Canadian creative entrepreneur Stefanie Henderlin founded the award-winning Mangata Apothecary, which offers a range of botanical bath and body care products. Stefanie shared how she began making her products. “My background was midwifery, and I originally created all these products for clients,” the maker said.
Stefanie received plenty of positive feedback on her handmade herbal products, and with encouragement from her husband, she decided to go all in on her business. So far, the endeavor has been successful. Mangata won the 2022 Lux Magazine’s award for Best Natural & Herbal Wellness Products – British Columbia and the 2023 AI Global Media award for Leading Providers of Botanical Pre & Post-Natal Care Products (Canada).
“Mangata” is a Swedish word describing the road-like reflection of the moon on the water, which reflects the calming vibe of the brand. Stefanie, a mother of three, is on a mission to “Bring Botanicals Back, and she shared her path to entrepreneurship with us, noting what surprised her about running a business.
Don’t spend too much before you have tested the waters. What you love may not resonate with others.Stefanie Henderlin
Artisan Joy: How do you define success for your creative business?
Stefanie Henderlin: Making my passion into a profitable business that I can leave to my children or sell for a pretty penny!
AJ: Where do you find inspiration?
SH: Other creators that have made it. I love being mentored and receiving insight and advice.
AJ: What advice would you give to someone who wants to begin selling their art or creative product?
SH: Don’t spend too much before you have tested the waters. What you love may not resonate with others.
AJ: What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
SH: That I failed my midwifery transfer program! Out of failure came a new direction as I had studied in a different country and was not equipped to work in Canadian hospitals.
AJ: As creatives, we can be continuously creating and refining our art. How do you handle perfectionism?
SH: I am not honestly driven to perfectionism. My whole business is born out of making do with what we already have and not striving for the best. That being said—I love to present a beautiful product and understand the value in appearance.
AJ: What’s something that surprised you about running a creative business?
SH: How much time I must spend marketing and at the computer!
AJ: Running a business brings joys and challenges. What advice would you give to someone about handling the highs and lows?
SH: Keep going. Get advice but don’t give up!
AJ: Has someone ever criticized your work? How did you handle it?
SH: Yes. It’s hard, but you grow a thick skin and learn from it. Often there is truth to what is being said, and you must take the wisdom from it to perfect your work.
AJ: What’s a cause you are passionate about and why?
SH: We give a portion of our proceeds to Cedar’s Network, which provides vital healthcare to Syrian refugees, focusing on pregnant women. You can learn more at www.cedarsnetwork.org/
AJ: And, of course, we have to ask you this: what brings you joy?
SH: My family. Being able to juggle stay-at-home-mom life and a business.
You can learn more about Mangata Apothecary at mangataapothecary.ca.
Editor’s note: This interview was edited slightly for length and clarity.