Founder of Tom Organic, Aimee Marks on all things Organic and what makes her FLAWSOME
Posted on 19 March 2015
Tell us a bit about yourself? What inspired you to start TOM Organic?
TOM Organic came about when I was 18 and I was tired of tampons falling out in my handbag. I started by redesigning the packaging as part of a high school assignment but as soon as I read the ingredients list on most packs (which contained processed synthetics and conventional cotton, sprayed with pesticides) my focus changed completely.
My vision for TOM Organic has always been for every woman in the world to know about, and have access to, pure organic feminine hygiene products that are good for their body and better for the environment.
Why do you believe it’s important to be conscious about what we put in our bodies?
It really is all about removing as many chemicals as you can from your life – food, beauty products, cleaning products – if there is an environmentally friendly alternative that works then use it! There are always going to be factors that are more difficult to have control over, like if you live in a city, your air is going to be more polluted than if you live in the country – but if you can control it, then you should. You only have one body in this lifetime so respect and nurture it as much as you can.
What do you think is more important organic skincare or organic produce?
An impossible choice; they are both equally important in my mind. We’re often conscious of what we eat but don’t always pay the same level of attention to our personal care products. The skin is one of the most absorbent organs in the body so it deserves the same level of respect.
Having said that, it’s really about balance. It’s unrealistic to expect that everything we buy will be organic, so start with products that are accessible and easy to change. Read the ingredients on everything you buy to ensure you are making informed choices and choosing the most natural option available.
What are your biggest obstacles in staying fit and healthy?
At the moment, it’s scheduling in the time! My six-month-old twin girls have most of my attention. I make it a priority to incorporate yoga and Pilates into my week and walk the girls in the pram as much as I can. I will often choose a route with lots of hills just to get a small cardio workout.
Pre-babies, I was used to more frequent exercise but at the moment it’s hard to find the time, and I’m tired, so sometimes an hour is a luxury. By incorporating mini workouts whenever I can, even if it’s just ten minutes, it’s always rewarding – and when I can’t, I don’t beat myself up about it.
What’s your active life mantra?
I believe that we need to be in tune with our body and listen to what it’s needing - find a few different forms of exercise you enjoy and get out there and do whatever feels right for you.
What does a usual workout look like for you?
I like to mix things up so my exercise routine bounces between yoga, boxing, Pilates and a walk or run depending how I am feeling. Boxing is something that my Dad and I do together to work up a sweat and to catch up one-on-one during the week. When the weather is good, I’ll always choose the outdoor exercise option. There is nothing more invigorating or grounding than running at St Kilda Beach, around Albert Park Lake or being on the Botanical Gardens running track here in Melbourne.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
`There is never just one person who inspires me so I would say it is the people I surround myself with. I can walk into an office, a meeting or my home and be greeted by some of the most inspiring passionate people I know – who are truly comfortable in their own skin and who are always honest. It is inspiring to use business as a means for driving positive change and to see the difference that TOM Organic has made for women’s health and the environment.
What is your favourite healthy recipe?
I really enjoy making and eating a seasonal salad, whether it is a fresh summer mix or a heartier, warming winter salad. One of my all time favourites in the cooler months is the Ottolenghi cauliflower hazelnut salad from his cookbook, Jerusalem. It’s so simple and is just plain delicious!
What’s on your Vie Active wish list?
I love a little leopard print, so anything from the Black Leopard collection. Leggings would have to be top of the list - I seem to live in them at the moment! I also find your Lori Pure Black Zippered Sports Bra to be super comfortable, dry and an incredible support. The zip makes it easy for me to breastfeed the girls and pairs perfectly with our TOM nursing pads.
We want to celebrate women being FLAWSOME*, what makes you FLAWSOME?
What a great concept! I love it. We put so much pressure on ourselves to achieve goals and to please everyone else along the way. It’s so refreshing to recognise and celebrate our flawsomeness instead of always striving to be someone else’s definition of ‘perfect’.
Starting my own business has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences. I’ve had to listen to my intuition and be incredibly confident in my vision. Of course things don’t always go to plan and you have to accept that sometimes you make mistakes along the way. It’s all part of the learning experience.
My favourite quote is by Nelson Mandela, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. I think it’s a fabulous FLAWSOME mantra.