For the next instalment in the 'In Conversation With' series on our Journal, we spoke to Rachel, founder of Artio Skincare. I first came across Artio Skincare through Pinterest when I was product researching at the very beginnings of FËRNN and fell in love with their branding and Rachel's story behind Artio. We use their wonderful baby soap in our baby gift boxes and customers absolutely love the product.
I hope you enjoy reading all about Rachel and her brand as much as I did getting to know them both.
Tell us a bit more about your business?
Hello, My name is Rachel and I am founder of Artio Skincare. We are a multi-award winning natural family skincare brand based on the beautiful north coast of Ireland. All our products are handmade in small batches for freshness using finest natural ingredients, and are perfect to use from birth and throughout all stages of pregnancy. We also try to do our best to look after the planet. Good for mum, good for baby and good for the planet.
Oh and all our products are vegan and cruelty-free.
What motivated you to start your business and become an entrepreneur?
When Tom our son was born in 2018 he suffered from skin irritations very early on and in particular eczema. The doctor's solution was to use a steroid cream but for me this was not a long-term solution.
I started to investigate eczema myself and possible causes. I quickly discovered a number of things that could be causing his flareups, including the skincare I was using. Like most new mums I was using the type of washes that you find on the supermarket shelves. Those that make all the big claims about being suitable for sensitive skin, delicate skin etc. I began to look into the ingredients used in these types of products and was so shocked at what I found. There were many toxic ingredients being used and I wasn't happy about using these types of products on Tom's skin anymore.
I struggled to find a natural skincare brand that I trusted so in the meantime I started to use a natural bar of soap I had been using on myself on Tom. The improvement in his skin was absolutely amazing even after one use. So I took matters into my own hands to help my son.
Cutting a long story short, I was able to have a number of key skincare products developed for Tom by a doctor who specialises in natural skincare. This lady luckily was a family friend and we spent many late nights talking formulas. We developed skincare ranges that nurture and protects even the most delicate, precious skin. I had to share these products with other families, so here we are.
How long has it taken you to develop your product/s?
We started our product development in July 2018 and launched our Mum and Baby ranges in September 2019. It takes about 12 months to get a new product to the shelf.
From who or where do you look to for inspiration for your products?
I take inspiration from Tom but also from the beautiful coast where we call home. As Tom grows I want the right skincare to be available to meet his needs. He is now three and we recently launched our kids' range which has been so popular.
Talk to us about sustainability in your business - how do you approach this?
All our ingredients are ethically sourced so we know exactly where everything comes from. Our products are handmade on the north coast so our entire supply chain is transparent. We also take great care when sourcing packaging. We want to be sure we are looking after the planet as much of it as possible therefore recyclable and compostable packaging is very very important.
What challenge/s did you specifically want to solve by starting your business?
I wanted to solve the frustrating problem families have of trying to find the solution for their family's skincare problems. Every family deserves to have a skincare brand that they truly trust and to know exactly what they are putting on their skin. There are too many big companies out there using marketing techniques and finding loopholes in legislation to make BIG claims to promote the beauty industry. Greenwashing at its finest!
Tell us a bit about you as a person - your values, loves, hates and hobbies?
I love to help people if I can. I love reading and passing on my knowledge. In my spare time I love to visit independent coffee and interior shops. With my family we enjoy walking the beach but also spending time in the garden.
My biggest fears are failing down the stairs or knocking someone over whilst driving! I also hate Marmite :)
If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d do?
I'd pay off my mortgage and find a lovely holiday home abroad to spend long warm summers with my family.
What’s your coffee order?
Flat White always :)
What challenges did you face running your own business through a global health pandemic and what have you learned from these challenges?
When the pandemic hit we had only been going for about 6 months. As a young business this was quite scary. We didn't know if we could survive. Everyone was in panic mode and unsure what the future held. We continued to listen to people's needs and their skin problems, if anything they got worse due to excessive hand washing. We already had solutions ready to help and for that reason we have gone from strength to strength.
What are your visions for your business in the future?
We hope to grow our skincare range and accessories. We'd love to open our own retail space which would allow customers to come and see us, and chat through their family's skincare problems. We could then provide a simple skincare routine that suited them.
Where can our customers buy more of your products?
Our entire range is available on our website, artioskincare.com. We also have a number of stockists in UK and Europe. A stockist list will hopefully be added to our website soon.