Bill Baber Knitwear has a new neighbour in the Edinburgh Grassmarket: the fabulous Edinburgh Natural Skincare company have moved in to a new location on Victoria Street and we couldn’t be happier to see them here! They make a 100% natural skincare range that uses only the purest of ingredients. We are big fans of their products, especially their Queen Bee hand cream bars and Geranium & Orange Lip Balm – they are a lifesaver in the cold winter months in Scotland! Like us they are an independent family owned business who make their products locally. We chatted to them about being inspired by nature, authentic Scottish made goodies and their tips for visiting Edinburgh:
Can you tell us how you got started and whereabouts you are based?
We started off in March 2010, attempting to make soap at our kitchen table in East Lothian. The results were comical, but we persisted and eventually after months of experimentation we succeeded in getting our formula right!
We had a year-old baby who couldn’t be around as the soap making process is dangerous, so we had to put him to bed before we could start pouring and mixing our potions, which led to many late nights.
After approximately one year we started to add some natural skincare products to our range of soaps. Things started to get serious and very, very busy. A year later we had basically turned our house into a factory, and decided it was time to expand.
We found a small factory unit in the heart of rural East Lothian at Fenton Barns and moved in with nothing more than a wooden table. This enabled us to really start focusing on the product range and to take on our first staff member!
Four years later we needed somewhere bigger, so we moved to our current premises in the historic town of Prestonpans, where we are heavily focused on developing and improving our natural skincare range.
From our humble beginnings at the kitchen table, we now have two shops in Edinburgh, on Cockburn Street & Victoria Street, and sell worldwide!
Your products are all made in Scotland, is this important to you?
This is so important to us. People who visit Edinburgh want something authentically Scottish, and that’s what we want to be able to provide for them. We want people to be able to take a little piece of Edinburgh home with them to share with their friends and families.
Where do you look for inspiration for your products?
Ultimately, it all comes down to nature. Right from day one we knew that we would only use 100% natural materials in whatever products we made. That meant no preservatives, colourings or artificial ingredients.
We also gain a lot of inspiration on our travels to other countries. In particular we adore the perfumes of the Middle East, and the lavender from Provence, France.
What do you like about being a small business and how do you think small businesses benefit the community?
Being a small business means that we can build a very close relationship with our customers. We hold events to get to know our customers and listen to their feedback on our products. The well-being of our customers is our main concern and we want to engage with them to make sure they get what’s best for their body and health. Being a small, local business with a happy and loyal customer base allows us to do this.
We also feel that small, independent businesses give the city a unique character and charm and we should focus on preserving that unique character through supporting vibrant small businesses within the community.
What are your most popular products and which are your own favourites?
Symmetry Serum is definitely a favourite! This is a beautiful facial serum scented with a gorgeous blend of Rose Geranium, Jasmine, Rose and Bay Laurel. We certainly think it’s the best anti-ageing Serum on the market, and we’d love for you to try it yourself!
Another popular product is our Hand Cream Bars. Yes, bars!!
These are a superb solid moisturising natural hand cream bar formulated using pure Beeswax, Cocoa Butter And Coconut Oil. These come in four different scents. Queen Bee (sweet orange, lemongrass & lime), Luxury No1 (lavender, frankincense, geranium and sweet orange), Golden Rosewood (Rose, Jasmine, Mandarin, Rosemary & Basil), and Gardeners (lavender, ylang ylang & bergamot). These are perfect for travelling, you can take them straight on a plane!
What do you love about being in Edinburgh?
Everything!! Edinburgh is that perfect blend of city life, with splashes of nature here and there. You’re never far away from a patch of grass where you can sit and read a good book. There are also plenty of independent shops, restaurants and marketplaces.
Where would you recommend all visitors to Edinburgh go?
We will absolutely always recommend The Royal Botanic Gardens. Perfect place to get back to nature, no matter what time of year it is. With a breathtaking view of the city!
We would also highly recommend visiting local marketplaces such as the Grassmarket and Stockbridge. These are perfect for finding little gems, made in Edinburgh, that you won’t likely find anywhere else!
Many thanks to the team at The Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company for speaking to us and for creating such wonderful products, made in Scotland. Make sure you pop into their shop at 57 Cockburn Street or their new location at 32 Victoria Street – right around the corner from Bill Baber Knitwear!