A big welcome to Alison from Bee Inspired Natural Skin Care, she has a wide range of fantastic products all inspired by bees and made locally, she is based in Thames Ditton. Here, in my next interview celebrating the #incredibleindependents, she shares more about her passion for her business.

1) Why did you start your business?

I’ve kept bees for 25 years or so, and always made things using the beeswax such as lip balm, furniture cream, candles etc . Having sensitive skin and always using a simple skincare routine I was frustrated with the amount of chemicals in skincare. Ten year ago a friend and I decided to create a range of creams embracing the natural moisturising properties of honey and beeswax – it took us 2 years to perfect and receive the necessary certifications

2) What do you love about running your own independent business?

From beekeeping to the finished product, we are in full control maintaining quality and integrity and in this way we can respond to customer feedback, for example, we created the Intensive Care Hand Cream for folk such as Jennings butchers who were using the fragrance free Silky Hand Cream and we felt they needed more of a barrier cream, since then we realise that folk with eczema and contact dermatitis will benefit from combining that cream with propolis – which will be developed and certified in the new year.

Entering a number of national and international competitions this year has given credibility to our handmade range of creams. Competing against companies such as Liz Earle and Tropic skincare and winning ‘Best Hand Cream’ award from Natural Health Magazine has made an enormous difference to how we are perceived, and ‘Best Eco Product’ for the BeeswaxWraps – the eco alternative to clingfilm, ‘Best Nappy Cream’, ‘Highly Commended’ for our Sensitive skincare range and this list goes on!

3) What is your favourite product or service you provide and why?

Propolis Cream for sure, I’m almost evangelical about it as it sorts out so many skin issues – including acne, eczema, contact dermatitis, burns, bites and stings! Bees protect the hive with propolis and it has the most amazing properties, I could talk for hours……. It’s humbling and gratifying when our creams can make a positive difference to people’s lives (a woman sent a before and after picture recently – what a difference from raw red and bleeding hands to ‘normal’ skin within weeks compared to months of treatments from specialists which didn’t work).

4) Let’s spread the indie love, name some other independent businesses you support.

Our suppliers are all independent, from sole traders to growing businesses.

We collaborate with fellow members of the Kingston Beekeepers Association, offering members’ honey at local Farmers Markets and they trade their beeswax cappings and propolis so as to keep things local.

We’ll be collaborating with Steph from Witts Design, our neighbour at Ham Parade Market and Kew Village Market, printing textiles in 2019

5) Which is your favourite social media platform and why?

It has to be Instagram as we love the visual aspect, but I struggle and haven’t got to grips with it yet.

I used to enjoy the succinctness of Twitter with their character restrictions yet Facebook feels more comfortable and almost a traditional way of communication online (if that’s possible).

You can’t beat the markets, we enjoy meeting and talking to the public, many of whom have become loyal customers.

Thank you so much to Alison for sharing more about her wonderful business. Please continue to support her and all those other #incredibleindependents out there by using this hashtag.