No products in the cart.
an exclusive interview with the founder of EVOHE,
Meg Forrester is one of those rare people that are completely authentic, in everything they do – whether it is starting her day with meditation or yoga on the beach near her North Burleigh home, or running her flourishing 100% natural skincare business, EVOHE. For Meg, everything begins and ends with this simple philosophy – that by running her business in an ethical way, she can contribute to creating a world of peace and harmony.
Meg started EVOHE with the unconditional support of her late husband Barry at the beginning of the new Millennium. it was a natural progression of events from their initial meeting and the start of their relationship.
“When Baz and I got together there was a great momentum and shift. We met at an organic market – literally our eyes met over a bunch of coriander! I was into raw food at the time and Baz was an international chef, so I guess you could say food brought us together. We moved from the Gold Coast to the hills of the Northern Rivers to an amazing property that had verandahs all around it and five acres with farm animals and misty mountains in the background. We just knew that something food would come of it.”
Baz’s background as a chef working all around the world (in more that 30 countries, with every type of food) meant it was a natural progression for them to turn their homestead into a thriving organic restaurant. It was a completely bespoke experience, for a selective clientele that was soon booked out a year in advance. “We made everything from scratch – the bread, the cheese, the ice-cream. It would take us two days of prep to do one service on a Saturday night for just ten people.”
“Through this practice I came to understand that if the body doesn’t recognise something as food, then the immune system gets called on to ‘deal’ with it instead of the digestive system. It became clear to me that the extra burden we place on our bodies was simply due to lifestyle choices.
Applying this same philosophy to skincare made so much sense to me. If you can’t eat it then you wouldn’t want to put it on your skin, as we all know the skin absorbs everything it comes in contact with. The skin is our largest organ, so it makes sense to think about what we put on it. If it creates a toxic load on the system in any way – simply don’t use it. Find an alternative. Not always the path of least resistance but with some stubborn commitment we feel that we have created a product that is genuinely good for us. A clear conscience is the byproduct of living with integrity.”
After immersing themselves in the world of organic cuisine for some time, the seed for what would brome EVOHE was planted when one night a regular customer asked the pertinent question, “What would you like to do if you weren’t doing this?” Baz responded with an explanation of my desire to create a skincare product that was natural and that actually really worked. The customer responded with wise yet grandiose simplicity, “Well what’s stopping you from building this fabulous skincare empire?” From that point on, we were committed to making EVOHE a reality.
Meg immersed herself in natural ingredients, and in particular, bush flower essences.
“Australian ingredients are always a priority for us. The bush flower essence blend that we have specifically blended for EVOHE products is based on a clear intention that is then infused into the products – seeing the beauty in yourself and seeing the beauty in others.”
Not content with just the purest natural ingredients, Meg wanted all her ingredients to also be the highest efficacy grade so that the products would be as effective as possible. She also wanted to ensure the integrity of all the supply chains of every ingredient in every product in the EVOHE range to be completely cruelty-free and to make sure the sources were sustainable as well as not harming the natural environment. For instance, they committed to making sure no pam oil was used in any of the products, due to many palm oil plantations endangering the wildlife of the countries they are in.
“Often when we were researching skincare ingredients that seemed natural or organic we would discover additional components that were either hidden within the ingredient or used in the manufacturing of the ingredient. By hidden I mean the manufacturer would only declare the main raw material as the name of the ingredient and not what was used in the manufacturing of the ingredient. Even if the ingredients had a stamp of assurance we were left with doubt about what level of standards were required within the industry.
The Conscious Living Checklist that we use as the basis of everything we do at EVOHE is our way to set our own standards that apply to our personal choices for a conscious lifestyle.”
She goes on to say, “at EVOHE we won’t compromise on ingredients because it’s just not necessary. In many ‘natural’ products they use incidental ingredients that can actually be quite harmful. For instance, citrus seed extract is used in many products and it’s actually contaminated with chloroform and formaldehyde. There are so many good ingredients and natural alternatives to the commonly used synthetic versions.”
Meg had a quintessential Australia childhood that involved classic Australian activities such as swinging on the clothes line, eating pomegranates and plums straight off the tree and picking flowers with her grandmother. When she was older she should spend holidays going four-wheel driving over sand dunes in South Australia, and swimming with dolphins off the coast of Fraser Island.
Meg believes that true luxury now is about the richness of loving connection and quality interactions rather than of having symbols that represent luxury. When asked about her beauty philosophy, Meg says “Emanate beauty from within because you feel it. I believe that innate beauty comes through as you cannot be anyone but you. Because of this you share a responsibility to be the best version of you that you can be. Knowing you’re worthy and beautiful is the foundation for everything to flow in your life and then you can genuinely give to others”. True beauty comes from a healthy body, mind and spirit, which is something that meg consciously calls into existence in her own life. When Meg isn’t running her thriving business, she spends time nurturing herself. She has what she calls her ‘Tool Kit’ of daily practices that she turns to in order to make every moment of life count. She loves to cook, meditate, exercise and spend time sharing and interacting with friends and family.
A spontaneous holiday to the Great barrier Reed inspired a new chapter in the EVOHE story, by inspiring Meg to create her makeup range, EVOHE colours:
“Snorkelling that trip was the first of many new experiences for me. I knew from pictures and movies that it was going to be beautiful but when I dived in that first time and saw with my own eyes the majestic richness that exists within our oceans it seriously took my breath away. I was in complete awe and appreciation. I felt alive and exhilarated – we all know from experience that when you feel a joy like this you just want to share it and so the EVOHE Colour story was actualised.
EVOHE’s next chapter is to keep growing with conscious collaboration and participation in community, as well as becoming a platform for sharing, celebrating life and sharing the celebration with others. “My humble hope is that EVOHE could be an instrument for this to unfold in our world.”
behind the scenes - meg's perspective
This portrait shot taken for Konceirge Magazine late 2014 stirs me deeply. When I think about the events leading up to it, the day itself and the moments right before the camera went click I feel compelled to write it down and share.
Just 5 months prior to this shot being taken I had said goodbye to my husband who had suffered with Leukaemia for 3 years. It was an extremely intense and painful process that we went through and yet the deepest and most profound experience of love I have ever known.
I look at my eyes in this shot and I see the residue of deep pain. I also feel the contrast of this. The unconditional love.
I remember when Chao Xian first bought the opportunity to me 12 months prior and showed me an example of what they would like to do. I burst out in nervous laughter thinking how could I ever be that glamourous. My unworthiness was overwhelming. I felt no graciousness at all.
I had a lot of self judgement come up about my funny face and crooked teeth and that I certainly didn’t look like any of the models in that magazine. Chao Xian looked surprised at my resistance. He was the one who envisioned the final result and he was confident.
I decided to trust him and trust the process.
This photo shoot became and emblem to me of coming out in to the world as Meg Forrester. I had been swirling in the depths of pain and suffering with my husband Baz and this new ‘photo shoot’ project was giving me an excuse to shine. To have the audacity to thrive while my husband died.
I told myself that it was all for EVOHE so that I didn’t feel guilty about living and thriving. My dear friend Kat Dawes is also featured in this issue of the magazine. She came to stay just before Baz died and provided me with such solid loving support that we formed a bond that runs deep.
Kat has a fabulous theory. That if you are running a program or pattern that doesn’t serve you then you’ve just gotta do what ever you can to talk yourself in to a new way of thinking. So my belief was that I am not photogenic. She too had a similar thought pattern. We spent the next 3 months telling each other how photogenic we are.
Every time I saw her or bumped in to her in the hallway we would declare how photogenic we are. It was fun and silly and it really did start to ease my mind about the fast approaching photo shoot.
We also practiced #TRUST.
Trusting Chao Xian and the team at Konceirge. Trusting their natural love for us and that they had our best interests in mind. Knowing that everything always works out.
Asking ourselves, “what if it was easy”.
I also set some intentions for myself. I knew it was a portrait still shot and that actually felt extremely intimate to me. I felt vulnerable…in a good way. I decided I would let love come through me with poise. I set my screensaver to #poise.
The conscious, diligent practice of these thoughts soon became genuine feelings and we walked in to that studio feeling confident and poised.