Marnie Vaz, Writer, Massage Therapist and Ethical Entrepreneur.
Introducing Marnie Vaz, manager of Skin Talk blog and founder of Earth to Ocean (Launching in March 2020). Marnie is from Liverpool and has moved and travelled all over the world working at sea as well as on her own adventures. She has her own sustainable and natural skincare range and is a massage therapist.
For her Masters she chose to focus on the ethics of ‘green’ beauty and what that really means. As someone who finds academia challenging, Marnie proved that with dedication, passion and a keen drive to make the world a better place, obstacles can be overcome. The Skin Talk blog has been an outlet for her own personal hurdles, as well as a space for others to showcase their stories.
In 1 sentence, what is the purpose of the work you do?
Encouraging a highly polluting marine industry to opt for environmentally friendly personal care products on board, whilst writing about ‘green’ and ‘ethical’ issues and wider concepts around sustainability and the inspirational people/projects endorsing it.
What book, film, YouTube video, radio program or podcast has most inspired you recently and how?
6 Music always lifts me up – music is another vice of mine. For real music heads, it’s the greatest. radio station. ever. It has an amazing set of presenters, curating interesting shows, with great, eclectic music tastes, and who have an appreciation for other mediums, like spoken word and poetry.
When you feel a resistance to work or a bit down/tired, what helps you to renew your focus?
In an ideal world – being active with yoga, hiking, watersports, climbing. My reality – working on my laptop from home in isolation. I’m trying to establish that balance and one day I’ll have the lifestyle I want. Right now, having a conversation and using my support network to talk about ideas helps me get out of my head and renew focus.
Who do you go to for advice or to help you talk over your business/creative plans and ideas?
Anyone who understands my slightly manic ways. And fuels them with no judgements; family, friends.
As a freelancer what do you struggle with the most and how do you manage that?
Manifesting my ideas into solid, workable tasks. I bubble away with ideas and creativity, but I can be neurotic when bringing them to life. Sharing my grand plans with others always helps me gain clarity, and assess the feasibility of a project.
What is your greatest joy about the work you do?
The practical side to it. I love working on my formulation designs, which involve using raw ingredients like fruit butters and oils, to make a moisturiser, for example. Of course there is a science to the process – I am manipulating plant extracts to create an end product. But most importantly, there is an art to it. Like cooking. Creating a wonderful dish, using simple, fresh, yet delicate ingredients is a joy.
With regards to Skin Talk – I enjoy telling stories of inspirational people who share similar values or visions as myself. I like narrowing in on parts their story/journey and coming at it from a slightly abstract perspective. I always manage to draw out the ‘green’, ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ values I want to curate, as a writer.
If money were no obstacle and you could invest as much as you need into your business, what’s the biggest dream you have for your project?
To create an environmental research station of some sort. e.g. gathering data on plastic pollution or assessing biodiversity where my raw ingredients are grown. I’d need to find ways to use art. I’m more creative than logical, so I’d have to merge it into an artist residency at weekends or something.
Can you tell us 3 main values that you live your life by and that inform how you work?
Ethics – The foundations and inspiration for my projects. I wouldn’t have any work to do without it.
Vision – Everything starts with an idea and I am full of them. I would say being ‘visionary’ is a better way of describing it.
Connection – I really would be two dimensional without connecting to others. My loved ones are the most important, but I also take inspiration from those passing, somewhat transient connections that life throws at you.
What kind of positive change are you aiming to make in the world through the work you do?
Reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean and encourage sustainable consumption within the maritime community. Overall to drive the industry to adopt environmentally friendly solutions. It’s renowned for being wasteful.
What does the word “creativity” mean to you?
Letting our intuition, energy and our wild inner worlds come to the surface and dance.
Do you have any lessons to share that you’ve learnt about being a freelancer / creative / small business owner that might help someone thinking of pursuing their own project?
Stick at it and slowly chip away. Even if you are simply mulling over ideas, in your own head. You are always making progress. Share your ideas with others. Become social media savvy – I’m a social media snob at heart, but my highbrow ways don’t work anymore.
You can visit Marnie’s Skin Talk blog here.
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