Smart Cookie: Viv Almodiel, Founder Of Celeste - Ecobuy
Celeste® Australia's passion is to offer local natural quality ingredients in skincare.
1)  Could you tell us a little about yourself and what’s your business about?

Sure. My name is Viv, turning 40 this year, wife and Mumma to two cheeky sweethearts. I have a degree in Business, worked in Corporate Communications and led teams in Customer Service. I then decided to stay home to spend more time with my kids.

I had PND (Post Natal Depression) twice and some of the issues that were addressed were ‘self-care’ and the ‘toxic chemicals’ in products which we sadly found in my personal skincare collection and home.  While working on a healthier me, I connected with an Australian Qualified Cosmetic Chemist and Beauty Therapist, who developed and formulated the products in Gold Coast, Queensland for us.

That’s when Celeste ® Australia was born – a Vegan, Organic Ingredients, Sustainable, Cruelty-Free, Clean Beauty Skincare that encourages women to care for themselves.

2) Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?

Mornings are busy having a grade schooler and 3-yr old at home. I make sure that I wake up earlier than them to fuel me up and take time to care for myself first – my skincare routine and a quiet time (a quick read, a prayer/dedicating my day). But note that this is not consistent if we have a night tantrum with our youngest!

3) Why did you choose to go sustainable and eco-friendly?

I was born in Manila Philippines, lived in Singapore for 7 years then moved to Melbourne. I have seen and observed ways/effects of neglect and also products of discipline and love for nature. I believe that this planet we are in, keeps on giving but sad to say, not everyone is aware that we need to look after it as well, or else it will end up not having anything to give. Nothing will be left for our children and their future to enjoy, nurture and experience.

4) What was the hardest part of starting your own business?

Many consumers go for convenience like disposables and single plastic use. As a business where we value sustainability, we do not want to go with a trend or convenience alone. We want to bring awareness to consumers as well. So ‘Market Appeal’ is a challenge for us. Another one is Marketing while competing with known brands. We make our skincare in small batches. We want our consumers to know that we are giving love, care and value in each bottle/jar that we offer.

5) One book and/or documentary everyone should read/watch? Why?

For a book, I personally recommend The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer. Our family loves David Attenborough and his documentaries. I like Erin Brokovich,  Plastic Ocean and True Cost. These movie/documentaries show the effect in using plastic everyday and mass productions. It shows the reality but brings consciousness and great realisation to those who will watch it.

6) Best piece of advice you have ever received?

I have three that I have learned from people and my journey:

‘From knowing comes caring, and from caring, comes change.’ – Being aware of the situation because it always starts with us.

‘Make each moment count’. – While in the situation, in every belief or act, give it your all.

And lastly, ‘Engage in your Community’. – Make the situation by building lasting authentic relationships.