Munday Body Care is a family-owned business that specializes in handmade soaps and natural skincare products. All are inspired by rich and nourishing ingredients, rooted in self-care traditions from Southeast Asia and the Aussie bushland.
They formulate their products with a focus on the healing benefits of these unique wholesome plant ingredients. Essential oils are used not only for the therapeutic aromatherapy benefits, but also to bring a spa-like sanctuary to their users’ personal space. The goal is to encourage customers to find ways to incorporate holistic self-love practices into their daily routine.
The company was established in 2019 by Mun Moy and Ken Chong. Mun is the formulator and focuses on the creative aspect of the business. Her husband Ken is the business strategist, researcher and the numbers guy.
All the products are handcrafted at their studio in Toronto and are made in small batches to maintain quality, efficacy and freshness. Mun and Ken aspire to integrate care and thoughtfulness for their customers into every aspect of their business.
Munday Body Care’s attention to creating quality products, and their focus on providing a top notch customer experience, are why they were one of the first companies we reached out to when looking for vendors at Brightly Boxed. We sell five of their gift sets, including the Rejuvenating Self-Care box and the Coffee Self-Care box.
I had the opportunity to interview Mun about their entrepreneurial journey, the inspiration for starting Munday Body Care, and some of their best self-care practices.
1) What was your motivation for starting a business?
I think the seed was planted years ago in trying to alleviate the allergy symptoms of our son as a baby, who suffered from incessant rashes and eczema spots. I began channeling my scientific and creative passions into finding natural ways to soothe and heal his symptoms.
I meticulously researched about the healing benefits of plants, and had continued to be fascinated by native herbs and botanicals from various regions I have called home or visited. While living in Australia and Southeast Asia, I learned about the local flora and their benefits — like the kakadu plum and hibiscus sabdariffa flower local to Australia, moringa in Cambodia, the Burmese thanaka and the gotu kola plant in Malaysia.
I learned how the local cultures used these plants in healing teas, nourishing broths and rejuvenating poultices for their skin. I wanted to be able to share these fascinating experiences that have inspired me with others.
I have had a great career journey in architecture for 20 years, and I wanted to do something different and also be able to settle in one city for more than a handful of years. I wanted to be an entrepreneur and be able to bring my passions to the forefront of this venture. That was the beginning of Munday Body Care!
2) What is your business motto?
Caring for our customers and building authentic relationships with them, while making products using natural ingredients to soothe and protect their skin, and to enhance their overall well-being.
3) Who are your target clients?
There was a time when I felt I was being pulled in every direction trying to build a career and nurturing a young family. I often felt depleted and an all-consuming guilt that I wasn’t doing more. Then I came across an article where Oprah Winfrey spoke about career, life and leadership. Something she said was a light bulb moment for me: “You don’t have anything to give that you don’t have.”
I realized that so many of us often have no hesitation to reach out in support of our family, friends and clients, but then feel self-indulgent when we take some time off for ourselves.
Oprah also said, “The value you give yourself is the value the world reflects back to you. When you care about yourself enough to embrace change, you’re on the path that will lead you home to happiness.”
Our target clients are people who know that it’s important to “show up” for themselves, to recharge, re-centre emotionally and spiritually, and rejuvenate. They are conscious of what they choose to put on their skin, what they eat and how they manage their mental and physical well-being.
We use plant ingredients that not only nourish the skin but also have adaptogenic properties that help fight the effects of environmental stress on the body.
4) What do your clients say about your business?
Our customers tell us that they appreciate our thoughtful and exceptional customer service and our prompt response to their inquiries. They enjoy the simplicity of our products, especially our natural handmade bar soaps.
They often let us know that our soaps are nourishing and moisturizing, and don’t make their skin feel dry. They love our body butters and scrubs, often asking questions about the hero ingredients – moringa and thanaka.
Our best-seller is our aromatherapy shower melts, made with pure essential oils. Customers enjoy being able to pick the different blends of essential oils designed to calm, energize or refresh.
Here are a couple rave reviews from Munday Body Care customers:
“I’ve been buying these shower melts for the past 2 years and I LOVE them. It really brightens my day to just pop one in the shower and breathe in the satisfying smells.”
“The body and lip scrubs are wonderful! And I’m never going back to liquid body wash now that I’ve tried their bar soaps – they smell amazing and work well with my sensitive skin. Plus, way less waste – so it’s a win-win!”
5) What are your plans for business growth? New services and/or products that clients can look out for?
We are excited to be working on some plant-based serums that target problem areas on the skin. We are also still focusing on using nutrient-rich ingredients to aid the skin to be healthy and balanced, draw out radiance from within, and make us feel good about ourselves.
We will be introducing two botanical actives to our range – turmeric and gotu kola. Both feature extensively in self-care traditions in Southeast Asia.
Turmeric contains curcumin which has benefits in helping to brighten the skin. It is also a powerful antioxidant that helps fight environmental stress.
Gotu kola is used extensively in poultices in Southeast Asian traditions, with the belief that the herb harmonizes the mind, body and spirit. Its benefits include its ability to provide hydration deeper into the epidermis and as an adaptogen to combat environmental stress on the skin.
We aspire to continue to educate our customers about the healing powers and efficacy of these Asian herbs through our products, blogs and social media.
We also have strategies in place to expand the wholesale segment of our business where we would like to introduce our products to small retailers. We will choose retailers who are aligned with our values, and who promote natural skincare products that focus on ingredients that bring overall well-being, trialed in its benefits through generational traditions.
6) What trends are you noticing in your industry?
Customers are looking towards pared down skincare routines, simpler products with the essentials, and conscious self-care as a means to a healthy, balanced and natural skincare routine. They look for a product that performs with multiple benefits, such as a body butter that moisturizes and brightens the skin.
They are also looking for skincare products that are more sustainable in the sourcing of raw ingredients, mindful packing, and in general, being environmentally thoughtful in the manufacturing process.
7) How has COVID affected your business and what have you done to COVID-proof your business?
The challenges over the past two years have been many and unpredictable. In the midst of the pandemic, we faced supply chain disruptions with raw materials and packaging. We just had to be resourceful and look at supplies that were farther away, which meant increasing our logistics cost.
We also spent a lot of time testing our raw materials from the new suppliers to ensure that we maintained the high quality we expected.
Our greatest lesson from the past year is that we must be ready to pivot and make the necessary adjustments to meet unexpected challenges. We needed to cultivate the mindset that change moves us forward.
8) Could you share some of your favourite ingredients that you use in your products and their benefits?
One of our favourite ingredients in our products is coffee. It offers a high concentration of antioxidants in the form of chlorogenic acids (CGA), which counter inflammation, calm blotchiness and tighten pores to yield a smoother complexion.
The stimulating effect of caffeine balances out your skin tone and helps to reduce the formation of dark spots, giving you that self-care glow! When infused into a lotion or butter to moisturize the skin, the flavonoids in coffee reduce the look of puffiness and redness, giving your skin a firmer appearance.
Another ingredient I love is moringa, which I first encountered when I was living in Cambodia. Moringa leaves feature prominently in the local cuisine. Moringa oil is a super emollient that helps to restore your skin’s natural oils, thereby improving moisture retention in your skin.
It helps to restore the skin’s healthy barrier protection and slows trans-epidermal water loss through the epidermis of the skin. Increased trans-epidermal water loss occurs when the skin’s protective barrier is impaired, allowing excess moisture to evaporate from the skin, resulting in dry, dehydrated or irritated skin. The behenic acid content in moringa oil makes it a favoured anti-aging weapon.
Moringa is also a known adaptogen. Adaptogens help our skin to adapt to environmental stressors , such as pollution, oxidation and UV rays, that can accelerate visible signs of aging. Skincare with moringa helps to modulate the skin’s response to these stressors.
Thanaka is my all-time favourite ingredient. It is a plant extract that has been used for centuries in skincare among the Burmese people. My first encounter with thanaka was when I was in Myanmar and I noticed that people on the streets had a paste applied on their cheeks similar to a face mask. I found that this was customary among the locals to protect them from the tropical sun and humid weather.
Thanaka is a natural sunscreen, provides a cooling effect on the skin due to its menthol content, and its astringent properties help improve oily skin. Its benefits are clearly evident in the clear complexion of the local people. The two active ingredients, coumarin and marmesin, impart anti-aging and skin-brightening benefits.
9) Could you share some of your self-care tips with our readers?
Self-care is taking intentional action to nurture our mental, emotional, and physical health. It can look different for each one of us. It’s vitally important for us to have self-compassion, and taking the time to tune into our bodies and our needs. We can’t give what we don’t have. I believe that self-care with clear intentions can strengthen our resilience, endurance and tenacity.
Curling up on a warm rug with a book is a great way to destress. Getting moving with some dance steps or stretches to re-energize, or just relaxing with some aromatherapy while you take a warm shower. I personally enjoy replenishing with a hydrating face mask and a warm foot soak, beside the rich glow of a candle, and just feel the stress melt away.
10) What advice would you give to others who might be considering starting a business?
First and foremost is to have an entrepreneurial mindset. Bring your passion for what you are doing into the biz. Build your resilience and tenacity and be prepared to overcome any hurdles (because there will be many that will cause anxieties and stresses).
Consider what makes you unique as an entrepreneur and what the business stands for. Passion and knowledge are powerful tools in a business so be an expert in your field.
As an entrepreneur, we are constantly expected to wear different hats. It’s important to recognize our own strengths and have support in areas where we are not as adept.
11) Where can our readers find you?
You can find us at
Ethical Local Market (ELM)
1628 Queen St. East,
Toronto, ON M4L 1G3
~ Contact Munday Body Care ~
Munday Body Care
Photos provided by Munday Body Care
Our email: firstname.lastname@example.org