We chatted with Paula, founder of Batch #001, to discuss everything from her inspiration, to her evening routine, to what she's loving on TV at the moment. We hope you enjoy reading our conversation with Paula.
Tell us about your background. What was the journey that led you to create Batch #001?
I was inspired to start creating products to help my daughters, who both had eczema and allergies from birth - I wanted to create a range of completely natural and organic products they could use to soothe and repair their inflamed and irritated skin. Having always had dry skin and sometimes psoriasis myself, I was looking everywhere for something completely natural, to help ease our skin flare-ups and lock in moisture (something which is crucial for eczema sufferers). But I didn’t want to use a product with a long ingredient list including synthetic chemicals, preservatives, sulphates and parabens.
I had started experimenting with beeswax, after being inspired by a beekeeper friend and began by making a beeswax candle - and as I learned more about the amazing properties in beeswax, I knew it would be fantastic to use in skincare for my daughters, as it’s naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal. And so Batch #001 was born – creating products which are 100% ethically sourced, cruelty free and made using all natural and organic ingredients.
How has the brand evolved over time?
I launched our Organic Beeswax Balms, Salt & Oil Bath Soaks and The 100% Beeswax Candle in in September 2019, and since then I've launched Organic Prickly Pear Seed Oil, the most brilliant natural oil you can use on your face, hands and nails, followed by our Salt & Oil Body Scrubs in our signature essential oil blends, and just in time for Christmas, a full range of gift sets - including our Batch Bathing Ritual Sets and Mini Gift Sets.
Using our products you can create your own bathing routine. Firstly, use our Salt & Oil Body Scrub, which has fine Dead Sea and Pink Himalayan Salts, organic Shea Butter and Apricot Kernel and our signature organic essential oils blends (Tree Tree and Lavender or Sweet Orange and Bergamot) for a gentle exfoliation. Secondly, use the Salt & Oil Bath Soaks, to relax and nourish you and your skin, and finish the routine using our Organic Beeswax Balms to moisturise. The Organic Tea Tree and Lavender scent is really relaxing before you go to bed, and is naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, which is good for any skin irritations. The Organic Sweet Orange and Bergamot blend is really uplifting and lifts your spirits with the scent.
What inspires you and motivates you?
I’m really inspired by our customer feedback. We get some lovely messages from customers to say our products have transformed their skin. I love receiving ‘before and after’ images which show the improvements, and messages that say a product has helped clear up a rash or their eczema. My first motivation was my kids. I wanted to help their skin but to now be able to help others too, it’s really rewarding.
I’m also inspired by bees and nature. At Batch #001, we say we are ‘powered by the bees, the lands and the seas’. I’m obsessed with bees! They are so important and vital for our planet, and they’re so intelligent. Getting out in nature and being by water is my inspiration, luckily I live by the River Thames and I see water everyday. I’m also close to Kew Gardens, so I have lots of greenery, trees, flowers, water and bees nearby.
Batch #001 products are made from natural ingredients that are planet and skin friendly, what does sustainability mean to you as a brand?
The heart of the brand and our ultimate philosophy is that we’re not just part of nature, we are nature. It’s a continuous circle. At Batch #001 we’re trying to play our part in making sure all of our ingredients are natural and organic, ethically sourced and cruelty free, and that our packaging materials are recyclable. All of our products are in glass containers, we use recycled and recyclable boxes for shipping - even our packing tape is recyclable!
What would be your top tip to help encourage others to live more sustainably?
My main top tip would be: buy less and buy better. There is so much waste in the world and I’m trying to be better in all areas. I am currently trying to not buy new clothes, and I haven’t bought any fast fashion for years. If I need something, I'll buy second hand or preloved because there are so many options now. Spend a bit more money on good quality items and good ingredients, and make them go further. Buying really great quality items will last the test of time.
What are you most excited to work on over the next few months?
Next year we’ve got some exciting plans for new ranges - watch this space!
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to set up their own company?
Just do it! Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, posted a photo of a coffee mug on her Instagram which says ‘One day or day one. It’s your decision.’ Flip it around, this is day one and just do it. It will never happen unless you just go for it. It will never be the right time and there will be things you haven't figured out, but you'll never feel ready. Keep on moving and do something every day. It’s easier now in comparison to 10 years ago, there are so many opportunities and ways to get a business up and running quickly.
Also, you need a great product. A great marketing strategy is a great product strategy - as my business coach said to me - if you have a great product, you’ll always do well.
What do you look for when finding the perfect gift?
I think gifts should be something you wouldn’t buy for yourself - and that feel like a real treat. Something that feels luxurious and thoughtful. One year for Christmas I decided not to buy gifts and made presents instead. I made mini mince pies, Nigella Lawson’s Pistachio Fudge and Spiced Peaches in Kilner jars which people loved. With the current climate, homemade gifts make perfect sense - less expensive, and so thoughtful.
What are your LITTLE FINDs?
There are so many products I love on the A LITTLE FIND website. I have and use the Hayo’u Jade Facial Massage Tool all the time, it’s so good. I'll use it with our Eco Cert Prickly Pear Seed Oil for a facial massage and it works wonders!. It’s one piece of natural jade, you don't have to plug it in or have batteries, it's completely natural and you can have a face massage every single day.
Let’s have a little fun and FIND out about you...
- Favourite TV series right now? Over lockdown, I’ve loved Normal People! I’m also obsessed with Succession and I’ve just finished The Crown.
- Last thing you cooked? I’ve just cooked broccoli pasta for my daughters’ dinner. It’s an Italian recipe using loads of garlic, olive oil and then you crush up broccoli to make the sauce.
- Favourite Instagram account to follow? @marcia.kilgore I love Maria Kilgore, the Founder of Beauty Pie. She’s so inspirational to follow. Also @emmalcannon Emma Cannon, she’s an acupuncturist, a fertility and women’s health expert and a good friend of mine.
- Best book recommendation? Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain, this is a book I keep coming back to. It’s all about manifestation and visualising the life you want, it’s soulful and teaches you about your thought process. What you put out is what you get back.
- Perfect way to spend your weekend? There’s two ideal weekends for me - we can't travel at the moment, so I’m dreaming of getting away - either a gorgeous cottage or country hotel in the UK in the winter with a pool and fire pit. Or in Capri, Italy with lots of good food, swimming, jumping off rocks, and finishing the day with a big bowl of pasta and red wine.
- Best restaurant you’ve eaten at? It has to be Au Pot de Vin in Cannes - a local restaurant but with the BEST food.
Shop Batch #001 products with A LITTLE FIND.