At Vie Active HQ, we passionately believe when you invest in your health & wellbeing, you can do, be and give so much more.
We're constantly inspired by incredible boss babes in our community who are killing it in the wellness field and it's both a pleasure and an honour to introduce you to them.
Meet Carla from @thebeautychef!
Name: Carla Oates
Company: The Beauty Chef
Year Company Was Founded: 2012
What’s your hometown? Bondi Beach
What lead you to start your business? When I was a child, I had eczema and allergies so I went and saw a naturopath and she drastically changed my diet. When I took certain things out of my diet and introduced more whole foods, I saw a dramatic change in my skin. So from quite early on, I had a very good understanding of how food and gut health can affect the skin.
Due to my skin problems and also my daughters (who also suffered from allergies and eczema), I have spent the last ten years focused on researching, teaching and creating products that focus on gut health; and experimenting with and researching lacto-fermented foods (which produce natural probiotics). This has made a huge difference to my skin and also my daughters. I know it doesn’t sound very glamorous, but beautiful, glowing skin does begin in your gut. If you're working toward more radiant and glowing skin, you might be surprised to know that the answer lies more in your digestive tract rather than on how much you're spending on creams and cleansers.
When I created The Beauty Chef, it was with the intention of educating women that glowing skin comes from within, which means feeding your skin from the inside out. And more specifically that ‘beauty begins in the belly” – good gut health is vital for healthy, robust, radiant skin.
What’s your approach to health and wellness? I believe that beauty is an inside-out process. Glowing skin is basically a reflection of healthy cells. The key to a clearer, more radiant complexion and general well-being occurs when you balance your gut and feed your body nutrient-dense food.
There is not a one-size-fits-all diet solution. Irrespective of whether you eat a vegan, vegetarian, paleo, pescatarian, or any other way of eating, I have found that unprocessed, organic, low GI and low HI (human intervention), sustainable foods are best for our bodies, the food chain and the environment.
Who or what inspires you in life and your career? Nature in all its forms inspires me. And people who live and lead in a positive way, breaking down barriers that allow others to benefit. People who express beauty in a unique, beautiful, honest and brave way in their work or lives, whether it be through charity, writing, painting, activism... Some of the people who inspire me include David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, Ronni Kahn, Michal Pollan, Christiana Figueres, Hope Jahren, Roy Choi, Esther Ibanga, Liya Kebede, Yayoi Kusama, Charlize Theron.
Being a woman in business has also made me really appreciate and feel even more respect for other female entrepreneurs – there are definitely still barriers out there for women in business when dealing in business - from lending firms, to account firms, to manufacturing – unfortunately sexism still exists and it makes it just that bit harder when you are a woman. I’m very inspired by the women who push through that.
What’s on your plate for a typical lunch on the go? For lunch, I’ll usually make a big salad with nuts, sprouts, avocado and some form of protein, whether chicken or salmon.
How do you unwind? I enjoy running along Bondi Beach or going to a Pilates class in Bondi. Sea air is rich in negative ions that are very rejuvenating, so a walk along the beach is a favourite beauty ritual. After a long day, it’s always nice to take a luxurious bath! Whether a full bath or footbath, I add Epsom salts to the water, as they’re rich in detoxifying sulfur and relaxing magnesium and promote detoxification.
What advice would you give to all those aspiring female entrepreneurs out there? I know it is a cliché, but behind every successful business is a lot of hard work. I often say this to my children. Do what you love, because success requires hard work, so you might as well spend the hard work doing something you wholeheartedly enjoy. Plus, you are bound to be more successful doing something that you have fire, passion and drive for. There are many good ideas out there, but to make them concrete requires hard work and resilience.