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Easing into the year with Sophie Marshall of Gentle Habits

Q. So first things first, tell us a little about yourself!

Little bit about me, I live in Yamba with my boys Ace (7) Duke (13)  and husband Tripper and two Pugaliers called Tallow and Spooky Bandit. I am pescatarian Aquarius, who loves a dirty martini, known to take on big crazy projects of all sorts and juggling too much and I love nothing more than working with creative and like-minded humans.

Q. How did the idea for Gentle Habits first ignite? 

Love this question as the idea first “ignited” with the incense! This idea came to me in the shower one morning after rediscovering my love for incense but not really being able to find any incense that I truly loved. Since that day, creating beautiful incense became my side hustle and passion. 

Back in 2020, I was lost in my world of a full-time career as a working mum of two young boys. I had forgotten what I loved to do and needed a way to slow down and be present in the moment after long, stressful days. The little ritual of lighting an incense stick in my space at home after work helped me in so many ways. And creating the scents allowed me to access my creativity in a whole new way. 

Q. How has the brand evolved into what it is today? 

At the end of 2021 after the VIC lockdowns, we moved our family to our dream destination, Yamba, NSW. I knew I needed to leave behind some bad habits I’d adopted from working ridiculous hours and not looking after myself both physically and mentally. I knew I needed to work on the best version of myself and putting myself first after many, many years of not doing so became my priority. 

The new name Gentle Habits was born out of necessity as we were unable to globally trademark our original name, This is Incense. 

The evolution of creating a new brand and building on the incense has taken over two years, and during this time I’ve had the opportunity to create products that I felt I needed in my life to help me on this journey of self-discovery and mindfulness.

I did struggle to meditate, but I have found alternative ways to bring mindful moments into my day through incorporating Gentle Habits products. I hope that by sharing what I’ve created with others, I’ll be able to help more people like me to be able to create these rituals and make them part of their everyday.

Q. What are your top 3 pieces of advice for anyone starting out in business? 

1) If you don’t start you won’t know! Go for it – start your initial research and test your ideas with friends and family.

2) Always set up strong foundations – registering trademarks, company set ups, finding a great accountant… This ensures you’re all set up correctly from the start and reduces stress down the track.

3) Know your strengths and weaknesses and outsource what you can. Find a mentor or business coach as this wisdom and support is invaluable.

Q. What does your morning routine look like? 

My am routine has varied but this is my ultimate morning -

6am: Meditate for 20 mins out on the deck with Grounded Incense – perfect for slowing my busy mind.

6.30am: Pilates/Yoga or movement for 45 mins

7.15 am: Shower ritual with our Yamba Shower Oil – love this time for any ideas to come through

7.30 - 8.30am: Coffee, Incense with music whilst getting the school prep done. I find the Incense and music sets the kids up for a calm start to the school day

9am: Start work in the Bungalow

Q. How do you plan on easing into 2023?

It’s been a very hectic start to the year moving back into the top part of our house as we are mid-way doing our renovation AND juggling school holidays with work, so I have been really gentle on myself for not getting everything I need done and spending the time building up on the habits I have integrated into my day.

Q. What are your favouritegentle habitsthat you carry through each day?

My favourite gentle habits would be matching our incense scents during the day to what I am doing and needing - Grounded in the morning for meditation, Electric Dreams for getting creative in the office and our new Connect for winding down after bedtime with my hubby.