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Meet the Makers - Ella Mclachlan, Phoenix & Providence
Welcome to #MeettheMakers Edition 3
These are the people, the movers the shakers, the makers and doers. Right here they share their story with us, for you, their journey, their products, along with tips and insight for your making, so without further ado
Please introduce yourself, along with Phoenix & Providence?
My name is Ella and I am the founder and maker of Phoenix & Providence skincare. I am based on the Isles of Scilly and my skincare brand is inspired by my love of sea swimming. Every product is infused with seaweed, made with natural and organic ingredients and crafted to create a sense of ritual.
Why the name, in your case Phoenix & Providence?
At the heart of all that I do is the island history and kelp-burning heritage. Kelp was burned on the islands from around 1680 to the last recorded kelp burning in 1835, the ash from this was then used in glass and soap making.
Phoenix and Providence were the name of two shipwrecks sunk on the Isles of Scilly – Phoenix in 1680 when the kelp burning began and Providence in 1833 as the kelp burning ended.
What’s different about what you do at P&P, what do you see as the USP?
As well as infusing my products with nutrient rich seaweed I harvest by hand from the shores of my island home, I also encourage my customers to create a little time for self-connection when using P & P skincare. Each product has a ‘ritual for use’ breathing exercise, providing a little moment of calm in our busy days.
What was it that got you making, what was your inspiration?
I became interested in using natural products myself when my children were small. I decided to do a diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation so I could learn more about making products, as well as how to go about selling them. At the same time, with two children under two, sea swimming became the calm in my days. I love the quiet, the connection with nature and immersive experience. I began to wonder if I could marry together these two interests!
What is your studio space / lab like? What’s important to you?
I have a small studio that I work in. Aside from all of my ingredients and equipment, my most important item is my speaker! I love working and listening to some great music or a good podcast.
What’s the best thing about your job / business?
I love being on the beach collecting seaweed! But I think ultimately the best thing about my job is being able to fit it around family life.
What was the very first product you made (and sold)?
I launched with four products, a body wash, body oil, balm and bath salts. I wanted to create a capsule collection of bath and body products that could be used in different way and that were suitable for all skin types and genders.
Which is your favourite product (from your brand)?
My favourite product is my new Nurture Face Oil. It took a long time to get the right balance of organic cold pressed oils, but I love the end result. The face oil sinks straight in, softens and hydrates skin whilst the antibacterial properties of the seaweed also help balance the skin.
The face oil also comes with a facial massage and tension release exercise devised exclusively for the P & P community by my yoga teacher. 10% of all sales are also donated to marine conservation charity Blue Ventures. This product really encapsulates my holistic views, nurturing your skin, your wellbeing, as well as the planet.
If you weren't a maker, what would you be doing?
Working with my husband at his bakery!
Why do you buy from Makers Ingredients, and why?
I first discovered Makers Ingredients on Instagram and after I’d visited their website, I was amazed at the selection of ingredients they available, all with organic options which is very important to me.
The pricing of the ingredients is very competitive and the product descriptions and traceability was also so much better than I had found with other suppliers. I really rate the friendly customer service at Makers Ingredients. I received some great advice about a product I had never ordered before and all my queries have been dealt with very quickly. It is also great that the containers they use for the oils can be recycled!
What’s your favourite Makers Ingredients product?
My favourite ingredient would have to be the Organic Golden Jojoba Oil. I use this for my seaweed infusions and the quality is always fantastic.
Finally, if you could give other Makers any tips or advice, what would they be?
My advice would be to source quality ingredients, and if you need any advice reach out to the helpful team at Makers Ingredients!
My second piece of advice would be build a community of like-minded people who love your products and your ethos.