May 14, 2014

Behind the Scenes @ Batty's Bath

Last month I introduced you to Batty's Bath. Have you checked her out yet? This girl is amazing! Not only does she live in my neck of the woods, but we both share the same passions and morals when it comes to living a responsible lifestyle, and we would both much rather be surrounded Mother Nature than living the urban life.

Today I'm bringing you a behind the scenes look into Batty's Bath and how it all began...

Tell us about the beginning. In a few sentences, when did you start this business? Why? What’s the story?

Batty's Bath developed out of a few things...

First I started making products long before BB ever became a business. "making things" came about because .....
  • there was a need for products that didn't irritate my family's skin and research told me natural products were the way to go. After trying everything we could find locally, with less than stellar results, I starting learning about the DIY side of skin care. This jived well with me because I come from a long line of talented DIYer women. 
  • I wanted my skin clear once and for all. After a decade of listening to my dermatologist (and trying everything and anything she prescribed), I set out on a journey for answers. My chronic, cystic acne started when I was in 5th grade and didn't settle until I started taking action (outside of my dermatologists recommendations) internally & externally with natural remedies. I experimented with all sorts of methods and started concocting my own skin care formulas. After a lot of tweaking, I finally found what worked for my skin. 

Between the things I was making for my family and for my skin, the word spread, and other people started asking me to make things for them. 

After being diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis and a period of my symptoms getting progressively worse, it became clear that a full time career working for someone else was never going to work. I never knew how i was going to feel from day to day and was having more sick days than non-sick days. I decided I had to figure out a way to making a living while being able to work within a schedule that was flexible and allowed for spontaneous sick day. My current career in animal care didn't allow for this. During my adjustment to living with AS, the demand for my products increased. Soon my new career path became clear. 

How did you learn so much about skin care?

A combination of research, experimentation, self-taught methods, and formal education.

I have several bookcases full of books about skin care, holistic medicine, herbs, essential oils, and the like ... and i've read every single one! I also have over 150 (I just checked lol) books on my kindle that are about natural skin care, holistic health, etc - and aren't the same ones on my bookshelves ;)  I've read about 120 of these. The rest are new additions that I'm working through. I'm very much an info junkie!

Early on, when I wasn't reading and soaking up info, I was testing out formulas and taking classes (from soap making to blending essential oils.. and everything inbetween). I was also spending a lot of time in online forums chatting with other folks who are interested in natural skin care and clean/green living - It's amazing how much education can happen in such an informal setting. It was also a great place to get feedback about formulas or troubleshooting.  About 5 years after I got into natural skin care and health, Batty's Bath became my career path. I spent another year and a half (around studying for my bachelors degree part time), preparing Batty's Bath to launch. 

What is your most popular product? What is your favourite product?

Hmmm I don't think there's one "most popular product" that I could pick out, but there are several that people seem to gravitate to. Those include the Detox Kit, Patchouli & Grapefruit Facial Soap, Tea Tree Facial Scrub, Patchouli Facial Moisturizer, and more recently, Hydra Healing Skin Rescue Gel (it was added to the line-up a couple months ago and has quickly become a customer fav).

It's equally as hard to pick just one product as my favourite lol. But right now some that I'm using daily are Cherrylicious CP Soap, Pineapple Facial Scrub, Hydra Healing Gel, After Acne Serum, and Patchouli Facial Moisturizer

You have a large herb and vegetable garden in your backyard. What's currently growing? Anything you use in your products?

Since I live in Canada, I'm a season outdoor gardener but a full type indoor plant momma!

Right now, most of my plants are either just sprouting (indoors and outdoors), ready to be transferred outside after the last frost, or are in the form of seeds patiently waiting to be planted. Currently my mint (that is used in my products) is the only plant in my gardens that is hearty and growing quickly. It's always the first thing to spring up after the winter - it even beats the tulips most years!

Other plants that are or will be growing (that will make their way into BB products) are calendula, chamomile, plantain, echinacea, lavender and this year I'm hoping to add gotu kola to that list. I also have lots of herbs (indoors and outdoors) and wildflowers (outdoors) that come up on their own every year. Most of these find their way into my tea.

Lastly, I'll be planting a big pumpkin patch (like I do every year), plus several other edibles including cucumbers, sweet peas, strawberries, corn, and watermelon. 

What's next for Batty's Bath?

There's always lots of things in the works, but my biggest focus right now, and for the future, is to run the business and not have the business run me! lol. Sounds a bit silly, but when it comes to living with two chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia being my second diagnosis), balance between work and everything else is key. I like where the business is now - it's manageable and doing really well - and I'm still able to have time to take care of myself. Beyond that, I'm always looking at ways to work more efficiently. BB has been in a substantial growth period that hasn't slowed down for the last year, so working more efficiently, and hiring a virtual assistant, has created room for that growth to happen without tipping the balance scales. 

Batty's 'business partners'  |  Packaging skin serum  |  Product photoshoot  |  3 different types of facial scrubs  |  Making quick stick acne fix  |  Mixing up a large batch of deodorant (in 8 varieties!)

Check out Batty's blog, for more glimpses behind the scenes at her studio and where she shares her research and field notes with the hope of inspiring others to be true to themselves, encouraging others to connect with the natural world, shedding light on myths and misconceptions surrounding natural skin care and more! Sign up for her skin care videos and inspiring how-to's and you'll receive a coupon for free shipping off your first order!

Find Batty and her fabulous products here:
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All photos courtesy of Batty's Bath.


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