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Meet the Makers - Lisa Hutchinson, Elsie Moss Botanical
Welcome to #MeettheMakers Edition 4
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 Elsie Moss Botanical?
My name is Lisa and I am the founder of Elsie Moss Botanical. I make soap using the traditional, time honoured cold process method. This is the method our ancestors used in times gone by to make soap for their own personal use.
I use cold pressed oils and skin loving butters, plant based botanicals and steam-distilled essential oils to create beautifully gentle, yet luxurious bars of soap that are vegan, cruelty free and natural. I’m also currently working on a range of skin care products that will compliment my soaps.
Why the name, in your case Elsie Moss?
Elsie Moss is my maternal grandmother’s name. I chose to name the business after her as she was an amazingly strong woman. She had it pretty tough, having to raise thirteen children by herself on very little money after losing her husband in a tragic work accident. I thought it would be a lovely way to honour her memory.
What’s different about what you do at Elsie Moss Botanical, what do you see as the USP?
My entire ethos is based around kindness and this is at the forefront of my mind with everything I do; Kindness to our beautiful planet, the animals that live on it and the wonderful bodies that our products are intended for. Every ingredient and each decision made must match up with this ethos. The ingredients I use are sourced as ethically as possible. For example, I will not use ingredients and oils that are classed as endangered, and I never have and never will use palm oil. Every product and ingredient is 100% vegan and cruelty free. I avoid single use plastics wherever possible (both when buying ingredients and in my own packaging) and have been made a Plastic Free Champion by the organisation, Surfers Against Sewage.
What was it that got you making, what was your inspiration?
A few years ago, my partner gave me a beautiful bar of handmade soap he’d brought back from a work trip. I loved using it and it prompted me to make the change from bottles of shower gel to bar soap and think about other ways I could reduce my single use plastic waste. I became slightly addicted to hand made soap and decided to teach myself how to make it. Family and friends became interested in trying it and soon after, I was asked if I would supply a local greengrocers. It grew very organically from there.
My soaps are very much inspired by nature!
What is your studio space / lab like? What’s important to you?
My workshop is a converted garage attached to our house. It’s a space I feel so grateful for after making soap in my kitchen and having soap and equipment all over the house before that. It’s bursting at the seams now though! It’s quite rustic with exposed beams and brickwork.
It’s the place I feel the most at home in.
What’s the best thing about your job / business?
I absolutely love what I do and can’t quite believe I get to make my living this way. I love that I get to make something from scratch that people enjoy using. It’s a great creative outlet. I also love the online makers community, it’s such a supportive group of people.
What was the very first product you made (and sold)?
One of the first bars I made to sell was Indian Summer, scented with sweet orange and patchouli and coloured with annatto. It’s still a firm favourite and always a best seller.
Which is your favourite product (from your brand)?
I have a lot of favourites! My current favourite is my newest addition, Wildflowers. It’s a blend of ho wood and vetiver and reminds me of walking through fields of flowering clover.
If you weren't a maker, what would you be doing?
Before this, I was managing a café in my friend’s bookshop near Buxton in Derbyshire.
Before that, I was a Primary School Teacher. So probably one of those!
Why do you buy from Makers Ingredients, and why?
I buy from Maker’s Ingredients because I know I’m getting quality. I like the information that’s provided with each ingredient too, such as country of origin, and that all the necessary documents are all there to hand, that makes the makers life much easier!
I also like that the essential oils are packaged in aluminium rather than plastic.
What’s your favourite Makers Ingredients product?
I love the range of cold pressed oils, and that there are organic options too. I’m also currently a little bit obsessed with the herbal essential oils, particularly coriander and sage.
Finally, if you could give other Makers any tips or advice, what would they be?
If you have an idea of something you’d like to try, just start, don’t put it off and don’t be disheartened by your mistakes. Try to avoid comparing yourself to others in your niche and don’t be afraid to ask your community for help and advice if you need it.
Most importantly, enjoy the journey!