Best friends create beauty products that are great for you; what’s not to love? Laura Blockley and Sarah Dugdale share their story with FOCUS …
Can you tell us a bit about your connection to the local area?
We both grew up in Coffs. Sarah spent her childhood on the farm in Glenreagh, which really inspired her connection with nature, as well as helping her parents sell their farm produce and herbs at the local market. Laura mingled with many local faces through her family’s antique business, Yesterday’s Gems, for 30 years.
What is it you do?
Two years ago we created a small all natural skin care company – Bare Beauty Essentials. This is our passion and interest we share together. During the week Sarah also runs Family Day Care. Her herbal nursery also keeps her busy, not to mention being a mummy to two gorgeous kids. Laura practices Rosemond Muscle Neurology Therapy at her home, when she isn’t making potions.
How did you become invoved in this?
We have been best mates for over 25 years and have always had a deep interest in living clean. After years of spending huge amounts of money on “Natural Skin Care” that still had preservatives and other harmful ingredients, we decided to have a go at making a few products for our own use. We started with body butter and lip balms and after thousands of hours of research, progressed from there.
You both have interesting stories and backgrounds. Can you briefly tell us about them?
Sarah grew up going to markets selling produce from the farm, sparking her passion for medicinal herbs – which she ended up selling for many years. Laura would go to help her father with their bee hives and hives from the surrounding area and Sarah’s grandfather also kept bee’s, hence our business’ support of “Save the Bees – Bee The Cure Australia”.
After finishing high school, we both moved away. Laura eventually lived in Avalon, Sydney working in a café called Alive, which focused on eating for your wellbeing – with everything being seasonal and organic. This is where she developed a strong passion for healthy eating. When she moved back to Coffs, she studied at the Rosemond Clinic and Academy, developing knowledge of nurturing yourself both inside and out.
Sarah moved back from the Gold Coast to start a family with her husband. Having two children made her passionate about using chemical free products for home and family.
How did your previous experience help in this venture?
Laura was a chef for 10 years before becoming a massage therapist; she is the one who formulates our recipes, as what we make is basically food for your skin! She also has been making natural soy candles for a few years. Sarah ran her extensive herb market stall at several local markets and has a huge knowledge base regarding what botanicals and oils should go in our skin care products and therapeutic salves.
What do you love most about what you do?
We love that we are leaving as small an ecological footprint on the earth as possible. Many skin care and soap maker use pre-made bases and palm oil in their products; we make everything from scratch, infusing our oils with herbs from Sarah’s garden, buying ingredients locally and Australian wherever possible. We even render our own beeswax from Bowraville.
What was the inspiration behind getting together and working on this?
Sarah has always has always had an obsession with looking after her skin naturally. Laura has endometriosis and can’t use chemicals. She now lives pain free and stopped cysts from growing as a result of going chemical free and changing her diet. We wanted to know exactly what we were putting on our skin to help improve our health and provide affordable natural skin care for ourselves and everyone.
How important is it to use natural ingredients?
It has been found that our bodies absorb over 60% of what we put on our skin, so obviously it is better for your overall health to only use chemical free products if possible – not to mention what impact it has on the environment.
Where can people find out more?
We have a website: www.barebeautyessentials.com.au and we stock our products at Go Vita Toormina and Port Macquarie, Two Tails Winery Nana Glen and Liberty Provedores in Urunga. You will also find us at Urunga Markets on the second Sunday of every month. Laura will also be holding small fun workshops at Melting Pot Yoga Studio Sawtell, the next one being make your own organic lip balm and lip and cheek tint, held on Saturday 28th January.