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 Sandra Blackburn of Pure Lakes Skincare

Tell us about yourself and your company…

I am a hopeless romantic, annoyingly positive and I see life as a big adventure. My parents told me that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to and I believe them. I dreamed of living in the Lake District with my best mate and I do. I imagined an ethical company producing a range of natural, cost effective skincare products and Pure Lakes Skincare is the result.

How did you get started ? What were you doing in a previous life ?

I love learning new things and this has led to a varied career – Chemistry, Careers Advice, Computer Programming and Project Management. In 2001 my husband, Iain, and I achieved our dream of moving to the Lake District. We started off with a Café and Gift Shop in Grasmere. This was a great experience, unbelievably hard work but also a drastic reduction in income. That lack of cash inspired me to make my own skincare products. I did a lot of experimenting in my kitchen and found that it was a very satisfying combination of chemistry and making big pots of soup for the Café! Requests came from family and friends who gave me painfully honest feedback until I got their potion right.  Then a friend asked if they could use our products as Guest toiletries giving us an opportunity to help Hospitality businesses to reduce waste and also to introduce lots of people our eco-friendly products. Iain and I set up Pure Lakes Skincare and now supply to Hotels all over the UK. This has built up a very successful ecommerce business from resale to those happy Guests who use the Guest toiletries, love them and want to buy some more.

Why natural / organic / sustainable?

It is the only sensible option. Using natural oils, butters and fragrances to create products that people enjoy is a privilege and ensuring that these wonderful ingredients continue to be available is paramount.

What’s your USP? What sets you apart from your competitors?

Pure Lakes provide handmade, affordable, luxury products that care for skin and the planet.

What kind of feedback have you received from clients ?

I am thrilled by all the reviews on our website telling us that our products work. Here are a few:

I can’t thank you enough. No cream that the docs prescribed worked but this has. Amazed me! Not only has it healed my hands but it’s had me relaxed cause of the lovely lavender scent! Thank you loads.

I have had severe psoriasis on my left hand for about 11 years. A friend gave me a pot of your cream and in 3 weeks my psoriasis is almost gone!! I can’t tell you what a difference this makes to my daily life.

Discovered this wonderful product after years of allergy, after using your shampoo my scalp is normal again. Thank you Pure Lakes.

What’s the next big launch / project coming up for you ?

I always have ideas buzzing round my head usually prompted by a conversation or inspired by a lovely new ingredient. We have just launched the Facial Oil from our Pure Omega Skin Food range. Other products are currently being tested by friends and family and will be available soon.

What’s your big dream ?

To see my Granddaughter grow up in a world where companies care more about their customers and the planet than the pursuit of profits. I did say that I was annoyingly positive….

Where can we find your products ?

You will find them in the bedrooms of lots of lovely hotels. You can buy the full range on our website www.purelakes.co.uk and we welcome visitors to our workshop on Staveley Mill Yard in Cumbria where we still make all the creams and soaps by hand in small batches.Website: www.purelakes.co.uk