Madeline is the creator/founder of Auric Alchemy, a brand that creates botanical perfumes and self care products to encourage slowing down and embracing stillness. She is based on the south end of the Gold Coast and is truly passionate about all things health, wellness and living a life that feels authentic to you.
We admire the way Madeline uses her business as platform to explore the world of wellness with vulnerability and transparency. Her new podcast 'In the Still' is an extension of this, and delves deeper into topics surrounding health, slow living, and self care.
To listen to the first episode of 'In the Still' click here.
What is your full name and star sign?
Madeline Rose Lebski
Aries Sun, Cancer Moon & Gemini Rising
How do you spend your working days?
Everyday really looks different for me depending on my energy levels and where I am at within myself. I really love having the freedom to design my days around that so that I can honour the highs and lows as they come. The average day includes a slow start and I love to listen to music or a podcast while having a cup of dandelion tea in bed. Then I will usually do admin, reply to emails, order stock and check in on the warehouse where everything is made! I recently launched my podcast ‘In the Still’ so that is a huge focus for me creatively right now which I am really loving!
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
In this chapter of my life I would say my dedication to healing my body from chronic fatigue (which also means mornings need to be nice and slow for me alot of the time!) and also creating things within my business. I am always thinking of new products or projects and I honestly 110% believe that has been what has gotten me through a very challenging past 3 years.
In life and in work, where do you draw most of your inspiration?
My personal life and whatever I am moving through is definitely my inspiration. Auric Alchemy was born from a time in my life where I really didn’t have much else happening as at the start I was really unwell. It became a reason to keep my mind and creativity active which inspired me to share my story more throughout the business growing. I also grew up in Tasmania which is a forever source of nostalgia for me, we had 7 acres and a huge beautiful garden that my mum is so passionate about. Having flowers in our house was a regular thing and something I continue in my own home now. Making natural perfumes from the essences of flowers and plants is an honour!
Rituals are something we are drawn to in our daily lives. Do you have something you do everyday for yourself?
I always sit in bed with a cup of tea and wake up slowly. In my past life pre chronic fatigue I would rush myself from the moment I opened my eyes and for me personally that didn’t serve me well. Everyday is so different, especially working for myself so I like to have the time to check in and see what it is I truly want to spend my time on that day. My partner and I always end the day with a trip to the beach for sunset to ground us and get that sweet fresh air.
If you could change one thing about your industry what would it be?
Hrmm, I think if I speak in a general way about fragrance/beauty is more education and transparency around ingredients and harmful chemicals. I am highly sensitive to smells so I always had a feeling there was something in the mainstream/synthetic perfumes that didn’t agree with my body but I think on the whole most people really don’t have any idea how harmful they are. This is 100% the fault of the industry and greenwashing in advertising to make us think products are ‘natural’ when they aren’t, so I would love to open up that conversation more.
Who is your favourite artist, and why or how does their work they move you?
I adore Morgan Harper Nicols @morganharpernicols, her poems really resonate with me as I feel like she captures so perfect what it is to be human.
Your health journey is something so intrinsically linked to Auric Alchemy, could you share with us one of the most important things you have learnt about your body during your personal healing process?
Absolutely, I didn’t ever plan to be so vocal about my health journey but it was all consuming for a while and I would get all these messages being like ‘wow girl you’re nailing it and look at your amazing business’ all of which I was very grateful to receive but there was a whole other battle I was trying to overcome behind the scenes. Something that has taken me a few years to understand and to be honest also something I need to remind myself of often is that my body is not working against me, it’s simply responding and giving me feedback. That of course can feel really hard to believe when you feel awful day after day but eventually I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel and could see how long term stress, low self worth and talk, not feeding myself enough nutrients and so on all contributed to my downfall. Now my practice is to listen to myself in each moment and meet my own needs then and there so that my body doesn’t need to be in survival mode.
You are passionate about self-care, self-love, and mental health. Do you believe in the power of the mind to improve physical health? And if so do you have a first hand experience you can share with us?
100%. A doctor I saw right at the beginning of my health challenges referred me to a Psychologist and although I was reluctant at the time (I had been having energy healings, kinesiology etc for years so thought I had it covered) it was a gamechanger. I could talk for hours on this topic but in a nutshell our body is always storing our trauma in it’s cells and when you truly stop and think about it how is it even possible for our mind and body to be separate? We are one. If your mind is unhappy or struggling in some way then your body is constantly responding from those signals. I have been told by multiple practitioners over the last few years that to heal something like Chronic Fatigue you have to heal your relationship with yourself first otherwise you are at a high risk to end up back there again. There is a book called ‘The Body Keeps The Score’ which is all about this topic!
Owning a small business comes with its challenges as well as its triumphs, what would you say is your proudest business moment, and biggest rock bottom to date?
My proudest moment to date would be our recent move into a warehouse after working from home for 3 years. This not only signified the growth the business had had but my own personal growth to feeling safe enough in my body and health to go to a work place a few times a week rather than staying at home. It was a really emotional moment!
Oh and I can’t forget to mention launching the podcast has been pure joy!
For rock bottoms there isn’t one specific moment that comes to mind but I would say the challenges that come with being solely responsible for everything, cashflow and generally doubting during the quieter weeks if it’s going to keep working out.
I feel really fortunate to have had the business path unfold for me as it has, but it’s a marathon not a sprint for sure.
You use a range of botanical ingredients in all of your Auric Alchemy products, what is your favourite scent, and where does it transport you to?
Jasmine, it always reminds me of the huge jasmine bush we had on the outside wall of my childhood home.
What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self about to embark into a small business?
I know it’s cliche but just start. There really isn’t the perfect time to do so, I think I am true testament to that and hope I can be expansive for others who want to do their own thing. When I started I was bed ridden most days, had no income, living away from family etc… and I don’t mention these things for sympathy as such but more so a real life view point to my path. Be willing to be patient (something I struggled with at first!) and keep doing 1 thing a day no matter how tiny towards building your business. I always like to say to people to think of your business as a relationship, it requires your love and nurturing just as much as a person would to thrive!