I have always been jealous of people who knew what they wanted to do with their lives right at the start. I think it’s safe to say that I wasn’t one of those! I meandered through my education and ended up working a range of different jobs which were all great but never really fired me up. That was before I stumbled into skincare and I thank my lucky stars because I haven’t looked back since! I started working for an Australian company who were the forerunners of truly ‘natural’ skincare back in the 60’s and learnt a staggering amount of info about the industry and what actually goes in to most of the gloop that goes on your face. Honestly, I was shocked! I couldn’t believe that we are all so focused on what we were eating and drinking and our environment but at the same time putting all sorts of nasties onto our skin that would be absorbed into our systems in just the same way (think about how nicotine and hormone patches work). I also started to appreciate the way smaller companies work. The fact that they can’t rely on glossy ad campaigns but have to rely on their products speaking for themselves. I discovered a real passion for smaller businesses and their courage in having a go at doing it differently and producing quality, handmade, artisan products that have provenance. I think that as a culture we are increasingly interested in knowing where our purchases come from, who is making them, what they are made of and where those ingredients are harvested and even by whom! Personally I love knowing that Farmer Jo picked my jacket potato that I am just about to have for lunch from the East Field in Such and Such Village because it builds a sense of trust in the product and a sense of community whether that is on a village, county or country level. So, I started building up a lovely list of customers who also loved natural products and used them in treatments and sold them as well. That worked well for quite a while but what I underestimated was how my ingredient knowledge was growing and the feel for what my customers loved and what I loved also. As I grew more certain of what I wanted in and of my products it became more frustrating to use someone else’s until I reached the point of no return and just decided to go for it. Once I had found the right organic skincare chemist to help me with the legal side of what can mix with what and in what percentages, the rest was history. The range has been tweaked and improved over time and what was going to be a small selection of creams has turned into a full professional range of 25 products. I am running a small business, doing what I absolutely love I now realise the value all those jobs I did in the past and the skills I learnt from each of them. I can’t believe that the most productive and rewarding period of my life has started in my late 40’s! (other than hubby and kids of course) and I look forward to growing the business and continuing the learning process.