Making homemade bath products began as a much-needed calming and creative outlet for Elermore Vale’s Alisha Hannah. But it wasn’t long before repeat requests for her lovingly-created gifts saw the hobby evolve into a fully-fledged business under the banner of The Bliss Cartel.
“I started making bath products around two years ago, initially as gifts for birthdays etc.,” Alisha said.
“I made these products as a way to be creative, and to give me a bit of ‘me-time’. When I had my children, I suffered from horrible post-natal depression and used creative outlets as a way to calm my mind and relax.
“I love making things as gifts as I feel like it gives a real personal touch … (but) after I gifted items to people, I started to get return customers asking me for more and more, so that is what made me decide to take it from a hobby to a business.”
The indulgent Bliss Cartel range includes everything from bath soaks and heat packs to body scrubs and facemasks, with each product handmade in what Alisha says is a labour of love.
All my products are very feminine, vintage-inspired and their main aim is to make the purchaser feel relaxation and indulgence
“If I'm looking to come up with a new product, I think of things I'd like to try personally and then tweak them, so they are unique.
“The time it takes to make each one varies, but a lot of the time is in the preparation - perfecting recipes, creating labels, choosing fragrance combinations, cutting and measuring fabric, choosing designs.
“I am a 100 per cent handmade business, and as we say at the markets - handmade is slowly made! It’s definitely a process, but a labour of love.”
While it can often be hard for a maker to choose their favourite creation, Alisha said one product, in particular, is a stand-out favourite from The Bliss Cartel range.
“My favourite product is my Lavender Eye Pillows. I have many around my house!” she said.
“They are surprisingly so versatile. I have a few that live in my freezer and are used for headaches, kids’ temperatures and even as ice packs! And I have others that I heat and use as heat packs.
“The lavender fragrance in them adds that extra bit of indulgence and relaxation.”
To check out Alisha’s whole range of products, stop by The Bliss Cartel stall at this month’s Handmade in the Hunter Markets, which will be held at Kevin Sobels Wines from 9am to 3pm on September 14 and 28.