Money & Career

How One Of Australia’s Leading Natural Beauty Brands Began With A Cancer Battle

Bridget Carmady's career journey is both heartbreaking and inspiring

It’s not often that one’s experiences with cancer leads to the creation of one’s passion – but that’s exactly how Bridget Carmady’s journey starts. Bridget, who is a qualified naturopath, lost both her dad and sister to cancer and has been on a mission to empower others to make smart skincare choices for their wellbeing (and the planet’s) ever since. 

It all began in 2008 when Bridget became unhappy when her father’s oncologist prescribed a petroleum-based barrier cream to “help” his radiation burn. At home, Bridget began to develop a natural cream for his burns instead – and much to everyone’s surprise, her father’s burns improved dramatically – more so than other patients in the ward. This is where Bridget would have her lightbulb moment. 

“It was the cream I made for my dad’s radiation burn that really lit a spark in me,” Bridget says. “I saw first-hand how natural products could alleviate pain and help reduce burns. This made me eager to learn more about natural remedies and conduct research to test their effectiveness for a whole host of health issues.” 

As a qualified naturopath, Bridget started working in complementary medicine research at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine before opening her own private practice. At her clinic, Bridget saw clients who presented with a whole host of skin issues, and at the time felt as if her clients were faced with a real lack of skincare products that were gentle and made from organic ingredients – that still delivered powerful results. Bridget decided to develop her own, spending years making products at home before turning them into a professional range in 2016, now known as Clemence Organics

Losing two loved ones to cancer has made Bridget all the more passionate about eliminating toxins from her life – and she wants to encourage others to do the same, starting with skincare. It wasn’t always an easy journey, though, with Bridget realising first-hand what it takes to get a brand noticed. “Getting my products noticed on a mass-market scale has probably been the biggest challenge,” Bridget says. 

“A more recent challenge I had was going through the process of getting my skincare range certified organic,” she adds. “The amount of paperwork, emails, phone calls and detail required was phenomenal but so worth it in the end. I know more about each and every ingredient in my products more than ever.”

The challenges have been far outweighed by the powerful results Bridget gets to see first-hand. “Over the years I’ve been told on several occasions how my skincare products have literally changed people’s lives. These are people who have spent thousands of dollars trying to resolve a tricky skin issue to have it almost instantly resolved. They are finally able to walk out of their house make-up free, feeling confident and beautiful.” 

As for Bridget’s advice when it comes to getting a business off the ground? “If you’re passionate, be persistent. Not many businesses make it overnight. Sometimes it takes years before you start seeing real results. If your heart is in it, then eventually your hard work will come to fruition.”

“I also highly recommend finding like-minded businesswomen to bounce ideas off and ask advice of. I’ve been very lucky to have a close network of women in my life who are my great resources of knowledge and inspiration.” 

See the full range of products here

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