Julie Foster reveals how her experiences as a carer became the inspiration behind her new product range, Aromapersonal
As a busy and successful working mother, Julie Foster’s life was turned upside down when a close family member suddenly became seriously ill, requiring palliative, round-the-clock care.
‘Overnight, she went from being completely independent to seriously terminally ill,’ remembers Julie.
Determined to do all they could, Julie and her husband decided to move their relative in with them, where she lived for 12 months before she passed away.
‘I think when you’re a carer, you should feel proud,’ says Julie. ‘I was quite proud of being able to do it, and at the end the world of grief fades into a happy memory.’
However, she knows firsthand that becoming a carer is not an easy undertaking.
‘You have to be really tolerant under the most incredible pressure,’ she reveals.
Caring for a family member is of course not only mentally demanding, but also physically difficult, too. One aspect Julie found immensely challenging was that of coping with unpleasant odours and spillages, including bodily fluids.
‘Personal hygiene became a huge problem for her,’ remembers Julie. ‘She wouldn’t stop wearing her hand-knitted cardigans, even though they became far too big for her, so her massive sleeves would always dip into whatever she was eating,’ remembers Julie. ‘Then there were issues with her colostomy bag, and the more obvious challenges of dealing with vomit or faeces. She wouldn’t wash her hair because she didn’t like the shower, and there was no way we could get her in the bath. The children stopped giving her hugs because it was hard to get near her.’
As an experienced and passionate aromatherapist, perfumer and product designer, Julie realised there was a gap in the market.
‘There were just no products that truly met my needs,’ says Julie. ‘After my relative passed away, I thought, actually, I can do something about that.’
Following a fortuitous meeting with hygiene and odour management expert Quentin Steele, who has worked in the cleaning industry for more than 30 years, the pair have developed a range of products that address the needs of carers and their loved ones, adding a touch of luxury to a very practical aspect of caring.
‘It’s a real physical challenge to overcome the smell of faeces or vomit, for example, and get close enough to do what you need to do,’ empathizes Julie. ‘But I felt I had the skills. I had some technical gaps in my knowledge, which is why I got together with Quentin.’
Together, they have created a range of products to help carers, while adding an element of exclusivity. The range comprises three elements:
This includes Hair & Body Washes and Hand Sanitisers, as well as the innovative Hand & Nail Barrier Formula (£12.99), to be applied under and around the nails, to protect against contamination and malodours during intimate cleaning.
These cleaning products have been specially formulated to provide the same effectiveness as high-level commercial cleaning products, but with no harsh chemicals and fabulous fragrances, including natural botanicals such as chamomile, lemon and rose. Hero products include the Bio-Enzyme Odour Management Formula (£12.99), ideal for spot-cleaning bodily fluid spills, plus the Absorbent Aromatic Granules (£12.99), which easily soak up malodorous spillages.
Finally, the company produces a range of odour control products, including the popular Nose Guard Aromatic Balm (£7.99), containing aloe vera, beeswax and sweet almond, which can be applied underneath the nostrils to counteract malodour.
Julie is passionate about creating professional-grade products suitable for home use by carers – and it shows. All the products are sustainably sourced and do not contain unnecessary chemicals that may harm you, your loved ones, plants, animals or the environment. What’s more, the premium-packaged range looks beautiful in the home, adding an element of dignity and luxury for both you and your loved one.
For more information and to purchase products, please visit www.aromapersonal.co.uk. Free delivery for orders over £40.