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Aimee Marks, Albert Park VIC

Words by Emma Do

Images by Bobby Clark

Aimee Marks is the founder and managing director of The TOM Co, a company that makes a range of organic cotton tampons and pads, as well as eco-friendly nappies and biodegradable baby wipes. Marks speaks to In Bed about why women’s empowerment is important to her company and how meditation is her secret weapon to tackling a busy day.

 

TOM is built on improving women’s health and environmental consciousness. What got you interested in these two topics?

It actually all began with packaging. I was designing tampon packaging for a uni project because I felt like it needed to be more beautiful. I very quickly moved from the outside of the pack to the inside of the pack when I found the ingredients list on the back of tampon packs. I was completely horrified by the list of ingredients — synthetics, plastics — products far from cotton in a product that you use in the most absorbent part of your body. To me, it just made sense to make sure feminine hygiene products were only made with organic cotton, which has an impact on biodegradability too.

To be completely honest I wasn’t out on any environmental tangent or mission with this product but one thing I was never out to do was compromise was my values. My personal values have always been very deeply ingrained in the business.

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Featured above: IN BED 100% linen Duvet Cover & Pillowslips in Dove Grey, Fitted Sheet & Pillowslips in White.

For people who might not know, what are some of the benefits of using organic cotton in your products?

Organic cotton from a health perspective for feminine hygiene means a neutral effect on the body – you’re not absorbing pesticides or synthetics. Conventional cotton is one of the world’s most heavily sprayed crops. Pesticide’s impact on local communities are eliminated if you have an organic cotton farm and farming practice.

 

What part of your job do you love most?

I really love creating something from nothing. I got a lot of joy out of the design and creation process of bringing TOM to life in the earlier days, and providing a solution for women I knew was really changing their lives. I’m passionate about thinking about business differently – how can we actually solve real problems with business, and not just make money? We’re a certified B Corp business and being a part of that community is really inspiring for me.

I’m passionate about thinking about business differently – how can we actually solve real problems with business, and not just make money? We’re a certified B Corp business and being a part of that community is really inspiring for me.

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What’s your morning routine?

On a work day, I usually try and do a meditation session first thing in the morning. Then I’ll go out for breakfast on my own, and walk to work. I like to get into the office really early. The first thing that I do is make a cup of tea and put on some candles and music because candles elicit calmness.

On a non-working day my twins come into bed first thing in the morning. Those days are usually pretty unconventional and unstructured – we’ll go for a morning walk, have breakfast and family time.

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Aimee’s room features IN BED 100% linen Duvet Cover & Pillowslips in Dove Grey, Fitted Sheet & Pillowslips in White.

Why is meditation so important to you?

It just transitions my mind into a state of presence. I honestly feel the single biggest emotion that’s evoked at the moment is just a sense of gratefulness. To go from feeling overwhelmed and thinking ‘how am I going to take on the amount I have to take on today?’ to going ‘I’m actually so lucky that I have the privilege to do the work I’m doing.’ It completely shifts my perspective and my mindset. For that reason I think it makes me happier and more appreciative of the good things in my life.

What about a before-bed routine?

I don’t look at emails an hour before I go to bed. I turn my phone on flight mode. That’s something that’s taken 10 years. I also love looking at design and powering through Pinterest for inspiration. That’s my guilty pleasure.

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100% linen sheet set
 

What do you love about living in Albert Park?

We love the community. There’s a really strong sense of community and I think people are just happier living by the water. You spend lots of time outside, at the park near the beach. I have a really beautiful group of friends that I’ve met locally through our mothers’ group.

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We heard you have a country escape too.

My mum has a protea flower farm on the Mornington Peninsula. We tend to go down there and just reset, slow the pace down, be as offline as we possibly can. We find we need that to refill the energy for the next week.

 

TOM is currently offering a female empowerment grant and mentorship. Tell us about why this is so important to you.

Someone once believed in me and took me under their wing. It’s really important to me to continue to give back. So many women including my mum and other amazing women in my life have believed in me along the way. I realise how life changing that was and if I could do that full time I would. I get a lot of joy out of that.

What’s something you’ve read/watched/listened to recently that’s stuck with you?

Definitely Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B podcast. It’s just incredibly raw and relevant to anyone at any stage in their life. I’m also reading Option B Sheryl Sandberg’s book at the moment.

What objects in your home bring you joy?

I have an obsession with collecting tea pots and tea cups. I don’t have a huge collection – maybe half a dozen. I recently started investing in really special ones – they have to have meaning and memories attached to them.

I have an obsession with collecting tea pots and tea cups. I don’t have a huge collection – maybe half a dozen. I recently started investing in really special ones – they have to have meaning and memories attached to them.

IN BED Stone Napkins in Aimee’s cosy home

What’s the next big goal for you?

We’ve got exports on the radar and new products in the pipeline. TOM is all about a range of products at their most important life stages.

See more from Aimee here


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