We speak to Celia of Kath+Belle to find out what makes the brand tick!
Sustainable cleaning? Check. Healthier, safer spring cleaning options? Double check. Let’s go! Celia of Kath+Belle shows us how!
What inspired you to start Kath+Belle? Did you have an ‘Aha!’ moment that showed you how you could do some good with your product?
I founded Baby Organix at the end of 2009, and the products were well received by Malaysian mums. However, I noticed the common question among these mums was: “Hey Celia, can I also use Baby Organix for my whole family? Is it suitable for adult skin?”
In 2017, I decided to launch a kid-and-adult-friendly range of products in Singapore. We rode onto the ‘Future Ready Singapore’ Southeast Asia baby expo, which was held in Marina Bay Sands, and launched the full Kath+Belle range there.
Related: Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products: Safe for Children and Pets!
How do you source ingredients and materials for Kath+Belle, and what makes them environmentally friendly and sustainable?
The EWG cosmetics database is our bible! It provides us with information on the toxicity of the raw ingredients we want to formulate our products with. We work closely with chemists and expert formulators from New Zealand, and we’re glad to say that we are in safe hands to create great ‘clean beauty’ products that are safe for mums and babies alike.
What makes Kath+Belle’s products different from other baby and bath supplies and cleaning supplies on the market?
Many brands in the market focus on what they PUT INTO their products (like hero active ingredients). However, we are proud to emphasise what we PUT OUT (like eliminating toxic chemicals). Our product range is formulated with synergistic effects to strengthen our skin immunology.
Can you share any success stories or testimonials from customers who have used Kath+Belle’s products and seen positive results?
We actually have many testimonials. One of them is about our hair conditioner. Many moms love this product for themselves. We formulated our hair conditioner without silicone and many moms who have thinning hair see great improvement after stealing their kids’ conditioner to use on themselves!
What are your long-term goals for Kath+Belle, and how do you plan to grow and evolve the business in the future?
Kath+Belle was named for my two lovely daughters, Kathleen and Annabelle. When I created this brand, I was actually planning to export its products globally. We’re still working on this. In 2022, we managed to set up Kath+Belle in Australia, and we’re working towards expanding into more ‘eco or green-advocate countries’!
Australians are championing the search for real clean beauty products. Besides beauty products, our signature offerings also include raw antibacterial materials sourced from Australia. These are the hero ingredients in our household products, which are formulated to keep all homes safe from bacteria and viruses. Our sanitiser has been SGS tested to kill 100% human coronavirus.
What advice do you have for other aspiring entrepreneurs or small business owners?
Stay true to your values and trust God for in your entrepreneurship journey. Have faith in all your undertakings.
What research and development go into creating and testing Kath+Belle’s products, and how do you ensure that they are safe and effective?
We believe in clinical data on ingredient efficacy and effectiveness, and are also strong believers in tested results and not so much in marketing hype! That’s why we lab-test our products under international OECD standards!
Can you share any examples of how your products have made a positive impact on the lives of customers, whether in terms of health, convenience, or other benefits?
We also have private label services and our success is actually focused on serving niche segments, which is normally not rewarding in large volumes. We’ve developed products for cancer survivors, and they’ve been happy with the products. Likewise, we’ve also developed products that serve those who suffer serious skin allergies, including myself. We’re grateful when we can put smiles on their faces, and love receiving calls to hear their stories. I’ve got a customer who’s migrated to Australia, and even to Japan, but they still text us to buy our products – in particular our signature Wonder Cream, as they could not find an equal in the market.
How do you balance your role as a business owner with your personal life and hobbies, and what advice do you have for finding work-life balance?
As a business owner, I think time management is super important. I have four kids, so juggling between work and home is my biggest challenge. I normally set my meetings and work while the kids are at school, and I try not to touch my ‘work’ during off days.
Can you share any advice or tips for maintaining a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, both personally and for the environment?
One thing we need to remind ourselves: we have to be mindful of our actions! I’m not an extreme advocate for organic ingredients, but I do believe in taking life one step at a time to move from moment to moment. People think I am very sociable and chatty, but I actually love a healthy dose of ‘me-time’, where I can give myself a break and nourish my soul!
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