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Meet local maker Harvest Skincare
We are an independent organic skincare brand, a home-grown business that started in 2009 and now has almost 100 like-minded stockists worldwide. We serve the local community and all our online customers from our firmly established Kings Heath store in Birmingham which first opened in 2015.
WHAT WE STAND FOR …..
HONEST ALCHEMY RESTORING VALUES ETHICALLY SIMPLY TOGETHER
At harvest, we believe that less is more. There’s no need to pack products full of synthetic ingredients when a few, carefully chosen, natural ones are far more effective. We lovingly craft each product by hand so we know exactly what goes into everything we make. We know that nature has provided all we need to nourish, restore, protect and heal, so we only use 100% pure ingredients with powerful properties to take care of your skin. We also believe that if nature is taking care of us, we should be looking after nature too, so our packaging is simple, biodegradable and reusable. Our waste is minimal and our products are only tested on people, never on animals.
“WORKING IN HARMONY WITH NATURE”
Our CALM, BALANCE and NOURISH ranges are carefully tailored to individual skin types using skin-loving waxes and vitamins blended with the finest organic oils. And because we adore candles we make those too, using soy wax; an entirely natural and safe product which combined with our high quality essential oils creates a clean burn and long lasting scent, designed to uplift or calm the soul. We’re proud of what we do, but to be honest, we can only take half the credit for our wonderful products, the rest is entirely thanks to nature.
What first fuelled your passion to make/create your designs/ product?
I trained as a holistic practitioner, aromatherapist and skincare therapist and worked in that industry for 15 years during which time I became totally fascinated with the skin. I’ve always suffered with eczema and allergies and struggled to find products that worked but weren’t full of chemicals. This led me to train in formulation, cosmetics and retail, and inspired me to start developing my own products at home. It was really important to me to use only organic and natural ingredients as I found that these products soothed and repaired my skin conditions. I’d struggled for such a long time to find anything to treat them, I really wanted to be able to help people in a similar position.
Tell us about the origins of your business.
Harvest started in 2009, from my home in Birmingham. I grew up working in the family’s business and shop in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and so when I realised that I needed to expand beyond my own kitchen, opening a store was a natural progression and felt like a return to my roots. I opened our first store in Kings Heath in 2015. The business soon expanded and we now supply around 100 stockists worldwide, whilst serving both the local and online communities
What’s your motto?
Follow your heart! You have to trust your instincts, be open to change and passionate about the choices that you make in life.
How would you describe your designs/products?
It is important to me to know exactly what is in our products, where it all comes and that while it’s harnessing the benefits of nature, it is not harming it. We therefore carefully select natural products that are effective in protecting, healing and nourishing our skin and use soy wax, with eco-friendly cotton wicks for our candles. Our packaging is all biodegradable and reusable. There is a simplicity that runs from the effect of the product, through its contents and into its aesthetic – because honesty and integrity is very important to us as a brand.
I guess it has to be opening our first store in 2015. The local support was incredible, a community around the store quickly grew and the customers become our friends.
Tell us about your materials -where do you source your materials from?
We use 100% pure ingredients which are organic wherever possible. The quality of our materials are really important to us – there is no ‘filler’ in our products, the ingredients that are on the labels are only there because they absolutely need to be for it to be effective and therefore the materials have to be the best of the best – there’s nothing to hide behind!
Tell us about your making process?
The process begins with an idea for product, writing notes, sourcing ingredients and trialling formulations that I play about with until I’m certain they are absolutely right. Once I’m happy, it’ll be made in our in-store kitchen by my team, who are meticulous and hand-make the products in small batches – they do everything from making the product itself to labelling the jar and putting it on the shelf. This means there is a real pride in the quality of what we are making and a pleasure in seeing it being enjoyed by our customers.
Have you ever had any interesting commissions?
At the end of last year we launched an exclusive range of products for Cos, which was a really exciting collaboration. There project taught me a lot about delivery to an international market whilst maintaining the ethos of Harvest and the quality of the product.
Do you have a favourite of the Birmingham museums? If so,why
BMAG! I love the art galleries - there’s always an interesting exhibition to see and new things to spot in the permanent collection. I like to wander around the ceramics in their cases and the Edwardian Tea Rooms is a pretty amazing place to stop and have a coffee!
And finally, a tourist arrives in Birmingham for the first time ever, where do you take them?
To Kings Heath! It’s few miles out of Birmingham City Centre and is a bustling, creative area, filled with vibrant small businesses and independents. We could have a walk around Highbury Park, grab a coffee and cake from Early Bird and then head to our store on Poplar Road (before a curry next door at the Spice Merchant and a dance at the Hare and Hounds)!