You really can't beat the feeling of seeing people enjoy and appreciate the products that we have come up with. We do a lot of personalised gifts, such as lip balms for wedding favours and Make Your Own Lip balm kits which make great presents, so being able to see these being enjoyed by the recipient is second to none.
I get a buzz out of people, so it's always great when we find folk who really connect with what we do and understand our ethos. I get a kick out of pushing the business forward and continually improving things. Ultimately, business is about people; enthusing customers about your product, engaging and motivating staff and being straightforward and fair with your suppliers.
Sweet Cecily's is run by brother and sister duo Cecily and Hugo.
In 2010 we took over the running of the family business, Nature's Laboratory. The business was originally set up in 2002 by their father, James Fearnley. This enterprise has it's foundations in the research, manufacture and supply of herbal medicines and also apiceuticals (medicinal products from the beehive).
Sweet Cecily's was officially launched in 2011 when we decided to branch out and utilise our knowledge of plants and natural products by turning our hand to making skincare.
Sweet Cecily's ethos is that “through community, co-operation and support, great things are achievable”. With little to no budget, we took to social media for market research, product suggestions, product testing and much more. Through Facebook and Twitter we found ourselves with a loyal group of people who really wanted to see Sweet Cecily’s succeed.
We wanted people to feel like they had a real part in the finished products, so each and every hand cream, face cream or lip balm now has a little story attached to it as to how it came about, such as our Mojito Lipbalm that was dreamt up by my sister’s old university house-mate!
Since 2011 the business has gone from strength to strength. Now selling both online, in various UK stores and even exporting to South Korea, the future is looking very exciting!
“Be patient,” Cecily says, “the hardest lesson I had to learn was that nothing happens overnight. If you have a sturdy plan, and have researched your market, then be confident that if you stick to your goals, then when the business is ready to grow it will do so organically.”
“Also, appreciate all the people that are involved, from friends, colleagues and whoever else that may happen to play a part, however big or small, because these people are all a part of the story and hopefully the successes.”
"You've got to have fun!", says Hugo. "Ultimately we all spend the majority of our waking hours working, so you have to try and enjoy it. For me the enjoyment comes from doing something I really believe in, challenging myself and sharing the success with everyone involved."