Denise Williams is a certified herbalist, and the creator of Matter Company. Based on the principles of Phytotherapy, Matter creates indulgent natural skin care products, using the wisdom of traditional herbalism. With everything from safe and natural mosquito repellent to body wash and shampoo, Williams’ line of products feel good, and you can feel good about them-each and every ingredient is carefully selected to ensure products that are as enriching as possible, making this female-founded Canadian company one of our favourites.

What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?

Wake up at 7 a.m. and start my morning with a glass of spring water and half-squeezed lemon. This helps cleanse the system. Check my Blackberry for messages and turn on the CBC morning show. Hop into the shower and get dressed. 

Breakfast usually consists of oatmeal with blueberries. While eating, I am responding to e-mails, making a couple of calls or putting away the dishes from the night before. Enroute to work I pick up a double Americano at the Common. 

My day at the office begins with checking in with my employees about production and orders going out for the day, as well as doing correspondence, answering emails, speaking with sales reps and responding to customer inquiries. Lunch is a quick jaunt to run a couple of errands and grab a bite to eat (usually congee) to bring back to the office. My afternoons are booked for crossing things off the to-do list and trying to work on larger projects, such as the new commercial website we’re creating.

Thursday is restorative yoga night, so I leave the office early and head to class. After class I do a bit of grocery shopping and head home to cook dinner. Evenings are spent checking e-mails and crawling into bed around 10:30 to read the latest novel chosen for this month’s book club. At the moment it is Naked by David Sedaris. 

What was your first job out of school?

I worked as an Herbal Apprentice at one of the oldest apothecaries in the city – Thuna Herbal

What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?

– Organization is key. It’s important to set short- and long-term goals to help get things done.
– Finding time to be creative and inspired. I will often do this on a Saturday morning, coffee in hand, reading through magazines and jotting down ideas.

Having balance, and taking time to have some good fun. 

What do you love most about your career?

My favorite part about my career is creating beautiful products that are effective, healthy and pampering. It’s rewarding to receive feedback about how my products have worked for my customers.  

Do you have any warnings?

This is rather practical, but if you are in business for yourself, keeping your books up to date by hiring a good bookkeeper is very important. I’ve had terrible bookkeepers in the past, which have really messed things up. Fixing it can cost a lot of time and money. 

If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?

I love this question! I would be a philanthropist.