Oxfordshire beekeepers Julie and her daughter Neve founded Neve’s bees to create skincare products that they knew would be good for their skin and the planet. With a history of eczema and sensitive skin, and a background in chemistry, Julie had long been somewhat obsessive about the ingredients in skincare. It was only when studying for a qualification in Herbal Medicine did she realise why the products she had previously used simply didn’t work for her.
Julie and her family’s fascination with bees begun with a sweet story. After seeing honey jars at nine years old, Neve asked for bees for her next birthday. From here, Neve’s Bees was born. Julie is of the belief that you shouldn’t put on your skin what you wouldn’t put in your body. After looking at the ingredients of the products she used every day, the amount of chemicals she couldn’t read or couldn’t pronounce were enough for Julie to begin making her own. The two began playing with beeswax, and creating from this gifts for friends and family. Their aim? Producing real natural skincare and saving wildflower meadows by donating profits to have them planted.
You shouldn’t put on your skin what you wouldn’t put in your body– Julie Macken
Furthering this, to complement her true concern for the wellbeing of plants and flowers, Julie creates an Instagram post every other day with useful information about these species’.
Despite the passion and purpose behind Neve’s Bees, as a business owner, Julie struggles from time to time. Battling imposter syndrome and constant questioning is survivable, however, thanks to the female network she has surrounded herself with.
Julie finds pleasure not in the profit Neve’s Bees creates, but rather the fact that people are valuing what she is doing. Furthermore, the positive feedback she receives from customers gives Julie the sense of purpose she seeks as a business owner.
For those looking to start up their own business, Julie recommends speaking to yourself as someone you love in order to combat negative self talk. Plus, after ensuring your product is good she advises to ‘just try it!’, ‘your plan is never going to be perfect.’ Julie created Neve’s Bees by learning from her mistakes, and aspiring entrepreneurs can too.
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