Give us the beach powder birth story!I
I only launched the products in April 2019 but I’ve been thinking about the idea of them for years! I live by the beach - spending time there is my favourite thing to do - but I hate the feeling of sand on the skin! And having to get all the sand off my daughters after a day at the beach was always a nightmare too! Either I’d be rubbing their feet with a towel that was usually sandy itself, or getting them to stand on one foot while I poured cold water on the other foot, only for them to then stand right in the sand again straight away! It was always the worst part of a day at the beach, for my girls and for me!
So, a couple of years ago I set about inventing a product that would get rid of sand from the skin instantly! I knew I wanted my product to be eco-friendly and natural. And I knew that my products had to be talc-free: I’d heard so many stories about talcum powder containing asbestos and then Johnson & Johnson kept getting sued by women claiming that their talcum powder caused their cancer. I’m so glad I was determined to make my products talc-free because now Johnson & Johnson has completely stopped selling baby powder in the USA because of all the lawsuits, so the fact that beach powder does not contain talcum powder is a major selling-point for my customers.
It took me about a year of researching to come up with the perfect blend of plant and mineral powders. For a while my kitchen was permanently covered in a fine layer of white powder!! Luckily no one ever reported me to the drug squad!!
Then I came up with the idea of adding a sparkle to the powder and beach powder shimmer was born too! It removes sand and it leaves a gorgeous shimmer on the skin! Kids love it. Well actually, who doesn’t love to sparkle, especially after a day in the sun! So it’s perfect for holidays and for if you’re going for drinkies after the beach!
What have been the highlights of the beach powder story so far?
The very best thing is seeing people’s reactions the first time they try beach powder! Everyone is always amazed at how well it works! People look at me as if I’ve just done some kind of magic trick, when I do demonstrations! Beach powder makes the sand literally fall off the skin, absolutely instantly!
Getting my products stocked in some gorgeous boutiques in America as well as in the UK has been so exciting, as well! Because the business is so new, I’m still at the stage of getting excited every time I get a new order, whether it’s for one carton or hundreds! Actually, I still get pretty excited every time I get a new like on social media!
I also love the fact that every day of running my own business is different and that there is always so much to do! Some days I’m at my workshop manufacturing the products and packaging orders up for delivery, other days I’m phoning my stockists to see how they’re doing or catching up on admin or on marketing and other days I’m down at the beach videoing and photographing the products (ok, maybe having a cheeky ice cream and a paddle on those days, too!)
What were the biggest challenges you faced when setting up your business?
I didn’t expect it to be so difficult to get the packaging right. I didn’t want to use plastic packaging: plastics are wreaking havoc on our oceans so for me it would have felt wrong to package a product that’s designed for the beach in plastic! I eventually sourced high quality recycled cardboard for the packaging, with a glossy finish that makes the products look fantastic but that is not made from plastic. The whole carton can be recycled after use.
Another challenge was finding an ethical way to create the sparkle in beach powder shimmer. I was horrified to discover that natural mica, which is commonly used to create sparkle in make-up products, often involves child-labour. I tried to find a source of natural mica that was guaranteed child-labour-free but it was impossible for me to verify 100% that that was the case. It almost put me off making a shimmer product! But I kept researching and eventually found with a synthetic version of mica. It’s made from the same natural minerals as natural mica so it’s environmentally-friendly and just as sparkly as the natural stuff, but it’s made in a lab so I can rest safe in the knowledge that it’s ethically produced.
How do you juggle running your own brand with being a mum?
I was a stay-at-home mum for years so there had to be some adjustment to family dynamics when I started to devote so much time to the business. My daughters were old enough to be excited by what I was doing though and even to get involved with ideas! They are (usually) happy to pose for photos for me, as long as I’m not too bossy about what they have to wear! My teenager in particular is far more savvy about social media than I am(that’s a polite way of saying that she’s basically never off it!!) so I’m very grateful to have her to help me with that!
(Photo credit: Amore du Plessis)