Meet Vicki Evans, creator of Walk Mill Botanics, UK
Vicki took our Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation in 2014 and our Build Your Beauty Brand course in 2015. We catch up with her and see how her business is flourishing.
Why did you decide to start your brand? What was the catalyst/inspiration behind it?
The catalyst was a holiday conversation over a bottle of wine! Two inspirations really, one is nature and what she can provide; the ability to capture nature’s goodness in my products is wonderful. I have two straplines; ‘nature at your fingertips’ is one. My packaging reflects this as it can be planted and flowers grow, giving something back. My second inspiration is the need for people to capture a moment of calm in their busy lives. Technology, and busyness effect our well-being so I wanted to bring a moment of calm into people’s lives. I have a background in coaching, which enables me to write relaxation and mindfulness exercises and put them on the labels for people to practice. Planting the packaging and appreciating the flowers outdoors allows us to connect with nature.There is much research linking our level of well-being with appreciating and being with nature.
What is the essence of your product line? What is unique about it?
My theme is one of well-being. Creating a moment of calm in a busy life. The products deliver this on different levels: firstly, the gorgeous essential oil blends help customers to relax and unwind; secondly, the packaging is embedded with flower seeds so the packaging can be planted and flowers will grow and bloom; and finally, there are relaxation and mindfulness exercises on the labels.
What is your favorite or most popular product from your skincare line?
My gift boxes called ‘relax’ or ‘unwind’. They are really popular because they are unique: the boxes are embedded with flower seeds so when you have finished with the box you can plant it and flowers grow. But that’s not all; they are designed to create a moment of calm and by doing the relaxation exercise on the label they do just that. They have one of my handmade soaps and bath melt or bath bomb and a linen bag with flower petals, lavender to put under pillow for a good night’s rest and rose petals infused with rose geranium and ylang ylang that can sit by the bed for you to breath in the relaxing and sensuous aromas as you drift off to sleep.
What do you love about running your business or creating your products?
Getting feedback from customers who have benefited from the products either because they have skincare problems and now they can use chemical-free products that smell wonderful so they can treat themselves, or by bringing a moment of calm and tranquility and restoring people’s sense of well-being. I love the smell of the essential oils that I work with and am still absolutely amazed at the process of creating a wonderful mild bar of soap.
How has the Build Your Beauty Brand course helped you with your business?
It has helped me find focus – working on your own you have to wear so many hats, so I was struggling with marketing, understanding retail, social media and knowing where I should spend my time.
How has the course helped you with your business? What can you do now that you couldn’t before?
Number one is to work out retailers’ margins quickly and easily; you can’t imagine the pressure this has taken off me.
What did you enjoy most about the course?
Challenging my beliefs about what I could achieve.
What advice would you give someone who dreams of starting their own skincare line?
Dream away, then plan to make it a reality by being clear about what you have to offer. Start with a few products, research them well and know what target audience you are aiming at. Most of all if you are new to the market, get a mentor who can help you: it will save you time and money in the long run. But remember that things change along the way, your aspirations change as you grow, more possibilities open up as you develop yourself and your business.
What do you do to relax, unwind and get away from it all?
I love gardening; time stands still when I am out there, pruning or pulling weeds. More of a treat is to go for a massage or to spend a day at a spa on my own. Get away to our cottage on the Isle of Islay in Scotland and recently I went on a week-long mindfulness retreat in the Alps, which was probably the best rest I have had in years.
Find out more about Walk Mill Botanics: