Supplier Spotlight on Elixirs of Life
artisan lane is based on the Hertfordshire/Essex border and we select many of our artisan producers from the local area. The successful natural skincare business, Elixirs of Life, based in Essex, feature in a number of our gift box collections.
The business is run by husband and wife team, Gill and David. Gill’s passion is sourcing ingenious and effective ingredients, creating formulas, to whipping up a batch of skin food. You’ll find David selling the fragrant, skin-loving pots of purity at Farmers Markets throughout the county.
We caught up with Gill about her inspirations for creating the range and the company’s key achievements.
My love for nature really started as a child. From collecting rose petals and placing them in an airtight jar to make perfume, to being dowsed in vinegar by my mother, who insisted it was great as a hair rinse and for sunburn!
I became interested in Aromatherapy and holistic therapies many years ago when it was found I had an extreme allergic reaction to antibiotics and needed to find alternative therapies to boost my immune system and help in times of need.
Using Lavender Essential oil since I can remember, and being amazed by its incredible healing properties. This led to hours and hours of researching and experimenting with various different properties and aromas, seeing how they work together. This became my passion.
I believe in truth and transparency, you have a fundamental right to know exactly what you are putting on your skin.
How did you make the first steps to start creating your products?
I started out simply with the desire to make products that would not irritate my sensitive skin, did not contain harsh chemicals and would be unique formulations. Highly effective for the health, beauty and well being of the mind, body and soul.
I took a series of courses to learn anatomy, physiology, aromatherapy and skin care manufacturing to name but a few.
Friends and family used the products with great results. This inspired me to create a unique brand of skin, hair and body care products that are ethical, affordable and use as natural as possible ingredients from sustainable sources and from there, “Elixirs of Life Natural Skin Care”, was born.
After 18 months of product development, the company launched in 2005.
What are your key challenges in business?
We were frustrated with needing a Chemistry degree to understand the ingredients listed on commercial products, subsequently looking up the ingredients and finding out they are also used in anti-freeze and engine degreasers to name but a few! We believe you have a fundamental right to know exactly what you are putting on your skin and all of our products are completely natural.
We do whatever we can to protect the earth and its resources. We use no aerosols, opt for recycled materials including papers, bottles, jars, packing materials and always favour packaging that’s easily recyclable, and all our products have minimal external packaging.
What are your key achievements in business?
Building a brand takes time, you must be 100% passionate about your business and cause. There are times when you have to dig deep, but the love and determination for what you wish to achieve will see you through.
Sourcing of ingredients from ethical suppliers, containers and labels can all be very time consuming and challenging, especially for small cottage industries competing against large companies with big spending power.
All products are put through a testing regime, where they are also certified by a Cosmetic Chemist to meet EU Regulation (EC) 1223/2009. For me, this has proved to be one of the challenging and most costly aspects of the business, but also one of the most important to ensure the products are safe and meet all the requirements of the Cosmetic legislation to protect all consumers. No animal testing takes place in any way shape or form.
The challenge ahead is to grow production without losing control of quality or compromising the company’s ethics.
What are you most proud of?
With a word of mouth following, a fantastic loyal customer base has been built. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and nothing is too much trouble, really appreciating each and every customer old or new.
The emphasis on ethical production and use of high quality natural ingredients sets Elixirs of Life apart from the competition. Steady growth has underpinned the business from the start, rather than a desire to quickly grow.
Elixirs of Life is now a multi award winning company. Many of the products have achieved awards – the Free From Skin Care Awards, The Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards, Janey Loves Platinum Awards, Natural Health International Beauty Awards, Beauty Shortlist Awards, Beauty Shortlist Mama & Baby Awards, Pure Beauty Awards and the Pure Beauty Global Awards.
We do whatever we can to protect the earth and its resources. We use no aerosols, opt for recycled materials including papers, bottles, jars, packing materials and always favour packaging that’s easily recyclable, all our products have minimal external packaging.
If you care about what you eat, shouldn’t you also care about what you put onto your skin?