Her background was in IT and being a former civil servant, Cheryl Gan never imagined herself going into the beauty business. The owner of home spa brand Mt Sapola tells Go Away about her journey to discovering aromatherapy.
“Beauty was never a big part of my life,” says 38-year-old Cheryl Gan, “My beauty regime was (and still is) very simple. However, when I was still in the civil service, I developed an interest in essential oils. I had just started to learn massage techniques and wanted to use essential oils that were as natural as possible. Back then, it was difficult to find such oils in Singapore. I recognised a gap in the market for natural home spa products and decided to bring the Mt Sapola brand to Singapore. Today, more than 50 percent of the products in our stores are created locally.”
Tell us more about your journey from the civil service to beauty entrepreneurship.
“I wanted to pick up new skills, which was why I started going for massage and facial treatment classes. It was during this time that I discovered there was a lack of natural essential oils in Singapore. I started doing my own research and enrolled in distance-learning courses on essential oils to find out more about aromatherapy.”
So, what role does aromatherapy plays in your life?
“It’s my whole life! Whether I’m in the office or at home, there will be essential oils burning in the background. In my house, each room has its own unique smell because we use different essential oils in the different rooms. Also, I always make sure I always have tea tree oil and lavender oil in my beauty pouch. The former is a great remedy for treating zits. I use the latter on my kids when they fall and cut themselves.”
Passion is one thing, but there are still days where nothing seems to go right or where we feel particularly overworked. On days like these, how do you regain your sense of wellbeing?
“Many people talk about work-life balance, but I once watched a speech by our former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew where he said, ‘Work is life, life is work.’ And I agree. Even though I may be physically worn out, the passion never dies. When I’m feeling frazzled or stressed out, I just have to look at photos of my 8-month-old baby girl. She’s such a jovial, cheerful baby and simply thinking of her makes me feel relaxed. I also try to carve out some quiet time every morning to plan my To-Do list for the day and write out whatever ideas I may have for the business. When it comes to aromatherapy, jasmine oil is my go-to relaxant.”
Scents can evoke many different memories and experiences for different people. Can you share what are some of the more popular scents from Mt Sapola’s range and why people buy them?
“Scents are a very personal choice, which is why it’s hard to sell essential oils online. Different brands offer different concentrations, and even the same plant may have different species (which create different scents) so the therapeutic effects you receive will be different.
Some of our bestselling scents include ginger lemongrass, which is good for improving skin conditions; eucalyptus rosemary, which is good for those who are prone to sinus allergies. We also have hardcore essential oil users who’ve discovered the benefits of aromatherapy that go beyond that “feel-good” sensations. These customers are the ones who willingly fork out $80 for 2ml of premium rose oil. They usually use these top-quality oils to blend their own skincare products.”
What kind of oils do you recommend for the home?
“As a rule of thumb, you’ll want something relaxing for the bedroom and something bright and lively for the living room. For the kitchen, you’ll want a clean scent to neutralise any odours from heavy cooking. For the bathroom, something fresh like pine always works.”
For Mt Sapola store listings, click here.
WIN A B&P BEESWAX CANDLE FROM MT SAPOLA!
[This contest has ended]
What better way to unwind and escape the stresses of daily living than with a luxurious scented candle? We are giving away three B&P Beeswax Candles (worth $75.90 each)! To win, simply follow the steps below:
1. LIKE Go Away’s Facebook Page as this contest is only open to our fans and readers.
2. ANSWER this question in the Comments section below: “Which is your favourite essential oil and why?”
3. SHARE this post on your Facebook Wall. Make sure this post is set to PUBLIC so we can verify your entry. If we can’t see your post, we won’t put your name in the draw.
Once you’ve done all 3 steps, EMAIL us your details (Name, Age, NRIC, Mobile No.) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date for this contest is 2 June 2015. The winner will be announced on our Facebook Page at 6pm on 2 June so be sure you are following our updates!