Meet Samantha Sargent, advocate for natural beauty, health and wellbeing, and founder of the wonderful Be Genki.

Meet Samantha Sargent, advocate for natural beauty, health and wellbeing, and founder of the wonderful Be Genki.

Meet Samantha Sargent, advocate for natural beauty, health and wellbeing, and founder of the wonderful Be Genki.

Before Sam became the founder of a successful Australian business she was, first and foremost, a friend. To help improve a dear friend’s state of mind, Sam concocted a blend of essential oils, and worked with her to the point where self-care rituals eventually ended up taking the place of anti-depressant medication. This oil blend was Be Serene, and this process turned into Be Genki.

What made you start Be Genki?

The short answer: To help encourage and inspire holistic happiness by providing products with lifestyle tips that help to bring about a positive change – specifically anxiety and stress relief – in women’s lives. 

The long answer: At age 21 I reached a point where I was desperately lost. From the outside view everything looked perfect, but internally I was crying out for help as I honestly didn’t know how I was going to get through this thing called “life”. I woke up in hospital one day after trying to kill myself, and had a strong desire to radically change my life. I had no idea how I was going to do so, but the desire was there. So I sought out people and disciplines to learn from, in the hope of finding what it takes to live an inspired life complete with holistic health and happiness. It’s been a challenging and confronting journey … but oh so much more rewarding than surrendering to the drama, trauma, fear, cravings, aversions, envy and anti-consciousness that the mainstream reality conditions us to function from.  I have an unquenchable thirst to educate myself and grow, to become more awake, more conscious, more aware and more synchronised with nature. And, for as long as I can remember, I have always had a strong interest in health and wellbeing, I guess I was just looking for the inspiration to base a business around.

That inspiration turned out to be a girlfriend of mine, who used to suffer from anxiety and was taking anti-depression medication on a daily basis. So I made her a blend with premium organic essential oils for use in the bath, and suggested that she dedicate some time at the end of each day which was just for her … shut the door of the bathroom, run a bath, pour a couple of drops oil blend into the bath, and then sit back and relax for twenty minutes. After about six weeks she came back to me and was so thankful. She felt that she was confident enough to go off her medication. She didn’t know whether it was the ritual of running the bath each night, watching the water flow into the bathtub or the oils that she was inhaling but something sparked confidence in her. She then worked towards exercising more and taking a look at her diet to make healthier choices. She even went off her medication, and to this day has not popped those pills again. You can only imagine how happy this made me feel. Whatever it was that gave her the confidence to take control of her anxiety and depression and ultimately her life, was enough to inspire me to help more people.

And so Be Genki was born. Too often, I hear stories about people who run to the chemist to pop a pill for a symptom that they’re suffering from when they could be utilising alternative medicine and/or making lifestyle changes to target the cause. Whether it’s reaching for that 3rd cup of coffee during the day to get a burst of energy; tossing and turning in bed at night or relying on sleeping tablets to get to sleep; suffering from anxiety and depression, freaking out at the “little things” or losing your temper at those that you love most because you haven’t dealt with the issue appropriately; or simply “beating yourself up” and criticising yourself over something that really isn’t that big a deal in the scheme of things. That is not what life is all about! Life today is fast-paced. Most of us are faced with anxiety and stress on a day-to-day basis whether it be physically, emotionally or spiritually. In order to achieve optimum wellness and inner harmony, we need to learn how to cope with that stress and nurture ourselves on all levels, inside and out. Looking back, whilst the obvious answer is that Be Genki was created out of a desire to help my friend, on reflection it was also created to help support me through that challenging time in my life. 

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

I sure do. First off I start my morning with oil pulling (black sesame oil). Not exactly an enjoyable ’task’ but a habit I find incredibly beneficial. Once that’s finished, the joy begins. My husband makes me a cold-drip coffee with freshly made hemp mylk. I take it outside and sit with him on our verandah listening to the bird songs, watching the sun rise and ever-changing view across the paddocks. I then dry body brush, shower, and indulge in skin care rituals for my face and body: a mini massage with Be Genki face and body oils. 

What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?

The packaging dilemma is always my biggest dilemma. Naturally I’d love to have a 100% biodegradable packaging solution, but it’s simply not possible at this point in time for essential oil/oil based products. Glass is a great solution but there is always the cap that has a plastic component to it. So we do the best we can do for a consumer product. 

Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Be Genki, who made your products?

I make all Be Genki products. By hand. In small batches. When I’m feeling joyful after a meditation. 

Why did you pick the ingredients you have chosen to work with?

I believe that every choice we make has an impact on the world. We vote every single day with our dollar by supporting the kind of world that we’d like to live in. We may feel like we are just one little person, but this is so far from the truth. Our choices matter, and it’s the seemingly insignificant choices that matter the most. Such as what brand of moisturiser we choose to purchase, or toothpaste, or toilet paper, or t-shirt.  By purchasing a product we are saying to that company “keep on doing what you’re doing”. If we would like a different kind of world then the best place to start, is with ourself, and the choices we make every day. 

When it comes to the choices I make with sourcing, I only choose the highest quality ingredients with as minimal interference from man, as possible. You as the consumer wouldn’t know the difference from the label or marketing as it would say: “avocado oil” but there’s a VERY big difference between organic, unrefined, cold-pressed, unbleached avocado oil that has a deep rich cloudy dark green colour delivering remarkable benefits to the skin; as opposed to a translucent deodorised avocado oil grown with the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that delivers far less benefits as well as harmful effects to your health (due to toxic glycophosphate residue from conventional farming). 

Furthermore, I care about the way the plants are cultivated because this impacts your skin, your health and the Earth.  That’s why I only choose organic or wild crafted ingredients for EVERY SINGLE OIL AND BOTANICAL EXTRACT. Why? Because I care about the current threat to the bees. I care about the degradation of the soil. I care about our farmers. I care about the fact that our waterways (rivers and oceans) are polluted. 

If I were to take a “shortcut” and make Be Genki products with conventionally grown oils, extracts and essential oils, you as the consumer wouldn’t see much difference on the label as we could still say that the product was 100% natural and our profit margins would certainly increase BUT the bees would suffer, the Earth would suffer, the waterways would suffer, and your skin and long term health would also suffer. We do not support the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides whatsoever, used in conventional farming and present in the majority of natural products.  

Can you tell us more about where these are sourced?

I source ingredients from all over the world where plants grow in the location where they naturally thrive and therefore have a higher % of actives with beneficial properties. 

Best piece of advice you have ever received?

Over a decade ago I received the most valuable advice from a lovely woman in her late 60’s who I was confiding in about a potential life change I was about to make. She said to me: “when you get to my age sweetie, it’s not the things you did, that you’ll ever regret; it’s the things you didn’t do, that you’ll regret not having taken that leap of faith.” A number of years on, I wholeheartedly agree.

What’s next for you and Be Genki?

We’re going to be launching a TGA approved natural and organic supplement that is proven to balance women’s hormones whilst helping to alleviating stress, anxiety and depression. 

One book everyone should read? Why? 

Lost Connections by Johann Hari. It unveils the lies that we’ve been fed about depression, anxiety and anti-depressant medication, that the pharmaceutical industry perpetuates. It’s a MUST READ for anyone and everyone who is wanting a better understanding of mental health and the steps to take. 

One documentary everyone should watch? Why?

“The Congress” starring Robin Wright. OK, so it’s not “officially” a documentary, BUT, I can’t help but think it’s a documentary predicting the way the world is heading if we don’t wake up from the addiction of our digital devices, pharmaceuticals and allure of virtual reality. 

Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?

Georgia from Bliss Elixir and Catie Gett from The Staple Store. 

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