At Matter Company, we embrace a holistic approach to personal care which recognizes the relationship between our natural environment and our physical and emotional well being.
We began with the simple intention of working with the healing ways of plants. Building upon an apprenticeship in Therapeutic Herbalism, our extensive experience growing, wild crafting, harvesting and formulating herbal preparations has resulted in an intimate understanding of the medicinal power of herbs. It is an understanding which recognizes the ability of herbs to not only heal us physically, but to nourish our mind and spirit as well.
unearth the possibilities
Armed with knowledge about plants and their medicinal properties, Denise Williams, founder of Matter Company began experimenting with creating skincare products that were not then available on the market and that were good for the body – both inside and out. She began whipping up skin salves and first aid ointments in her kitchen, using all-natural ingredients and without chemicals like parabens and petrolatum, and gave the products to friends and family as gifts. The resulting skin-soothing formulas, powered by all-natural ingredients such as shea butter, plant and herb extracts and scented with aromatic essential oils, were such a hit that Williams decided to launch a full-fledged natural skincare line focused on the healing power of herbs. Thus, Matter Company was born.
A self-professed plant lover, Toronto-based Denise Williams founded Matter Company, a luxe range of all-natural skincare products, in 1996. After pursuing environmental studies in university, and inspired by her profound interest in the natural world, Williams turned her attention to the traditional practices of herbalism. Williams apprenticed with a renowned herbalist and learned firsthand about growing, harvesting and wild-crafting herbs and plants, and became a certified Therapeutic Herbalist.
the ingredients are the product
Many of the products have personal stories behind them as they were inspired by the needs of close friends and family. “It all starts with herbalism, and also what we personally needed in our lives,” says Williams of the solutions-oriented approach to her products, which incorporate a host of powerful herb extracts, such as comfrey, juniper and calendula, to name just a few. The Substance: Mom & Baby line, for example, was created for Williams’s best friend, who was pregnant at the time and wanted products that were safe to use on herself and her new baby. Meanwhile, the Matter: Outdoors line-up of rubs, soaps and salves, was inspired by Williams herself, who is a big lover of the outdoors and camping. Matter: Blush and Facial Care ranges feature luxurious, rejuvenating skincare blends, infused with exotic oils, antioxidants and emollients, to soothe, hydrate and repair skin on the face and body.
how we make things matter
Matter skincare formulas are cooked in small batches for 24 hours to extract the herbs’ beneficial properties at Williams’s studio in Toronto’s West end. “It’s the traditional method of extracting and they’re made in small batches,” says Williams. “With herbs, you’re using the whole plant, so you have the benefits of the whole plant and all of the different vitamins and minerals.” But it’s not just about the external benefits of the range, says Williams, but also about taking time out of your day to do something nice for yourself, which in itself is therapeutic. “It’s about those small rituals throughout the day, like making a cup of tea. It’s good for you and you’re taking the time to make that tea,” she says. “With Matter, it’s both an internal and external experience – the products feel luxurious on the skin, but they also do something, and they’re healthy for you. Skincare is a medium to introduce a holistic lifestyle in a ritualistic way.”