Not wanting to expose herself or her unborn baby to the toxic chemicals found in so many personal care products, Samantha Porter set out to create her own. At Bewitched by Nature, it is their mission to provide quality natural skin care products that harness the benefits of nature, while having minimal impact on the environment. They provide a range of natural, handmade deodorants pastes and sticks that are both gentle and effective, and support the health and wellbeing of the planet. Here she talks about her fascination with nature and the environment, the delicate work-family balance and her plans for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Around the time I fell pregnant with my first child, I came to the realisation that there were so many toxic chemicals in everyday personal care products and cosmetics. I was in disbelief – I didn’t want to expose myself or my unborn baby to those nasty chemicals. A curiosity in natural alternatives ensued.
I must say, I have always been fascinated by nature, the beauty of our earth and the way that Mother Nature always seems to have a solution for much of what ails us. I wanted to establish a business that utilised the intelligence of nature, was accessible to everyone and provided consumers with an opportunity to reduce their exposure to toxins and move towards a more chemical-free life.
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Bewitched by Nature has its beginnings some 15 years ago in my small kitchen nestled in Melbourne suburbia. Here I began concocting lotions, creams and balms from natural ingredients. After much experimenting and many disasters, I was confidently making natural skin care products for myself, my friends and family.
I enjoyed creating natural products so much that I decided to expand my knowledge and enrol in a certificate IV in Aromatherapy at the Australian College of Natural Medicine. My love of creating natural products blossomed into a love of natural medicine and a few years later I began my Naturopathy degree.
During this time, I was balancing study, motherhood and a part-time job, so my creations took a back seat. However, during the final years of my Naturopathy degree, I realised that I needed to get creative again. Besides, I couldn’t find a natural deodorant that I was happy with. I was tired of using natural deodorants that were ineffective, crumbly and difficult to use or caused an ugly irritating red rash, or were made overseas. And so… Bewitched by Nature Natural Deodorant was born.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
It is my belief that industry and business should lead the way when it comes to conservation of the environment. I am always looking for ways to make my business more sustainable and I was determined to provide consumers with an environmentally friendly natural deodorant. It took many months of research, trials and tribulations but the big breakthrough for me with my business came with the discovery of cardboard push-up tubes and the launch of our eco-friendly deodorant sticks, which are biodegradable and compostable.