I've always wanted to have my own shop and it all started when I saw a report on the news about deodorant containing carcinogens. After hearing that I went to my room and looked at all of the different products I had and started reading their ingredient lists... that was really scary lol, the lists were never-ending! I started to think about all the different chemicals we put into our bodies (some sources say upwards of 500/day for women) and about ways to reduce that, so I looked around and got into making handmade beauty products :).
The first product I ever made was deodorant but I started all at the same time with deodorants, scrubs and body butters. I was pretty scared of lip balm since I didn't really know how to use beeswax haha but now it's my favourite product! And then I started adding body spray because a friend wanted me to make her some, and am now moving into body wash and things like that as well.
The biggest thing is education about the dangers of chemicals in a lot of store-bought products. The challenge is presenting the information in a fun & accessible way. I taught a workshop for Trade School Toronto in the Fall and that was really cool, so I'm trying to get into doing more events & markets and in-person things. There's also a really cool video that's a really fun animation that you can check out.
Do you sell your products as a hobby or full-time?
Just a hobby but I hope to turn it into something full-time soon :).
Do you sell anywhere other than Etsy?
Not right now but I'm going to be at my first market in August! I'll be at the Parkdale Flea.
Right now I have to say lip balm. I love all of my products and I really believe that they're all an improvement over store-bought products because of their natural ingredients and the transparency of it all that comes along with the handmade process, but the lip balm is the one where I can see the biggest difference in terms of quality. I think I'm going to put a 100% satisfaction guarantee in the listing where people can get a full refund if they don't like it, because to me it literally is a million times better than other lip balms. It makes my lips soooooo soft and smooth and really gets absorbed. It also lasts forever. I love it!! :)
Check out the other items available from Riel's Etsy Shop! You can also find her:
Interviewed by Ashley of WhatWoodYouWear on June 5, 2015.