"I am passionate about creating a range of natural organic beauty alternatives tailored for coastal living. Our products have been developed to repair and nourish skin and hair exposed to the elements whilst having zero negative effects on the planet."
Meet Holly, the founder and creative behind The Coconut Bee - this is her story.
What inspired you to start The Coconut Bee?
I started creating homemade organic skin and hair care alternatives when I was a teenager. I’ve always enjoyed the process of using raw ingredients to create something unique to my taste and needs. And coming from a family with an aromatherapy and holistic background the remarkable qualities of natural ingredients have proven their worth to me time and time again. I started gifting my favourite combinations to friends and loved ones, when they started to ask for more I realised I wasn’t alone in my love for their natural effectiveness.
It was only in 2017 that my partner Anthony and I decided to take a step further and share these with the world. After 2 years of hard work and development we finally launched 'The Coconut Bee' in December 2018.
How would you describe your brand?
‘Natural Beauty by the Sea’ is our brand slogan, we live 2 minutes away from the beach in Cornwall and my love for the ocean and nature has always been a source of constant inspiration for me. I am passionate about creating a range of natural organic beauty alternatives tailored for coastal living. Our products have been developed to repair and nourish skin and hair exposed to the elements whilst having zero negative effects on the planet.
What is your ethos behind your business?
It has always been my mission to create something pure without feeling pressure to adhere to convenience and the market 'norm'. One of my greatest motivations is that my business reflects my core beliefs. I wanted to create a range that is 100% natural and chemical free. Eco-friendly products with ingredients sourced from sustainable and fair-trade sources. Plastic free, palm oil free and not tested on animals. I wanted to offer consumers what I refer to as ‘clear conscience beauty’.
Alongside this, one of our core initiatives is to support women on waves of all abilities, shapes and sizes. We have a key goal at The Coconut Bee to use our platform and social media to highlight the many mental and physical benefits of surfing to women all over world.
How do you decide on new products? / Where does your inspiration come from?
I love playing with different ingredients and ideas. I have a lot of plants and make a lot of raw remedies at home. I’m a firm believer that the earth provides everything our bodies need to thrive so I draw a lot of inspiration from nature. My ideas usually start from home and then grow from there. I like to think about what I want and need in a product then spend the time developing it from base ingredients to blends.
What are the joys, and challenges, of being an independent maker?
I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that starting a business is so challenging. It’s hard. There’s an incredible amount of work that we have put into this but it is by far one of the most rewarding things we have ever done.
The biggest challenge for us has probably been trying to start a company whilst juggling full time jobs and financially backing the company out of our own pocket. We really have put everything we have into The Coconut Bee which is why it is so much more than just a business to us, we’ve put our heart and soul into something we believe in which in turn makes it so worthwhile.
The biggest joy for me personally occurs when I receive such amazing feedback from a customer about one of my products. My intention has always been to give people natural alternatives that they really love and benefit from so when I feel like I’ve achieved that with even one customer I am sure I’m on the right path!
If we were going to try one product from the range, what would be your must-have product?
That’s such a hard question but I think I’d have to say the Surf Revival hair repair oil! I use it every day and I love the way it smells and feels in my hair. Because I spend a lot of time in the ocean my hair can feel very dried out and it’s wonderful for re-nourishing damage. I use it as an overnight treatment or leave in conditioner through damp hair. I have quite unruly curly hair so I also use it as a taming styling product from time to time.
Tell us your favourite beauty tip...
Fresh Aloe Vera for sure! I love using this ingredient in its rawest form straight from the leaf. It is a natural astringent and works wonders for stretch marks especially when mixed with a little honey. Not only that, it works really well on spots or breakouts. It’s amazing!