This morning while I was getting ready to head to the local farmers markets – Fabulous Moggill Farmer’s Markets at Brookfield (Qld) – I was thinking that really, all the ‘small’ producers, manufacturers and vendors should be the norm. Not the two giant supermarket chains that rule what we eat and how much we pay for it (in Australia). I love chatting to the people who have grown/made the products I buy, or at the very least can tell me all about them. There is great pride and knowledge to be passed on to the customer who will in return respect the product s much more. When I thought about this respect I also thought about gratitude.
The customer’s gratitude for people slogging it out, doing it tough when it would be much easier to just give in to the corporate giants.
Gratitude for caring and for believing in what they are doing. I am grateful that I have small businesses to go to where I can buy what I need with ease.
Almost ready to head out of the door, I put on my favourite moisturiser. I love this product that actually has many more uses, but that I like to use on my face. Reflecting on how great my skin was looking this morning (hello vanity, how are you today?) made me think about one particular small business.
This business is not local. It’s not even in Australia.
I met Marike online, probably through Facebook where I would have seen her say something very profound and thought provoking and we started a FB friendship, as you do when you meet someone who shares your interests. She is a Dutch/Australian woman living in gorgeous Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. There she runs Arun Thai Natural, a small business that manufactures and sells natural skin care and massage products utilising local Thai herb lore. Marike sources her own ingredients, driving on those insane Thai roads to get to growers and tiny vendors tucked away. She chats to the local women and discovers new plants and uses which she can store away for future recall.
Her employees are locals who may not necessarily have the same work ethics that we are used to in the western world, but it is important to her to support the local community. So, sometimes there are kids who are unable to attend school that day but that’s ok, because they can entertain Marike’s little princess daughter. Working around interesting conditions, keeping her sense of humour (and purpose) while battling failing utilities, relaxed bureaucracy and temperamental weather conditions. To Marike that is all part and parcel of running a business in a country whose people are very dear to her heart. She makes do. She makes do, spectacularly well. In fact, the makes the kind of products that ever popular day spas around the world like to get their hands on. So lets help spread the word, please!
On to my moisturiser….which is where the herbal content comes in, promise!
I have weird skin. Some products work and some don’t. It doesn’t matter if they are natural, organic, made with moon rays carried on fairy wings…..I’ll still have issues. So last year I bought a selection of oils from Arun Thai to see how they would go.
There are quite a few products to choose from and my three choices from the Aroma Body Oil range were Green Tea Kaffir Lime, Ginger Lemongrass Mint, and Thai Healing Herbs. It is the Thai healing herbs oil that I use for my face.
“A beautiful handmade Thai oil for massage, bath and body care. Using a 100% natural rice bran oil base, our oil is very high in natural Vitamin E and antioxidants to care for dry, damaged, ageing and sensitive skin. Blended with only pure essential oils, Arun Thai Natural Aroma Body Oil Thai Healing Herbs evokes the fragrance of tropical Thailand, balancing the herbal, healing fragrances of Phlai and Basil with earthy Ginger and classic Thai Lemongrass.
Ingredients: Rice Bran Oil, Phlai Essential Oil, Basil Essential Oil, Ginger Essential Oil and Lemongrass Essential Oil.
Arun Thai Natural Aroma Body Oil Thai Healing Herbs uplifts your moods and gives natural, gentle care to your body. The pungent herbal blend is used for restoring balance and improving circulation.
As rice bran oil is one of the most stable oils used for body care, it will not go rancid even under extreme heat (remember it’s really hot here in Thailand where it comes from) and has a shelf life of at least 18 months without refrigeration. The rice bran oil absorbs quickly into your skin and does not leave a messy or smelly oil slick… all you’re left with is soft, supple skin and the gentle fragrance of Ylang Ylang and orange.”
Marike doesn’t know I am writing this and I most certainly did not get paid to wax lyrically about her fabulous products. I just want to let you, who value traditional herb lore regardless from what part of the world, know about another small venture that is making a difference in their part of the world and sharing some amazing products with the rest of the world.
I’m still holding out for an Australian wholesaler to appear so that I can buy the Red Rice Renewing Body Polish, (and the facial scrub and the white clay mask and, and …….) which for now can’t come into Australia because of our cutoms restrictions.
Arun Thai on Facebook
Arun Thai on Blogger
Please have a look at Arun Thai and their exotic herbal products. “100% plant-based… perfect for vegetarians and people who care about their health and the future of our earth.”