I cannot believe it’s been a whole year since we launched our business!
This time last year I was in floods of tears because there had been a powercut throughout our whole neighbourhood and we had zero access to the internet!
It sounds dramatic I know but we’d promised everyone we would be launching our website (which still wasn’t quite ready) and it felt like everything was going wrong before we’d even launched.
Luckily, after a few hours of panicking the power came back on and we launched our website as promised on 17th August 2018 😊.
Then came the waiting game - we didn’t know if we would sell anything and we all sat around wondering what to do with ourselves next. We were absolutely over the moon when an order (from the fabulous @toria_talks_beauty) came through just 10 minutes after the website went live!
We danced around the living room excitedly and immediately rushed to our newly established packing station to get our first ever order parcelled up.
Leo and me looking pleased as punch with our first batch of parcels to send out!
Since then, we have been absolutely overwhelmed with the amazing positive response from everybody in the skincare community on Instagram and beyond. We set up our business not knowing if anything would come of it and the events that have happened since were beyond our imagination!
Thank you to everyone who has supported, commented, liked, ordered and given feedback to us over the past year. We literally couldn’t have done it without you and we’re incredibly grateful for your support! 🙏
Our lovely yurt, Badger at Blackdown Yurts!
Last year, we spent two nights in a yurt when we attended the Creative Business Network's amazing Creatival – a fantastic festival in Exeter for creative business ventures. Tickets are still available for this year’s Creatival, we’d highly recommend it if you’re thinking of or have already started your own creative business.
Even though Leo (who had never been camping before) took some convincing to try the yurt out, by the end of our stay he had come full circle and absolutely loved it!
It was here that we met loads of inspiring business owners such as the fabulous Lauren Aston of Lauren Aston Designs and we made friends for life with the wonderful Lucy and Chris of Lucy and Yak. They've been such a rock for us over the past year and they inspire us every day to keep pushing the boundaries and build an ethical business to be proud of.
It was actually while we were in the yurt one evening that Urban Outfitters US contacted us and asked to stock our products on their website! We couldn’t believe our eyes and had to keep checking the email to see if it was real.
Us on the shelves at Riley Rose!
Not long afterwards, Riley Rose contacted us too and we couldn’t believe it when they said they wanted to stock us in all of their US stores!
We haven’t been able to get over to the US to see it for ourselves, but we get super excited every time we get tagged in a picture of us on the shelves! If you’re US based you can go and check us out in-store and try out our testers to see what you think! Here’s a link to the list of Riley Rose stores 😉
Our L.E.V8 Cohort!
In October 2018 we managed to get a place on the OXFO L.E.V8 accelerator programme at the Oxford Foundry, University of Oxford. Our business was one of 10 selected annually for the University’s accelerator programme.
We spent an incredible 6 months working alongside a group of amazing entrepreneurs from the other businesses. We met some incredible people and gained valuable advice for our business from a stellar team of advisors and mentors!
Thank you so much to the Oxford Foundry team for supporting us and encouraging us to take our business to the next level.
The ill-fated pallet getting loaded up for its 2 week holiday in Los Angeles!
I’m not going to lie and pretend it’s all been amazing – there have been some really tough times and lots of challenges to overcome. Running a business definitely has a big impact on your mental health and there have been times when I’ve been too depressed to get up, let alone deal with the big problems!
We’ve had trouble with suppliers being really slow, having a massive knock on effect on us having enough stock. Then there was a breakdown in communication and a whole pallet of stock got stuck at LAX for 2 weeks without us realising! Oh and while the Royal Mail have been awesome at getting the parcels out to everyone on time, there have been a couple of hiccups and it’s very difficult not to get upset on behalf of your customers when things go wrong.
Thankfully, we can reflect on everything that’s happened and realise that while it was tough, each and every problem has taught us how to be more resilient and how to solve it next time! We’ve learnt that we need to chase suppliers regularly, how to send a pallet to the US properly and that Italy’s postal service can only deliver a parcel if you send it via tracked shipping!!
The final design versions of Stay Lit!
So much has happened for WOW YOU in such a short space of time but we’re not stopping yet! Here are a few of our plans for the next few months and beyond:
We’re launching a celebratory birthday candle called Stay Lit with our signature best loved scent from Super Serum! I chose the name to represent that feeling of taking time for yourself when you’ve had a stressful period and it’s been difficult to take a break. We often carry on despite really needing to rest and recuperate and I wanted it to be a little reminder to take care of yourself so you can stay lit and ready for anything!
I wanted to launch them today to mark our anniversary, but it turns out that candles need to cure for a few weeks to develop a stronger scent 🙈 so instead we’ll launch them in the next couple of weeks 😊.
Ever wondered the reason behind our name and logo?
We want to use our platform for good and we’d like to put more emphasis on our skin positivity mission going forward. We chose our name and logo to represent that feeling of being able to say to yourself in the mirror “Wow, you look amazing!”. We want to help everyone feel good in their skin no matter what by championing skin positivity & self compassion and by featuring real skin on our website and feed.
We’re in the process of setting up an ambassador program, so if you’d like to get involved in spreading the skin positivity message, please keep a look out for updates on this in the coming months! 😉
Some of our upcoming mini versions!
We’ve been meaning to release mini versions of our products for ages and it’s just been one of those things that keeps getting delayed! We’re currently making the finishing touches to our mini sets which should be released in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for the release email as we only have a small number of units in this first batch!
If you’ve read my ramblings this far, thank you! We can’t thank you all enough for all of the kindness you’ve all showed us over the past year, here’s to many more years to come! 🥂