A natural progression: the herbalist who grew her own dream

Tasman maker/grower Sharyn Ogg’s range of skincare and cosmetics began with an earthquake and a career change, and has grown alongside her two sons. Inspired by the plants and preparations that our ancestors have used for centuries, her organically grown herbal oil infusions form the basis of her carefully handcrafted Plant & Share skincare and makeup range.


 

 
What do you make?
I make organic botanical skincare on our four acre property in Pigeon Valley, Wakefield. The range began eight years ago with a Baby Bum Balm, Calendula Balm and Lavender Deodorant when my first son Mac was born. It has since evolved to include a selection of herbal balms, calendula cream, rosehip based face care range, natural deodorants, and a selection of organic makeup.

My key drivers have always been to create safe, simple and effective skincare, using organically grown and spray-free ingredients.

How did you get into your craft?
After the Christchurch earthquakes, I created a vision board. I wanted a change from my profession as a landscape architect to be creative, make something with my hands and most importantly, help people. From that vision board came a Herbal Apprenticeship course at Phytofarm that opened my eyes to the wondrous world of herbs. After this, there was no turning back. I had found my true calling in life! Plant & Share was a natural progression for me, given my passion for creating simple and fresh skincare products from the garden to nurture and care for my family.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I completed the Herbal Apprenticeship course under the supervision of Valmai Becker from Phytofarm. As a formally trained Landscape Architect, I have worked with plants since 1998. Since completing the Herbal Apprenticeship, I have completed numerous aromatherapy and cosmetic manufacturing courses, as customer safety is my priority.


 

 

 
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
My favourite part of the process is the harvesting and processing of the herbs. Something rings true in my DNA about it, especially working alongside other women chatting away about life. It is another dimension to the “Share” part of Plant & Share. Sharing stories and experiences standing around the table processing herbs. Pure joy.

Tell us about some of the techniques involved in producing your skincare range.
Only the finest and freshest herbs and plant-based oils are used in our products. The herbs are grown, harvested & then dried to preserve their medicinal properties. The herbs are then macerated/infused in organic vegetable oils or made into a hydrosol. The infused oils and hydrosol form the base of many of our products, including the creation of balms, healing salves, massage oils, face oils and creams.

Certified Organic or Spray-Free ingredients are used wherever available, along with therapeutic grade essential oils.

What inspires you?
Incredible things can evolve out of the simplicity of planting a seed. Herbs and plants are so abundant, regenerative and generous, they are a constant source of inspiration.


 

 
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
To sustainably grow and gather herbs to create fresh, exceptional natural skincare products; good for you and good for the planet. Beauty from nature. My other key philosophies are sharing knowledge, kindness and joy with others.

Describe your creative process:
I have an idea and leap in feet first! I am very hands-on and love to mix and match, touch and feel. There is never too much planning involved, haha. Planning is not my superpower!

Describe your workspace:
A hive of activity. Organised chaos. Continually changing with the seasons.

Five words that describe your mind:
Zippy, colourful, intuitive, empathetic, earthy.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
Hard to choose just one, but it always makes me happy seeing a product making someone’s life a little better. Our Calendula Cream: “Great for sensitive skin! Very rich but really easily absorbed and non-sticky, it leaves skin feeling plump and smooth. The calendula is instantly soothing and has really helped clear up my sensitive skin, which is prone to dermatitis. I use it on both face and body. I love using it at night to give my skin a boost – especially in the delicate area around my eyes.” – Liz, July 2021.


 

 

 
What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. It really captured my imagination as kid, and I loved the magical tree, characters and the excitement of what land was going to be at the top of the tree each day.

If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
Haha! I asked my friend, and she said, “Yo…, the formulaic components of this pottle of calendula cream maketh your eyelid eczema vanish, be vanquished by the super prowess of Raz ma Taz” So, Ramza Shaz!

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Online marketing is vital! I have mostly ignored the marketing aspect in the past, as I was always too busy “making”. But at the end of the day, if customers don’t know about your products, it doesn’t matter how amazing they are; growth will be slow. Markets are also fantastic for building a local and loyal following and for getting honest feedback.

Why do you think it’s important to buy handmade and/or locally made goods?
Using handmade, locally produced, and whenever possible organic products is an integral part of Plant & Share’s ethos and my personal approach to life. It gives me an opportunity to make a positive impact on my environment, home and community.

Handmade goods tend to be of a higher quality due to freshness and attention to detail, more customised to the individual, have a higher value due to their authenticity, contribute revenue back to the community they come from and are generally ‘greener’ for the planet. In terms of our carbon footprint I’m really pleased with one of our latest innovations which is to provide the refill options for our customers. I now provide refill pouches for our creams and balms and can now even refill our beautiful lipstick cases! The response to these options has been even better than I imagined, so it is clearly important to many people.


 

 
What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
I love supporting other local artists and makers and am always looking for ways to collaborate and support each other. My latest purchase was a stunning watercolour artwork from Clouds of Colour. Peonies to match the painting she did for my lip shimmer artwork, Sunset Coral!

What’s in store for the rest of 2021?
Lots of projects on the go, but my main one is to complete new garden beds down the back of the property. Our calendula cream for eczema sufferers has often sold out this year. So the new gardens will be planted extensively with calendula plants to keep up with demand. We’ll also be focusing on our biodegradable refill pouches which are available on our website at the moment but will be officially released in the new year.

Special offer for Felt readers!

Sharyn has generously offered 15% off any of the lovely skincare and makeup products in her Felt shop when you enter the voucher code FELT2021 at checkout. This offer is valid throughout the month of December 2021, and you can use the code as many times as you like during December! Thanks so much Sharyn!

 

Explore Plant & Share products here »

 

2 thoughts on “A natural progression: the herbalist who grew her own dream

  1. How very cool it has been watching Sharyn do the thinking, change direction and leap forward into her new life. She is a real role model and her products reflect her attitude to life.

  2. Sharyn’s products are wonderful and I use all I can with the comforting feeling they are not only helping me to look and feel fantastic but also no unwelcome nasties are entering my system through my skin. Sharyn’s energy and passion for what she loves seems boundless she amazes and inspires me.

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