If you got your hands on the Winter Box this season, we are going to guess you have been spritzing yourself silly with the beautiful BAE Vegan Perfume.
And what makes this spritzing ritual extra special is BAE Perfume is 100% cruelty free, ethical and vegan, which is where BAE's name came from (it stands for Beautiful Animals Everywhere!).
BAE also have a 100% natural range, made from essential oils.
We decided to sit down with founder Nat Carey, who created the ethical perfume brand with her daughter Dallas (who is pictured, as Nat tells us she prefers to push Dallas in front of the camera rather than herself ;)).
Tell us a bit about the people behind your brand.
There is just the two of us. Myself, who looks after the product development and the behind the scenes running of the brand and Dallas, who takes care of all thing social media.
What inspired you to start your company and when did you start it?
I was on deployment in the Middle East when I had the inspiration to create a one hundred percent vegan and cruelty free perfume brand. Many perfumes of today are naturally vegan, meaning there are no animal deviates, but most of your traditional designer brands are not cruelty free. A cruelty free Brand will not test on animals, is not owned by a company that partakes in animal testing, and they will not sell to China who have mandatory animal testing.
On leave in Dubai, wandering around the opulent malls, my senses were alight with designer fragrance. They were rich, luxurious and beautiful yet when I would google if they were cruelty free, most were not. Hence the idea to create BAE was born. Btw: BAE stands for Beautiful. Animals. Everywhere. Our driving force is the animals. We love them and wish to contribute to a kinder world. Our goal is to be a perfume brand that people who care about the treatment of animals within the cosmetic industry can fully trust.
What would an average day in the life of look like for you?
I lead a pretty simple life. Fitness is important so I start the day early with meditation and either a run or a gym workout. I’m lucky to live near the beach so spending time close to the water is therapeutic especially if I find I’m overwhelmed. Mornings are generally spent preparing orders and the afternoon consists of shipping the orders and catching up on administration. I make time to walk the puppies and take time out to just sit in the sunshine. One day a week I volunteer at the local animal shelter in the cattery. Ive been a dog person all my life and surprised myself on how much I truly love caring for the cats. These little ones do not have their forever home so to be able to give them love and to make them feel valued and cared for is a genuine honour.
How do you make your products?
I would love to say that I am a Master Perfumer, the next Coco Chanel but alas that is not the case :) Since my time in the Middle East, when I was inspired to create BAE, I embarked upon intensive study of perfumery, aromatherapy and cosmetic chemistry for cosmetic formulation however I do not create our fragrances from scratch. I outsource the Fragrance formulation to professional perfume manufacturers (and not all fragrance is created the equal by the way) and then create the end product. The advantage of this is that I know for sure that I am complying with the recommended percentage use of each Fragrance. It also means that I can ensure that no unnecessary additives (like colour pigments or isopropyl alcohol) end up in the finished product.
What is your favourite product in your range?
In our case, it is more like what is my favourite scent! At this stage, we only sell perfume (we offer both non-alcohol oil based and eau de perfume - alcohol based) and have over 40 different scents to choose from. We have three collections - The Designer Collection which are scents like those you would find in a department store, The Artisan Collection which are your every day scents like Vanilla, Cherry Blossom, Lavender etc, and The Natural Collection which is our 100% essential oil based collection. If I had to choose a scent from each collection, my faves would be Sass from the Designer Collection, Persian Spice from the Artisan Collection and Prajna from The Natural Collection
What is an interesting way of using your products that not many people would know about?
A customer wrote to me to say that she was using a few drops of the oil based perfume in her oil burner and her home smelt like a tropical paradise. The scent she was using was Mango Coco. I thought this was a fabulous idea and have since tried the same thing with some of the designer scents. The house smells luxurious.
What have been the biggest trials so far in starting and running your company?
There have been a ton! We have started from scratch, with savings, we didn’t want to borrow money or anything like that. So we have had to build up over time which sometimes feels slow and clunky. In hindsight it would be great to have just been able to have a pot of cash and set everything up in one hit, instead we have had to progress over time. Then there was LabelGate. Labels have been a total pain (an expensive pain) in my rear end! One lot didn’t stick to the bottle. Another lot would see the ink smudge upon applying to the bottle. Then our studio sustained storm damage earlier this year and most of our supplies, including just printed labels were damaged! So we had to start from scratch again. There are times where the overwhelm would be all consuming but I just had to remind myself of why we started, and to breathe, and that has helped maintain focus.
What is your favourite way of winding down and taking time out?
Either reading a good book in my fave comfy chaise in front of the big window with lots of light and sun, having a massage or time out in Nature. I’m also prone to binges of Netflix! Currently counting down the weeks until Stranger Things Season 3 is released.
Here at RY, we love dreaming Big - what is your vision for your company?
Our vision is to expand our range to include scents for the home such as Diffuser Sticks. We are also working on NOT Dog Perfume, a gentle grooming product for dogs. Many grooming products and deodorisers for pets contain alcohol, or worse, isopropyl alcohol which is very drying. We are looking at creating a gentler alternative. Our long term vision would be to be recognised as the No 1 trusted source for cruelty free perfumes. ones that do not cost the earth.
For anyone out there wanting to start their own business, what would your biggest piece of advice be?
Have a strong ‘why’. Those times when things explode and you’re tired and worn-out and full of self doubt, it is your why that will be by your side and get you through.
And lastly, what does a fulfilled life look like to you?
For me, a fulfilled life is having a purpose that goes beyond myself and my own desires to something bigger. I feel very blessed to have created a life of comfort in a beautiful part of the world with people I love. However, there was something missing in all of that. It was having a purpose to be a voice for animals, to extend kindness and compassion to all beings, and to work for them that has created the most fulfilment.
To learn more about BAE Vegan Perfume and their different ranges (or to check out their mini perfume packs so you can pick your favourite scent!), head to their website: www.baeveganperfume.com.