your favourite part of the day?

M. Although I enjoy everyday, I particularly love dinner time with my family, it’s the time we can all discuss our day and if we need to talk anything through, that goes if the kids have anything to share or we will quite often let the kids know what’s happening in the business.

R. Now I wouldn’t be a true Beauty Writer if I didn’t ask you what your beauty routine looked like. Talk us through your routine.

M. Great hair care products work a treat and a good skin care routine is important. I always remove my make up when I get home and always use a good night cream.
In the morning using a good skin foundation before applying makeup helps to set my make up for the day. Monthly visits to Sean at The London Skin Clinic certainly helps too!

img_1505-1

R. I might need to google The London Skin Clinic and pay a visit, you’re always glowing in photos I see of you! Favourite skin care or makeup product?

M. Go to make up that I love – Too Faced primer, Urban Decay-All Nighter. Skin care I love is Omorovicza Moisturiser and Zo Skin Polish

R. Omorovicza is amazing! I picked up the travel set a few months back, the Cleansing Foam is pure indulgence.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to have a chat with us, I loved hearing your story and it’s certainly inspired me to keep kicking my goals. 

Friends, keep your eyes peeled on my socials this week as I have a very exciting giveaway happening! There may just be a little clue in the interview.

Have a wonderful night!

Renee
x

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!

img_3588

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.

img_4599

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.

img_3514

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.

img_9196

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.

img_1219

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
x

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!

img_0127

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.

vanilla silk lotion2

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.

green goddess resized

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!

ediblebeauty_06

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.

luminous angel drops2

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!

vanilla silk lotion4

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.

sleeping beauty_resized

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
x

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
x

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
x