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Wellness

Meet the women behind our favourite all-natural beauty lines

They left their previous careers to pursue a passion. Read the inspiring stories behind how their successful product lines came to be.
Meet the women behind our favourite all-natural beauty lines

Female beauty entrepreneurs

1. Marie Jenkins, Kosmea Australia

Q: What was your inspiration behind this line?
A: My inspiration has always been my mother, right from a very early age mum used herbal extracts to heal any health problem we had as children. For example, she gave us chamomile tea for colic and green juices of wild herbs for a cold, lemon and rice boiled for gastro [issues]. This carried through my teenage and adult years…

Q: What's your most-used product from the line?
A: Definitely our Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil. I would not be able to live without this product.

Q: Where do you see your company in five years?
A: I would like to think that in five years Kosmea will be available in a lot more countries around the world as there are so many people that need our healing range of products to heal and repair their skin.

We recommend: Kosmea Australia Hydrating Rosewater Mist, $27/125mL, Abundance Naturally.

Meet the women behind our favourite all-natural beauty lines

2. Michelle Hamer, BEE 23

Q: When was the moment you realized you needed to create a product that didn't already exist?
A: I was not able to wear anything with synthetic scents or harsh synthetic chemicals in general. I was doing research on what alternatives I would be able to use. This is when I had made a perfume alternative with essential oil blends for myself because I so badly wanted my bergamot and couldn't wear my favourite perfume without getting severe headaches.

I literally went out to look for some type of perfume without alcohol, parabens and other synthetics that was accessible to me in the Thunder Bay market and couldn't find anything. This is when I started studying essential oils.

It was also at this time that I was learning more about what was in the majority of our products in stores. I had an increasing amount of, what I call, "environmental rage" building that I needed to find an outlet for. I realized that [by] buying such products I was investing in the very real decimation of my own health, my children's and that of the environmental water table as a whole.

Q: What are you hoping people will learn from you about natural beauty?
A: That simple is often better.

Q: As a female entrepreneur, what's been the toughest part of your journey thus far?
A: Walking the walk that says, "Sorry boys and girls, I know it may slow things down a bit, but we have to make sure everyone is at the boardroom table when making corporate choices." This means if you are going to put toxins in diapers you had better put the baby right on the table because it is not a number.

We recommend: BEE 23 Hotty Balm, $25, The Detox Market.

Meet the women behind our favourite all-natural beauty lines
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3. Valérie Grandury, Odacité

Q: How did your line come to be?
A: After I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I decided to clean my personal care products. I'm French and we take skin care super-seriously. For years, I had been using very high-end products, that is until I looked at the ingredients and realized that my very expensive cream was filled with parabens (now directly linked to breast cancer). I looked for high-end products that would bridge efficacy, luxury and purity. Could not find any that I liked, so I started making my own.

Q: Who is your line targeted to?
A: The line is formulated with anti-aging (I prefer pro-beauty) in mind. However because of its absolute purity we get amazing results on all skin type.

Q: What's the one-sentence you use to describe your line?
A: Luxury skincare without toxins

Q: What are you hoping people will learn from you about natural beauty?
A: Natural beauty can be more performant that regular products and always remember there is no beauty without health.

Q: What's been the toughest part of your journey thus far?
A: Keeping work/family balance. I love what I do, it's my absolute passion, so doesn't feel like work to me. But my family and friends seem to think I work too much :-)

We recommend: Odacité Deep hydration masque, $55, The Detox Market.

Odacite

4. Victoria Fantauzzi, La Bella Figura

Q: What were you doing before you launched your own brand?
A: I had a career working in education, which I loved.

Q: What are you hoping people will learn from you about natural beauty?
A: That natural beauty can be smart, luxurious and most often the answer to years and years of terrible skin and beauty problems. I still get goosebumps when a customer calls or writes to us excited to share how their acne has improved or their oily skin is balanced and nourished or how, for the first time ever, they can wear perfume because toxic chemicals aren’t affecting their health anymore.

Q: As a female entrepreneur, what's been the toughest part of your journey thus far?
A: The toughest part of being a female entrepreneur for me is what I imagine male entrepreneurs face as well…only having 24 hours in a day when you have years worth of ideas you want to accomplish.

We recommend: La Bella Figura Skin Aficionado body oil, $99, Clementine Fields.

Meet the women behind our favourite all-natural beauty lines

5. Roohi Qureshi, Leaves of Trees

Q: What were you doing before you launched your own brand?
A: I was a medical doctor. I still am. I work part-time, so that allows me to work on, and develop, new products for Leaves of Trees.

Q: When was the you knew this line could really be something?
A: It has been more of a gradual process for me. There wasn't a lightbulb moment, per se. I was making products for myself, and my friends liked them. So, I started selling them to friends of friends and it just kept growing. 

Q: What's the one-sentence you use to describe your line?
A: It's an all-natural modern apothecary line. Unrefined, organic Argan oil, hand-pressed by a women's cooperative in Morocco, is one of the most common ingredients; so there is a healthy pinch of Morocco and other exotic flavours in all products.

Q: What are you hoping people will learn from you about natural beauty?
A: I hope that people will question claims made by those in the natural beauty industry. I think it is important for people to always
keep an open mind, but to always question whether there is any evidence behind health/beauty claims, and how good it is.

We recommend: Unscented Argan Oil, $60/100 mL, Leaves of Trees

Meet the women behind our favourite all-natural beauty linesPhoto, Ashley Barron.
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6. Laura Miller, Inspired Soap Works

Q: When did you know you had to embrace this product line? 
A: Being a type-1 diabetic for more then 30 years I was always in search for natural products to help heal and maintain my feet. As a person living with diabetes, I knew I was more vulnerable to foot problems, because diabetes can damage your nerves and reduce blood flow to your feet. I developed the hand, body and foot salve for this very reason, using it daily to keep my feet in a healthy condition.

Q: Who is your line targeted to?
A: I am very delighted to say our products can touch the lives of a wide audience. We have parents tell us that use our products for their baby's and children with eczema, women and men of all ages who love to pamper themselves with pure and natural products like our Dead Sea Salt Body and foot soaks.

Q: What are you hoping people will learn from you about natural beauty?
A: Natural beauty doesn't have to be complicated nor does it need to be out of reach for anyone to purchase.

We recommend: Inspired Soap Works, Eucalyptus bath salts, $8/6 oz., The Detox Market

Meet the women behind our favourite all-natural beauty lines

Bethany Karlyn and Tami Riddle, Prtty Peaushun

Q: What were you doing before you launched your own brand?
Bethany: Celebrity makeup artist (going on 28 years!)
Tami: An agent to celebrity makeup, hair and wardrobe stylists.

Q: When did you know you had to really launch this product?
Bethany: I had been mixing up my own “potion” formula in my kitchen for 10+ years. As there was nothing on the market I could find to achieve the results I was looking for. I was taking it to set in Tupperware and using it on all of my clients. EVERYONE went crazy over it and told me I must make it available to the public. I thought people were “just being nice” and flattering me, until Tracy Anderson came along and convinced me that I really had something special. Working with her and her support really convinced me to meet with a chemist and see what we could come up with.

Q: Who is your line targeted to?
Tami: Truly everyone. Everyone in my family (even my 87 year old grandmother) wears Prtty Peaushun. Because of the multiple benefits of the lotion and the fact that it’s 100 percent natural, vegan, gluten-free... anyone can (and should) use it.

Q: As entrepreneurs, what’s been the toughest part of your journey thus far?
Both: Being entrepreneurs! It’s a huge responsibility. There’s no backup, long hours, no vacations, but it’s totally worth it! It is a positive, wonderful experience, even with all of its imperfection. Like everything, right?

We recommend: Prtty Peaushun, $40/8 oz., Waxon Waxbar. Waxon.ca

Meet the women behind our favourite all-natural beauty lines

Kat Burki

Q: What were you doing before you launched the Kat Burki brand?
A: I was working as an interior designer based out of Fairfield County Connecticut. Even then, I was traveling to different parts of the world sourcing textiles and inspirations to bring back to my clients.

Q: When did you know you had to create this product that didn't already exist?
A: My light-bulb moment was when I sold my first Tuberose scent. I created it strictly for me, as I would want it. I realized, this is what other people wanted when my clients started calling in and asking for more.

Q: What's the one sentence you use to describe your line?
A: A naturally balanced skincare and fragrance line made from the world's finest ingredients and decadent fragrances.

Q: What are you hoping people will learn from you about natural beauty?
A: Natural beauty radiates. Educating yourself and taking care of yourself allows you to feel as beautiful as you look.

We recommend: Kat Burki Hand Therapy, $42, Innate Wellness Health Shop (647-340-7575 for orders).

Meet the women behind our favourite all-natural beauty lines

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