“When you know better, you do better.”– Maya Angelou • The more we learn about the harmful effects of the ingredients in many of the mainstream products we use every day, the more we look for healthier, greener alternatives. And when it comes to bath and body products, the choices available seem to be growing exponentially. New to the market is Newmarket, Ontario’s Mellow Bath and Body. The company recently sent me two of its all-natural products to try, including this wonderful handmade body scrub (oh if you could smell it!) made with freshly ground, organic and fair trade coffee, organic raw cane sugar and shea butter, and a pepperminty soap made with activated charcoal, and I was curious to learn more about the maker behind it. Here’s my chat with Melody Rattanavong, Mellow Bath and Body’s creator and maker.
How did Mellow Bath and Body come about? What kind of work did you do before you launched the business?
It all started out with a deep desire to create something meaningful. After pursuing an undergrad in the field of Human Resources, I jumped into the corporate world building towards an undefined career goal. My work life was successful and it paid the bills, but still – the implicit need to do more and realize more, motivated me to explore and find ways to make my daily life better. This passion for health and quality living led me to research what it meant to lead a safe, non-toxic and all natural lifestyle. There were many products out there all claiming to be organic, vegan and all-natural but the options were endless and even more overwhelming.
That’s when I realized this green journey was more than just a hobby. I was passionately making natural bath and body products for my friends and family, blabbing about the benefits to anyone who would listen, and then I had the “aha moment.” I realized that this was an opportunity to build my own green beauty lifestyle from the ground up, to share my love for handmade creations with others, and to finally pursue a genuine path.
What were some of your first products? And your earliest success?
Handmade soap was, and always will be my first love. I like to think of the process as a mishmash of creativity and science. I’ll have an idea of the type of scent, colours and textures I want in my final creation but depending on the types of essential oils, clays, and botanical additives used, science will often turn it into something different. I used to fight this process, wanting the soap to be the perfect manifestation of my ideas but I’ve recently learned that going with the flow can often create an even more unique end result. That’s why each batch and bar of soap from Mellow Bath and Body will vary slightly from one to another — but isn’t that the beauty of handmade?
Do you do other work outside of Mellow Bath and Body? If so, how do you balance the two?
My current work outside of Mellow Bath and Body revolves around my three-month-old son. Being on maternity leave, my day begins and ends with trying to optimize sleep times and researching all things baby related. In between that (and during my son’s nap times) I’ll focus on growing Mellow Bath and Body. Whether it’s doing a product photoshoot, making products or having a pow-wow session with my fellow girl bosses, I know I have to work super quick with the small window of time I have!
What’s next for Mellow Bath and Body?
This is a year of growth for Mellow Bath and Body. Through local craft fairs and markets, I hope to connect directly with my customers, gathering feedback and improving product lines based on that feedback. Creating a personal connection is very important to me, so I want to develop a brand where my customers can feel comfortable having an open dialogue about Mellow Bath and Body products but also about how they’re leading a natural lifestyle and the ways they’re making their daily lives better.
For a chance to win the same Mellow Bath and Body coffee scrub and soap I tried (and loved!), visit Mellow Bath and Body and leave the link to another product you’d like to try in the comments below. (This entry is mandatory.)
For an additional entry, follow try small things on Facebook and share this post, then tell me you did so and your name on Facebook in the comments below.
And feel free to tweet the following once per day and leave the url for your tweet in the comments below (one entry per tweet). Make sure you’re following try small things on Twitter for your entry to count.
Clean and green: #Win a chance to try Mellow Bath & Body’s 100% natural, vegan products from @trysmallthings CAN 3/9 http://bit.ly/mellowbandb
The giveaway is open to Canadian residents 18+ and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 9, 2017. The potential winner (chosen at random) must respond to prize notification within 48 hours and provide the correct answer to a skill-testing question, otherwise another will be selected.
Update March 13, 2017: Congratulations Lori B!
Mellow Bath and Body sent me products free-of-charge to try. All opinions are my own.