By Kristyl Clark
When it comes to addiction, many myths and misapprehensions still abound. Some believe addiction only touches certain people – even certain kinds of people.
The sobering truth is that it’s an equal opportunity offender. Addiction can strike any household, family, tax bracket, community and profession.
Watching loved ones struggle with alcoholism and drug dependence can be heartbreakingly painful, but for one Langley family, it has served as a catalyst for change.
Langley resident Linda Goulding, 58, and her daughter Mandy, 24, have combined their individual talents and passions to launch a unique home-based bath and beauty product business fittingly dubbed Your Divine Addictions.
The mother-daughter team can often be found at various craft sales and holiday markets from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley, selling their handmade natural, organic bath and beauty products.
A portion of all sales goes towards various local addiction and recovery centres, such as The John Volken Foundation and Peardonville House, hence their clever business moniker.
Mandy also plans to profile men and women from all walks of life and their sobriety stories on their website in an attempt to debunk the myths and stereotypes of those who are suffering in our society.
“It’s so sad how stigmatized it is,” said Mandy, a communication major at Simon Fraser University who came up with the innovative business model last year while in class.
Her professor challenged her classmates to combine their passions with a cause – the seed was planted.
“There are so many negative connotations surrounding addiction, when in reality, it’s a mental health condition, a disease, not a choice,” she said.
It’s also hits too close to home for comfort for both mother and daughter.
“Addiction is everywhere and it affects everyone, including our family,” said Linda.
“We’ve had family members go through the rehabilitation/ sobriety process.”
Changing the stigma is no easy feat, but Linda and Mandy are armed with knowledge about addiction, ample resources, family support and a bevvy of natural beauty products made from the labour of love.
“We have communities shunning addicts and treating them poorly, like they are less than and deserve to be in the conditions they are – they aren’t.” said Mandy.
“They are human beings like you and I, and in need of love and in need of help, rehabilitation.”
That’s where the skin care line comes into play.
“I came up with the name Your Divine Addictions, with the hopes of turning something negative to a positive,” said Mandy.
“For years I’ve been unsure of how to help, or what to do. I feel that with this line and our goals, we can at least get our message out there and start breaking stigmas and encourage those struggling with addictions to get help.”
The mother-daughter duo often turns into a full-blown family affair with all six of Linda’s adult children, each of whom bring their own divine talents to the table.
“It has been a lot of fun doing this with the kids,” said Linda.
“My girls put together the packaging, the labelling, and all the designs – they’re pretty amazing.”
It was while growing up on a farm that Linda first took an interest in making homemade remedies, lotions and soaps using plants and herbs found on her parent’s property. The hobby would follow her into adulthood and come in handy as a mom of six.
“When I first started having kids and was working the lab at Surrey Memorial Hospital, I realized that a lot of the stuff I was handling with goggles and gloves was also in my kids’ and babies’ products. I wanted to go back to the natural route, like using essential oils in the bath when they were sick or treating a cough with honey and lemon.”
All of Your Divine Addictions products are made with the same love, care and natural ingredients that Linda has used for years own children over the years.
“We make everything from scratch using plant-based all-organic materials, including body lotions, face creams, mascara, bubble bath and more.”
For more information, or to shop their products, visit www.yourdivineaddiction.com.
~ Story also published in Urbanique Magazine