When Charley Geddes took some time out from her job due to debilitating anxiety, she discovered the benefits of magnesium and having a relaxing soak in the bath. Soon, she says, “everything just seemed to come together and led me to creating a bath soak that was natural, provided essential minerals, relaxed the mind and body and was uplifting to the soul.” And so Charley’s organic body care product line, These are a Few of My Favourite Things, was born! We’ve interviewed the truly lovable Australian native, here.
Five random facts about you?
(1) I am a girl. My name, Charley, often confuses people. I got teased for having a boy’s name when I was in grade one. By high school it was a ‘cool’ name. Now, people don’t often forget my name. I wouldn’t want any other! (2) I am a recovering anxious. (3) One of the most rewarding things I have ever done was becoming an auxiliary firefighter and participating in Road Crash Rescues
. (4) I am absolutely terrified of flying, but LOVE to go on adventures (which, often involve a lot of flying!) (5) My mum and I share the same birthday (we were both born on Fathers day). I was born on her 17th birthday and we have been super close ever since.
What’s your background?
Born in/from: Gladstone, Queensland, Australia
. My family have lived in the Gladstone region (and still do) for many generations. I moved around a bit and now live in a very small town in Queensland called Nebo
, which has a population of less than eight hundred people. We moved here about three years ago for my husband’s work and have learned to really enjoy the peace and quiet and friendliness that this little town offers. I’m thirty two. I have a university degree in Human Resource Management but haven’t worked in HR since moving to Nebo.
Can you tell us the story of your brand?
I had to take some time out from my real job due to debilitating anxiety. In the process of looking for anything I could find that may help with it, I discovered the benefits of having a relaxing soak in the bath. I think the act of just having a warm bath can be relaxing in itself, but there are many wonderful things you can add to make that experience even more beneficial. Around this time I also came across magnesium
and soon learned that I needed much more of this mineral in my life. Everything just seemed to come together and lead me to creating a bath soak that was natural, provided essential minerals, relaxed the mind and body and was uplifting to the soul. Enter my all-natural bath soaks (which can also be used as foot soaks) – they contain magnesium, pink Himalayan and other mineral rich salts, detoxifying clays, essential oils and beautiful organic dried flowers and herbs. After much research I have now created a number of varieties, each with unique characteristics but all created to relax and replenish the mind, body and soul. Some people love the romance of the flower petals floating freely on the water’s surface, but I include a reusable, drawstring muslin bag with each bag of soak for those who prefer to keep them contained. This saves you from having to pick petals off of you (or out of the bath tub), and means you will never have to sit on the salt.
I started creating the soaks for my own self-care with the intent of reducing my own anxiety through relaxation and increased mineral absorption. In doing this, I very quickly realized that the act of creating and blending in itself, was possibly just as therapeutic as being immersed in the end product. Making something beautiful and purposeful with my hands had a really positive impact. Who wouldn’t love being surrounded by pretty organic flower petals, calming and uplifting essential oils and gorgeous earthy ingredients like French pink clay and pink Himalayan salt!
At the height of my anxiety, I wasn’t taking very good care of myself in many ways. I remember one day thinking I was going to pamper myself, hoping it would lift my spirits. I drove the 100km into town, and came home with a haul of products. None of them quite lived up to my expectations, even though they seemed to contain a whole heap of what seemed to be the ‘right’ ingredients. This inspired me to do some research and create some of my own pampering products. The first of these was an all-natural body scrub with organic coffee, exfoliating salts, and nourishing oils. I consciously selected each ingredient based on its benefits to my skin. Self-care is good for you – and when it results in beautiful soft, glowing and nourished skin, well, what could be better! The body scrubs have delicious all-natural ingredients that work together to help you feel amazing inside and out.
I started sharing my creations with neighbors, family and friends. This was my way of sharing a little bit of kindness (which I love to do, but felt I hadn’t been doing very well at recently.) I got such astounding feedback and encouragement from these people, that I decided to make a little more and see if anyone else would enjoy the benefits of my creations. Word of mouth spread, and I started getting asked where people could buy my products. The wonderful feedback kept coming, and so I kept making and sharing. I set up a Facebook page
and a little website. The Nebo community have been so supportive of what has become my little venture. And local businesses have really been great in helping me get started in the retail space. My husband, family and friends have also been a huge support. They have been so encouraging and have had so much faith in what I am doing… especially my dad who has plenty of good ideas for me so I can hopefully keep up with demand without becoming too overwhelmed by it. I also now have a couple of stockists (I still squeal a little bit inside every time I say that word), who got in touch with me after trying and loving my products. I really appreciate their support and the faith that they have in my products.
I soon realized which products were my favourites and had the most positive impact. I only wanted to give people products that I (and my neighbors and friends) had tried and tested and that really were my/our favourites, and so the name – These are a Few of My Favourite Things – came to be.
When creating my products I have a strong emphasis on mental well being, as this is where the journey began – but having challenges in that area certainly is not a prerequisite for benefiting from the products. I am so delighted to have created a product that can have a positive impact on anyone and their entire being.
What was the process in packaging and product photos? I tried a few different packaging options before the obvious struck me – brown paper packages tied up with strings. (My mum took me traveling in Europe when I was about twelve years old, and we stayed in a hostel in Salzburg, Austria, which had daily screenings of the movie “The Sound of Music”. We went on a tour to see the sights from the movie and it soon became a firm favourite of mine. I think I watched it every day that we were there. I remembered the line “brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favourite things,” from the famous song “My Favourite Things” in the movie. Of course that would have to be my packaging!
I wanted the product photos to portray the essence of my creations. Natural. Pure. Calm. A little bit pretty and a little bit luxe. I missed the mark in the beginning (and laugh at my early photos) but feel that I am very, very, slowly starting to head in the right direction. I struggle to make my photos turn out the way it looks in my head. Haha. I am hoping one day to have this amazing photographer I know do some product photos for me.
What’s the story behind the Vegan lip glosses you carry? Hurraw! lip balms are actually from the US. They are totally amazing. I came across them in my search for natural products and find them to be better than any lip balms I have ever tried before. They fitted in so well with everything I was doing and looking for, that I just had to stock them. They are definitely one of my most favourite things. I also started stocking organic magnesium products after they worked so well for me and others that I’d recommended them to. I was having lots of trouble getting to sleep, and so I was searching for natural products to assist in that space.
What’s your nighttime routine? I now have a whole little routine which involves Hurraw! Moon Balm and magnesium oil. I am having sleep success when I use my Calm Organic Herbal Tisane, my Dream Bath Soak (sometimes I use it as a foot soak or sometimes I even just take a few deep breaths of the scent), magnesium oil, frankincense oil in carrier oil on the bottoms of my feet, my sleep balm under my nose and on my temples and some Moon Balm on my lips. If I’m really lucky my husband will give me a massage with my lavender massage oil.
I now also make pure beeswax candles with pure cotton wicks. They have no nasties and are so good for you. I love having them in my space and thought there could be nothing better than having a super relaxing soak while being surrounded by their negative ions and mild naturally sweet scent.
Do you meditate? If so what is your practice?
Funny you should ask, I have just recently decided that I would like to include some meditation in each day. I am terribly bad at it though and need a lot more practice. It is all new to me, so I have started at the very beginning and have been using some apps like Buddhify
, and Headspace
, which provide guided meditations. Still though, my mind runs away back to the busyness and chaos and I have trouble bringing it back to the present and holding it there for very long. I imagine that battle gets easier with practice? If anyone has any tips to help me get better at this, I would love to hear them.
I have started making a conscious effort to remain in the present throughout each day. I also find that a major battle, but I think being aware of my challenges in that space is a good start. Throughout the day I will sometimes say to myself ‘just one’ to remind myself to focus on just one thought, or task at a time. I am making very, very slow progress.
What’s the latest in your product line? I have been busy creating a little range of natural and organic goodies for mums and babies, inspired by the grand opening of my friend’s little shop in Brisbane last night. She’s opened a little boutique stocking beautiful handmade and bespoke items for mummas and bubbas.
One of your heros? My husband is the best team member a girl could ever ask for. His love and support astound me every day and I am blessed to be on this journey with him by my side. I could not ask for anyone better to carry the heavy stuff for me or drive when I am tired! Haha. No, he does much, much more than that, and I am beyond grateful.
A favorite memory from nature? There are too many to choose from… Being amongst the fjords in Norway, hiking in Cinque Terre, Italy and the Black Forest in Germany. Iceland. Full Stop. Our visit to Yosemite and Death Valley. Tasmania, The Great Ocean Road and Blue Mountains in Australia are also amazing places to be amongst nature… BUT – my favourite thing to do at the moment is actually just to head down a quiet little country road close to where we live at Nebo, and hang out with the cows at sunset. Sometimes my husband and I have a picnic or sometimes we just sit and take it all in. It is so simple and practically right on my doorstep… but there is a certain calm about it that I sometimes struggle to find elsewhere… This weekend, we are going to Eungella, which is another one of my favourite places to connect with nature. There is no phone or Internet reception where we stay, so that’s a good start, and it is all about mountain rainforest tranquility. There are some really lovely walks you can do through the rainforest and lots of spots along the river, where you can stop and watch the platypus. Bliss!