We have added a new stockist to our range and we would love to introduce them! Rebecca produces a lovely range of luxury soaps, all made cold compress and stunningly fragranced. Home of Juniper are very excited to be adding Bliss Botanicals fragrance heart melts, Happiness soap, Love soap and Joy soaps to our range. These beautiful soaps and fragrance hearts are lovely to use and make gorgeous gifts. Each item is carefully handmade using a mix of ingredients. These carefully chosen ingredients includes olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter and pure rose geranium lavender and clary sage essential oils. We spoke to Rebecca about her gorgeous soaps and what led her to start Bliss Botanicals.
How long have you been making your own well-being products? And how did you learn to make these lovely things?
I started making my own products, firstly as a hobby, over ten years ago. I’ve always loved beauty products and candles and really wanted to make my own. I taught myself by doing a lot of research in books and online. In 2008, after redundancy, I opened my own ‘bricks and mortar’ shop in Wincanton, Somerset, where I spent my days making and selling my products, which was a dream come true for me. It was called Purple Sparkle Crafts and was my full time job for about four years before I decided it was time for a change, and pursued a career in retail management with the National Trust.
How and when did Bliss Botanicals start?
Bliss Botanicals started in early 2016, after another big life change. I was nearing the end of my maternity leave with my eldest son, and was also pregnant with my youngest. As I’d recently become a single parent, I wasn’t able to return to my career as it was, and I’d definitely hit a curve in the road! In my stronger moments, I really wanted to see the situation that I was in as an opportunity to start again, and build a life that I loved for my family, so I got out my old recipes, and started to make soaps again in the evenings after my little boy was in bed.
I quickly realised that things had changed a lot in the years since I had last sold soaps. My interests were definitely now in more natural products. I re-formulated my recipes to take out the palm oil, and to make them extra moisturising. I have done so much reading and research over the years about the wonderful healing benefits of plants to humans, from eating them, to using them in beauty products and herbal remedies, to being out in nature. I’m studying for a qualification in aromatherapy and herbalism, and I am also qualified in Reiki at Level 1. I wanted to combine all of these in my new business. So in April 2017 I was ready to launch my website, Bliss Botanicals.
You use a lot of different essential oils in your products: Is there a favourite oil you use and why? And is there a reason you use these oils?
I love essential oils. They’re a big part of my life and I use them daily. From a drop of lemon oil in my glass of water first thing in the morning to diffusing a relaxing blend in our bedrooms at night. My favourite oil has to be lavender. Two of my soaps contain lavender oil. It’s helpful for so many things. It’s a very calming oil, and is good for both dry skin and helping to heal blemishes. I always carry a bottle of lavender oil in my bag, which was very helpful when I was stung by a wasp a few weeks ago. A few drops of lavender oil really eased the sting!
Do you have a favourite item you make?
My favourite item to make is the cold processed soaps. I make them in the traditional way, by heating the oils, butters and lye and mixing them when they’re at the correct temperature. You need patience for cold process soap, each bar takes at least four weeks to ‘cure’ before it’s ready to be used. It’s a really calming process that I can just lose myself in. And the fragrance from all those essential oils helps too!
Is there anything new coming that you can tell us about?
I’ve recently formulated a recipe for a vegan lip balm, made without beeswax, and fragranced with essential oils. That will be available very soon. I also have some a new soap fragrance on it’s way for Autumn and Winter. It is a lovely festive mix of orange, cedarwood and clove.
You write a lovely blog alongside your shop. How long have you been writing this blog? And what is your favourite thing to write about?
I first started my blog, The Sparkle Nest, just over two years ago when my eldest son was a few months old as a way of remembering the wonderful whirlwind world of motherhood that I was so completely new to. It’s evolved since then to be more about sharing herbal remedies that I’m trying, plant based recipes, crafts, shopping, beauty and generally the things that make me happy!
These beautiful soaps are available to buy from Home of Juniper now. At only £4.50 they make great treats for yourself or gifts for those you love. We will also be adding the beautiful Winter range when it has finished being made. To read more about The Sparkle Nest and Bliss Botanics visit www.thesparklenest.com or check out her social media Twitter @purplesparkle. Or on Instagram @The_Sparkle_Nest.