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Fresh Shop: Heart Your Skin

Sep 6, 2012

by adroityve handmade and vintage goods

Every day, our community grows in unexpected and delightful ways. For our Fresh Shops series, sellers who have been on Etsy for a mere handful of months or are awaiting their first sale introduce themselves. Here’s a warm welcome to all our newbies!

Hi, my name is Tarsha. I make natural skincare in rural Victoria, Australia, and my shop is Heart Your Skin.

Like many others, my childhood was spent happily devising and designing. Whether I was fashioning shoes for my cat or constructing underground cubby houses with my siblings, I was always at work on some project. I embarked on my career in skincare as an enterprising 11 year old. After finding some pretty coloured local rocks, I began crushing them into a chalky powder with a hammer. Combined with petroleum jelly, I thought that the result made a very nice lipstick. My rouge was a rather scratchy creation made from the same. To my great disappointment, I was unable to convince my family to buy them.

A few years passed and life, as it has a tendency to do, was not following my best laid plans. I was working in my little architectural design practice when I became quite ill. Unable to even care for myself, I spent many months on the living room floor at my parents’ house staring at the ceiling. I was so exhausted I could barely move; my immune system was ruined. I had become so sensitive to chemicals that if someone in the same room was applying nail polish, I would become nauseous and faint. After two years, it became apparent that this was a long-term state of affairs. I needed a project to work on to keep me sane; a reason to get up in the morning. As my skin had become very dry and sensitive and it was difficult to find a moisturizer that I didn’t need to apply twice daily, I set out to make my own.

My bedroom soon became a library; I propped myself up in bed with unwieldy tomes stacked up around me, avidly reading the histories of various plants. I was intrigued by their incredible healing properties and the exquisite detail in their design.  As I became stronger, I spent hours trying different recipes using plant oils, floral waters and botanical extracts renowned for soothing and hydration. I was horrified to read that our skins can absorb up to 60% of what we put on them, so my goal was to make the recipes from natural, edible ingredients. I researched essential oils and began crafting my own blends to add to the creams. The results were very satisfying. I knew exactly what my skin was drinking in and found that the creams were keeping my skin soft and supple.

Friends began commenting on my skin and asking for samples. After trying them, their heartwarming response was, “You should sell these!” I had loved the process of researching and creating the creams, and I began to think, why not? I started sketching countless pretty patterns and selecting the colours for the packaging, trying to impart the love and care that went into each little pot. Lovely cream cardstock was printed on, and a great deal of cutting, scoring and gluing ensued. I made batches of cream, labeled them and then lovingly packed them in their little cartons.

So now I have a fledgling skincare business! It can be overwhelming at times, but I feel tremendously excited. I have so many ideas for other products to create that my imagination runs away with me. But I try to rein it in a little while I am still this developmental stage; plenty of time for those grand plans later!

Top photo by HeartyourSkin; all others by Matty Hooper.

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