It all began in the wilds of West Cork.
Réidín Beattie grew up with a special affinity for nature, but it wasn’t until she returned home after a period of big city living that the seeds of a very different endeavour were sown.
As the world begins to tune back in to nature and more of us seek out natural alternatives for our everyday, chemical-laden cosmetics, Réidín’s Warrior Botanicals brand is a treasure trove of new lotions and potions to try.
Her all natural, small batch botanical body care products already had beauty buffs ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ all over the country, but when Urban Outfitters came calling with a request to stock the Deodorant Cream, a blend of antibacterial rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus, shea butter and plant oils, Warrior Botanicals began to attract fans from all over Europe.
Now, with a range of must-have natural, organic goodies selling like hot cakes and plenty more in the pipeline, this is how she’s working it:
I had been making my own skincare products for years but when I moved back to my hometown, Clonakilty in West Cork after having been living in Edinburgh I started spending all my time walking, picking plants and herbs and making things with them. I realised that was what I wanted to be doing more than anything else.
I studied History of Art and Textile History in Edinburgh and I lived there for almost six years. I worked in a textile collective in more of an organisation role and although I absolutely adored it it really made me realise that I wanted to have more of a creative role. I still really enjoy working at an aesthetic level and I feel like that is probably my strongest skill but I became passionate about natural ingredients and what we put on our bodies. Warrior was kind of a natural balance.
When I started I actually had no clue whatsoever what I was doing – I just loved plants and making things with natural ingredients so I started selling them. I had to learn an awful lot about the business side, which took a long time and I would still consider myself very much at the beginning of that journey. I’m trying to learn how to use Excel at the moment so I have some hope for myself.
Someone once told me never to give or take advice and it has been working out pretty well for me so far. I don’t worry about what anyone else is doing.
I love coming in to my studio early in the morning when no one is around, to the early light. I love the summertime, when going out walking to pick herbs and flowers counts as work. I also love packing up people’s orders into little parcels and getting them ready to ship. There’s something so satisfying about that.
I was approached by Urban Outfitters who now sell the deodorant creams. That felt like a pretty big milestone for such a small business.
Our social media following is growing very naturally. I try to post at least once a week and make sure that I’m writing about something engaging, not just trying to fill space. I think quality over quantity is a better approach.
I feel so lucky to be based in West Cork. I have a huge studio, so much beauty right on my door step and it couldn’t feel further from the rat race of big city life, which I am sure would totally overwhelm me as I don’t cope well with high stress or competition. West Cork creates a feeling of being in one’s own little world.
To me it certainly seems that there is more room for small, handmade businesses and a move away from big brands. I think people are realising that natural products are just as good and so much better for us.
If I could go back and start again I would probably take more time to research all of the different aspects of business and figure out how all the different sides actually work, rather than throwing myself in the deep end of it, which is what happened. I definitely would have avoided some stressful situations if I had been more prepared in that respect, although generally I don’t see the point in regret. Everything is an opportunity to learn something new.
To switch off I do Mysore Yoga, novel reading, walks in the woods, swimming in the sea, spending time with the people I love.
I have lots on new products on the horizon, mostly skincare but also some other things that will be totally new, which is exciting.
You can shop the Warrior Botanicals range at Warriorbotanicals.com and in selected health food shops.