Improving maternal and newborn health, one candle at a time

nat and alfredNatalie Bond is a mum and co-founder of Nathalie Bond Organics, “a small company with big dreams”.  Maternal Matters catches up with Natalie to find out more.

Natalie, your candles and soaps are amazing!  What inspired you to start your business?

Thank you! 🙂

When I became pregnant with my son, Alfie, it had a surprising effect on me, and for the first time in my life I couldn’t stand the fragrance of my favourite skincare products and candles. I had always assumed that these products were natural but I discovered that this is rarely true and I found that many bath and beauty products contain synthetic chemicals, most of which are there to reduce cost and increase shelf life. That’s really where it all started, and what birthed my husband Andrew and I’s company, Nathalie Bond Organics. We are committed to making luxurious home, bath and body products with 100% natural organic ingredients that are truly effective, smell wonderful and are guilt free.

How does your ideal working day start?

On an ‘ideal’ day my work starts and ends during Alfie’s nap time in the afternoon – around 12-2/2:30, if he’s not playing up!  In that time I tend to focus on planning for upcoming shows, press/media stuff, and sales.

“I think ‘ideal’ is a word I have had to park for a while with a little one now in our midst!”

When we get really busy, my work also spills into a few evenings a week. I also do deliveries to local shops with Alfie when he’s awake. And then once a month my lovely mother in law comes over from Wales to spend a few days with us to look after Alfie so I can get into the office and get some extended concentrated work time.

Photo credit: UNICEF

Photo credit: UNICEF

Your business has a philanthropic element to it.  Tell us a bit about your dream for that….

This is really hard to share in a few words, as it’s still taking shape, but I will try my best. My sister in law went out to Ethiopia, as a trained midwife, to do a voluntary stint with a hospital out there.  It was her feedback and stories about the care out there and the conditions of the hospital that suddenly made me realise how very blessed we were to have had our son, Alfie, born with so few problems, and in such very good care.

“To think that babies in Ethiopia were dying due to lack of basic medical care because the midwives are under trained. And when I say basic…I mean support with their first breath!”

Soon after Andrew spotted a tweet that over twenty thousand children under the age of five die every day from preventable causes. It’s a daily crisis that’s of little interest to the media yet it’s the worst thing we had ever heard.  Those statistics haven’t left us.

“We felt that we wanted to use our business to bring some change.”

We want our business to have this at the heart of what we do, and connected to every product we sell, and our marketing material…but we are still trying to process how to do this. Toms shoes is a company that very much inspires me.

_DSF0875“We wanted to do something to make a real difference so we’re going to give 20% of our profits to make sure this situation changes in our lifetime – 20/20 is our vision.”

We’re a very small company right now so we don’t much to give but Mother Theresa said “if you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one” and so we will.

How has your own experience of having a baby changed your perspective?

Alfie was born almost 6 weeks early and needed support with breathing at first.  Had we been in Ethiopia, as an example, it is likely he would have died in his first hours of life.

“The thought of that makes me well up, and I hate knowing woman around the world have to live with that daily.”

I don’t think I could have felt this in the same way before having my own child.

What are your top tips for combining a mummy-hood with running your own business?

“I never want to let work become more important than my responsibility as a mum, and wife.”

No matter how worthy the work I do might be. That perspective is one I often have to remind myself of when time feels limited and tasks clamber at my attention. And so far I have not regretted it.



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