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Today I’m talking to Dalia Hawley from Dalia Botanique. Dalia sells her own botanical beauty products, so she formulates all of her and makes all of her products herself. Dalia’s products are aimed for people who like spending a lot of time outdoors who love gardening and want a minimal skin care routine that’s still going to really look after their skin, but not at a really high price.

We had a really great conversation about botanicals and what they are. We talked a lot about the compliance side of creating beauty products, testing and everything that goes into making sure that your products are safe. Dalia also gave some really useful advice for consumers as well. So, if you are purchasing your own beauty products, particularly if they’re handmade, what to look out for to know that they will be safe for you. 

Listen in to hear Dalia share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (01:27)
  • What inspired her to create her own skincare range (01:53)
  • What botanicals are (04:13)
  • Why she can’t just use flowers grown in her garden (06:43)
  • Learning how to formulate her products (09:01)
  • Testing her products herself (11:28)
  • Getting her products professionally assessed (13:29)
  • What to look for as a consumer to check that the products have been professionally assessed (15:51)
  • Working with Trading Standards (18:18)
  • Not making false medical claims (19:31)
  • Amazon requirements for selling cosmetics (20:30)
  • Whether a product is actually organic (21:10)
  • The costs involved in getting your products certified (21:42)
  • How she gets her ingredients and sourcing from UK suppliers (25:42)
  • Finding her suppliers (27:28)
  • Industry support and the skincare community (29:03)
  • Trademarking your brand and formulas (30:35)
  • Starting to sell her products (34:27)
  • The insurance that she needs (38:02)
  • Her sales strategy for Christmas (39:00)
  • His number one piece of advice for other product creators (42:57)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Dalia Botanique Website

Dalia Botanique Instagram

Formula Botanica

Humblebee and Me

Soap School Facebook Group

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Transcript
Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast, practical

Vicki Weinberg:

advice and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Here's your host, Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg:

Hello.

Vicki Weinberg:

So today I'm talking to Dalia Hawley from Dalia Botanique.

Vicki Weinberg:

So Dalia sells her own botanical beauty products, so she formulates all of her

Vicki Weinberg:

and makes all of her products herself.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and we had a really great conversation about botanicals and what they are.

Vicki Weinberg:

Obviously, I, I didn't know, I'm not sure if you know, uh, but

Vicki Weinberg:

you'll know after this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

And we also talked a lot about the compliance side of creating um, beauty

Vicki Weinberg:

products and the testing and um, sort of everything that goes into that and

Vicki Weinberg:

how to know, um, that products are safe.

Vicki Weinberg:

And she also gave some really useful advice as consumers as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

So if you are purchasing your own beauty products and particularly if they're

Vicki Weinberg:

handmade, um, what to look out for, um, to know that they will be safe for, for you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I thought that was a really interesting insight as well as

Vicki Weinberg:

everything else that Dalia shared.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, um, I'm going to stop talking and introduce you now to Dalia.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, hi.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for being here.

Dalia Hawley:

Hi.

Dalia Hawley:

Thank you for having me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, you're welcome.

Vicki Weinberg:

Shall we start with you?

Vicki Weinberg:

Please give an introduction to yourself, your business, and what you sell.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

So I'm Dalia, uh, from Dalia Botanique and I sell skincare.

Dalia Hawley:

And a lot of my products are aimed for people who like spending a lot of time

Dalia Hawley:

outdoors who love gardening and want a sort of minimal skin care routine that's

Dalia Hawley:

still going to really look after their skin, but not at a really high price.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, that's like a really good succinct description of your products.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's fantastic.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so Dalia, what inspired you to create your skincare range?

Vicki Weinberg:

Take us right back to the beginning.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, so I used to make sort of balms and, and things

Dalia Hawley:

like that for, for friends and family years and years ago when I was a kid.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and I had a massage business, um, not as a kid, as an adult.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and through there I started making my own massage oil blends.

Dalia Hawley:

Uh, and I kind of started to think, Oh, you know, I would quite like

Dalia Hawley:

to sort of look into it a bit more into making my own skincare.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and I don't know if you could call it luck, but lockdown happened.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and then one side of me, I've lost, I lost the massage work.

Dalia Hawley:

Obviously we weren't working.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, but then I suddenly had all this time to set up my skincare, uh, business.

Dalia Hawley:

I moved in with my other half.

Dalia Hawley:

We had a garden.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, I redid the garden.

Dalia Hawley:

And then all the inspiration for all the botanicals that we grow, I was like, oh,

Dalia Hawley:

we can use a lot of these in skincare.

Dalia Hawley:

I started doing a skincare course with, um, the state school in

Dalia Hawley:

Huddersfield, and then Formula Botanica, an online skincare school.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and, and then yeah, it just started to develop from there really,

Dalia Hawley:

I started making more products and yeah, it just really took off.

Dalia Hawley:

So that was kind of the whole sort of background of it.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so had, had it been at the back of your mind that this was

Vicki Weinberg:

something you would like to do?

Dalia Hawley:

Yes, Yes, it had.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, because I was always thinking, as I was running the massage side

Dalia Hawley:

of things, I was looking for a bit more of a passive income, so if I

Dalia Hawley:

couldn't work for whatever reason.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and so the massage oils, you know, I was making my own massage oils and,

Dalia Hawley:

and working with an aroma therapist to make some sort of other products.

Dalia Hawley:

And then, yeah, just from there it's kind of like started developing even more.

Dalia Hawley:

And then it was just, it was almost like a natural kind of end to the massage

Dalia Hawley:

and beginning to the skincare, so it sort of blended in quite well together.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I mean, like you say, you don't want to say that

Vicki Weinberg:

lockdown was lucky and, and I completely know what you mean here, but I guess

Vicki Weinberg:

the timing, I guess, was quite kind of fortuitous because I guess you had

Vicki Weinberg:

the time to actually work on those.

Vicki Weinberg:

When you have a day job and you're just you know, working, it's very

Vicki Weinberg:

hard isn't it, to kind of carve out the time to do anything else.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Definitely, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

So that does sound good.

Vicki Weinberg:

And you mentioned, um, the garden and you mentioned sort of growing things.

Vicki Weinberg:

Should we talk a little bit about the botanicals?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I don't know much about botanicals, but I do know

Vicki Weinberg:

they feature in your product.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can you just explain.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

What they are and, and why they're good for us.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, so I use, um, so I noticed that a lot of the wildflowers

Dalia Hawley:

that we could grow and it was just kind of, it sort of married at the same time

Dalia Hawley:

that I was doing my skincare courses.

Dalia Hawley:

So there was like, oh, these, these oils that we use that,

Dalia Hawley:

you know, that from flowers, so botanical flowers that we grow.

Dalia Hawley:

In the UK you know, we've got like, um, borage for example is really good.

Dalia Hawley:

You know, that's really nice, dry oil.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and then you've got sort of lunaria, which is, um, trying to

Dalia Hawley:

describe it obviously it's kind of like a pink flower and they're called,

Dalia Hawley:

I can't remember the name of them.

Dalia Hawley:

When they're dry, they're kind of like a clear sort of circle and you

Dalia Hawley:

can see inside like a moon shape and you can see the seeds inside.

Dalia Hawley:

You'll know it when you saw it, when you see it, but it's really distinctive.

Dalia Hawley:

Uh, and they grow wild everywhere.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and so I had that on and the poppy as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So suddenly I was like, oh, you know, um, I was finding sort of poppy, poppy seed

Dalia Hawley:

oil in some of the literature that I was reading and I was like, oh, okay, you

Dalia Hawley:

know, that that grows locally as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Like actually I'm growing it in my garden and, um, evening

Dalia Hawley:

primrose as well and calendula.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and I think calendula and evening primrose they're more of those kind

Dalia Hawley:

of historic botanicals that we know.

Dalia Hawley:

But I know my grandma used to, you know, make a calendula oil

Dalia Hawley:

and things like that at home.

Dalia Hawley:

And, um, lavender and rosemary as well, you know, they're all

Dalia Hawley:

growing, you know, I was growing all of those in my garden as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and so I was like, yeah, of course, you know, this lavender essential oil,

Dalia Hawley:

rosemary essential oil, um, and all those, they, they all harbor really,

Dalia Hawley:

really powerful properties as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So, um, yeah, and obviously I remember my grandma used to make me

Dalia Hawley:

lavender hair rinses as well, just from dried lavender soaked and water.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, I can't remember whether it was actually, whether it actually

Dalia Hawley:

worked or not, but you know, it was something that we always did.

Dalia Hawley:

So, yeah, it's an, actually, there's.

Dalia Hawley:

A lot that we can get from some of these botanicals, those flowers.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you for explaining that because I, I, I

Vicki Weinberg:

wasn't, yeah, I wasn't entirely.

Vicki Weinberg:

It sounds really silly doesn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

But you don't, you realize, you don't know what you don't know.

Vicki Weinberg:

This might also be a really silly question.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um because I don't know how big your garden is, but are you sort

Vicki Weinberg:

of, um, I don't know if making is the right word, but do any of these

Vicki Weinberg:

elements come from your garden?

Dalia Hawley:

Sadly not.

Dalia Hawley:

I would love to, but, um, you have to use cosmetic grade ones.

Dalia Hawley:

Uh, so believe it or not, you know, we might, they might not look

Dalia Hawley:

like there's any little insects or anything on there, but there is.

Dalia Hawley:

So, um, yeah, you usually have to buy them.

Dalia Hawley:

And from a company that have.

Dalia Hawley:

I think, I don't know exactly how they do it, but they almost quite clean

Dalia Hawley:

it, so, you know, you haven't got like bugs in it or anything like that.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, so no, I do have to go and to get it cosmetically assessed, it has

Dalia Hawley:

to come from a cosmetic grade, um, company, which means they, they kind

Dalia Hawley:

of make sure that, you know, it's all properly cleaned and, and and safe to

Dalia Hawley:

use for the, for the conceiver as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So, but they do use the, the companies I do use do use sort of

Dalia Hawley:

use UK grown botanicals as well.

Dalia Hawley:

And I think there's two that actually, three suppliers that grow

Dalia Hawley:

their own have their own farms.

Dalia Hawley:

They process, they grow it and they process it all onsite

Dalia Hawley:

and stuff, which is brilliant.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, I'd love to use my own but it has to go through vigorous

Dalia Hawley:

testing to get it allowed in.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think what I was thinking of, it sounds like a silly question, but

Vicki Weinberg:

I think I was thinking back to, you know, you were talking about your

Vicki Weinberg:

grandma and I think that perhaps if you were doing it for personal

Vicki Weinberg:

use, it's absolutely fine, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

You can take what you want, but it does make sense that if you

Vicki Weinberg:

are selling it, and yeah, it would need to be of a certain grade and

Vicki Weinberg:

presumably you have to go through testing and things like that as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

But if you've got some of those at home, there's no reason why.

Dalia Hawley:

I've got my Instagram, I posted, um, a video on how to make

Dalia Hawley:

your own lavender green bags.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, you know, I've, I've infused, uh, rosehip oil and things like

Dalia Hawley:

that before, all at home for personal use, so guidelines.

Dalia Hawley:

Chamomile as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Can't believe I forgot that.

Dalia Hawley:

It's like the most popular herb, uh, chamomile as well.

Dalia Hawley:

I've trued that and used that as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So for personal use yeah, absolutely fine to, to use the product, so.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, that's good to know.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And hopefully you'll inspire people as well to sort to sort of see

Vicki Weinberg:

what's in their garden and how they could yeah, could use it.

Dalia Hawley:

Definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it, So it sounds like, so once you come, you, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

you had a bit of space to sort of think about your skincare range, and then you

Vicki Weinberg:

mentioned the courses that you were doing.

Vicki Weinberg:

So how did you go from there to having products?

Vicki Weinberg:

What was the process of actually, um, I guess is formulating

Vicki Weinberg:

the, the, let's go formulating.

Vicki Weinberg:

That doesn't sound like the right word.

Dalia Hawley:

No, no, that's, No, no, that's exactly the right word.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So how did you go about with, with formulating your, your

Vicki Weinberg:

products and, and working out ingredients?

Vicki Weinberg:

Would they.

Vicki Weinberg:

They'd have.

Vicki Weinberg:

You can see I'm a little bit out of my depth with skincare

Vicki Weinberg:

. Dalia Hawley: No, not at all.

Vicki Weinberg:

You're asking, you're asking all the right questions.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yes.

Vicki Weinberg:

It is called formulating because you are putting something together.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's a bit like a science experiment.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so the way I start doing, obviously I had all the course notes and then

Vicki Weinberg:

the courses that I was doing, first of all, so school and then Formula

Vicki Weinberg:

Botanica, you have recipes that you can try and experiment with.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, they, you know, they send you a list of all ingredients, all the properties in,

Vicki Weinberg:

they get everything kind of sent to you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And from there you just sort of, you just start experimenting, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

watching, um, YouTube, I don't know if I can mention it, but someone called

Vicki Weinberg:

Humblebee and Me, an American, uh, lady, and she's you know, she, she formulates

Vicki Weinberg:

loads of products, puts it all on YouTube.

Vicki Weinberg:

She's brilliant.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so you just start learning and, and reading and researching

Vicki Weinberg:

and then it's trial and error.

Vicki Weinberg:

So , you've gone through hundred of different formulations.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and really it's, it's, it's trial and error.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then sometimes you might, you know, you come, eventually come to a

Vicki Weinberg:

point where you're like, Okay, well I'm going to take the bits out of

Vicki Weinberg:

this that work and I'm going to remove the bits out of this that don't work.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, And then you are using sort of willing friends and family as guineapigs as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then they all give you, I've got some friends who are very good

Vicki Weinberg:

at giving me quite honest feedback.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so yeah, they became some of my guineapigs and yeah, and just from there

Vicki Weinberg:

it's just like a trial and error and eventually you, you find, the one that

Vicki Weinberg:

works and the one that you like the most.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it's quite a long process.

Vicki Weinberg:

It sounds like it.

Vicki Weinberg:

It sounds really scientific.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I guess you're having to keep, you know, meticulous notes on how much

Vicki Weinberg:

of this you've used and how much of that, and there were so many elements as well,

Vicki Weinberg:

aren't there with skincare because it's how it feels like the texture and the

Vicki Weinberg:

benefits, what it does and how it smells like there's so many things involved.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

And you calculate it all in percentages.

Dalia Hawley:

So.

Dalia Hawley:

So then you can upscale or, or downscale, um, how much you make.

Dalia Hawley:

But yeah, there's lots of things you have to go through.

Dalia Hawley:

So obviously testing and then, um, oh God, I can't remember the name now.

Dalia Hawley:

Basically stability testing.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

So I'd put it in like different rooms around the house or different

Dalia Hawley:

temperatures, you know, does it change?

Dalia Hawley:

Does it solidify?

Dalia Hawley:

Do the oils change, the smell change?

Dalia Hawley:

All those kind of things, You know, like, okay, how is it after like

Dalia Hawley:

three months, um, you know, does it still smell and feel the same?

Dalia Hawley:

Does it change?

Dalia Hawley:

So, you know, on a hot summer's day, I know that my body butters have no chance

Dalia Hawley:

in surviving, but my oils are alright.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, it was just one of those things you just, you, you just have to kind of

Dalia Hawley:

do all these stability tests as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Wow.

Vicki Weinberg:

I didn't even think about that because yeah, you're right.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, we've just come from a really hot summer, haven't we?

Vicki Weinberg:

So I guess in a way it's a good chance to test out how things react.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, yeah, totally.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's a lot to think about because you know, presumably

Vicki Weinberg:

if you'd sort of formulated all your products in winter, um, it could

Vicki Weinberg:

be very easy to get around to the summer and then find out everything

Vicki Weinberg:

melts or changes consistency or.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's really involved.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah I had that, I had definitely this summer, I, I wasn't

Dalia Hawley:

sending body butters out to people.

Dalia Hawley:

I was just like, no, because I can't control the temperature once it's left.

Dalia Hawley:

So on, on the labels they were saying, you know, store somewhere cool and

Dalia Hawley:

dark, keep out of direct sunlight.

Dalia Hawley:

But then, you know, when we have post strikes and things like that, I don't

Dalia Hawley:

know how long they've been left in a van, a hot van for or hot building or

Dalia Hawley:

you know, it's just not worth the risk.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

So sometimes I do tell people not to put it somewhere like hot and

Dalia Hawley:

sometimes, yeah, I've had people leave on the window sill and things

Dalia Hawley:

like that as well and I'm like, no.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, you do have to go through all these testing and you realize you know

Dalia Hawley:

what, what kind of temperatures it works then of what it doesn't work in.

Dalia Hawley:

So, yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, that's a lot to think about.

Vicki Weinberg:

And do you need to have any external testing done as well?

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, so I, uh, the way it works is for all

Dalia Hawley:

cosmetics to be legally compliant.

Dalia Hawley:

You, you go to, uh, a cosmetic chemist, uh, who is a cosmetic assessor.

Dalia Hawley:

So they're specifically trained in being able to assess your recipes.

Dalia Hawley:

You don't need to send samples in, uh, you send your recipe in.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and they're usually pretty good, you know, they're really, really good at kind

Dalia Hawley:

of telling you what you need to send in.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, you send you know what your label look like.

Dalia Hawley:

You send your product description in, um, and how the instructions for how to

Dalia Hawley:

use it and all the ingredients and the percentages or the gram of amount you have

Dalia Hawley:

in, and then they will kind of look at that and say, actually you need to remove

Dalia Hawley:

this or you need to change this or this needs to be, especially with essential

Dalia Hawley:

oils, because they're quite toxic.

Dalia Hawley:

You know, we think about them as being quite healing and, and stuff.

Dalia Hawley:

Actually they're quite toxic in high doses, so they often tell you

Dalia Hawley:

to change, you know that as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and they're the ones that sign it off.

Dalia Hawley:

So if anything were to happen you know, um, they are kind of legally responsible

Dalia Hawley:

for your products in a way as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, you have to go through that.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, with my body butters, I use, uh, I, I infuse chamomile and calendula

Dalia Hawley:

in oil, um, and I have to send samples off to a lab, um, to, to get tested,

Dalia Hawley:

just to make sure that there, there's no contamination or anything like that.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, but it's, it's easy to do.

Dalia Hawley:

It sounds like it's a lot, but it is actually, you know, It

Dalia Hawley:

is, it is quite easy to do.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and obviously peace of mind that you are legally compliant as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Obviously it's worth, worth the money too.

Dalia Hawley:

I think so, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because it sounds like, you know, as you're talking, I'm thinking

Vicki Weinberg:

there's more and more obviously you have to be aware of and think about.

Vicki Weinberg:

It must be really reassuring actually, to have someone external who said,

Vicki Weinberg:

yes, you're doing all the right things.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

And they're really good.

Dalia Hawley:

Like, if something's not, you know, if, if for instance, they're thinking it's

Dalia Hawley:

really not going to work, or you've got too much of something, they, they

Dalia Hawley:

will kind of tell you to change it.

Dalia Hawley:

So yes.

Dalia Hawley:

And they send the reports and everything as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, we'd be surprised how many people don't get testing though.

Dalia Hawley:

I mean, I have been to craft markets and seen products and I kind of just have

Dalia Hawley:

to like turn away now because it is a bit scary if, if sometimes people just

Dalia Hawley:

don't do that process, which is bad.

Vicki Weinberg:

It is.

Vicki Weinberg:

And is there a way, and maybe there isn't, but is there a way as a consumer

Vicki Weinberg:

of knowing whether someone has done the testing or not, do you know?

Dalia Hawley:

Um, you, there isn't really that much you can check.

Dalia Hawley:

It's difficult because I can't, don't quote me on this, but there was

Dalia Hawley:

something about that you couldn't say that your products were cosmetically

Dalia Hawley:

assessed for some reason or another.

Dalia Hawley:

I can't remember why.

Dalia Hawley:

Uh, but I can always get back to you with that.

Dalia Hawley:

But they, I, what kind of stands out for me is I look at, I look at

Dalia Hawley:

a label, um, I look at kind of what safety information they put in.

Dalia Hawley:

I've seen people selling face mists and not putting preservatives in there.

Dalia Hawley:

Water is a breathing ground for bacteria.

Dalia Hawley:

Uh, so if you, if you're selling like face mists or room mists or anything

Dalia Hawley:

without preservatives, then that straightaway is a red flag for me.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, you know, you know, I will challenge someone on that as well.

Dalia Hawley:

I have challenged people about that as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, so it's usually things like that I can kind, I have like a list of red

Dalia Hawley:

flags that, that I can see things and how things are written and I think,

Dalia Hawley:

mm, hang on a minute, has this person actually gone through the, the process?

Dalia Hawley:

And sometimes it could be innocent, sometimes someone just doesn't know.

Dalia Hawley:

They need to go through that process, but the information is available online so

Dalia Hawley:

you've really not got an excuse, I think.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is really helpful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I was just thinking as a consumer, you, you wouldn't necessarily

Vicki Weinberg:

know that somebody had to have that.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I think I'm definitely, from what you said, I'm definitely going to be

Vicki Weinberg:

looking at safety labels and products and assume if there's no safety directions,

Vicki Weinberg:

that's probably a red flag, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

If there's nothing.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

You can even tell if someone's not, you know, put allergens on or how to

Dalia Hawley:

use, how to store listed ingredients properly with what's called the INCI

Dalia Hawley:

names, which is like the full kind of the full name of, of that ingredient.

Dalia Hawley:

You know, little things like that that are just mm, or anything with no preservatives

Dalia Hawley:

in, but they've got water in.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

There's little things that kind of start thinking actually, have

Dalia Hawley:

they actually done pretesting?

Dalia Hawley:

So, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm not asking and you know, to try and call anyone out or scare anyone.

Dalia Hawley:

No, no, no, no.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's just, I'm just genuinely interested because I think

Vicki Weinberg:

for the interest of transparency, it's, it's just good to know

Vicki Weinberg:

this kind of thing, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

And it means, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

It might put people off buying it.

Vicki Weinberg:

It might not, but at least, at least you're aware.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, Yeah, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

And I think trading standards are, I have, I did read a story about

Dalia Hawley:

trading standards, actually going to a market not that long ago

Dalia Hawley:

and shutting a few places down.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, But you know, for people who are thinking about making cosmetics,

Dalia Hawley:

the information is out there and people are happy to give that advice.

Dalia Hawley:

And I've spoken to trading standards before about labeling

Dalia Hawley:

and they've been so helpful.

Dalia Hawley:

You know, they're not people to be scared of.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and they will send you all the correct information and then you've got that email

Dalia Hawley:

to say, well, trading standards have given me this, you, you know, this information

Dalia Hawley:

about labeling, so you've got your backup, you know, so these people do want to help.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, so you can go out and get that information of how to be legally

Dalia Hawley:

compliant as a cosmetic seller too.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really good advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it's good to know because I, you can see that you may think, oh,

Vicki Weinberg:

Trading Standards that, you know, you know, they're big and they're busy and

Vicki Weinberg:

they're not going to be approachable.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it's really good that you've had that experience because

Vicki Weinberg:

I, Yeah, I think you're right.

Vicki Weinberg:

Generally, if you ask someone is willing to help you because,

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, everyone wants things done correctly and, and safely.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, yeah, I think that's great advice to just reach out if you're not sure because

Vicki Weinberg:

it's, it's much better than guessing.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, another thing as well that I've got to go an a bit of a rant about

Dalia Hawley:

and I'm quite passionate about it, but if people are making medical claims

Dalia Hawley:

about their products, like if people say, oh, it cures eczema or anything

Dalia Hawley:

like that, that's another red flag.

Dalia Hawley:

If you're saying that it cures any kind of skin condition, it needs to

Dalia Hawley:

be a medical pre certified product, which you can't really do easily.

Dalia Hawley:

You know, you have to go through a you know, a lot of companies

Dalia Hawley:

and certifications to get that.

Dalia Hawley:

So again, if people say, oh, it cures this, or it cures that,

Dalia Hawley:

or, you know, of this skin condition, and I'm just like, mm.

Dalia Hawley:

Have you been medically certified to say that?

Dalia Hawley:

Probably not.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, there's lots and lots of stuff around labeling that

Dalia Hawley:

that's uh, yeah a red flag for me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I have heard, and I've forgotten, which, which the body is and isn't

Vicki Weinberg:

Trading Standards, but I have heard of people's websites being shut down

Vicki Weinberg:

because of, of those kinds of claims.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I know that you know it, people are getting sort of stronger on it.

Vicki Weinberg:

So.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, for on Amazon for example, they will not allow anybody to make any

Vicki Weinberg:

medical claims that can't be backed up.

Vicki Weinberg:

And actually even selling cosmetics you do need to provide, um, your

Vicki Weinberg:

safety data information and sort of prove that you've gone through the

Vicki Weinberg:

testing process, which is great.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm not sure if all marketplaces are the same.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't know if Etsy's the same, for example, but I do, you know, Amazon

Vicki Weinberg:

is definitely getting quite tough on that, which it, it can be frustrating.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because even if you have it all, I know that it's, you know, it feels like you

Vicki Weinberg:

are being asked to jump through hoops, but I, I do think it's, it's good that

Vicki Weinberg:

someone's kind of vetting these products before they go onto a marketplace.

Vicki Weinberg:

Or buying them.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

And even stuff like labeling.

Dalia Hawley:

You know, look, people, the products are organic, but they've not got

Dalia Hawley:

certification to say that they're organic.

Dalia Hawley:

So again, it's mis, it's misleading, it's actually illegal.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, so things like, you know, cruelty free, but we can't, you know, we're

Dalia Hawley:

not allowed to test on animals in this country, so there's lots of things to

Dalia Hawley:

be really careful about with labeling, if you're labeling something organic,

Dalia Hawley:

but actually it's not being certified organic, then again, that's, yeah,

Dalia Hawley:

you need to, you need to know what you're putting on your labels and not.

Dalia Hawley:

Put anything that's legal on there.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's good to know.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, and obviously you don't need to say how much, but is there, are there costs

Vicki Weinberg:

involved in going through these testings, whether it's to certify your products in

Vicki Weinberg:

organic or to certify that they're safe?

Vicki Weinberg:

Are there costs involved?

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

So it isn't the cheapest.

Dalia Hawley:

Uh, you know, you're talking sort of in hundreds of pounds.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, but again, you know, if you want develop cosmetics, you

Dalia Hawley:

have to have the money for that.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, there are now coming up on the market, which I think is really good,

Dalia Hawley:

especially people are quite new to cosmetic making, is a lot of the

Dalia Hawley:

cosmetic assessors will sell, um, pre-certified blends and products.

Dalia Hawley:

So you can actually buy the assessment and then they give you the recipe.

Dalia Hawley:

And then sometimes you can have loads of different variations on there.

Dalia Hawley:

You have to follow it all to a t obviously, but you know, you can buy

Dalia Hawley:

that, you can buy the variations that you know you can buy, say like, one cream.

Dalia Hawley:

It could be a hand cream, it could be a, um, hand and foot cream.

Dalia Hawley:

It could be a body lotion.

Dalia Hawley:

And then you'll get like a choice of essential oils in

Dalia Hawley:

that you can add in as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and you can buy the base products and then add these oils in.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and they'll do all different kinds of products like that, like base oils,

Dalia Hawley:

beard oils, shampoo stuff, body care.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and sometimes that can be kind of a more affordable, um, avenue to go down.

Dalia Hawley:

I mean, I've certainly considered it for other products.

Dalia Hawley:

Uh, and that's a really good way to have all the safety

Dalia Hawley:

data, have your own skincare.

Dalia Hawley:

But not have to pay, you know, a much higher price for your own formulations.

Dalia Hawley:

So it's usually a good gateway in.

Vicki Weinberg:

That really makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I guess it also save you time as well, because the formulations,

Vicki Weinberg:

I presume, have been worked out for you, so you know that as long as you

Vicki Weinberg:

stick to the recipe they'll work.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Or you can even buy the base of something as well and then add your own stuff in.

Dalia Hawley:

So.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that really makes sense actually.

Vicki Weinberg:

That seems like a really good way of entering safely and yeah, as you say,

Vicki Weinberg:

spending a bit, a bit less time as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, bit less time, bit less money.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really useful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, also, and I'm sorry to ask so many questions on this.

Vicki Weinberg:

We've gone down this, we've gone down this path.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm really interested now, um, if you're formulating yourself, does

Vicki Weinberg:

anyone ever come and check up on you, sort of where you are making

Vicki Weinberg:

them and how you are doing it?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I know, for example, if you were to make food products at home, you would

Vicki Weinberg:

have your kitchen certified and Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, I don't think it happens very often, but presumably someone

Vicki Weinberg:

can come along and check that everything's clean and, and everything

Vicki Weinberg:

else do, does something similar apply when you're formulating cosmetics?

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, it can do, Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

So you need to have on your labels that if your address or

Dalia Hawley:

your safety data is, is stored, paperwork and everything like that.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, so that's on my labeling because it's my home address.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and yeah, if they wanted, if they had any kind of suspicions or they

Dalia Hawley:

thought that anything, you know, there was something wrong with the products,

Dalia Hawley:

there's absolutely no stopping, uh, Trading Standards coming around and,

Dalia Hawley:

and wanting to see all my paperwork.

Dalia Hawley:

So obviously probably unannounced as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So you need to make sure you've got it all to hand, so.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

I just hope you don't mind me asking.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's not that I'm.

Dalia Hawley:

No, no, no, no.

Dalia Hawley:

It's fine.

Dalia Hawley:

It's good, good to know.

Dalia Hawley:

I think then people who are listening who want to go into skincare formulation,

Dalia Hawley:

you need to have this information, you know, you need to know these things.

Dalia Hawley:

So, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think so.

Vicki Weinberg:

And not to obviously to scare anyone or put anyone off, but I think it's, there's

Vicki Weinberg:

nothing worse in finding something out six months down the line, for example, where

Vicki Weinberg:

you think, oh, I wish I'd known that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because often we can find ourselves doing, not doing things wrong, but

Vicki Weinberg:

perhaps not doing things we should be doing because we just don't

Vicki Weinberg:

know that we should be doing it.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I really appreciate how much you're sharing because this is.

Dalia Hawley:

No, no, it's fine.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think this is so, this is so useful because

Vicki Weinberg:

it's, you're being so transparent.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think anyone who is thinking about skincare and cosmetics is getting a

Vicki Weinberg:

really clear idea of what's involved and that is really important.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, yeah, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

Oh, absolutely.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's talk a little bit, if you don't mind, about your

Vicki Weinberg:

actual ingredients for your products.

Vicki Weinberg:

So you mentioned that they're grown in the UK is that, is that right?

Vicki Weinberg:

And was that part of your vision from the start that you wanted

Vicki Weinberg:

to source from UK suppliers?

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

Absolutely.

Dalia Hawley:

Especially when, you know, I started, started gardening.

Dalia Hawley:

I had quite a lot of time on my hands in lockdown, uh, like many people.

Dalia Hawley:

So I started transforming my other house garden.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and yeah, so I decided there and then actually, you know, this would be a

Dalia Hawley:

really nice kind of twist to add to it.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, there are a few brands that use UK Botanicals as

Dalia Hawley:

well, so I'm not the only one.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, it's not possible to get everything from, from the UK.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, but I get lots, but I get lots of stuff from UK suppliers.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, I had a lot of problems with Brexit.

Dalia Hawley:

A lot of my ingredients were cut off, so yeah, I'm still

Dalia Hawley:

recovering from that a little bit.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, but yeah, so I mainly work.

Dalia Hawley:

All, all my suppliers are within the uk because it's just more cost effective now

Dalia Hawley:

um, rather than trying to get it abroad.

Dalia Hawley:

And thankfully they all stock everything here as well, which is a bit of relief.

Dalia Hawley:

But, um, they will obviously have to import certain things, like things

Dalia Hawley:

like the shea butter, coco butter, you know, we can't produce that here.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, certain oils as well that I use, you know, they can't be produced here

Dalia Hawley:

because we don't have the weather unfortunately for mandarins and bergamot

Dalia Hawley:

and all the, you know, things like that.

Dalia Hawley:

So they do have to be imported.

Dalia Hawley:

But I, I go through UK suppliers for that.

Dalia Hawley:

So.

Dalia Hawley:

And then, yeah, the ones, the UK grown botanicals, um, there's three of my

Dalia Hawley:

suppliers that have their own farms and they grow their own and process their own,

Dalia Hawley:

or they use um, farms locally for them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you.

Dalia Hawley:

The UK one.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And was that an, an easy process or was it quite hard to find what you needed

Vicki Weinberg:

in the UK and because I'm always really fascinated by sourcing because I know

Vicki Weinberg:

that yeah suppliers are such a key part of, sort of the journey and often it

Vicki Weinberg:

can be really challenging to, yeah, to find exactly what it is you need.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Oh yeah, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

I spent ages working, um, now within, when you, within a kind of industry,

Dalia Hawley:

and I don't know if you found this, you kind of get to know who the good

Dalia Hawley:

suppliers are and so, especially because I was doing courses, they had lists of

Dalia Hawley:

suppliers too, which is, you know, they give you all the information as lists.

Dalia Hawley:

So you're not starting from a completely blank Google looking for, for suppliers.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and then just through there, just through, through looking through

Dalia Hawley:

these suppliers, um, I found them.

Dalia Hawley:

And then I was Googling, I can't remember now how I came across uvularia.

Dalia Hawley:

I'm sure I saw it in another product or I was Googling, like

Dalia Hawley:

UK ingredients, UK grown kind of skincare, and I found uvularia and

Dalia Hawley:

then I found the, um, farm down south that, that grow it and process it.

Dalia Hawley:

And then they, um, from there I found that they have borage and white poppy.

Dalia Hawley:

And then two, I found two other, two, the other suppliers, um, we have

Dalia Hawley:

the lavender and rosemary as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So it kind of all sort of linked in eventually.

Dalia Hawley:

But yeah, there's just a lot of Googling and I was just lucky because I did

Dalia Hawley:

the courses I got like loads of lists of suppliers as well, which helped.

Dalia Hawley:

So I wasn't starting completely in the dark.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really useful.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I guess that was another benefit of doing the course as well because

Vicki Weinberg:

also presumably there were people, you could have asked if you got stuck

Vicki Weinberg:

because they'll know the industry.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, absolutely.

Dalia Hawley:

And you know, you have your own Facebook groups as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, especially the soap school, you know, that was what, two years ago?

Dalia Hawley:

You know, I'm still in their Facebook group.

Dalia Hawley:

I'm still in a formula botanical one.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, there's always, you know, you can pop on and say, Right, I'm

Dalia Hawley:

really struggling to find this.

Dalia Hawley:

Can anyone help?

Dalia Hawley:

And someone always pipes up, so, which is good.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really nice, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I feel that sometimes there can be a misconception that, you know, it's

Vicki Weinberg:

all, everyone's in competition, but I've actually found completely the opposite.

Vicki Weinberg:

And often if you ask somebody, I mean some of the sort of suppliers

Vicki Weinberg:

I've found have just been by saying, does anybody know someone?

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think if people have someone that they're happy with and, and they work

Vicki Weinberg:

well with, usually they're nine times out ten, they're quite happy to just

Vicki Weinberg:

share that because it benefits everyone.

Dalia Hawley:

Oh definitely, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

And you know, I've got those friends who are formulators have their own skincare

Dalia Hawley:

brand, but I don't see it as a competition because there's enough for everyone

Dalia Hawley:

and we're in different markets as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So, you know, I've got no problem with suppliers and things like that.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, we're completely different as brands and different audience.

Dalia Hawley:

And like you say, there's, there's enough skincare product for everyone.

Dalia Hawley:

So, you know, it's not like something that's really niche and, and that,

Dalia Hawley:

you know, people only buy from you and someone else is competition.

Dalia Hawley:

So, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, I guess the only, the only exception to that is if someone

Vicki Weinberg:

actually copies you know, outright.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Copy cutting somebody else's brand.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I don't think that, well, in my experience it

Vicki Weinberg:

doesn't seem to happen a lot.

Vicki Weinberg:

No.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, is there any out of interest though?

Vicki Weinberg:

Can you protect your formulas if you wanted somebody to not make

Vicki Weinberg:

exactly what you were making?

Vicki Weinberg:

Is, can you do that?

Vicki Weinberg:

I know that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Sorry, it's another question.

Dalia Hawley:

No, it's alright.

Dalia Hawley:

I gotta think now.

Vicki Weinberg:

It just suddenly struck me that, um, there, there must be cases where

Vicki Weinberg:

actually with skincare and with lots of other things, that there must be sort of

Vicki Weinberg:

people selling pretty much the same thing, but we as consumers just aren't aware

Vicki Weinberg:

of that because we don't know they're using the same or similar formulations.

Vicki Weinberg:

I, I assume, um, maybe I'm, yeah, maybe I'm wrong.

Dalia Hawley:

I don't know.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, I don't know.

Dalia Hawley:

Actually that's a good question.

Dalia Hawley:

I'm sure I've come across this before and I can't remember what the answer is.

Dalia Hawley:

I know you can trademark your brand's name.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, but I don't know about formulation.

Dalia Hawley:

I can't remember off the top of my head about formulations because I remember,

Dalia Hawley:

um, when you were saying that, it just reminded me of how high street shops

Dalia Hawley:

are now doing cosmetic, uh, dupes.

Dalia Hawley:

Aren't they the most expensive?

Dalia Hawley:

Wasn't it the Audi?

Dalia Hawley:

I think we've got some really good, I'm seeing lots people posted

Dalia Hawley:

about some of the Audi skincare of how it's exactly like, um, you

Dalia Hawley:

know, some of the famous brands.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think it's Elizabeth arden or something, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

I've heard it compared to.

Dalia Hawley:

The Audi shop hemp as well.

Dalia Hawley:

I found a body shop, hemp cream, exactly the same ingredients, but it was Audi.

Dalia Hawley:

I was like, ooh, how did, how did they do that?

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that's what got me wondering actually, because, um, I'm quite

Vicki Weinberg:

a fan of that, of the Audi skin care range because it's good quality and it's, Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it's, you know, a quarter of the price of some of the yeah, of the bigger brands.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

That did get me wondering.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, I'm, I'm assuming that if you are a massive, you know, if

Vicki Weinberg:

you're Nivea maybe, or whoever owns Nivea, maybe you can protect your.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't know, maybe, but then I don't know who would policed that.

Vicki Weinberg:

I know I'm going really off track now, but it did, it did get me

Vicki Weinberg:

wondering because there's no such thing as an original idea is there?

Vicki Weinberg:

Really?

Dalia Hawley:

No, no, no.

Dalia Hawley:

Oh, absolutely not.

Dalia Hawley:

You know, and I honestly, when I was researching my formulations, I was

Dalia Hawley:

looking at brands that I like and think, oh yeah, you know, I really like their

Dalia Hawley:

kind of, the whole brand, their ethos, their ingredients, you know, so you have

Dalia Hawley:

to be careful that you could, you don't go down that hole of like, I'm going to

Dalia Hawley:

try and replicate what they're doing.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, but yeah, I don't know.

Dalia Hawley:

I'm sure I've come across this before and I can't remember off the top of

Dalia Hawley:

my head what the answer was for this.

Dalia Hawley:

I know you can trademark your name.

Dalia Hawley:

I don't know about your recipes.

Vicki Weinberg:

Perhaps it's something that's sort of reserved

Vicki Weinberg:

for the brands with a lot of money.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I can't imagine it's, cheap.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, they have their own legal teams and, yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

But it does make sense what you were just saying though,

Vicki Weinberg:

about looking at other products that you like because I suppose, yeah,

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, whatever products you're creating, I always say to people, look

Vicki Weinberg:

at what your competitors are doing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Not to copy, but you know, if they've got a particular scent that you like or yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, you wouldn't copy like for like, um, and hopefully you'd be

Vicki Weinberg:

looking to improve what they were doing.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I think, you know, we do need some, we do need to get inspired from somewhere.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And also just know what else is is there as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's just good to know like where you, where you fit and

Vicki Weinberg:

what makes you different.

Vicki Weinberg:

So yeah, absolutely nothing wrong with looking at it.

Dalia Hawley:

No, no, no, no.

Dalia Hawley:

It's good.

Dalia Hawley:

You should be and see what's out there and stuff, what people are doing.

Dalia Hawley:

So, yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's move on a little bit if that's okay, and

Vicki Weinberg:

talk about actually sort of when you started to sell your products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, because it sounds like this, you know, the formulation stage was really big.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then presumably you also have to work on labeling and packaging, and

Vicki Weinberg:

there's lots that goes into that.

Vicki Weinberg:

So when were you ready to start selling and how did you do that?

Dalia Hawley:

Um, so I think it took me about a year to,

Dalia Hawley:

to go through the process.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, And I was already lucky that I was selling some of my massage

Dalia Hawley:

products in a shop called Fabrication, which is a social enterprise

Dalia Hawley:

indie shop in Leeds and Wakefield.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, Leeds and Wakefield Leeds in York.

Dalia Hawley:

Oh my God.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, yeah, Leeds in York.

Dalia Hawley:

I live in Wakefield and have a shop in Wakefield.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and so the owner of that store said, yeah, you know, bring your products in.

Dalia Hawley:

Uh, obviously we were in lockdown, so everything had to go online and then, you

Dalia Hawley:

know, um, so it had to work like that.

Dalia Hawley:

That was a bit strange.

Dalia Hawley:

Uh, and, but yeah, they're on the shelves there now.

Dalia Hawley:

And, um, I moved to Wakefield, so I approached the art house in Wakefield

Dalia Hawley:

and they were, you know, they were really keen to have it, so I approached kind

Dalia Hawley:

of, um, sort of more indie retail spaces, uh, because I saw they were working with

Dalia Hawley:

more sort of local businesses as well.

Dalia Hawley:

So I knew they'd probably be a good fit for, for my brand.

Dalia Hawley:

And then I again, knew of Etsy and people were selling on Etsy.

Dalia Hawley:

So I started, I head down that avenue first because it's quite an easy set up.

Dalia Hawley:

You don't need a website, you know, it's quite self explanatory.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and it's very popular as well, so people know about it.

Dalia Hawley:

And then I sort of went over to Shopify sort of later on, so earlier

Dalia Hawley:

this year with my new range and moved my whole brand over to Shopify.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And how did you, um, so are you still on Etsy as well as Shopify

Vicki Weinberg:

now, or are you purely on Shopify?

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, I still got, um, I've still got a shop on, on, um, Etsy

Dalia Hawley:

just in case anything happens to Shopify.

Dalia Hawley:

I don't, I get like a couple of hits on it, but not as much now as

Dalia Hawley:

now that I've kind of moved over.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, so yeah, so I still get a couple of hits done there, but I use it

Dalia Hawley:

more as a, as a backup just incase.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

It definitely makes sense not to just have, you know, if you, if you, if

Vicki Weinberg:

it's relevant for you to be in two places, that totally makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

But yeah, it's always good to have sales on your own website, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because then there's none of those fees and, and everything else

Vicki Weinberg:

that just eats into your margins.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

And, and you know, I'm open to Amazon as well if it fits . So, you know,

Dalia Hawley:

when I first met you I was like, oh, I've never thought of that.

Dalia Hawley:

Amazon, could I sell on Amazon?

Dalia Hawley:

So that is something that's been in the back of my mind actually

Dalia Hawley:

since, since I found your company and your brand and everything.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, we can, we'll talk about that when we, when

Vicki Weinberg:

we're not recording, but yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah, Amazon can be a good place for, well, for all kind, all kinds of,

Vicki Weinberg:

of products and it definitely sounds like, well, like I said, we'll talk about

Vicki Weinberg:

it in more detail, but just for anyone else, cosmetic brands, it definitely

Vicki Weinberg:

sounds like you have everything you need because you've been through all the

Vicki Weinberg:

certifications and you can prove that your product is safe and it's been tested.

Vicki Weinberg:

Those are the kind of the key things that you need to have and in terms of whether,

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, what the market's like and things like that, something different.

Vicki Weinberg:

But it definitely sounds like you have all of the components, which is really

Vicki Weinberg:

important because if you don't, um, you can't, and that's, that is the bottom

Vicki Weinberg:

line, you know, if you haven't had your products tested, You just can't do it.

Dalia Hawley:

No, no, no.

Dalia Hawley:

It won't get on there.

Dalia Hawley:

So it's not worth it.

Dalia Hawley:

The cost you pay to get, because you, you know, if someone sees you, because

Dalia Hawley:

yeah, they have a skin reaction that's going to be 5, 6, 8 times million

Dalia Hawley:

times more expensive than getting a cosmetic assessment for like 200 quid.

Vicki Weinberg:

Absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And um, and I know I keep going back with all these compliance things.

Dalia Hawley:

No, it's good.

Vicki Weinberg:

But um, I guess it's probably also worth having insurance,

Vicki Weinberg:

isn't it I suppose if you sell something?

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

I've got like personal liability, um, also because I do markets as well coming

Dalia Hawley:

up to Christmas, they need insurance.

Dalia Hawley:

That, and again, there's some really good sort of craft insurers out

Dalia Hawley:

there as well that, that a lot of people in the craft industry use.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and again, you know, but for the year it's not that much.

Dalia Hawley:

So it's worth doing.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think, I mean, I think youre so right.

Vicki Weinberg:

For peace of mind, just, you know, on the very, very unlikely event that anything

Vicki Weinberg:

does happen, sort of knowing you've, you are covered and you've got someone to turn

Vicki Weinberg:

to, um, because presumably these insurers, you know, also would give advice on sort

Vicki Weinberg:

of how to, you know, how to deal with it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, it's definitely, it's definitely worth having that because

Vicki Weinberg:

obviously it's a small business.

Vicki Weinberg:

You're not going to have a legal department ory eah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Or anything like that.

Vicki Weinberg:

So yeah, I think you're right.

Vicki Weinberg:

For however much it costs a year, I think it's definitely, definitely, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Definitely worth it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so you mentioned, um, you mentioned selling in markets,

Vicki Weinberg:

but is that something you're doing run up to Christmas or is that part of

Vicki Weinberg:

your sort of sales strategy year round?

Dalia Hawley:

Um, it was part of my sales strategy really.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, I started doing some targeting more sort of local areas because I found

Dalia Hawley:

that, um, a lot of people around where I am are really supportive and they

Dalia Hawley:

were, you know, they were coming along to markets I was doing, and they were,

Dalia Hawley:

they were becoming sort of repeat buyers.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, and I had a Christmas market locally, last year and I think because it was

Dalia Hawley:

a regular market, people were coming back all the time and they wanted to

Dalia Hawley:

support people in their communities.

Dalia Hawley:

So, and I was like, oh, okay, this is a non hassle stall, uh, so it was great.

Dalia Hawley:

So I just decided to kind of, um, go with that really.

Dalia Hawley:

So I've done a couple of popups locally and, um, yeah, and I

Dalia Hawley:

definitely want to do set of markets this year, like Christmas markets.

Dalia Hawley:

Uh, I tried doing a really big one, a really big expensive one last year.

Dalia Hawley:

I didn't make that many sales and then I went to a smaller one expecting

Dalia Hawley:

I wasn't going to make that many sales, and I sold out in an hour.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, it's been interesting.

Dalia Hawley:

It's taught, it's taught me now that the smaller and more local

Dalia Hawley:

markets, um, are the places where my products do well, and, and I have,

Dalia Hawley:

you know, where these markets are.

Dalia Hawley:

There are more affluent areas as we say.

Dalia Hawley:

So I do get people, you know, wanting to buy more, um, and spend more money,

Dalia Hawley:

which, you know, and plus they've been really supportive of my business

Dalia Hawley:

as well, which, which is fantastic.

Dalia Hawley:

And they're really lovely.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, And they're repeat buyers now as well, which is really, really nice.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, very thankful.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is really nice and it's nice that it works and

Vicki Weinberg:

obviously it's not great when something doesn't work, but I think it's good.

Vicki Weinberg:

At least you can say, okay, well I tried that and actually that didn't work for me,

Vicki Weinberg:

so put that aside and and concentrate on what, on what does work, and it's really

Vicki Weinberg:

lovely to have the local support as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

I hear this a lot and I can definitely relate to that.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I love buying from local businesses or people I know.

Vicki Weinberg:

Or a friend of a friend.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's just, yeah, I definitely think there is more of a drive that isn't

Vicki Weinberg:

there to support, to support local.

Vicki Weinberg:

To support the smaller businesses.

Dalia Hawley:

Yes.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

And it's in person selling as well, you know.

Dalia Hawley:

I went to a Women's Group the other week and people can try the

Dalia Hawley:

products, you know, which they can't do that much of now online.

Dalia Hawley:

You know, I, I bought testers along, people were trying on the serum, they

Dalia Hawley:

were trying on the balms and the oils.

Dalia Hawley:

They could smell it, they could feel it.

Dalia Hawley:

They could feel the texture and you know, they were buying it because of that.

Dalia Hawley:

Because they're like, oh, it feels really niceo n my skin.

Dalia Hawley:

It smell really nice.

Dalia Hawley:

Or I'm just going to take it away and make sure I'm not having a reaction.

Dalia Hawley:

Oh no, actually it's been really nice.

Dalia Hawley:

I'll come back and buy that.

Dalia Hawley:

So I think there's a lot to, for, for in selling and actually people

Dalia Hawley:

being able to touch and feel and, and you know, a product as well.

Dalia Hawley:

It just, I think we're not used to that as much now, so.

Dalia Hawley:

No.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

That makes a difference as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

I agree.

Vicki Weinberg:

I was talking to somebody about that yesterday that I feel like now that

Vicki Weinberg:

we can go out or get again and know we have been able to for a while.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think there's definitely more of a drive.

Vicki Weinberg:

People want to buy things in person and actually, I mean, there's always

Vicki Weinberg:

been that, it's always been nice to be able to look at things and feel

Vicki Weinberg:

them and everything else, but yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think after not being able to do so for so long, um, yeah,

Vicki Weinberg:

it kind of, I think you almost appreciate it a bit more as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

That you actually go yeah, and I think as well for, for product, homemade products,

Vicki Weinberg:

there's something really nice about meeting the person behind the product.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, if it's homemade or wherever it's a small business.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think just meeting the person behind the business makes a huge difference as well.

Dalia Hawley:

Yes, absolutely.

Dalia Hawley:

Because you know your product.

Dalia Hawley:

You can ask that person questions, you can talk to them about the brand, you

Dalia Hawley:

can talk to them about the product.

Dalia Hawley:

So yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think there's definitely a lot,

Vicki Weinberg:

a lot to be said for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah, it does make a huge difference.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I have one final question if that's ok Dalia?

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, which is, what is your number one piece of

Vicki Weinberg:

advice for other product creators?

Vicki Weinberg:

What would you want someone to take away from today?

Vicki Weinberg:

And this might be specific to the cosmetics industry or it might not be.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, your choice.

Dalia Hawley:

Oh God.

Dalia Hawley:

Just one.

Dalia Hawley:

Oh my goodness.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, I would say be prepared for the time it takes.

Dalia Hawley:

Um, I think most people assume you can make something they can get

Dalia Hawley:

out in the market straight away.

Dalia Hawley:

It can take years, it can take months.

Dalia Hawley:

You know, remember your, your last, um, interview you had and you know the

Dalia Hawley:

lady there saying how long it took.

Dalia Hawley:

And you know, you, you will go through so many samples, you'll go

Dalia Hawley:

through so many things that go wrong.

Dalia Hawley:

You'll go through a lot of money and a lot of time, and you have

Dalia Hawley:

to be prepared to just be patient.

Dalia Hawley:

I'm not the world's most patient person, so I've had to really learn

Dalia Hawley:

to go, okay, to take a step back and just, you know, understand that this

Dalia Hawley:

is going to take a long time to do.

Dalia Hawley:

So you have to be prepared for that.

Dalia Hawley:

It's not going to go out onto the market like that tomorrow.

Dalia Hawley:

You're probably going to be there for a year, maybe a couple

Dalia Hawley:

of years of doing your research and development of that product.

Dalia Hawley:

So you have to be you know, prepared for that, I think is the most important thing.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's so helpful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I think even if you are the most patient person, it can

Vicki Weinberg:

still get really disheartening.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, you feel like, will I ever get there?

Vicki Weinberg:

And everyone else is doing this quicker.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I mean, that isn't the case because of course, the first time

Vicki Weinberg:

we, unless it's someone we know personally, often the first one

Vicki Weinberg:

product is when it first goes on sale.

Vicki Weinberg:

When it's ready to launch.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that could have been, as you say, that could be a couple of years for

Vicki Weinberg:

when that original idea came about.

Vicki Weinberg:

So thank you for being so honest about that because I think you're right that,

Vicki Weinberg:

um, you know, you don't always understand fully, we don't always fully under

Vicki Weinberg:

appreciate how long these things can take.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it's like a string as well, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

So what takes one person a year might take somebody else two

Vicki Weinberg:

for, Yeah, all kinds of reasons.

Vicki Weinberg:

And also there'll be some who manage to do it quicker, but um, but yeah, I think

Vicki Weinberg:

it takes as long as it takes, doesn't it?

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah.

Dalia Hawley:

Yeah, definitely.

Dalia Hawley:

You have to be prepared for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well thank you so much for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's excellent advice and thank you so much for all that you shared

Vicki Weinberg:

because I know I asked you a lot of questions that you weren't prepared for.

Vicki Weinberg:

I didn't realize how interested I was going to get in, um, in the

Vicki Weinberg:

regulations, but um, I just think because you're so open to talking

Vicki Weinberg:

about it I think it's, it's just such, you know, valuable information for

Vicki Weinberg:

people to have if they're considering a cosmetic and anything topical, I

Vicki Weinberg:

guess, um, it's really worth knowing.

Vicki Weinberg:

So thank you so much for sharing.

Dalia Hawley:

No, thank you for having me.

Dalia Hawley:

It's been really nice and I always like talking about sort of the research and

Dalia Hawley:

development and the compliance of it all, so yeah, no, thank you for having me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, you're so welcome.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do remember that you can get the full back catalogues and lots of free

Vicki Weinberg:

resources on my website vickiweinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Please do remember to rate this episode if you've enjoyed it, and

Vicki Weinberg:

also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful.