Let me ask you a question – would you go to any dentist in any town for your routine check-up? Are you happy to go to any hairdresser who has an appointment? The answer will be no! – we do business with those we like, know, and trust!
As customers we want to know if we can ‘like, know, and trust’ the companies we buy from, so in this series we ask the person behind some of my favourite natural and organic companies to step out into the spotlight.
It’s the turn of Rebecca Martin from Conscious Skincare
Tell us about yourself and your company…
I’ve always been interested in making concoctions from a young child and also because, essentially, I care about people and their wellbeing. I want to share and remind everyone of the benefits of plant ingredients and how these amazing species have enabled us to evolve to where we are now and thrive. Now, in our chemical laden world, we need to get some balance back which I believe we can do, but without polluting the world along the way and we can choose to do things differently. For example, we make sure we don’t have any palm oil in our range to protect the habitat of orang-utans. We choose organic cotton bags made by women in India from recycled sarees so they could earn a decent living rather than having to turn to prostitution.
How did you get started?
If I think I can do something better then I always do. So, when I started in the early noughties, there was little choice and the packaging was awful; choosing natural, organic skincare looked more of a punishment than a pleasure! The products weren’t up to much either and so I definitely thought, ‘I can do better than this!’ We started out in our house near the coast in West Wales with boxes in every room in the end.
What were you doing in a previous life?
I am an armchair protester. I have a very strong sense of justice, fairness and equality for all so I am often fighting for the rights of others, be it a human or animal issue, hence thinking about orang-utans and women in poverty around the world. I’m not sure who I was but I imagine I was a Boudica type or French revolutionist, fighting for someone, fighting for justice!
‘To receive the same amount of iron you used to get from one apple in 1950, by 1998 you had to eat 26 apples; today you have to eat 36’.
I think this statement from a recent Dr. Mercola article sums up and underpins for me why we choose to make natural, organic and sustainable products. It shows how the nutrients in our food have declined and how poor our soil is now. It highlights how we live impacts the planet we live on and we are ‘poo-ing in our own back yard’ essentially! With all our alleged intelligence, we’re the only species that tries to destroy its own environment – how bonkers is that?! I think people have to ask themselves the common question, ’If I am not part of the solution, then I must be part of the problem’ – it’s a simple and obvious conclusion.
I can’t change the whole world by myself (although secretly, I wish I could) however, I can decide what I do and how I do it so to be a natural, organic and sustainable skincare company is an obvious choice for me.
What’s your USP? What sets you apart from your competitors?
We’re always here and happy to help. We don’t always try to sell you something and, in fact if we know a better way or product to help you then we will tell you! We don’t pretend to be something we are not. We don’t pay lip service to latest trends but do what is best for our customers. We look at what the mainstream do and do the opposite. Our approach means we won’t be millionaires but at least we will be able to live with ourselves. We put people before profit. We hate poor customer service and being treated like an order number. We treat each order like we’re sending a present to a friend. We love and subscribe to the Slow Food Movement and we declare ourselves to be Slow Skincare!
We make all our products in a Soil Association Approved Organic Food Manufacturing Centre in Wales. We’re allowed to use this marvelous facility because all our ingredients are vegetable based and no nasty chemicals. We make our products to organic food hygiene standards and even have food hygiene certificates to prove it!
What kind of feedback you have received from clients?
What strikes me about the fantastic feedback we receive from customers is the time they spend sending lengthy e-mails, describing how our range has helped their skin. In these time-poor days, I am totally flattered by this! The feedback that always makes what I do feel worthwhile comes from people who have had no end of skin problems and clearly, for a long time. They open their souls to a total stranger (me) and reveal how their appearance has really affected their confidence and their lives. Then they have tried our range and experienced fantastic results, from clearing up acne, to helping to reduce and heal scarring from cancer treatments, the list goes on. Each one is special to me, like I said at the start, I care about people and if our products change how someone feels about themselves then that’ll do for me. So far, I have (rather stubbornly) stuck to my guns on certain things and the reward has been hero products that our customers love. This is what counts for me.
What’s the next big launch / project coming up for you?
Next year, we will be launching a new ‘Pure’ range aimed at people with very sensitive skin and allergies. We have taken out essential oils and added in key actives such as pre-biotics and liquorice root extract to make the range free of the known typical allergens. With such a significant increase in the number of people with sensitivities, we want to offer people something that they can use freely and easily without worrying.
What’s your big dream?
Every year, my husband asks me ‘What would you like for Christmas / your birthday?’ and each year I tell him that what I would like, money cannot buy. These big dreams are breaking the poverty cycle, education, an end to animal testing, breaking the glass ceiling that women still hit their heads on, and enabling all children to have a free childhood. Big ticket items indeed! I would love to be the next Anita Roddick as she was in the early days, when she really paved the way for much of what we see in the natural and organic world today. Aside from these, my dreams are modest – seeing the northern lights and planet earth from space, and completing my French degree which I started in the 1980s!
Where can we find your products?
We tend to sell directly from our website www.conscious-skincare.com where people can find lots of advice, help and guidance about our products. I was thrilled when we were invited to collaborate with The Royal Ballet, London for a range of co-branded products which can be purchased from The Royal Opera House online store www.roh.org.uk. If you are a ballet lover then these are definitely for you!
See our Spotlight on Christmas Gifts from Conscious Skincare HERE>>
Win a Japanese Bathing Ceremony Gift Set worth £65 from Conscious Skincare HERE>>
*Competition closes January 2017