MEET THE MAKER: AUDREY FROM THE KARMA COLLECTIVE
How long has your business been operating?
I started working on The Karma Collective in January 2016 as a side project at night and on weekends. However, the business was officially launched in November 2016.
What do you make and create? Is your product ethical, vegan, unique/different in any way?
We make and create a number of products at The Karma Collective - including candles, bath and body products, earrings and greeting cards. I make the candles and work with a great team of people who make our other products. Our mission is to help protect and improve the lives of animals in need, so the thing that makes our products unique is that we donate 10% of all our sales to animal welfare projects.
We are currently working with Sun Bear Outreach to help raise funds to build a forest enclosure for four rescued sun bears in Indonesia. You can read more about the project and meet the bears you are helping when you purchase from us here.
How "hands on" to the creation of your products are you?
I look after our candle production so I'm 100% hands on with that. I do my candle batches over a 3-day period. So, the first day, I stick the wicks down and let the glue set overnight. The 2nd day I make the candles and on the 3rd day, once the candles have set, I retouch them, so they are beautiful and smooth before I clean and wrap them. With the greeting cards, I usually sketch out an idea and then Gen, who is a much more talented illustrator than myself, draws them up into the fun and quirky cards we sell. Sometimes I help Lhasa and Yomi (the amazing women who hand make our earrings in their Brunswick studio) with the earrings too. I must admit, I do the easy parts and they do the most important parts!
Tell me about the person you are in everyday life?
In everyday life, I like to think I am just a fun and happy person. I really love meeting new people and forming new friendships as well as spending time with my family and friends. I have spent the last couple of years working full time on the business (setting it up and getting our foundations right). With the initial set up completed, I had the capacity to take on some other work, so I recently started a part time role at a charity called Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia (BOSA). I went to Borneo earlier this year to volunteer at one of their orangutan rehabilitation sanctuaries and was so inspired by the amazing work that they do. I couldn't wait to come home and get more involved. So far, I am really enjoying working on different projects (The Karma Collective and BOSA) that help animals in different ways.
Tell me about why you love to create your products or brand?
Before I started The Karma Collective, I worked in corporate marketing which I enjoyed. However, I always felt like I wanted to do more to give back to the community. Starting and running The Karma Collective has been a huge learning curve for me - one with many ups and downs. The reason I still love it and am so determined to keep going with it is because I love to provide products that people love, that also give back to good causes. I love meeting and getting to know our customers at markets too - forming genuine connections with them and learning about their stories and lives as well. I've been so fortunate to have such a supportive network of family and friends around me who have helped me along every step of the way too.
Why are you looking forward to being a part of the Mermaid Sorority Markets? I've attended a few of the Mermaid Sorority markets before and I really enjoy going to them. The customers at the markets are genuinely interested in supporting makers which always makes it such a nice day of conversations and meeting people. I find that our customers are just amazing people who want to make a difference and they love supporting the projects we are working on which means a lot. Oh and let's not forget there's amazing food at every Mermaid Sorority market too!
THANK YOU Audrey for this wonderful insight into your brand and amazing causes you support. You can find The Karma Collective at our June 30th Big Frankston Makers Market. Click here for more info.