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!

img_7723

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.

img_7727

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.

img_7728

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.

img_7724

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
x

Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Yong-Li Zhou from Enbacci Skincare

Just like that, Meet the Makers is back after a 2 week break while I was in Hawaii. I met some amazing Makers while I was in Hawaii and I’m thrilled that some even said yes to taking part! Keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of weeks for various blog posts on where I visited, where I ate and where I stayed while in Hawaii. I can’t wait to show you all my adventures.

Tonight however, we are chatting with the beautiful Yong-Li from Australian made Enbacci Skincare. Nan, her mama and co-founder, and Yong-Li created the beautiful range right here in Melbourne with Nan wanting to create something that worked with her sensitive skin.

I have been trialling 3 Enbacci Skincare products and will have a full review for you published this week, keep your eyes peeled!

img_3465
Yong-Li Zhou

R. Welcome to Meet the Makers Yong-Li, I’m excited to learn more about Enbacci, especially since your line has some great concepts such as the use of fruit and plant stemcells. Tell us, how was Enbacci Skincare born?

Y. My mum had always suffered from sensitive skin, but as she got older, the severity of her allergic reactions worsened. It didn’t matter how luxurious the item was, if she had a reaction, she would end up with sores and open wounds. It was because of this that Mum and I sat down together and decided that we needed to create something that she could use.

R. Ouch! That sounds super painful. I like you pointed out it didn’t matter how luxurious a product was, your mum would still break out. Sometimes it’s easy to think that just because something is expensive it will work, when really it’s all about the ingredients and how they work together.

Walk us through an average day at Enbacci Skincare.

Y. A typical workday sees me sculling down my protein shake in the morning before heading off to the gym for a morning workout session. I am not really a morning person but I have found this to be an effective way to get me going for a day at my desk.

Between 8am and 8.30am, you can find me on my phone updating all our social media with a post for the day.

By the time 9am hits, I am at my desk writing down my to-do list for the day. Tasks can range from accounting, product development planning or just doing some product development, product designing and editing, ensuring our website is up to date and answering interview questions like these. I also like to be in the know when it comes to our clients, so you can often find me in our new store chatting away with them, getting to know them and developing some rapport. For me, the contact at a retail level is one of the most important for a business as this is where clients determine through their experience whether they will be returning or not.

R. I have been meaning to get into the retail store! I really wanted to attend your last event, I was sad when I couldn’t get there. 

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

Y. I co-founded the business with my Mum when I was in my first year of Uni. I was so quick and eager to finish my degree (having graduated within less than three years) so that I could properly focus on the business. If I wasn’t running this particular business, I think I might have gone on to do more studying for a time being but I definitely would have found a way to start a business of my own, one form or another

R. What have you found to be the biggest challenge so far in business?

Y. There are so many challenges both from a business perspective and from a personal perspective that one may experience in business. I think for me, it is finding that balance between the two that is most challenging. It is easy for friends to say “you need to relax and take a break”, but what they don’t understand is that you relaxing and taking a break means time away from your business which ultimately provides for your livelihood and the ability for you to relax and take a break free from stress.

img_3466

R. Agree! It’s especially tough when you are running a business and have so many ideas and dreams – your mind is constantly on the go. 

I recently found out someone has started copying one of my ideas, it’s a bit rough but I’m trying to take it as a compliment. How do you deal with negativity on a business level?

Y. Not going to lie. It is hard, particularly when you get negativity about something you pour your heart and soul into creating. I recently watched a Youtube video that had someone review one of our products that they received in a Bellabox. The negative comments started to flow out just as she began to open our products. Firstly, she didn’t like the particular full size product that was in her box (there were four possibilities that month) just because it’s not something she needs. Her comments then followed on to suggest how wasteful our product packaging is and how unnecessary it all is and how she would never go on to purchase a product with so much packaging. Ok, valid comments, but that really hurt to hear given that my Mum and I do everything in-house from developing the product, designing the packaging, even selecting the packaging types and finishes so that we are as environmentally conscious as possible as a brand, to hand wrapping (yes, hand wrapping) each of the products in their recyclable plastic security sleeves. Needless to say, this kept me up a couple of nights thinking about how we could fix everything wrong with our packaging until my Mum stopped me in my tracks one day and said, “you can’t listen to every single negative comment out there. We just need to stay true to who we are”. And she was right. There are people out there who aren’t going to like us, but I know that there definitely people out there who love us and love what we do. So now, I listen and I consider the negativity and if it isn’t constructive feedback, then pfft…oh well and bye, not-a-potential-customer.

R. That’s intense, I really enjoyed seeing how you tackled it and got into a better head space, with the help of mum. If I am writing a review, I am always thinking about sticking to what’s relevant, ingredients and how I found it worked. 

Anything new happening in the world of Enbacci Skincare?

Y. We are always working on new and exciting things. The most exciting project at the moment is the development of sheet masks. Its taken us a very long time to develop a serum formula that we meet all of our criteria and more importantly, that we are able to combine them with the particular sheet masks we have designed. We are also working on a campaign for the sheet masks that I am really excited about because to me, it just highlights who Enbacci is and what we are all about.

R. YES! I am so excited to hear this, I absolutely love sheet masks. 

Tell me, how do you celebrate a win?

Y. With family, good food and good wine, then, a good sleep-in!

R. That sounds perfect! Who has influenced your personal and business journey?

Y. Definitely my parents. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their unconditional support. Growing up, I saw them start and end several businesses of their own. I believe I developed that drive I have for business from watching them working hard.

img_5446

R. Is the use of organic/natural ingredients important to you and your brand?

Y. Something I say to my clients all the time is that I don’t like using the words organic and natural in our industry. I feel like they are heavily conflated words. Something that a lot of consumers may not know is that organic and natural ingredients are often not a closely regulated, which could mean allergies or other side effects that have not been disclosed, or that they are more likely to have microbes

I prefer to say that we try to use ingredients that are naturally derived or organically sourced, but to me, to have a product that is actually natural or actually organic, the final product won’t last two weeks in your fridge. The exception to that are certain balm/wax products but that’s getting into more of the science and preserving ability of ingredients.

R. There is just so much to learn about terminology, and how much greenwashing plays into it all. I really love your honest and clear response.

Outside of Enbacci Skincare, what do you like to get up too?

Y. I love reading, particularly fantasy and sci-fi genres. When I’m not going through a text-book, you can find me sitting on the couch, rugged up in a blanket with a good book and a cup of tea.

I do also love cooking and baking. I love creating gluten-free decorated layered cakes and other sweet treats that can be enjoyed by family and friends. I have seriously considered turning this into another side-business!

R. I think you could be onto something, gluten-free layered cakes sound delicious!

What would you say is your purpose?

Y. Tricky question! I believe everyone definitely has a purpose but I don’t believe we all have to know what it is. I definitely haven’t figured mine out yet. My mum says to me that my purpose was to kick my parents up the butt so that they would get their act together when they were younger, but I would like to think that my purpose has changed a bit now. Perhaps it is just to be the best person I can be and a role model for others?

R. Well, I think your work ethos is incredibly inspiring! Purpose constantly changes, so don’t worry if you haven’t got anything set in stone.

Favourite part of the day?

Y. As much as I do love my work, there is nothing quite like the feeling of coming home to my husband and furbaby and enjoying a home-cooked meal.

img_3467

R. There is nothing like time on the lounge with the fur baby! I’m excited to see mine furbabies after 2 weeks away, and the husband – ha!

I love hearing about other’s beauty routines, walk us through yours.

Y. Morning: Cleansing with our Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Gel Cleanser, followed by our Age Revitalising Eye Defence and our Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Essential Creme. I usually just apply a little eye liner and fill in my brows and that is my make-up for the day.

The following is my full night regime that I do once-twice a week:

  1. Remove makeup with makeup remover.
  2. Scrub with our Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Scrub.
  3. Apply our Detoxifying Clay Mask and let that sit for about 20 minutes whilst I am watching something on TV.
  4. Rinse off the mask and apply our Creme.

On most nights, I forego the scrub and mask and just use out gel cleanser to get rid of the excess dirt and oils from the day.

R. I am loving the Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Scrub!

Favourite skincare and makeup product?

Y. My go-to skincare product is our Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Creme. I always tell clients how important it is to moisturise your skin no matter your skin type.

My go to makeup product is black waterproof liquid liner. My favourite is MAC liquidline because it is the only one that does not melt on me.

R. Agreed! The MAC Liquidline is amazing, and stays put on eyes too without transferring to my upper eyelid. 

How do you practice self-care?

Y. As basic as this may sound, getting a good night’s sleep and keeping yourself hydrated. There are so many studies out there that look at the negative effects of each of these can have on the body when we lack good sleep or adequate amounts of water. The only thing we are required to do is make a few habitual adjustments.

R. Sleep is so important, not only mentally but physically too. I always know if I’ve pushed myself too hard and not gotten enough sleep – you can tell on my skin!

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

Y. Definitely by the beach. Any beach is fine but if I really had to pick one, it would be Kua Bay in Hawaii.

img_5459

R. Oh Hawaii, take me back! There is so much beauty there, my favourite too!

Lastly, imagine money was no object. What would you do? 

Y. I’d hire more people to help me run my business so that I can go travelling the world more!

R. Oh that’s the dream isn’t it! Maybe you can launch Enbacci in different countries around the world and use that as an excuse to travel the world!

Thank you so much Yong-Li for your time and your open and honest answers. It was so refreshing to learn a little more about Enbacci Skincare. 

If you would like to see the full range of Enbacci products, you can do so here http://www.enbacci.com and also connect with Yong-Li on Instagram @enbacci

As I mentioned above, I will have my Enbacci product review live this week too, stay tuned!

Happy Saturday!

Renee
x

Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Ann from Pure Nut Macadamia Skin Care

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

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

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

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

img_9734

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_9737

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

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

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

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

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

img_9733

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

How do you relax and enjoy your downtime?

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

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

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

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

img_9736

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

What is your purpose and why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Saturday!

Renee
x

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!

img_6940

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
x

What's on Melbourne

My Blue Tea Event – Prahran Market

On Saturday I was invited to attend a private event with My Blue Tea, held at Prahran Market. I was introduced to Lee, the Founder of My Blue Tea and she walked us through the different ways you could use the powders in the kitchen.

img_5878

I love supporting small business’s and I thrive when I meet someone so passionate about what they are doing. You can see Lee and the team put so much effort into the afternoon, with a delicious spread of different foods from savoury to sweet prepared for us to enjoy.

img_5882.jpgThank you to my hand model, @georgiavolcano

We started with a sample of the Butterfly Blue Pea Flower Tea. Simply put, the Butterfly Blue Pea Flowers are brewed to get this gorgeous colour.

img_5887.jpg

We were then shown a very cool trick, where if you add lemon to the tea the water quickly turns from blue to purple. Very cool! Definitely one to show your visitors when they are over for afternoon tea.

img_5893.jpg

Lee spoke about the therapeutic benefits and how the tea can be used. The use of Butterfly Blue Pea Flower has been used for quite sometime, especially in Ayurveda, Asian and Middle Eastern Medicine due to it being an extremely potent antioxidant.

img_6922

You can purchase either a crushed powder or the actual Butterfly Blue Pea Flowers from the My Blue Tea Website ,as well as many other yummy powders such as Pandan, Hibiscus and Kaffir.

img_6923

Above is a capture of the very delicious Pandan Green Velvet cupcake, made using Pandan powder. In the background you will see what was a delicious Vegan Pandan Panna Cotta. Pandan can possibly assist with aches and pains – plus it tastes so good. I remember having a cocktail at Ms G’s in Potts Point Sydney, called What’s in your Pandan?

img_5874.jpg

The Blue Velvet Cupcakes were crowd favourites and I have linked the recipe from the My Blue Tea website here.

I feel anything with cream cheese is a winner, and these cupcakes….I think I will need to make up a batch!

img_5905.jpg

Also on offer were two ice teas, I didn’t get what was in them – I was too busy drinking them. I am sure though, you could make any infused combination using the Butterfly Blue Pea Flowers.

img_5877.jpg

I definitely had eaters regret with this stunning cheesecake – I didn’t have any! I was too full from all the other delicious sweets, I had no room left. My Husband, Jordan, did try it though and mentioned he loved it. It was the perfect consistency and shows just what you can do using the Butterfly Blue Pea Flower to naturally colour your foods.

img_5912.jpg

Chef running through how different dishes were made, especially the yummy vegan desserts.

img_6871A selfie with Lee before I headed home, cupcakes in hand. 

As I mentioned above, I love supporting brands passionate about their why. I absolutely loved meeting Lee, she radiated positivity! This is a great little Australian brand from Port Macquarie, and I’m glad to welcome another friend.

If you are looking for a natural way to colour your smoothies, desserts, salad etc then head over to My Blue Tea and check out the range. Lee also has a bunch of receipts up if you are needing any inspiration!

Instagram: @my.blue.tea
Website: http://www.mybluetea.com.au

Thank you again Lee and Team for having me!

Renee
x