“I think about those who have big businesses and successful brands, and I realise they are really all just like me,” Seyda says. “They all started at the bottom. They began with a hobby, got their confidence from family and friends, and then were excited to grow their business from there. That’s how I am growing too.”

– Seyda Bekmez

When you’re starting a business or even just embarking on a new project, it can be a challenge to find inspiration. But for Seyda “Shae” Bekmez, founder of Shae’s Natural, it’s simple. You simply need to look within. 

“I think about those who have big businesses and successful brands, and I realise they are really all just like me,” Seyda says. “They all started at the bottom. They began with a hobby, got their confidence from family and friends, and then were excited to grow their business from there. That’s how I am growing too.”

Shae – who migrated to Australia in 2017 with her husband following political unrest in Turkey – happened upon her business venture thanks to an unruly case of Aussie skin. “We decided on Australia as a place to live because of the weather!” Shae laughs. “We were so happy when we arrived as the people were so warm and welcoming. But my skin was not!”

Despite being in the reasonably temperate Adelaide, Shae’s skin suffered from dryness in the Australian sun, which she had never experienced in Turkey. “I went to the doctor, but they all wanted to give me was medicine,” she tells us. “I could only use those products for 15 days, but my skin needed help for much longer than that.” 

So what is an entrepreneurial woman to do, but create a solution! In 2020, Shae began to make her own soaps. “I wanted to do something while staying at home, but also something that would benefit me,” she says. After completing an online course, she discovered a great love for natural ingredients and their many benefits. Before long, she was creating new recipes, investigating techniques, and making soaps that made a true difference to her skin. 

While Shae would have been satisfied with a collection of soaps to remedy her own skin woes, fate had other plans. “One day in class, my teacher gave information on Made By Many Hands,” she says. “I realised that I could use this program and turn my hobby into a career.” As such, Shae’s Natural was born. 

What she has now is a completely handmade, all-natural line of products that use only the finest natural ingredients. From Australian herbs and freshly squeezed vegetables and juices, through to coconut and olive oils plus 100% natural essential oils, these nourishing products are made with love and are palm-free, paraben-free and vegan friendly.

“Made By Many Hands was the door that opened me to new opportunities,” Shae says, “It gave me confidence about how I could start, and what first steps I could take. I have a small business but a big dream.”

And we’re right by her side as those dreams come to life. Starting by using these beautiful soaps (let’s consider it ‘research’).

Published by Amy Malpass-Hahn, Freelance writer