The Catherine B Story
Hi I’m Catherine from Catherine B. I’ve run my own business since I was 23 years old, (I'm now in my 40's) over that time what I’ve done has grown and changed.
It started with massage, then I moved into aromatherapy and then personal transformation and coaching with clients and now I have finally looped back into making makeup and skincare. I’m a farm girl at heart. I grew up on the border of Victoria and New South Wales and I was raised with a mindset that natural products are always preferable over man made chemicals.
So how did I end up making essential oil infused organic makeup?
Let’s rewind this story to 20 years ago. I was really beginning to embrace my own spiritual journey. A part of that was becoming aware of what I ate, put on my skin and its impacts on my health. At that time I realised that there were very few healthy options of makeup and skincare. I was determined to create a natural organic healthy range of makeup. I came up with lots of cool colour names, and I started studying making my own natural skincare products. And then... life happened.
My massage business really took off, and I was introduced to this fascinating subject called Aromatherapy. It called to me. It was like everything in my life had been leading me up to this point, and I knew this was what I needed to do. The skincare and makeup got pushed to the side, and down the rabbit hole I went.
I began to study the different uses of essential oils and started to learn how powerful they are. I incorporated them in my work with clients, and I LOVED it!! Couldn’t get enough of it! I travelled to the USA and South America learning what I could about this subject. I became involved with an essential oil company, and this guided my life for quite a while. It fulfilled me in many ways I didn’t know I needed, gave me a community and something to believe in, and I got to share something I was passionate about that really helped other people to empower their own health!
After 13 years I knew I needed a change, and life gave that to me. My husband and I moved to the USA for my husbands work. Manhattan, New York to be exact. I loved living New York. It was a world filled with opportunities. Anything you can imagine can happen in New York. This was the perfect opportunity because it allowed me to shed some of the identities I had been living and allow new possibilities to come into my life.
One was having a child. I didn’t have room in life life in Australia to have a child, but after I left everything and started again in a new country I had quite a lot of time!! Parenting brings its own challenges and joys, but I realised in the first year that I’m not the sort of woman who is content to stay at home and raise my child, nooo I was ready for the next thing, and I got back into working 1-1 with people again doing personal transformation work, and in my spare time began playing with making a skincare experience box Lustural Spa. (What was I thinking with that name??)
I had such grand plans! This was going to help women everywhere get in touch with their inner self and learn to fall in love with themselves. So although the sentiment was good, that box experience was a flop. I did learn a lot from it, and spent a stupid amount of money on it! (Ahh to look back and feel so wise!)
So after 7 years in New York we moved to Canada for a year and I delved into doing a diploma of natural skincare and had a clear vision of what I was going to make next. It’s funny how life has other plans for us than what we think!
We moved back to Australia and I was starting my own skincare range, I had a few products that I had made and was trialing with people and the the Right turn happened...
One afternoon I was chatting with a friend about a lipstick I had recently purchased, I explained I was so very disappointed with its quality, and it didn’t smell very nice either. And she asked, “Why don’t you make your own lipsticks? And as she said it, something clicked inside of me, (kind of like the feeling I first had when I got introduced into aromatherapy) I thought “why not”? That moment awoke in me passion I had had 20 years earlier, only this time I was in a position where I could actually make it happen.
OMG have you ever tried to make a lipstick before? There is so little information available about it! Eventually I found some books and courses and got my skills up, combined with lots of making it up as I went along and thus began Catherine B. Actually it was originally Catherine B Garro Botanicals … quite a mouthful hey, so after a few months the name changed to Catherine B.
Slowly my range is growing. I began with lipsticks, then serums, eyebrow pomade, tinted lip balms, blush, eyeshadows and foundations will be soon. I have a few projects like mascara that I’ve been grappling with for a while. That’s the thing about being the sole trader. I’m the R&D team, manufacturing, marketing, sales and everything else in-between! I love it, but I’m ready for my team to grow!
It’s a continual journey. I’m much better at pouring lipsticks than I was in the beginning. My understanding of colour mixing has improved and my confidence in my ability to make products that helps people feel beautiful and look amazing has grown in leaps and bounds! I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to be a small part of your daily routines!
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and support my business.