Running her own body products business using natural ingredients has been a lifelong dream for Abbey resident Nicole Botica who was the person responsible for introducing The Body Shop to hemp.
Ms Botica used to work at a Perth-based store for the retailer in the 1990’s when she learnt about the benefits of hemp from a radio broadcast.
She said it was at the time when The Body Shop did campaigns and were doing one about saving forests from paper and the person had said hemp could be used to make paper.
“I got really excited, did some more research and went to the hemp store in Fremantle. The man told me you could make cosmetics out of hemp oil and gave me so much information which led me on this journey of research,” she said.
“I thought the only people who could take this on board and make it go global and mainstream would be The Body Shop.”
So enthused about her new found knowledge, Ms Botica managed to share it with the company’s founder Anita Roddick.
Ms Botica put together a research paper promoting hemp seed oil for the company and how they could break the cycle and be activists in its use.
She said Ms Roddick was excited about the prospect and took the ideas and information to the company’s research and development team.
“They were a bit hesitant and concerned that it would be risky, but Ms Roddick loved risky business and if a person from a little old town in Australia thought it must be a good idea then she wanted to go for it,” she said.
“Another four years later they actually launched the product, in the meantime, I travelled to the UK and caught up with the research and development team to see how they made it.”
Ms Botica always had a vision to do her own thing but had to get through life, have children and change directions in her career.
She has now started her own line of body products using hemp oil with all natural ingredients which she sources from as many local suppliers as she can.
“I get olive oil from a local supplier on Wildwood Road and I harvest my own strawberries for the berry products,” she said.
“I use carrot juice instead of water in my coffee one, so it is quite unique and I harvest my own aloe vera and use natural ingredients I know will work well on skin.
“I use hemp because it is a superior oil and it is unique in its consistency and what it does, it is one of the best ingredients for dry skin which is perfect for the Australian climate.”
Ms Botica’s product line Soap Suds and Oils of Margaret River can be found at the Shed Markets, a plant shop in Margaret River and markets around the region.