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This post is all about the origins of Cherry Essentials. I’ve got some new customers so I thought I’d introduce myself and explain a bit about where this all began. My name is Cherry, I’m 34 and after I graduated in 2011 with a degree in Health and Social Care it’s been an adventure!

So, where did it all start?

The short answer is…in the garage.

Throughout my 20’s I didn’t really have a particular passion I was following, I just got jobs that would pay the rent. Eventually I wound up completing a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course which gave me a ticket to travel.

Fast-forward to Spring of 2016. I’d returned home following a six month stint of teaching English in Spain. I was far from ready to launch into another “serious” job at that point and the idea that there are people who turn their craft into their income, was becoming more and more of an interesting notion to me. I hadn’t realised my craft at this point, I was still down the rabbit hole stuck on questions like, what do I like? What am I even good at?

Well what do I give a f*ck about then?!

Unable to answer my own questions I had reached this baseline. Eventually it hit me. I cared about the environment and what I put in/on my body; using natural skincare and essential oils, for pleasure, health and environmental reasons. My interests in these areas were born of a fusion of events. Namely:

Childhood eczema and the vicious cycle that comes with this: too many doctors appointments, steroid creams, lanolin creams (FYI, lanolin is gross, it comes from sheep wool and it removes gel nail polish, so imagine what it’s doing to 8 year old child skin with eczema!) and stress which of course, makes it all worse.

Aromatherapy. I was a depressed teen at times, like a lot of teens are and I ended up visiting an aromatherapist where I was first introduced to counselling and essential oils. I was enchanted and effectively treated by this talented lady’s homemade treatments;

Lush.  Yes, the soap shop. One of my best friends had worked there for years and we, her pals, were often privy to her excellent discounts (thanks LH, you know who you are). This is how I started to learn about natural ingredients like shea butter and why we don’t need harsh chemicals or animal products in our skincare.

Naively joining what I would later realise is a pyramid scheme. Well who doesn’t want a white Mercedes? To be fair, it was about selling natural skincare products. Despite losing friends in the process (as they really push you to “network” on these schemes) the positive to be taken from this is that I was even closer to realising how much “we are what we eat/consume/put in our bodies” is true.

 

It all started progressing quite quickly from here on in. I began, in the garage, with the idea I’d distil my own essential oils and sell them. Turns out, the yield on most oils VS how much raw plant material required is not good. Relative to the size of equipment I could a) afford and b) run, as a one-woman show, this was not going to work. Having since visited industrial versions of what I was trying to create, it’s a bit embarrassing I must admit!

Distillation for the nation...

…or so I thought! I had no idea how much time and money I was about to waste on this part of discovering my craft. You know what they say about hindsight right?

…and so, the original range included hydrosols AKA floral waters. They were absolutely gorgeous products (if I don’t mind saying so myself) but for the vast amount of energy and water they took to make, I had to knock them on the head.

One distillation could easily take up to six hours. The hose pipe was running constantly and the heat required meant I ran an electric hob for the whole time as well. Doesn’t sound very eco does it? I think you’ll get the gist of what I mean by watching prototypes one and two in the videos below! They look so basic, (cringe), but it was so much fun!

Minus the hydrosols, I moved on with developing a range of products based on what I’d used for years and had proven to work well for me. My first formulations had been born! They were working so well for me, (still do to this day) and all of my test subjects (willing human volunteers) agreed and this is why I believe in them so much and wanted to start Cherry Essentials so I could share them. I designed their labels, got them all insured, safety certified and certified vegan and cruelty free. Oh, and I completed a diploma in Aromatherapy and passed with distinction #proudmoment. Finally, off I went into business and now, continue to make my way down the yellow brick road with my ruby shoes!

cruelty free, vegan
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