Hayley De Beers set up vegan skincare range Lovegrove Essentials with her mother, Hannah. They used their combined knowledge of various industries to create a brand that has been going strong for the past three years.
Hannah, Hayley’s mother, has a background in massage, beauty, aromatherapy and holistic health. She’s also a world-class yoga teacher. Hayley is a skilled high-end makeup artist, having trained at the Delamar Academy in London. Together, they set up Lovegrove Essentials, which offers a range of products for both face and body.
What challenges did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?
Working with family! It’s a struggle, without a doubt, but we have open and honest discussions if ever one of us is feeling unhappy about something, and we try to have time together outside of work, where shop talk is strictly off limits.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
When someone says to us how amazing the products are, and that their skin is much better. I never get tired of hearing it, and it makes it all worthwhile. It’s why I wanted to create these products, having seen so many people with the same skin issues that could easily be cured by using the right skincare.
The awards are great, but it’s not why we do what we do.
Which products have been most popular? Why do you think this is?
The Cleansing Balm is the best seller and has won a few awards, but the Moisture Cream never fails to astonish and impress people who use it.
What made you decide to set up a vegan skincare brand?
We didn’t start out as vegan, technically, but we realised that as the business grew, we wouldn’t be comfortable with using large amounts of organic beeswax. It’s not necessarily good for the bees who are producing it! It’s a reflection of our passion for nature, for our bodies and for the environment.
What are you most passionate about in your business?
Getting people healthy and happy. Getting them to see the link between what they put on their skin and in their bodies. As well as the way it makes them look and feel.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to set up a business with their family?
Don’t let in infringe on the relationship you have outside of work. This has been one of the hardest things for us because we are so passionate about our business and so full of ideas. It’s so important to keep the two things separate, especially if you are also employing people outside of the family. Remain professional at all times in the workplace and do things ‘properly’.
What advice would you give to someone trying to grow their own business?
Get ready to work harder than you ever have before! It’s unlikely you will be an overnight success, so when it gets hard, just make sure you have great people around you, that you trust, and keep going. Spend money where it’s needed, but don’t be frivolous at the beginning. Work out what you NEED to make the product or business desirable, and scale back on anything that you can until you have the revenue coming in to spend more in those areas.
What tools are essential to the way you run your business?
High-speed internet, which is hard to come by in West Dorset! Work-life balance too, because otherwise, you will fall out of love when it gets hard. I also need a beautiful, clean space to work in, as our products are hand-made by us. It’s also important to have a strong team that’s as passionate about what we are doing as we are.
What books have really inspired you?
Yes Please – by Amy Poehler. She talks about knowing your own currency (don’t compare yourself to others), and about winning awards (or not as the case may be!). She calls them ‘The Pudding’, I think. You don’t NEED pudding, but it’s nice to have it sometimes.
The Healing Power of Touch by Karen Smith. We based a lot of our therapist training on her work, and the way the human body responds to touch, or the lack of it.
Healing Oils, Healing Hands by Linda L Smith has taught us so much about the history of essential oils, giving us a deeper understanding of their effect on the body’s systems.
Find out more about Hayley’s family skincare brand at Lovegroveessentials.com