Awaken My Senses – A success story update

Interview by Monika Meulman

Awaken My Senses is a successful, natural skin care company

started by Colleen Hague.
Recently we caught up with her, to ask a few questions about her products and business know how.

1. You have aromatherapy training and now make Awaken My Senses products. How do you stay on top of the ever changing essential oils information year to year? Is it hard to formulate consistent product as the oils change?

A. The changes in the essential oils are a positive thing. Suppliers provide me with vital news about the changes in the oils and we know, as professional aromatherapists, that they will be different every time.

When we formulate the products, each of the raw materials contributes to the new blend. To identify this, each product has a different Lot # and this may correspond to a slightly different feel and smell. The slight changes in the products also ensure our bodies don’t become adapted to the blends and ingredients. In standardized skin care lines, we may build up an immunity or resistance to specific materials. This is especially common in lab formulated ingredients.

Our website states that product changes with batches and that nature is ever changing. This is the normal expectation of products made of natural materials.

2. What is your hottest seller and why?

A. Our sensitive skin program is the best seller right now. It was designed for truly sensitive skin and many people choose it because of this. The focus was to support rosacea, eczema, and skin sensitivity. Many of us think we have sensitive skin, when we are actually reacting to a sensitizing ingredient in a synthetic skin cream. Since we work with natural ingredients, most of the products are actually good for even ‘sensitive skin’ individuals.

3. If you could only make 3 products for the skin, what would be your top 3 and why?

A. My top 3 would be: cleanser, moisturizer for day wear, and a night time oil. We need to clean our skin from the daytime debris, and toxins in this world. I recommend to cleanse 1x per day at night time. Using the night time oil keeps your skin soft and is dermal – goes deep into the skin to nourish it overnight. The day time cream provides light coverage and moisture for our face.
Ideally, we also scrub our face, 3x per week, with a facial scrub, like an oatmeal blend, to take off debris and dead skin cells. The scrubbing also promotes healthy circulation in the skin.

4. Awaken My Senses is taking health food stores by storm. What is your most successful marketing strategy?

A. We focus quite a bit on direct selling, providing in store demos and in store seminars and workshops. This allows customers to become familiar with quality products. Our demonstration workers have background education in nutrition, aesthetics and aromatherapy. All are trained professionals and help the clients understand the best way of protecting the skin.

5. Aromatherapists are often enamored with the idea of creating their own product line but fail to realize how much work is involved. What are some dos and don’ts you could offer to a new product designer?

Focus – small line, few products and keep it simple
Try to be all things to all people – it doesn’t work

Price for growth – build in 1. Distribution, costs, 3.hiring staff etc.
Think just for now or price only on raw materials

Think ahead 3-5 years.
Build in estimated labour costs
Try to be a 1 season wonder – go all out and then bust

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4 Responses to “Awaken My Senses – A success story update”

  1. It is so nice to see several familiar names here, after 15 years in the Canadian Aromatherapy Industry and my subsequent retirement in 2008. I dearly miss all my aromatherapy friends. I have been quite busy over the last few years working part-time on a degree at Trent University, and I am hoping to tie together some research on scent and psychology. Other than that I have headed up a Canadian non-profit foundation to support individuals whose lives are affected by a rare syndrome known as Loeys-Dietz syndrome. From a hobbyist perspective I am still tinkering with scent and blogging about my experiences and would love to hear from you all.
    Cheers – Sandra Topper

    • cfacanada says:

      HI Sandra,

      Thank you for your comment. We would love to hear a ‘day in the life’ of your dabblings, maybe we can publish it in the next Aromatherapy on the Record Journal Issue.

  2. Larraine Minns says:

    My all time favorite is the African black soap. I’ve used it for about 2 years and it work amazingly! I also love the night and eye cream. I have my sisters and mom in Ontario hooked on the skin gym products. I love them!Laura

  3. Sylvia Mertins says:

    I am a huge fan of Awaken My Senses! I have used so many different brands through various estheticians, health food stores and department stores over the years.

    I started to use the AMS products about two years ago and feel so happy that I’m not polluting my body with the toxic ingredients found in most commercial brands. I’m turning 50 soon, and people tell me that I look 40, tops! Thanks Awaken My Senses!

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