In 2006 my sis Jacqui returned home from living in the UK after many years. We went into business together, opening a design store in Petone selling NZ made homeware, jewellery and art. Our store was much-loved for its selection of contemporary designs and we became a Top Shop award winner. One day I attended a workshop at Te Papa on soapmaking which changed my life. I completely fell in love with the ancient skill of cold process soapmaking and began a journey of research and discovery to make soaps jam-packed with soothing, healing ingredients.
When we closed Oyster my love affair with soapmaking continued and the soaps soon led on to skin balms as I began to get asked for 'help'. So I completed a Diploma in Natural Skincare and then a Certificate in Aromascience in order to really learn and gain the knowledge I needed to help with different skin issues such as acne, eczema, sensitivities and cancer skin care.
Whilst studying my Diploma my sis was going through treatment for breast cancer. My last assignment was to create a range of products for a specific skin issue - of course I made a range to help her! To help with her radiation burns, sensitive skin, rashes and mastectomy scars. The ultimate test. This range, full of love, has gone on to be used by women (and men) for so many other issues as it is simply full of the most gentle and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
I'm a sensitive skin girl - allergies and eczema have been a part of my life since birth and I've had many reactions to mainstream soaps and skincare. I've used all the creams, taken the steroids and then later I began my journey with complementary therapies. Now that I use my own products, follow an eczema-care diet and keep stress under control, I generally have calm skin and rarely endure nasty flare ups.
My products are designed for all skin types and are especially helpful to stressed skins. I use 100% vegetable oils, pure essential oils, salts, plant extracts, herbs and plants from my garden where possible. You won't find any nasties or fillers, which are still widely used by some big-brand skincare designers. My recipes are full of lovely quality ingredients.... and Aroha!
When my eldest niece was learning to talk, she found Phillipa a little hard to pronounce. Fabula was born and has stuck for 20 odd years! It turns out it is an ancient word meaning 'fable' or 'story', which I think is fitting.
My great grandmother was very knowledgeable about herbs and was the go-to healer in her English village. During those times the healing power of plant botanicals was understood and the widespread use of pharmaceuticals was unknown. If we can re-learn how to nourish and heal ourselves naturally rather than take a drug to limit symptoms, it's gotta be good!