Five Minutes With: Michelle Matthewman of Caim & Able

Five Minutes With: Michelle Matthewman of Caim & Able
We talk to the founder of charitable natural beauty brand, Caim & Able, about bathing rituals and the importance of giving back.

Tell us about Caim & Able

We offer a range of handmade, small batch bath salts, body scrubs, body sprays, all rich in native Australian botanicals and magnesium chloride. That may sound an off ingredient for skincare, but science is now proving that skin is the most effective way of absorbing magnesium.

How did you come up with the idea for Caim & Able?

In early 2013, I read in the SMH that the Australian Federal Government planned to withdraw all funding it had previously provided to Independent womens shelters. This was at a time when harrowing stories of domestic violence filled the news …. it felt to me that women and children could not even count on their own government to protect them.

Remembering the words of Mahatma Ghandi “Be the change you wish to see in the world” I made a commitment to help & that was the genesis of Caim & Able.

Would you say this idea inspired the philosophy behind the brand?

Caim & Able is a social enterprise, $1 from the sale of every jar is set aside to help fund safety for families escaping domestic violence. As a single mother, living in an expensive city (Sydney), it makes for a frugal lifestyle, yet I am proud to be a role model for my young daughter. As she grows up, she will begin to understand why we go without, so that others may benefit – I hope for her to learn and appreciate about the importance of caring and compassion for others.

As a social enterprise I am very proud of our “people before profits” philosophy. When I initially started my business I (perhaps naively) promised “25% of the profits to help fund safety for women & children escaping domestic violence”.  After the first 12 months Ive realised being in profit is an elusive state and have since changed this to “$1 from every jar sold is donated”.

People before profits is the foundation Caim & Able has been built on.

What charity are you partnering with the moment?

Caim & Able is a very small start up enterprise and can only afford one state based charity at a time, the first organisation we have partnered with is the wonderful state-based, SOS Womens Services – they have a deeper understanding than I, of which shelters are in most need.

Why is it important to create natural products, made in Australia?

My background is in health, I am a botanical herbalist. I’ve studied healing in many formats – as natural as possible is what the body and Earth needs. I’m as equally passionate about my community and that includes keeping manufacturing in Australia.

Why is it important to take time out with a bath ritual, and what’s yours?

When you stop practicing self-care, you lose that connection with your “self”. Your energy is depleted, you feel and look worn out. We need to consciously develop routines to give thanks to our body for all the amazing things it does for us, every single day.

Some people may get a massage, buy themselves flowers or chocolate.

As a time-poor single mum and solo entrepreneur, I personally find the best way for me is a regular bath, usually with my seven-year-old daughter and, of course, with Caim & Able Bath Salts.




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