October 27, 2014

Catherine from Coconut Tree Products, and her divine Coconut Body Butter

One of the perks of my (day) job is that I get the chance to hang out in Noosa, and chat with fabulous women. And pretty soon after starting there, I realised that most of the fabulous women on the Sunshine Coast end up visiting Noosa.

Serendipitous timing was in my favour when I met the incredibly lovely Catherine Reddaway of Coconut Tree Products. I was looking for generous local businesses who wanted to get behind what I was trying to do with the upcoming Active Nation Day event to be hosted in Noosa, and I wanted to work with small businesses who could benefit from exposure to lots of women who are passionate about treating their body better, and living their most positive and healthy life. 

Catherine visited my store, and she spent some time showing me her gorgeous new range of Coconut Tree Products, and then (bless her) offered to provide 30 samples of her delish-smelling  Body Butter for our Active Nation Day participants! I loved this idea, because as a regular promotional event attender, I get real sick of the 'gift bags' full of bits of paper inviting me to spend money to save it. Nope, I wanted to provide proper gift bags, you know, with gifts and all? Catherine's stock went up even further in my book when she gave our staff some testers too (ok, I left one for everyone else to share, and snaffled one all for myself*).

I quickly ran out of this addictive butter, and then I went to Organika and snapped up some more, it was THAT amazing. I've always loved the scent of coconut oil, but have struggled to find a moisturiser that wasn't too heavy and greasy, the Coconut Tree Products butter was perfect. I have had this product for a while now, but I finally finished my second small tub and realised I liked it that much that I wanted to review it for you all. (Because you know, I'm such a professional beauty product reviewer and all. Pffft.)

The Coconut Tree Products Body Butter is so thick and moisturising, really leaving my (often sun-damaged) skin feeling soft and nourished, without leaving a greasy residue. It smells amazing, so amazing that you really can't believe it's not a cocktail, and you're not relaxing on a breezy tropical beach. I love the smell of coconut but sometimes when in a product the scent can be too strong or artificial.

Since I can tend to say amazing quite a few times in a row when I'm talking about something I love (go on, ask me about how awesome The Lion King show was the other night...), I decided that this blog post would be better with some input from Catherine herself, the woman behind my new favourite product line. So I asked Catherine some nosy little questions, let's hear from her on how this brilliant brand began.

What do you do? What do you make? I have developed and am in the process of building a new natural coconut body and hair brand called Coconut Tree Products.

Why and how did you make your first product? Having fair skin that is always dry, especially in winter, I have tried endless products of all kinds seeking a body moisturiser that actually works.. A local naturopath suggested coconut oil and I was hooked. It was the only product that went close. It is such a beautiful natural moisturiser on its own but I believed that it could be improved and boosted with other natural ingredients to provide more protection and hydration, and to make it easier to use. So, with the help of professional formulators I developed our first product, the Coconut Body Butter which was the beginning of our launch range.

Who was your key support during the fledgling stage of Coconut Tree Products?
My father who is my business partner and has great insights from his life as an entrepreneur and successful businessman.

How do you manage your time so well? It’s something I struggle with every day! Like most women, juggling work, home, kids, after school activities and finding time for exercise is a challenge!. I try to organise myself for the day, the night before and just set a few key priorities for the day than a long to do list. I do think stress impacts on productivity so for me it’s important to get the main priorities ticked off and schedule time to exercise.

How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors? Our vision is to offer an alternative to toxic products with simple natural, nurturing, effective body and hair products that are fun and fresh and importantly, affordable. We hope to make them accessible for everybody.

If you could have given yourself a piece of knowledge or advice when you started what would that be? Have a distribution plan even before the products are developed.

Which opportunities should you have followed?
I hope I haven’t missed any yet, it's only early days though!

How do you conquer any moments of doubt that threaten to stop your great ideas? What pushes you through?I remind myself that I started this for the right reasons. I totally believe in the potential of the brand and am passionate about the products and believe that people will love using them and want them as part of their lives. I hope that for some people, this range may inspire them to be more aware of what goes on their bodies and on those of their families and friends.

Righto, time for some fun stuff.

What is your 'uniform'? What do you wear more often than anything else?
Comfort is key. Anything remotely not comfortable stays in the cupboard and the comfy gear gets all the outings. If I don’t have to meet people I tend to spend the day in jeans, tshirts, shorts or active gear and runners – always on the off chance I’ll get time to squeeze in a walk or gym session.

What is your favourite thing to wear to make you happy?
Anything simple, stylish and comfortable. Not too much pattern,..love my black! No more high heels!
(I'd like to make a small note here. Catherine has purchased some really cute activewear from me, and yes, it was impossible to get this sunny and bubbly blonde to try anything coloured. Sigh. K x)
Thanks so much for taking the time to share a little of your Coconut Tree story with me, Catherine. Nothing is more amazing than watching people take small steps to achieving big things!

If you'd love to try Catherine's beautiful range (there's even a yummy-smelling range for kids) for yourself, head to Coconut Tree Products for a comprehensive list of stockists, or jump over to their Facebook page to go into their monthly draw to win a divine product pack!

*As usual, review is all my own opinions. I purchased product myself after receiving a small sample. I would (and will) continue to purchase this lovely product, and have started trying more of this gorgeous range. 

October 01, 2014

Giveaway winners - and yes, giving really IS as nice as receiving!

The lucky winners of the two Flamingo Park cushions from gorgeous Melbourne homewares store and interior design gurus Design Art House are...

Elisha R


Kim M!

Congratulations to you both, I've emailed you - please reply with your postal address and phone number, and I'll make sure these pretties start winging their way to you ASAP!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered, it's super-fun to get to share and giveaway products that I personally love, and it's lovely to support businesses who support bloggers!

Speaking of... have you checked out Design Art House's Pinterest boards? So much well-curated inspiration, just as Pinterest should be! (Although they seem to be missing the Ryan Gosling board that I tend to favour on so many Pinners sites. Interesting.)