Tell us about yourself and The Karma Collective.
I’m just an everyday lady trying to do her thing really. I used to work in corporate marketing which I enjoyed but found myself wanting to do something that gave back to the community more. So after a few years and a few hundred ‘bizo ideas’, I decided to give one a go.
I like doing crafty things and already made candles for myself and my housemate at the time so I spent about a year refining my candle making skills and then started to sell candles at markets in Melbourne, giving a portion of each sale to help good causes.
Initially I intended it to be a bit of a side gig, but we honestly have the best customers who have helped The Karma Collective grow into something pretty special. We now focus solely on animal welfare, donating 50% of profits to help our furry friends in need and offer a much bigger range than just candles.
So far, The Karma Collective has donated over $50,000 (in four years!) to help animals both in Australia and Overseas. That's incredible. What advice would you give to other individuals or businesses looking to give back like you have?
If you are looking to give back, I would recommend spending some time understanding what causes you are passionate about and doing some research into finding out how you can support that cause.
I would also recommend focusing on one or two specific causes to make a bigger impact. We started by supporting many causes, but now by focusing on animal welfare alone, we have been able to make a bigger impact in the space.
What is the hardest thing you've found about running The Karma Collective?
One of the hardest things is trying to get everything done with limited resources.
My super amazing mum helps me with candle making but other than that, it’s currently just myself at The Karma Collective. It’s difficult to wear all hats in the business and find time to do it all.
It can also get pretty lonely, especially for someone like me who loves to be around people. But I’m not complaining, it’s all part of the journey and I know I’ll have a great team one day!
What's the best thing?
The best thing has been connecting with people who want to do their little bit to help make the world a better place. Pretty much all our customers are people who have an interest in purchasing from brands that give back and it’s so nice to be supported by such a great community of people.
The other best part is getting to volunteer with some of the organisations we have helped to support. In 2019 I helped to look after an orphaned sun bear cub, Khala, in Borneo, which was a priceless experience.
So far, you've worked with Sun Bear Outreach and World Animal Protection Australia. How do you choose the organisations you partner with?
There are so many charities that are doing amazing work out there and generally I have just supported ones that I either know directly or that have been recommended to me. I do some research to ensure I’m comfortable with how funds are managed by the charity before making a commitment to them but the initial things that draw me to a charity are the projects they work on.
If you were an animal, what would it be and why?
I always say I would like to be a wolf because they have strong social bonds - my relationships with friends and family are the most important part of my life and I love meeting new people and learning about their stories too.
Also they howl and I talk a lot. Haha.
My husband would probably say I’m a mouse though because I’m small and my constant talking probably sounds like squeaking to him.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given since starting The Karma Collective?
The best advice I’ve ever heard is “a little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing”. I heard it on a podcast a long time ago and it’s something that has always stuck with me.
So many people (myself included) find themselves overwhelmed by the projects and goals they need to complete to achieve their dreams, so they never start. But if you never start you guarantee that you’ll never get there. So just dosomething. Anything small will get you one step closer and you can go from there.
I’m still doing that everyday with Karma Collective. I have big dreams for where the brand will go and the number of animals we can help, but I take it day by day.
I'm buying a candle for my mother-in-law. What do you recommend?
Ooohh, good question. My personal favourite is Cacao & Amberbut I would say Lychee & Peony is a pretty safe one if you are gifting it to someone. It’s a nice fruity scent with some subtle floral tones in it.