Canada's Most Beautiful Company
What first brought me to Barefoot Venus was it’s packaging. What keeps me going back for more are the amazing and unique bathcare, skincare and beauty products. Barefoot Venus is a true Canadian beauty that the rest of the world deserves to know about.
I discovered Barefoot Venus in Steveston, a wonderful place which I made home for almost ten years. Pieces is the shop to go to for gifts, cards and pretty home things needed urgently, or a place to peruse on a leisurely coastal weekend after a sushi feast in this village that is so worth knowing. If you ever visit the coastal gem (which has been home to many a film and tv shoot, so many people do. It’s become a BC Tourism hotspot for many magnificent reasons) have a look in Pieces, housed in one of the Steveston’s original buildings.
On a Christmas shopping visit to Pieces something grabbed my attention so completely I couldn’t look away. On the shelf was a tin of bath salts with stunning, and very girly, vintage style packaging. I’m a modernist and generally like all things plain, simple and ungirlie, but I am a big fan of the colour mustard so felt differently about this one. I think it’s fate that we met. Therapeutic Mustard Bath is Barefoot Venus’ signature product, and when the lid comes off you understand why. The heady aromas of menthol, eucalyptus and mustard fill your senses, providing feelings of comfort and calm. Therapeutic Mustard Bath salts provide a soothing bath soak for tired, aching muscles and minds, so this one spoke to me, loudly. Eighteen hours days as a film makeup artist are not glamourous – they are exhausting. I needed more salt in my life. And so my first Barefoot Venus purchase was made and I was hooked.
The bath salts are created with mustard seed powder, eucalyptus leaf oil, chamomile flowers and rosemary essential oil and without parabens, propylene glycol, synthetic colour or mineral oil. Run a bath, add a few spoonfuls of salts and let the therapeutic properties of mustard go to work pulling nasty toxins from your skin, while the spirit of wintergreen, eucalyptus and rosemary surround you in a curative cape, leaving you feeling top-notch. I’m serious. Bamboo spoon kindly provided and refills are available to buy when you run low, saving on packaging. Love that. The salts are really wonderful to use throughout winter and if you feel under the weather with nasty bugs and colds, so I always have a refill to hand and stock up when I’m in Canada.
As I dug a little deeper into who Barefoot Venus were I discovered they were based in my birthplace, Kelowna, BC, a town in the interior of British Columbia known for its natural beauty but not necessarily for it’s production of natural beauty products! Ahead of my next trip I enquired about setting up a meeting to talk with Myra Murphy, Barefoot Venus’ founder and owner, and was happily allowed into the magical world of this Canada’s own Venus. Shoes at the door please. Not really. But I bet she goes barefoot at home.
I was honoured to meet the wonderful women responsible for healing bath and body products and to be shown around the production facility; it was so amazing to see it all being made. The star of the factory for me was the custom-made machine that mixes all the luscious ingredients up to become the elixir that is their best selling product.
Myra and her sisters Cindy And Lisa started Barefoot Venus in Edmonton in 1999 after an inspiring backpacking trip around Europe that saw them admiring the beauty of ancient lavender fields and rose gardens. On their return home and seeing a gap in the market, they wanted to go into business together making natural luxury body products, so set about concocting miracles in the basement “factory” of a retail apothecary store. Their first product was the Mustard Bath, which remains their best seller and for good reason. The sisters were committed to making paraben and sodium sulphate-free products and as the years rolled by and markets changed, more organic options began to be available in terms of preservative ingredients and so many more products were added to the line. There are now soaps, body lotions and oils, lip balms and hand creams. All with beautiful vintage Al Moor images of course.
By 2008, after seven successful years in one spot, they were doing so well they relocated to Kelowna with family, not only to larger premises but to a new life, with a change in their business model and a change in lifestyle in the Okanagan paradise that is all sunshine and lakes in the summer and ski-hills in the winter.
The company culture and belief system of Barefoot Venus is simple and three-fold. The Barefoot Family crew prioritise people, planet and then profit, in that order. They seek to educate women about the toxic ingredients in everyday skincare products and offer them a superior product that is ethically produced. The kindness and integrity that is mixed into Barefoot Venus’ award-winning bath and skincare products looks to be mixed into the workplace too; it’s a win-win situation. As a working mother, Myra respects the needs of her employees and so these are women who work as a tribe. Meeting Myra and Cindy and their all-female crew was a great pleasure and in all honesty I can say I have never met a happier workforce.
Barefoot Venus develops delicious new products all the time, introducing beautiful ingredients such as coconut oil and green tea as markets allow, so keep your eyes peeled and check in from time to time if you’re a lover of relaxing bath times and of buying perfect presents for deserving women.
As I write, Barefoot Venus isn’t available in the UK, but I’ll keep asking! For now I’m going to run a bath and soak up the mustard. If you ever get a chance to visit Kelowna, take it, it’s a beautiful town in one of Canada’s most beautiful areas, surrounded by vineyards and lakes. You can even get to stock up on Barefoot Venus while you’re there xo
GREAT NEWS. For all my Canadian and US readers, Barefoot Venus is giving a 15% discount on online orders. Use the Promo Code: MyLifeInMakeup for 15% off at www.barefootvenus.com and enjoy some beautiful baths xo
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