I have been trying to win an #SBS retweet for ages now, so was really excited when I got one, but was on holiday in Crete with limited internet access! Hoping to really build on it now that I am home. Thanks so much for the opportunity
I trained as a homeopath and then as a reflexologist, once I qualified as a reflexologist I was surprised at how limited the choice of creams to use in treatments were. Everything was either petroleum based or smelt of peppermint. Coupled with that I had a number of clients with very cracked heels, who I would recommend using a typical homeopathic blend of hypericum and calendula tincture in an olive base to soak their feet in. After a while I toyed with making my own - on the 'how hard can it be?' principle. I made up a blend of oils, including hypericum and calendula oil for the cracks, spoke to an aromatherapist friend of mine about using tea tree oil and she suggested mixing with lemon tea tree and the prototype of Original Balm was there. After some months of adding things and taking them out I was happy with my formula, it smelt gorgeous and worked really well for reflexology, not too slippy and made my clients feet feel fantastic once we'd finished. Then my clients started to ask me to make them some next time I made a batch, so I obliged, using empty Gu pudding pots. Then I thought that I had better make sure I was complying with any relevant regulations and paid to have it licensed. Once I had spent money on licensing my balm I made the decision of testing the water to see if anyone else would be interested in it so took a tiny stand at CAMExpo, bought some pots and labels and made a pile. I was so taken aback to see it literally fly off the stand, people loved it and we sold much more that I expected and then the next day of the show, people came back to buy a second pot. This was the point where I felt that I had a really good product. The great thing about Original Balm is that the oils in it make it an effective multi purpose healing balm, that will help dry, cracked or damaged skin, it's non-greasy and smells amazing, what's not to love? I then added in a Lavender& Chamomile blend and a Baby Bottom blend. Then I decided to use exclusively organic ingredients where possible, which just took it to another level of quality. During the extremely cold winter a couple of years ago I had a couple of clients with very poor circulation and Reynauds syndrome, so I decided to try to make something that would help them and developed Warming Balm, this very gently helps to ease circulation and we have had feedback from customers that it also helps relieve pain in conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism and fibromyalgia as well as muscle pain and stiffness. The final balm in our group is slightly different. A friend who does massage asked me to make something that she could use for facial massage, so I developed Rose Balm, which is made with argan and rosehip oils, it's very light and great for any skin but particularly for more mature skin. It can be used for face or hand massage but also as a moisturiser. It's also good for burns or scars. Business has grown so well over the last few years, despite the recession that I have had to find a company to help me with manufacture and distribution, so now I work in partnership with Natural Skincare Solutions Ltd, who are based in Dorset. This also allows me to continue to work as a therapist, which is my passion.
People buy from people
Persistence pays off in the end, hang on in there