The Coconut Bee; luxurious, organic skin & hair care for ocean lovers | Creator Series
Since I was a teenager I’ve been slightly obsessed with skin and hair care – from SpaceNK to Selfridges, local farmers markets to trade shows – I’m always on the lookout for my next favourite beauty products! But, dear reader, this doesn’t mean I’m not discerning in the brands I experiment with.
Like most animal lovers I know, it’s always been important to me to buy cruelty-free products. But it’s only in the last few years that the importance of environmentally friendly ingredients really popped up on my radar.
This has now become an especially prominent concern when it comes to what I put on my skin in the summer. Frequent dips in the ocean mean that using chemicals that could damage marine life is far from ideal! From sunscreen to hair oils, I found myself googling each individual ingredient in products to check there are no chemicals, which takes a bleddy long time.
Because I’m results-driven not novelty driven when it comes to cosmetics, I want something that works and works well! So, when I first discovered The Coconut Bee, it was a HUGE bonus to discover that their amazing smelling and luxurious feeling products were both environmentally friendly, chemical-free and cruelty-free. And, they really do exactly what they say on the plastic-free packaging!
The Coconut Bee are also pretty busy bees right now with orders at an all-time high and growing weekly. So what’s their story, and why are their products so damn good?
As some of the best stories go, love played a pivotal part. Founder Holly-Bee Scott grew up in Cornwall whilst co-founder Anthony Cartwright is originally from Cheshire. But after Ant moved to Cornwall to be closer to his family, they met, fell in love and moved in together. Holly-Bee and Anthony now live a stone’s throw from Perranporth beach in Cornwall.
As well as launching and running a successful skincare company, Holly-Bee is currently in the middle of an advanced diploma in organic skincare formulation.
I managed to catch up with them to find out what really goes into making their products.
When did you first get into creating skincare products?
I’ve always made my own recipes since I was a teenager, I grew up in a holistic environment and was massively inspired by my mum who comes from an aromatherapy background. As I got older I started making them as gifts for friends and family. It was actually Ant who inspired me to take the step to start formulating professionally in 2018.
What was your motivation behind creating the products for The Coconut Bee?
I’m a firm believer that our planet provides everything we need to thrive, and this includes natural solutions for any of our skin & hair care needs. I was getting so fed up of reading the back of plastic beauty products and seeing a long list of pointless chemical additives. I love the ocean and decided to create a brand that catered to the earth-conscious consumer with a fresh coastal influence.
What were the most important elements for you when creating the products?
When I started formulating the first Coconut Bee products it was so important to me to stick to my core values. I wanted to create something I’d be happy to buy myself and this included being plastic free, chemical free and cruelty free. Made with organic, sustainably sourced and eco-friendly ingredients – so no palm oil or additives that aren’t reef safe.
It was also very important to me to create a line of products that are super nourishing for skin and hair exposed to the elements, as we live by the coast this massively inspired our range and its benefits. I choose only to use essential oil blends to fragrance our products instead of synthetic fragrance oils, this is because essential oils contain so many more beneficial properties and are 100% plant-derived.
Is there a theme that you consciously carry through your work?
Yes definitely. Our core values are: Organic, Eco-Friendly, Sustainably Sourced, Chemical Free & Cruelty Free. We also have a very coastal/surf-inspired vibe that can be seen across our range.
What have been some of the most memorable parts of your journey so far, from successes to setbacks?
I’d have to say the most memorable part of our journey would still have to be our first ever market stall – We had not long launched the brand and I guess we weren’t expecting much of a reaction, I think that’s the case with anyone who creates something, it’s so personal and you’re never sure how the world will react.
We had put our heart, soul, time, money and values into setting up the business and we were so amazed at the reaction we got that day. I actually cried *happy tears* simply because it validated our idea that we can create something 100% natural that people actually like! It was a great day.
There have been lots of successes and setbacks since then and we are constantly stoked at how the brand is developing. I think the key for us is to not focus on the setbacks, they will always happen and they do but we just keep going and are certain that if we stick to our values our followers will stick by us.
As well as a strong surf vibe, how else do you think Cornwall and the Cornish landscape shape your business and products?
Cornwall is a massive source of inspiration for us and for so many other creative people we know. It’s impossible not to be constantly reminded of its beauty and wildness. Our brand is very coastally influenced with many of our products tailored for adventure seekers and water lovers! When you’re exposed to the elements your skin and hair can be left in need of some deep natural nourishment, whether you surf, hike or just lounge on the sand.
What do you think about Cornwall as a place to live if you want to build your own business?
I never could have dreamed of having the support we have received since starting a business in Cornwall, not financially, but from other companies and brands that have simply gone out of their way to help us out and spread the word about what we are doing. We’ve always felt really supported.
Where do you guys currently work from?
We have a studio by the river in Truro which is where we manufacture everything. However, The Coconut Bee has kind of become our life now so we also do a lot of work from home as well. The most amazing thing is that we can do a lot of our remote work whilst sat on a beach too which is a dream come true!
Do you think there could be any more resources down here for young people who want to start their own businesses?
I think there could always be more resources available for young entrepreneurs as it can seem like a really daunting step setting up a business; however, there are definitely companies that offer some really amazing support and guidance such as oxford innovation and access to finance.
What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of setting up the Coconut Bee?
The most rewarding part is and always has been hearing that our customers are benefitting from our products. There is nothing better than receiving a message or email from someone who was struggling and now has seen a positive improvement in their skin or hair condition.
Also, we love that we are able to use our brand to support women of all ages in the water, we are beyond proud to be able to sponsor 3 professional female athletes in their journeys. We want to create a community that celebrates all women and their passions for life breaks down the walls of negative beauty standards and encourages women to feel beautiful in their own skin naturally.
What have you found to be the most challenging aspects?
The biggest challenge we have found so far is that there isn’t a hell of a lot of options when it comes to being an eco-friendly brand. The beauty industry is filled with single-use plastic and chemical ingredients/additives and we often get told that there aren’t alternative options due to what eventually comes down to cost. As this just isn’t an option for us it usually takes us a long time to source the right ingredients and materials for our products which can slow things down. Definitely a challenge but one we will never compromise with.
Where do you see yourselves going next with The Coconut Bee? Any grand future plans?
We have so much in the pipeline for The Coconut Bee this year! We have 4 brand new products due for release in the coming months including natural sun protection along with some exciting new stockists, lifestyle products and athletes! We are constantly moving forward with the brand and expanding the range to cater to our followers’ needs. My head is bursting with ideas and plans! Watch this space ☺
Review of The Coconut Bee products that I’ve tried so far
It had me as soon as I sniffed the pot… if you love the fresh smell of eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint you won’t be able to resist this super-rich body butter. The mixture is thick and firm in the pot so I like to scoop a bit out and rub it between my hands before applying to damp skin so I can really spread it around and breathe it in!
Other ways I use this body butter
Not only does it leave my skin feeling intensely moisturised and smelling divine all day, it also helps me get rid of headaches! Any time I feel one coming on, I just take a little bit from the tub and rub it onto my temples and pulse points to feel some instant relief.
I’ve found that it’s also a great moisturiser and texturizer for my hair. I’ve got wavy to curly hair that can often be frizzy. When I notice dry, flyaway ends I’ve noticed that rubbing a little bit of this butter between my fingers and running it through the ends of my hair calms everything down. So, if anyone has ever caught me picking up and smelling my hair – It’s because I’ve got this in it!
This balm is the ultimate multi-tasker and an essential bit of kit! It properly sorts out chapped lips, nourishes dry skin, helps to soothe bruises and fade scars. It’s literally a balm for life! This is the kind of thing you need in your bag or backpack at all times and want to buy for all your friends.
I love putting this on my lips before bed and will happily use it as a face moisturiser too (a little goes a long way, and warm it up well between your hands first!). I also like to use it as a hand moisturiser as a treat before bed. With all this extra washing of hands recently, it’s a definite skin saver!
Do you love a caffeinated pick me up in the morning? Nothing will rejuvenate you like a scoop full of this lime coffee scrub. It’s very satisfying to cover yourself in gorgeous smelling granules and give yourself a good rub down, watching the coffee coloured water wash down the plughole once you’re done. It leaves skin feeling clean, nicely moisturised and smooth – not greasy like some scrubs. Don’t scrimp on the thighs and bum as coffee has been shown to increase circulation, which can help fight cellulite. Bonus.
When my hands or feet are feeling a bit dry or tired, a little bit of this scrub as a weekend treat means I can enjoy the smell any time without needing to get in the shower!
Ps, I don’t earn anything if you click on the links above, it’s purely on my own recommendation, so go ahead!!