Q&A with Tobey Woodrow, owner of Genuinely Natural by Tobey

Tobey Woodrow

What made you decide to create natural products?
It was a way to know exactly what was going into the products I was using in my everyday life.

Why natural products over what are available in stores?
The commercial products are so chemical laden and cause a variety of problems, including cancer and respiratory problems. I believe if you can take measures to avoid certain ailments, really, why wouldn’t you? I still use a variety of commercial products, mostly hair products, simply because I have not yet perfected anything that comes close for my own personal use. There are ways to get around using commercial shampoos and conditioners, etc. But sadly I end up looking like a dust mop every time. (laughs)

How long have you been making these products?
I started off small, making only lotion and deodorant when I was about 19. When I was about 25, I started to travel around Canada and was never in one place long enough to continue carrying around all my ingredients, so I ended up taking a rather long break and finally got back into my making and creating about six years ago. Then approximately four years ago I started selling my products.

Did it take time to perfect your ingredients before you were satisfied with the end result?
It absolutely did. Every product I make came along with an enormous amount of research, trial and error. I’m still learning every day and tweaking here and there to get a better result.

You have quite a few products. What are a few of your bestsellers?
My bath bombs are a huge hit as well as my anti-aging facial lotion with Morninga, my whitening remineralizing tooth powder (which I’ve just improved), and my lemon all-purpose cleaning spray. My goat milk soaps are my top sellers.

Are your products allergen free?
Yes, the majority of my products are made with all natural ingredients. I do use fragrance oils for a few of my products – purely because, well, for example, you can’t make essential oil smell like axe body spray. (laughs)

What is a probiotic deodorant and how does it differ from regular deodorants?
Probiotics do an amazing job of balancing out bacteria. Our bodies contain millions of beneficial bacteria called micro flora. It is this bacteria that prevents undesirable bacteria from developing, causing bad bacteria to flourish; it is this bacteria that causes armpit odor. Using commercial deodorants creates a revolving vicious cycle. The chemicals that they contain kill the good bacteria, allowing for undesirable bacteria to flourish and create unpleasant odor. Here’s a vicious cycle: You use your deodorant to try to alleviate the unpleasant odour, good bacteria die, you use more.

You carry men’s products as well. Do you find men enjoying natural products as much as women do?
I do have a large male following. Many of these men were originally gifted specific items, and later became loyal customers. A few even seek out the other male products I make.

Your seasonal relief items: are they sprays or lotions or bars?
I make only a few seasonal relief products, nasal congestion bath products and the very popular nasal inhalers. These inhalers are much like the age long Vicks inhalers that look similar to a lip balm container. You open it, wave it under your nose and inhale the vapours. They are very effective.

Do you sell gift baskets?
I do make baskets. I often put together a few for the craft sales, but I also do special orders.