Maybe winter is getting you down, or perhaps your skin is looking a little worse for wear. Whatever the reason, the chilly months are a great time to indulge in an at-home spa treatment. But forget wandering down the pharmacy aisles looking for products — if you want gorgeous skin, you’ve got to go for the customised stuff. These Australian Etsy stores have the best and most beautiful spa goodies.
Organic, check. Fragrant, check. Pretty packaging, check. Ruth from Green Ritual has created an all-natural range of candles that not only look and smell amazing, but are also friendly to the environment. This store is brimming with purely soy candles, a fact that Ruth is very proud of. Most non-organic candles contain nasties like palm oil, which wreaks havoc on forests and animals around the world. If you’re venturing into organic spa and beauty for the first time, these candles are a great place to start.
SheKnows Australia: Your products are organic, which is a fairly hard label to achieve. Can you tell us about the philosophy behind your brand?
Ruth: Green Ritual is unique because our candles, incense sticks and reed home diffusers are all registered with The Vegan Society and PETA. This is something we are very committed to. The products are made in a vegan, chemical-free household and mainly use organic ingredients.
SKAU: What prompted you to open an Etsy store?
Ruth: I started Green Ritual because I was sick of poor-quality, manufactured candles and incense. I wanted to create candles that were kinder to the environment and that were suitable to all of us vegans out there! The candles are pure soy wax which burns “cleanly”, and therefore, does not cause any damage to animals and the environment.
The Sweet Beekeeper
Australia is home to some of the best natural ingredients in the world, so it only makes sense that Christiana from The Sweet Beekeeper uses them in her products. Christiana’s beautiful range of soaps and skin care contains extra virgin olive oil and other botanicals, most of which are sourced from her hometown in Melbourne. The Zanzibar Coconut Vanilla Spice, Olive Oil, and Beeswax Soap not only smells amazing, but it will also leave your skin feeling soft and silky smooth. With a tagline offering “treats for the body and soul”, you know her shop is going to be good.
SKAU: You use natural, locally-sourced ingredients in most — if not all — of your products. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Christiana: I create all products and essential oil blends myself by hand (and nose)! I pride myself on the scent combinations I create — they are my strength and passion. In doing so, I try to use as many local or Australian-based ingredients as I can. For example, the extra virgin olive oil, beeswax and clays in my soaps; the jojoba oil in my face oil; and the honey in my lip balm is all homegrown. I’m a stickler for quality, so I make all of my products to order and I package everything myself.
SKAU: What inspires you?
Christiana: I am constantly inspired by nature. I venture out every day for a walk to the park with the baby boy to smell the flowers and find inspiration in all the greenery! I also love French and Japanese design and try to incorporate those elements in my packaging and wrapping. Plus, I have been an Etsy buyer for a number of years and love it — there is creativity and inspiration everywhere!
If you’re looking for spa products that treat the mind, body and spirit, you really can’t look past those in the Clairscentience shop. Made with care and a whole lot of love by Njari, these products are loaded with natural, organic and Australian botanical ingredients, and imbued with Reiki. Reiki is a spiritual state of mind where its followers bring a sense of positivity to everything they do. Beauty products infused with happiness? Yes, please! The Australian Organic Lip Balm with manuka honey, lemon myrtle and boronia is sweet-smelling and soothing.
SKAU: Why did you start an Etsy store?
Njari: I opened my shop at the beginning of 2013. After five years of struggling with a serious illness, I began to nurture my inner soul, joy and patterns again using my affinity with aromatherapy and spiritual energy. I found myself creating skin care products for my family and friends, and I loved hearing about the results and how they were making people feel good. I decided it was time to share the joy, so to speak, with others.
SKAU: Where do you find inspiration?
Njari: I am inspired by nature, in particular the aura of Western Australia with its diverse landscapes. Some of the ingredients I use reflect the area, including the sandalwood essential oil, lilly pilly and quandong extracts. I am also a Clairscentient — meaning that I am spiritually attuned to feel energy from people, places and objects — and, as such, I adore creating products that capture a mood or theme. Imagine reading your favourite book and wearing a balm or oil that helps you escape to that world. You can feel yourself there, smell the scene, feel an emotion… that’s what I’m aiming for!
Are you in the mood to feel special? We’ll let you in on a secret: Pamela Tang is one of those store owners who is set on providing one-of-a-kind items for her customers. When you buy one of her handmade treasures, you know that no-one else will have quite the same thing. Tang’s store offers a range of original artwork, women’s clothing and accessories, all of which are handmade in Australia. The Silk Eye Pillow in Mocha is made from pure silk and filled with organic French lavendar and flaxseed, which is perfect for rejuvenating tired eyes.
SKAU: What makes your shop different from the thousands of others on Etsy?
Pamela: My shop carries a wide range of products, all of which are designed and handmade by me. A lot of what I do is intuitive, and you’ll find one-of-a-kind pieces where details like stitching differ. For example, the linen and silk eye pillows, homewares and some of the womenswear are all quite unique.
SKAU: What are the most popular items in your store?
Pamela: I opened my Etsy store with the intention to offer a range of products. One of those was linen clothing for children. When the linen pinafore first launched, I received a lot of requests to make them in adult sizes, which I initially turned down. It wasn’t until a complete stranger (and potential customer) spoke to me that I had a change of heart. Since then, the women’s clothing has been the most popular range in the shop.
Byrne & Love
This store is truly a gem. Run by Sydney-based talent Fiona, Byrne & Love is brimming with luxurious scented soy wax candles. All candles are made locally — and with love, as Fiona says — using the most natural ingredients possible. If you’re the kind of person who loves attention to detail or a really good book, you’ll appreciate this: Every candle is inscribed with a fantastic literary quote. Whether you’re stuck for a gift idea or just looking for a fragrant candle for your home, this is the store to click on.
SKAU: Can you tell us a little about your creative process?
Fiona: I started Byrne & Love because I love candles but found them to be very expensive and not very personal. There are lots of global brands around but not many affordable boutique brands. I wrote a list of everything that inspired me — beautiful design, literature, poetry, fashion and love — and blended all of this into Byrne & Love. It took a long time and a lot of experimenting but I’m really happy and proud of each and every candle.
SKAU: What aspect of your store are you most proud of?
Fiona: I’m passionate about keeping Byrne & Love as local and environmentally-sound as possible. All packaging is printed and produced locally using sustainable materials and I only use organic soy wax and fine fragrance oils. Every single candle is hand poured (with love) by me, in my little house in Paddington. I turn to my favourite authors and poets to choose quotes that inspire me for my packaging. I like to think I offer my customers affordable luxury, a beautifully fragrant, bespoke candle, that doesn’t cost the earth.