Bee Good is the brainchild of Simon and Caroline Cavill and everyone is (ahem) buzzing about it in the beauty world. We were so impressed by their Youth Enhancing Plump & Firm Moisturiser that we shortlisted it for the #MMHA16.
Simon took time out to tell us a bit more about the brand…
SM: What made you decide to start making cosmetics from honey and beeswax?
Simon Cavill: As an experienced beekeeper, you soon become aware of the many uses of honey and beeswax, going back thousands of years for wound treatments, various medical conditions and cosmetics. I had been using the name Bee Good as a brand on our jars of honey and then in 2008, my wife Caroline developed an interest in using some spare honey and beeswax from our bees in hand creams and lip balms. She made a few samples for family and friends which they loved.
We then did some research looking through some very old beekeeping books in the Hampshire Beekeepers library and found some recipes dating back to 1744 that we used to create our initial product range of lip balms, hand and foot creams. These sold well at local fairs and farmers markets with great feedback and we won “best cosmetic” at the Hampshire Beekeepers show five years in a row.
SM: Where do you source your other ingredients from?
Simon Cavill: Our honey, beeswax and propolis comes from both our own bees as well as several bee farmers in the UK where we sponsor new apprentices working with them to create a sustainable industry in the UK. Our other ingredients are all sourced within the UK whenever possible and everything we produce is proudly made in the UK.
SM: Which are your bestselling products?
Simon Cavill: Our Honey & Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser has won numerous awards and has always been a great seller, but our Youth Enhancing Moisturiser is also selling really well and our new NectaPerfecta Beauty Mask is also getting rave reviews.
SM: And which do your own family like best?
Simon Cavill: Across the family, our favourite is probably the Honey & Borage Intensive Hand Repair which is really good for hard-working hands. I am constantly washing my hands in cold water after handling bees or processing honey etc and it really works. The girls in the family also love the Honey & Wild Water Mint Cleansing Water for removing make-up and refreshing the skin. It’s also great kept in the fridge and used on a hot summer’s day!
SM: We love your packaging design, who is behind it?
Simon Cavill: Having great products is wonderful but I think that its really important that companies try and “delight” the customer and that includes every aspect of the brand including the packaging. Simon designed the original concept of having Honeybees on the packaging along with a silhouette of a key plant used within each product and our graphic designers took it from there. Also our shipping boxes used for orders from our website have bees on the inside as well as a number of other nice surprises that our customers really love.
SM: What have been your biggest challenges, running the business?
Simon Cavill: As a founder, bringing other people into the business leads to an inevitable but essential loss of control. However, without their knowledge of the beauty sector we would never have grown the business way we have. Also transitioning out of our house and into proper business premises was a huge challenge as we went from a completely full space to one that suddenly seemed very empty!
It’s also a big challenge for small companies to deal with all the logistical issues of supplying large volumes of products to partners like Waitrose, QVC, Amazon and the Hut Group etc who all want things supplied on pallets and uniquely labelled. Our next challenge is going to be expanding beyond the UK to meet the increasing demands for Bee Good from all over the World!
SM: And your proudest moment to date?
Simon Cavill: I think it was when we won Best New Brand at the CEW Awards in 2015 – These are called the “Beauty Oscars” and it was fantastic to be recognised by over 1000 industry experts. What was even better is that we won the same CEW award again in April 2016 – I think thats unique!
SM: The plight of the British bee population has been a topic of concern for a few years now, is the situation getting better?
Simon Cavill: Unfortunately, no. Our wild Bumblebees and Solitary bees are under increasing pressure from loss of habitat (97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have disappeared since the 1940’s) , pesticides, and climate change. Wild colonies of native Honeybees are now extremely rare and populations can only be maintained by beekeepers who have to actively manage their colonies to combat the Varroa mite accidentally introduced from Asia in the 1980’s. Bee’s and other pollinating insects are all critically important as they are required to pollinate 90% of flowering plants including almost all the fruits and vegetables we eat.
To vote for Bee Good’s Plump and Firm Moisturiser on social media use hashtag: #MMHABEEGOOD