Mum of three writes the bible on looking after your baby bump
AromaBump book and skincare products are designed with pregnancy in mind
Lisa Heeney: “I only use 100 per cent natural ingredients and where possible they are organic. This includes beeswax from Irish honeybees in Co Louth.”
Lisa Heeney does not let the grass grow under her feet. In 2015 the mum of three set up AromaBump, a natural skin- and body-care company hand producing a range of aromatherapy-based products for pregnancy. She has just launched her book, AromaBump – the Belly Bible for Aromatherapy in Pregnancy, and is working on a range of skin products for babies that will go on sale in 2017.
Heeney used to work in sales and marketing in the travel industry but gave it up in 2001 “to do something more rewarding and less stressful”. She trained in aromatherapy with the Tisserand Institute in London and opted to focus on keeping expectant mums relaxed and comfortable during their pregnancies.
She was often asked by clients for advice on easing their aches and pains and she began making up blends of oils to alleviate them on an individual basis. This sparked the idea to develop her own range of products that includes bath oil, body butter and leg balm.
Heeney makes the products herself from scratch and is based at the Millmount Enterprise Centre in Drogheda.
“I only use 100 per cent natural ingredients and where possible they are organic. This includes beeswax from Irish honeybees in Co Louth, ” she says.
“The ingredients are chosen for their effectiveness in helping to ease the discomforts that women often experience during pregnancy, including sleeplessness, stress, swelling and skin changes. Women have a tendency to use more body moisturisers when pregnant so I was keen to create products that avoided any potentially harmful ingredients such as mineral oils, phthalates, synthetic fragrances and preservatives. During my own pregnancies I never came across any products that struck a chord with me and this encouraged me to create my own.”
Heeney estimates that she has invested around €13,000 in the business so far which has been self-funded. She is currently selling online only, but wants to expand into suitable retail outlets in the new year. Her book, which explains how to use essential oils safely and therapeutically, is available on her website and through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
She acknowledges that there are already many skin and beauty products on the market. However, she believes that her range is different because it is aromatherapy-based and specifically for pregnancy.
“These products have been developed from both professional and personal first-hand experience and deal with a lot more than just stretchmarks,” she says. “I have deep domain knowledge of pregnancy and what I am producing is not just an add-on to a general range of natural skincare. It takes the woman’s whole being into account and the therapeutic nature of essential oils means that mums-to-be can be supported physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Heeney is putting together a kit that will combine her book with a range of essential and carrier oils. She also has plans to expand into general skincare. However, her next goal is to launch a range of babycare products during 2017. The products are on trial with family and friends and, once Heeney is happy, they will be sent for certification. The initial range will include a cream for nappy rash and a moisturiser.
“The emphasis will be on gentleness and natural ingredients such as vegetable oils and beeswax. I do not use aromatherapy oils on children under two years of age,” Heeney says.
With her three children now in school, Heeney is devoting a lot more time to developing her business. She is currently working alone, but hopes to take on her first employees in 2017 as turnover grows. Her aim is to employ 10 people within five years.