Q&A with All Natural
Today we spoke to Cathy – an occupational therapist 👩, mom 🍼 and founder of the All Natural brand 🥜 (we don’t know how she does it either!)
I’m personally really excited to stock All Natural, because theirs was the first plastic free & natural deodorant I ever bought, and I loved it 💚– it made me realise that natural and plastic free didn’t have to be worse – in fact it could be better.
I tried to find their contact details back then but couldn’t 😭– and through a stroke of luck they recently contacted RESTOCK instead! So we are really happy to now have them onboard… 😍
Hi Cathy! Let’s start with how you started a natural deodorant and skincare brand?
“It actually happened by accident – my sister kept persuading me to use natural deodorant and when I finally did, I couldn’t believe how well it worked. I ended up making my own and asking around if people wanted samples – I got about 100 requests! Switching to natural deodorant can be quite a big step (wariness about it working etc) so the amount of requests was eye opening. I got advice from a friend about essential oils, what combinations work well… and ended up creating my first product. Faithful to Nature were keen to stock it and everything grew from there…”
And what has been the high since you started?
“It’s still hard to believe that people want to buy something I’m making – and that it really works! I still sometimes say to my husband “this is real… can you believe it’s real?” I didn’t set out to start a small business. It started from a desire to make a product that helps people to live well and has grown very organically from there. Hearing testimonials is also encouraging - someone who ran a half marathon wearing our deodorant, someone else whose scars have improved with our cream. I think the more we go back to natural living, the better it is for our bodies – and for nature too”
What have been the challenges since you started?
“Time. Having a grand vision, but realising you need to focus on the now and can’t just think 10 steps ahead. I’m always wanting us to be further ahead than we are, but I’m learning to appreciate it takes time. You can’t go racing ahead before you’re ready – otherwise you’re setting yourself up to fail”
You mentioned you’re balancing this with your day job?
“I’m a trained occupational therapist, and work a few days a week for an organisation called @nannynmesa . It’s about empowering and upskilling nannies in early childhood development to care for the children they look after. Some nannies have taken what they've learned and even started an ECD centre in their own communities. Having a nanny is common among a certain tier in our society, and I really think they are our unsung heroes. Many have their own children back home that they are sacrificing time with in order to support them financially. But on a positive note, they have such a great impact on the children they care for, the bonds I see between them and the children are special - they are often real role models”
It sounds like you’re doing incredible work both in and after hours… any advice for someone considering following in your entrepreneurial footsteps?
“Go for it. You can learn so much from what other people have already done. It’s all there, online – you don’t have to start from scratch, you can use the building blocks of those who have gone before you. People are becoming more and more conscious as consumers – there’s a bit of an awakening happening. There’s demand for more natural and environmentally conscious products. Also, I started making All Natural products for myself really, and my family. When that’s what you’re doing it for, you can’t lose anyway!”
How did you decide on the name and branding?
“The name is pretty clear as I want the products to be made of totally natural ingredients - All Natural. I started with products we use every day - deodorants and creams. But there’s more on the way! On the branding – I love being creative with design and making the logo and labels was a lot of fun.”
You mentioned you have some more products on the way…
“As a a mom, I’m really passionate about providing people with natural alternatives for children. New moms are in such a vulnerable position – they want what’s best for their baby, but although a lot of mainstream kiddie brands say “mild” and “gentle”, they’ll still have a lot of chemicals in them. I also want to provide quality products to everyone – unfortunately, 85% of people in SA can’t afford more than the basics. That’s what led me to team up with the Dignity Campaign and support their vision to empower people. They’re starting with empowering young women – all the way from giving them sustainable eco-friendly sanitary wear to helping them to believe in themselves, and make decisions that benefit them”
That’s amazing Cathy. Finally, anything on your hopes for 2020 and the future?
“From a professional perspective – to get @allnatural_za products in as many online and retail outlets as I can - getting our products out there. We've also just launched our website (www.allnaturalbodycare.co.za) which I’m really excited about. I want it to be a future platform where people can find out more about our natural ingredients. I’m all about transparency and access to information, especially for the products you put in your body. I’ve had some people ask me “but what if someone copies your products?”. My response is, if they do, that’s great! For me this it not only about business and profit. I won’t compromise my desire for people to know what they are putting in their bodies and knowing that it's good for them.”