If there's anyone who's an expert on conscious beauty, it's Essence of Humanity creator Stacey Fraser. Having linked in with numerous charities supporting impoverished children worldwide, it's safe to say this is one woman with her finger on the pulse of social good.
We asked Stacey a couple of questions to get to know her incredible brand and staunchly-held values a little better.
Photo: Stacey Fraser, taken for the Dominion Post.
So tell us – in a nutshell, what’s your business about?
We created Essence of Humanity out of a desire to make a change. We wanted to create a successful business that was 100% invested in returning all surplus profits to funding streams that support the poorest, most vulnerable children around the world.
Natural Skincare is our first range of products using ethically sourced native ingredients from New Zealand and Africa and providing enjoyment, health and happiness to consumers. When you pick up your Essence of Humanity product it grounds you, reminding you of what you have and what you are contributing to – a socially conscious movement.
How did it all start for you?
Experiences in Africa at the 'So They Can' projects connected us all together. Cass and I always had a dream to create a successful business that could make money to “give away” and also connects us all with human kindness. We then connected with two amazingly successful Angel Investors who believe in us and in “giving back”.
How does your business reflect your own personal beliefs about natural beauty?
I’ve been working within the natural health and beauty industry now for a long time now, it’s a way of life finding beauty in what I do, see use. Going back to natural helps with that balance. The ingredients I chose for the Essence of Humanity formulations reflects this for me.
How do you see beauty and wellness intersecting?
They go hand in hand, I don’t think you can have one without the other completely. I travel overseas to beauty expos and this has been a main topic for the last couple of years. Isn’t it feel good; look good and vice versa? We will see a lot more cross-over in this sector in the future.
What does “conscious beauty”/”natural beauty” mean to you.
I love the whole “conscious” movement, it’s beauty with a purpose. To provide a beauty product that makes you feel and look your best but also connects and grounds you to helping others less fortunate than yourself.
What does your typical day look like? Work, family, everything!
As a working Mum, it’s always a balancing act. Getting the teenager out of bed and the small child to school, I’ve created a business that has flexibility and can be accessed from just about anywhere, so that helps. I have an office to get me in the “zone” when I need to focus and work on new products, and access the latest ingredients or trends. I’ve just started exercising after a long time of being “too busy” and to be honest not being overly keen on “gyms”. But actually so far, I’m pleasantly surprised at how much better I feel within myself mentally and physically. Long may it last! ☺
What are your top tips for staying well and healthy yourself?
Try to get some balance on stress, it really does have an effect on you inside and out. I’m enjoying yoga its very “zen” and gentle on the body. Also make sure you get enough sleep and sunshine. Try and eat well or at least in balance – but I still love my cake, cheese and wine!
Outside of the natural/conscious beauty world, what are some other interests that make you tick?
I love sharing my knowledge and experience with other people of all ages through presentations and in-class playing. I’m a closet bird watcher, cat lover, cook and I make the odd medicinal gin.
What beauty items currently can’t you live without?
All of my Essence of Humanity products, but especially my Essence of Humanity Softening Cleanser- it’s so buttery. Also Nourishing Moisture Cream, as it leaves a lovely matte finish to my make-up. One of the things I always promised myself was that I would only ever make products I'd use and enjoy.
Essence of Humanity's Stacey Fraser and Belle & Sage founder Emma Peters.
What advice do you have for people who want to embrace natural/conscious beauty but might not know how to start?
Start slowly! When I was training for Trilogy years ago I found a lot of customers would switch over from mainstream products and use everything natural at once. Then, their skin would react with purging and they'd worry it was because of new products. My advice is to change over slowly, then you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given over the course of your career?
Do what you love, then it doesn’t feel like work.
Where do you see yourself and your business headed in the next few years?
Still creating great skincare for people to enjoy and hopefully expanding the Essence of Humanity Brand into a Social Conscious Movement. I'd love to offer a variety of other products outside of natural skincare that people can enjoy and feel connected to helping others with their conscious consuming.