Something a bit different this week in creative corner. The first cosmetic crafter to take part in my interview series. Ann from No Frills Cosmetics has an inspiring story and amazingly scented products. I love the Rose Geranium Moisturiser!
1. Introduce yourself.
Hello everyone. I’m Ann and I make natural moisturiser. I live in Liskeard, Cornwall. I am happily married with 2 dogs with which we enjoy an outdoor lifestyle.
2. Tell us a bit about No Frills Cosmetics.
I started making natural moisturiser a year ago so my business is in its infancy. I have 4 fragrances and I sell through my website and also locally through a health shop in Liskeard ‘The Natural Way’ and ‘Trevallick’s Farm Shop’ in Pensilva.
3. What made you start your own business?
This venture started when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. During treatment I was advised to be careful what I used on my skin as it would be very sensitive. There are a lot of natural products on the market but they are often very expensive. Having been involved in manufacturing for over 30 years, I had a light bulb moment and thought ‘I can make this myself’. I am passionate about making affordable
4. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
I am a registered Pharmacy Technician and have worked in product manufacturing for over 30 years. Having manufactured external products including creams, ointments, lotions and potions. I have transferred these skills to natural moisturiser, but of course it is all a learning experience
with different ingredients and different regulations to work with.
5. Explain your creative process.
Has included reading the European Cosmetic Regulations (no
mean feat!) which includes information about good manufacturing practice, what ingredients can and can’t be used and in what percentage, labelling, safety assessments. I have produced a technical file with all the necessary information including worksheets and labels.
My moisturiser has a safety assessment and preservative challenge test and is registered on the European Cosmetics Portal. That may not sound creative but is necessary for user safety. The best and most creative bit is making the product and the lovely aroma of essential oils.
6. Describe your typical day.
This is at my day job as Deputy Production Manager in Pharmacy
in the NHS, but you don’t really want to know about that! I don’t work on Wednesdays so I devote this time to No Frills Cosmetics. I get up early because I am a morning person. Try to get as much as possible done before lunch so I can take my dogs out in the afternoon. Then I continue until I am happy with what I have achieved.
I may be manufacturing a batch of moisturiser or I may work on marketing which I find the most difficult – getting my product known about. A local regional magazine is currently interested in writing an article about No Frills Cosmetics which is fantastic. I may visit my suppliers hoping to top them up with stock. I may have orders to pack up and send off, so a trip to the Post Office is necessary.
7. What’s your biggest seller?
Rose Geranium Moisturiser (RG) closely followed by Neroli (Ne). www.nofrillscosmetics.co.uk
8. What have been the high and low points of running your own business?
High points are when a customer gives me some positive feedback. It gives me a boost. I approached my local health shop in January and they agreed to stock my product. They excitedly rang me on the first day to say one had already been sold! I give a donation to my local Breast Cancer Support Group to say thank you for supporting me during a difficult time. It’s nice to put
some money into their account. Low point, My first foray into at a charity fun day. No sales and hardly anyone came to look at my wares! It was a good learning experience though.
9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?
Never give up. Believe in yourself and your product. Take what others say with a pinch of salt. Advice may be useful but not always.
10. What are your aspirations?
To have a range of natural cosmetic products which may have to wait until I retire. Currently I am dipping my toes into the water.
11. Where can we find you?