1/  What do you sell at the markets?
Hand made Cosmetics. Specialising in Olive Oil/Shea Butter soaps. 

2/  Is it made by you?

 

Yes, I make everything that is available on my stall with the assistance of my husband, Peter (also a stallholder who sells his own landscape photography) .  I like to think that I am the "Research & Development department" whilst he is the "Engineering & Maintenance department".  

 

3/  How did you get started?

 

I've always had an interest in natural cosmetics & chemistry. Even as a child I was always concocting lotions & potions.  I have been making soaps for myself, family & friends for a very long time but only started selling at the Rocks Market after a chance comment by a friend who travelled alot for his work.  He thought that hotel guests in the area would really appreciate being able to buy high quality soap "instead of having to use that awful stuff you get in hotels".  The rest is history. 

 

4/  Why are you passionate about your products?

 

In the commercial world most of the marketing of cosmetics is based upon hype and misrepresentation.  I'm passionate about what I produce because I know that I have used the best possible ingredients, with knowledge gained over years, utilising my own personal experience, to create recipes for beautifully simple yet effective skincare products.   The ingredients that I use are sustainable ( I have never used Palm Oil in any of my products) and are (where possible) "fair trade" sensitively sourced. For example as regards the Shea Butter that I use, I prefer to buy from small village community cooperatives to ensure that they (quite often the women of the the village) get maximum benefit from their efforts.

I'm no super-salesperson but because the soaps are of such good quality,  they need very little in the way of persuasive selling techniques or glitzy packaging.

 

5/  What do you enjoy about trading at the Rocks Market?

 

The patronage and support of the entire Rocks Markets team during the 17 or so years that I been involved with the market has allowed me to turn a  hobby into a business giving me the confidence to take the very daunting & oh-so-final step off the corporate ladder to leave behind a career in the finance sector.  I very much enjoy the atmosphere created by other artisan stallholders & the strong sense of community within the Rocks area.  With the ongoing support of the Rock Market  I can continue to create new recipes & experiment with the new ingredients which are becoming more readily available as more interest is generated in this industry.  I very much enjoy the interaction with my customers. Not only are there a diverse crowd of new visitors to the area each week but over the years I have built up a long list of loyal repeat customers as well.  I've seen several of these customers make the transition from single, to partnered, to married, to pregnant, to ultimately becoming the parent of a horde of children!  Not all of my customers are women indeed many repeat customers are men.  One wife confided to me  "We never used to go anywhere on the weekend, but since he has discovered your soap... he tells me that we've got to go in to The Rocks.  If you start selling online, please don't tell him!".   It's such as buzz to get the feedback my products inspire.

 

Carolyn

 

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