Ingrid | Kansha Botanicals
RAW TALES GIVES READERS AN INSIGHT LOOK INTO VEGAN COMPANIES AND THE INDIVIDUALS BEHIND THE BRAND. WE ASKED OUR FEATURES TO BE RAW AND TRANSPARENT IN SHARING THEIR CHALLENGES, SUCCESS, AND THE PASSION THAT CONTINUES TO DRIVE THEIR BUSINESS.
When did you become a vegetarian?
I became Vegetarian about ten years ago with leanings towards Vegan. I do eat fresh eggs from my gorgeous chicken gals in my country-style backyard.
What made you decide to become a vegetarian?
I love animals. I used to eat meat as I was raised that way. Gradually the two just didn’t marry in my brain and heart. Then one day I simply decided that it wasn’t me. I never looked back. I saw a bumper sticker that said, “No animal has to die for me to eat.” That pretty much sums it up.
What inspired you to start your company?
I’m a naturally inquisitive and practical person with a love of science and art. Over the years all these elements came together and culminated in my business! The main trigger was one of many craft market visits where I ogled handmade soap and thought ‘Wow, how are these made? I’m going to find out.’ And I was hooked. It began as a fun hobby past-time and grew into a small home-based handcraft business. I did (and still do) years of research, formulating and testing. I wanted my business name to embody ‘gratitude for the natural healing powers of plants’ and Kansha Botanicals was born – ‘kansha’ in Japanese means both ‘gratitude’ and ‘vegan’. And yes, as a child I had skin allergies and sensitivities, as do my family. That helps drive my passion to develop vegan bath and skin products that are designed especially for sensitive skin. (It’s a familiar story these days!)
What product/service do you offer?
At this stage, I sell high quality vegan handcrafted soap. I am currently developing bath bombs. I also have, nearly ready for public release, a revitalizing face cream that is brilliant for sensitive and mature age skins (hello mums and bubs, you can both use it!) Also on my list for further refinement are lip balms, whipped body butter, face scrubs, shaving soap and liquid soap.
How can our readers use your product/service when planning their next event?
Depending on the event type, your readers could use my products as gifts for clientele, fundraising projects (raffles) and include them in monthly subscription boxes.
What has been the biggest challenge with having a vegan company?
The biggest challenge has been the business side of things. Creating a small handcrafted business requires a whole new set of skills.
Creating high-quality vegan products designed for sensitive skins is also a challenge, but a fun one that I love as it feeds the scientist in me.
How did you overcome this challenge?
A rather steep learning curve developing my business skills involving LOTS of administration work, planning, research, etc.
In regards to promoting my vegan products, I believe getting everyone to love my products first is important whether they are vegan or vegetarian or not. Then I can gently create awareness and education about the cosmetic industry and the benefits of vegan skin care to them.…and the need for no animal involvement. If they love my products I’ve already created some goodness in the world!
In one sentence, what would you tell an aspiring vegan company owner/entrepreneur?
Be true to yourself and what you want to achieve. Plus….baby steps! You can do it!
What was your most memorable customer experience?
I’ve had several absolutely outstanding customer reviews that totally confirmed I was doing the right thing. They explained that my soothing vegan soap (and face cream) did amazing wonders for their sensitive, allergy skins and actually helped them recover and heal from aggravated skin conditions that other products couldn’t. Their stories of what they had suffered and how my products had improved their skin brought tears to my eyes. I certainly felt proud and happy!
Do you have any additional information that you would like our readers to know?
No matter who you buy products from, please stay educated and read the ingredient labels and then go and find out what they are! I’ve had doctors recommend petrochemical based creams to me to put on eczema baby skin! They had no idea. Please support the vegan cruelty-free skincare cause and the Australian handcrafted industry whenever possible! When you buy from us we do a little happy dance!