Heather Reier is her own best customer. Ten years ago, feeling frustrated by the lack of sweet-smelling natural beauty products on the market, she started whipping up her own concoctions in her kitchen. “I wanted to create a line of products with beautiful ingredients combined with a girlie-sassy look for that target market, which was me!”
Cake Beauty, with its cutesy packaging and fruity flavours, is available everywhere from Sweden to Dubai and found in the bathrooms of celebs like Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts.
Now, Heather’s created a new superaffordable collection, Be Delectable, for Target Canada. The new body washes, lotions and mists feature the same natural ingredients as Cake products and come in four delicious scents .
Ironically for such a girlie-girl, Heather has two little boys, 16-month-old Graeme and three-year-old Hudson. “I joke to my husband, Oliver, that we’ll just keep going until we get a girl,” says Heather. Luckily, for now, Hudson gets a kick out of test-driving his mom’s paraben-free bath and beauty line. He’s not the only guinea pig in the family, either. “Oliver has been the best supporter,” she says. “He uses the Milk Made Velveteen Hand Creme as a hair pomade and keeps telling me I need to market it for men; he loves it.”
Inspired by her kids, Heather has a baby-product line in the works. “I have more ideas than I have time for,” she says. “People often say, ‘Oh God, you have to create something new every season!’ But that’s the best part about my business.”
Heather has come a long way since her start-up days, when she was camped out in her kitchen, blending mangos and shea butter into silky skin creams. Back then, her parents did the packaging, deliveries and labelling. “My dad even created a label contraption for me,” she says. The savvy entrepreneur now has an entire team of Cake enthusiasts working for her. The kitchen still offers plenty of inspiration too, but now it’s baking that helps her brainstorm. “Textures are really big for me, so I’ll often get inspiration from the rich textures in baking.” Her specialty ? Cakes, of course! “I have a great angel food cake recipe my whole family loves.”
Knowing when to unplug and ignore work emails (and her Facebook timeline) also keeps Heather feeling creative. “I have just about mastered that balance,” she says. “I want to always be present for my kids and to keep everything in perspective.” (It’s hard to stress about spreadsheets when she’s singing nursery rhymes and playing with her boys.)
And if all else fails, there’s nothing like a little retail therapy. “I’m not one of those girls who need to be decked out in labels from head to toe,” says Heather. “My style is more boho-glam, and I love, love purses!” As for which beauty brand she swears by —well, take a guess.
Heather’s telling details…
My proudest moment was… giving birth to my boys, Hudson and Graeme.
I define downtime as… catching up with friends or having a quiet glass of wine with my husband.
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about… Cake Beauty — it’s usually about something minor, like a colour change or switching a meeting.
My favourite moment of the day is… reading bedtime stories to my kids. They’re the light of my life and a soft place to land at the end of each busy day.
The biggest mistake I ever made is… It sounds cliché, but I don’t look at my setbacks as mistakes. There’s always a great learning opportunity and a silver lining.
My guiltiest pleasure is… cake. (The edible kind!)
Five things Heather can’t live without:
Coconut & cream hair & body mist “This is my favourite product from the new Be Delectable line I designed for Target.”
Kitchenaid stand mixer “I like to bake, and this makes it easier and quicker to get through a recipe — hands-free!”
Rag & Bone hazel leather ballet flats “These are my go-to comfort shoes for cruising around with the kids or a casual day at the office.”
Satin sugar dry shampoo & body power “I can skip washing, and my hair still looks clean and smells fantastic all day.”
Sonos music system “We have music playing constantly in the house. I have eclectic musical tastes, so this system suits me perfectly.”