organic

Georgia Belle-Organic Soaps for the Organics Lover

It’s no secret that we are fans of handmade products! At Art World Expo, we also love to promote, use and refer products and services that are helpful and safe for people and the environment too. When I came across Georgia Belle in a Facebook group I belong to, I couldn’t help but become excited that she was interested in joining our Vancouver event in May 2018. I LOVE organic everything. From food to gardening, to organic body scrubs, shampoos and even household cleaners, I have become increasingly aware of what I am using and how that not only affects my body, but also my environment. I caught up with Sarah from Georgia Belle to ask her about what motivates and inspires her about her organic soap business!
 
1-What inspired you to start making soaps?

In 2002, I started learning about the chemicals, animal byproducts and other horrible things that were going into beauty products that I was using every day. Even the testing of products on animals was horrifying to me, as I have been a long time animal rights activist and couldn’t understand why these companies wouldn’t test on people, as we are the ones using them! It all started with deodorant, and then I kept on experimenting with all kinds of products from there! When I started making soaps, I was just in Heaven! I was able to make these great little soaps with extra butters to moisturize my skin, sugars and salts to exfoliate and even charcoal and clay to purify. I had not seen anything else like this anywhere, and I knew I had stumbled on to something great!

 

2-Your attention to the environment is an obvious factor into your decision into starting this business. Can you tell us about some of the ingredients in products that people should watch out for?

Yes, one big thing that I tell people to look out for in the summer months is any type of essential oil being used in things like bug sprays and sunscreens. Even in lotions you must be aware. Essential oils when applied directly to the skin can cause severe chemical burns, whether you are in the sun or a tanning booth. Other people can also develop skin discoloration that can last up to 8 weeks. We do not use any type of essential oils in these products for that reason. Also be aware of products that are made with regular zinc oxide. Our sunscreen for example is made with non-nano zinc oxide, whereas store bought sunscreens contain regular zinc oxide. A nano particle will enter the bloodstream, but a non-nano will not. Chemical sunscreens will enter the bloodstream and that is why DNA altering ingredients like oxybenzone have gotten such bad press lately.
 

3-What is your favorite ingredient to use?

I have a few that I love! Shea butter is very moisturizing, and I use organic fair trade Shea butter in a lot of products! Our soaps, bath candies and lotion bars all contain Shea butter. I use Vitamin E in every skin product for it’s skin repair effects and preservation. I also love charcoal! It purges and purifies pores, helps to remove toxins and metals and leaves your skin feeling very refreshed. It is also used in our Charcoal toothpaste for amazing teeth whitening from the very first time used! It’s just great!
 

4-How do you come up with so many ideas for products?

Over the last 15 years, I have come up with many ideas for skincare etc as it was something that I was needing at the time. If I needed a good toning shampoo, I made a recipe tried and perfected it. If my hair wasn’t growing fast, I researched and made a recipe. There are also so many things that I was coming up with that I had never seen anywhere else, such as sugar soaps and underarm detox for examples. I have several books of tried and tested recipes, and I thought if this is something that I need and use, there must be more people out there who need this too! Since my daughter Isabella (who by the way is ‘Georgia Belle’ 🙂 ) I have discovered that I could make all natural products for her too! She even helps me name some of our products! Frozen bath bombs for example, this is a custom scent that I made as per her request!
 

5-Are you going to have a special product for Art World attendees?

Yes we are! I will be making special soaps for the occasion, bath bombs, all natural mineral makeup and other goodies too! We will also have a great big gift basket that can be won through a product purchase draw.

6-Where would you like to see your business in 2-3 years?

I would like to see us with store fronts in and around Vancouver, and in Canada and the International market as well! I would love to see us grow and expand, have some of our products showcased in other boutiques and maybe some good health stores too.Our goal is to get people off of the chemical store bought products and help people transition to all natural ones. It is another reason why we keep our prices down too, is we want everyone to be able to afford Organic skincare and products for the home. For us it isn’t about making a sale, it is about raising awareness and forcing change to a market that is in desperate need of change. When my daughter is all grown up, I would like for her to live in a world where she and others are not bombarded with chemicals coming at them from every direction. I want them to live in a world where they can use truly great products that are helpful to them, not harmful. It is why I named the company after her! Isabella Georgia Grace has now also become Georgia Belle. This keeps me very hopeful for the future!

If you would like to attend the 8th Annual Art World Expo in Vancouver, please purchase your tickets here.

Interview with Oh La La Cosmetics

by Monika Blichar

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Art World Expo is an annual event that happens in Vancouver each May and bi-annually in Toronto in October. This year, we are pleased to interview some of our vendors and share with you some of their insight into why they do what they do! 

One of our favourite vendors this year is Sena from Oh La La Cosmetics. The products are so good and are all made with quality and care. The best part is that Sena can make custom orders for clients and takes great care and pride in her work. We asked Sena a few questions about her line!

1-What makes your product stand out from other beauty products?

We make every Oh La La product by hand to ensure the very finest quality. This also means we can give a personal touch to every client and to every order; which we believe is important in this age of mass production. We take care to use the highest-quality ingredients, including organically-grown herbs and ingredients in all our products.

2-How has your background influenced your work?

I was born and raised in an eclectic environment, with origins from Europe, South America, and Africa; a rich multicultural background. Since childhood I have been deeply interested in the arts and crafts of these cultures, from beauty, to food, to music. My grandparents who were herborists and Naturopaths deeply influenced me.

3-How do you market your work?

We market my products via direct sales like at different shows and farmers markets. We find that this is where customers have the opportunity to try products and go home with samples if they want to try out our products first.  We also carry some of our line in various retail stores, sell via our website and promote via Instagram and Facebook. Our website is www.ohlalacosmetics.ca

On Facebook and Instagram we are “ohlalacosmeticscanda”.
4-What are your long term goals for Oh La La Cosmetics?

We are a growth-minded business, the rest of the world is our oyster!  We intend to enter the global marketplace and expand the business to find new markets. Our goal is also to create a foundation to help women in Africa spread their wings and succeed.

We are looking forward to featuring you and other handmade artisan vendors at the 7th annual event on May 12 at Science World. If you are in the Vancouver area, this event can’t be missed. More information is up at www.theartworldexpo.com For more information about Oh La La Cosmetics, visit  www.ohlalacosmetics.ca