Why I do what I do!
How did I get into beekeeping and making skincare?
I'm asked this question so often and I love explaining how Beeutiful came about so thought I'd share it here so those that have never asked me personally also now know!
To be perfectly honest, I just had a crazy idea and I ran with it! I read an article in a Sunday supplement back in 2011 about a couple keeping bees on their rooftop in London. That sowed a seed of interest, sparked an idea and the rest as they say is history....except of course it doesn't happen that quickly!
After becoming excited by this magazine article I then researched beekeeping, read online, bought a book, discovered Fleet & District Beekeeping Association and joined their beginner course to start spring 2012. With a background in Psychology (my previous pre-children life) I love to learn and love to debate and consider so loved the theory side of the course which lasted for seven weeks.
At the end of the course the weather was bright and warm enough in May to enter the hives, something I had never done before so was not sure how I would react. However I loved that too. I surprised myself and my husband even more! I've never been an insect loving person, my youngest would always bring me garden bugs and I'd smile through gritted teeth, however I found the hive of bees surprisingly calming and quite therapeutic.
I obtained my first small colony of bees (a nuc) from a fellow Fleet Beekeeper in July 2012. Summer 2012 was shockingly wet, one of the worst on record which is not good for bees. Cold they can handle, rain they can't.........as I learnt in December when I discovered my bees were dead! Other more experienced beekeepers explained that due to the wet summer the new Queen in my colony had probably not been very successful on her mating flight which meant she did not mate enough to sustain the 2000 eggs a day she lays in the summer to allow the colony to thrive and survive the winter. I was devastated but a lesson learnt! With my confidence that it wasn't my fault restored I took in a swarm in Spring 2013, then another one and so then my beekeeping career really took off.
So that's one facet, the other is of course the actual skincare products that I now produce.
Whilst researching beekeeping I was discovering information about the benefits of beeswax and honey and a fact that really grabbed my attention was that honey was used in the first world war on wounds. The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey make it the perfect medium for bacteria busting whilst it's humectant quality makes it a great medium for skin healing whilst providing a hostile environment for bacteria. This single fact set me off on my journey of producing skincare that really benefits the skin, that has therapeutic as well as cosmetic qualities.
My first product was B-balm (originally Healing Balm - but renamed when I discovered only medicines can heal) and as regular Beeutiful fans will know it is my most popular and versatile product with more and more uses being found by customers almost weekly! From my initial launch of 10 products I now have near on twenty and introduced a more luxurious range called B-Rose, harnessing the soothing and refreshing qualities of Rose in the quest for hydrated, soft skin. Boasting fifteen skincare awards, a small business award from Theo Paphitis, more products planned, new stockists coming on board and following a quest for superb customer service I am delighted to say Beeutiful is going from strength to strength.
So that's the story, I hope you've found it interesting, maybe inspiring and allows you a little background to Beeutiful's products. Please keep the feedback, reviews and product requests coming in as well as telling family and friends about Beautiful and who knows where we will be in another four years!