When I met Fae & Wildling founder Sophie Welsh at the Gathered SA markets last year, I was welcomed with a refreshing human being, who was clearly very passionate about her products that are all about nourishing the skin in its gentlest form. I was thankful for a sample pack of her products and used it over the course of time (you can read about my experience here) and ever since, I’ve been consistently using her products – particularly the Ethereal Polish (which leaves your skin glowing for days!) during the day, the Auricle at night, before bed for that added hydration and love for the skin after a long day, and the The Aether Botanical Face Steam that is the perfect way to de-stress and have a bit of down-time on the lowest / toughest of days! In case you aren’t following her on Instagram yet, there’s the Rose Quartz Face Roller that looks like an absolute dream to use to literally roll away the worries off your face through its massaging qualities with the Auricle and give you a rejuvenated sense of peace and calm!
In anticipation of her participation in the upcoming Bowerbird Market (May 3 – 5), I was able to conduct an e-interview with Sophie about her business – have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, Sophie?
Sophie: I’m a blissfully busy creative that spends most of my time raising my beautiful daughter with my husband and growing my eco-conscious skincare label Fae and Wildling. I’m obsessed with all things natural, healthy living, and organic skincare.
Tema: How did the concept of Fae and Wildling become a reality?
Sophie: I’ve studied and worked in skincare and natural health since I was a teenager. As a qualified Aromatherapist and Beauty Therapist, having my own range was always something I wanted to create. As I grew older it felt far less achievable, as work and other commitments took up most of my time. In 2016, my husband and I experienced the heartbreaking loss of our son Leo, being born still. It’s still the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced, but as the days went on and the grieving continued, I knew I had to shift my energy and find some light in the darkness. The light came in the form of time. I was gifted a break, which allowed me to clear my mind and focus on service. I threw myself into creating the range that I knew would help not only myself, but so many other people on their healthy skin journey. I often think of Fae and Wildling as Leo’s gift.
Sophie: What are you hoping for your customers to experience, when using your beautiful products?
Sophie: Physically, my customers should be experiencing soft, healthy and glowing skin, which mainly stems from the specific ingredients chosen to help restore the skin to its healthiest self. As an Aromatherapist, my products contain just the right amount of pure essential oils and plants that can all have a calming, nurturing, grounding and uplifting effect on the psyche. When formulating the products, it was important to me that the products left a subtle but positive effect on everyone that used them. My whole range caters to sensitive skin, but also to sensitive souls in general, so making sure the overall aroma wasn’t too strong was a must.
Tema: What do you think helps your business stand out from the rest in the industry?
Sophie: There are so many amazing creatives out there making wonderful products, which can make for a competitive market. I knew that I could help people achieve great results with their skin, but I had to get them to notice the product first. I threw as much energy and passion into my branding as I did with all my formulas. It was (and still is) such a long journey, but I’ve created something that I believe is beautiful from a design aspect and naturally draws people in. Once people notice the range, they are often able have a chat with me at a market or event. I’m so passionate about skincare and I know how to help people get the best results for their skin. This comes from years of hands-on experience and study within the industry. Once my customers learn this, they are excited to try the products. Some people are hesitant to use oils at first, but once they’ve tried a sample kit and they start to get real results, they have a new outlook on how to care for their skin.
I honestly believe ingredients and integrity play a huge part in this as well. Green washing and manipulative marketing is a huge issue in my industry. There are so many brands out there that pry on people’s insecurities and claim to be natural and organic, but as soon as you dig a little deeper, you can see that this isn’t always the case. I’m proud of the choice of my ingredients, and get so excited when customers pick up the bottles and read the ingredients to find that there are truly no nasties in any of my products. Instead they’ll find a list of plant-based ingredients, that are a minimum of 90% organic and the rest being naturally derived. I think this is pretty special and my customers appreciate it too.
We’re also a conscious company and while we’re not perfect, we’re always learning and making changes to strive towards becoming as eco-friendly as possible. A few examples of this include being:
- completely vegan – never testing on animals
- choosing sustainable ingredients where possible
- using recyclable glass bottles, printing on recycled card
- using compostable mailers
- supporting other green businesses along the way
I also believe in supporting others and often donate many products to different charities and causes. We also donate $1 from every online order to a charity in need – and this is something that our customers are able to choose for themselves.
Many people don’t realise the costs behind running a more eco-friendly and conscious business. It’s definitely much more expensive, but I believe it’s a great investment for the planet, humankind and also a great way to make a stand in an industry where many companies have unfortunately lost their way.
Tema: How did you get involved with Bowerbird Market?
Sophie: I think for most creatives like myself, Bowerbird is known to be one of the best markets in Australia. Having a stall there is a goal I set for myself very early on in my journey. When the applications opened last year, I felt that I wasn’t quite ready for the magic that is Bowerbird. So, over the year, I took part in many other amazing markets on a smaller scale to become more familiar with the market scene. I had been patiently waiting (or one might say eagerly stalking) the Bowerbird page to see when the next round of applications would be open. As soon as I saw the notification, I jumped straight on it. I was so excited!
This year, I’ve been accepted as an emerging artist and I’m so honoured to be part of this amazing event. The vibe and atmosphere is always so much fun there and I know I’m going to be bursting with excitement over the three days.
Tema: Is there anything else that you’d like our readers to know about you and your business, Sophie?
Sophie: I love meeting new and existing clients, so please come and say hi and have a chat. Bring any skin concerns you might have and we can try get to the bottom of it. I think if I could share one more thing, it would be to remind people to slow down and aim towards making more conscious decisions when shopping. We live in a society where nearly everything is mass-produced, but if we dig a little deeper and take our time, we can consciously make better, greener and healthier decisions. Decisions like these can have such a wonderful impact for so many small creatives out there. You’re also more likely to receive a thoughtfully-produced item that is made with love and is far superior to the mass-produced alternative.
With thanks to neonmoose for the interview opportunity
All images sourced from official Instagram page