Raffaele Caputo a researcher, writer and editor recently met Catherine Cervasio, the founder of Aromababy, at an event and inspired by her story he wanted to share it.
When Catherine Cervasio fell pregnant for the first time, she was concerned she would have to use skincare products on her baby that contained unnatural ingredients.
Her previous life as a fashion writer and developer of a range of products based on essential oils had given her some experience in skin care products and she knew the majority were synthetic with a petrochemical base.
Through her research, Catherine discovered many products were linked to skin complaints such as eczema. However, of greater concern was the presence of paraffin in some skin creams and bathing oils, as it had the propensity to affect hormones.
“With the birth of my baby on the horizon, these issues really set the alarm bells ringing,” says Catherine. “I thought if there are no alternatives available, then everybody is compelled to use the same kinds of products. This was the inspiration for developing something that was unusual in the cosmetics industry at the time.”
This was more than 20 years ago. Catherine gave birth to a strong and healthy baby boy, and to Aromababy, an organic skincare range for babies. She was so confident about the virtues of her products that she tested them on herself and her baby.
But it wasn’t an easy road ahead for Catherine. Along with the demands of caring for her baby, she had to raise finance, source a reputable manufacturer and, most importantly, educate potential suppliers and consumers because what she was developing at the time was so new.
She tapped into the maternity and paediatric medical profession.
“I was so passionate about making a difference that I actually went straight to the midwives, patient consultants and maternity ward managers and talked to them because their expertise is not only in delivery but also in caring for babies and mothers around the time of birth,” Catherine says.
“They were really quite surprised at my discoveries; and because I had extensive research to back these up, I felt they were listening to me, and realised that maybe they needed to offer mothers a choice rather than only the conventional, supermarket-type formulations.”
Based on her research Catherine formulated her products specifically for sensitive skin and babies – using ingredients such as certified organic calendula, evening primrose oil and natural vitamin E but with no animal products, petrochemicals, sulphates, added colour, artificial fragrances, silicone, or paraffin. Today, Aromababy is a multi-million dollar business, with a premium range of natural personal care products for both mother and babies.