Here at Sweet Cecily's we specialise in producing handmade skincare. If you have ever bought a product from us, you may be wondering where it comes from and what are the processes involved in turning natural raw materials into ready to buy products? It may take you by surprise that every item in our skincare range has been mixed, potted, labelled & dispatched right here at our HQ.
Our team is made up of three women, Myself, Dorrie and Sophie. Each of us brings a different set of skills and talents to the table. This job is quite unique as all three of us have several job roles from dealing with customers’ orders and enquiries, planning new product ideas, overseeing social media platforms, making the products, dispatching orders and reporting sales at the end of the day, the list goes on!
We are proud to use only natural ingredients in all our products as we believe that looking after your skin should be a top priority.
From Raw Ingredient To Finished Product
We make our creams in small batches to prevent any wastage and because there is only so much cream you can make by hand!
For our lip balms, batch sizes can go from a mere 100, all the way up to 1000+. Before we can start the fun part of the process, we need to check the works production order (which tells us all the ingredients we need to make the full batch) and measure all our ingredients out accordingly.
Initially we receive all the ingredients in bulk from our suppliers around the world, so you can often find us using a chisel and hammer to break away sections of the natural component.
We spend time adding everything into a large double boiler, gradually seeing the mixture start to melt down. At the time, we set out empty bases in relation to the batch size we are making.
Once the mix has fully melted, we can begin to pour each individual lip balm. This is a process which takes great amounts of concentration to ensure the tins are filled to the correct level (not too high, not too low).
Like many of our products that we sell, making lip balm can be quite a therapeutic process. I personally enjoy it as it is extremely satisfying watching them set in different stages.
After allowing the lip balms to cool and fully set, we wipe them down whilst quality checking for any unfortunate ones that don't make the cut. The ones that we are happy with are then lidded and ready to be hand labelled.
Many Large-scale Companies Use Machines, We do it All By Hand
Each balm receives a fancy top sticker which contains the lip balm flavour and a bottom sticker that details the ingredients in it. We aim to make them as straight and in line as possible and therefore we spend quite a bit of time ensuring they look neat in the centre of the tin.
The Lip Balms are then slotted into recyclable cardboard cartons, a clear sleeve is added, heat is then applied to shrink the wrapper which will protect and hold the lip balm in place. After this, we have our finished product!
Fun Fact - Since I started working at Sweet Cecily’s, myself and the team have labelled over 3000 Individual lip balms, with a total of over 6000 stickers being carefully applied (top and bottom of the tin)
The Process Behind Our 'Make Your Own' Kits
Unlike our Lip balms, our kits are designed so you can make them yourself! They contain all the ingredients you need to do this. .
The Kit Components
Each component is weighed out and cut down (if needed) to ensure that you will have the correct amount of each natural ingredient to make 5 Lip Balms. Once weighed out, the component is bagged and then labelled to help you distinguish what each one is. When it gets to our busier months, we can spend days in the production room weighing out thousands of individual ingredients ready to be added to the kits.
Like pizza boxes, all our kit boxes come flat and need to be assembled for use. We thoroughly check each box for damage or potential misprints before an instruction label is placed on the inside. The box is then folded, and environmentally friendly wood wool is added to make a protective bed for the ingredients. One by one, the tins, Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Beeswax, Almond & Calendula oil and specified flavour (except form unscented) are neatly placed in the box.
They are checked by another member of the team to ensure that the box contains all its correct contents. The back of the box is labelled and then placed on the shelves ready to be personalised according to each order.
What Does Handmade Skincare Mean to Us?
We are a small independent business who offer bespoke and high-quality products that have been on a journey in our HQ. I, along with Dorrie and Sophie are passionate about selling skincare products which have been collaboratively suggested by our customers but then made and made by us.
Handmade products are not about every item being perfect but instead showing that it has been made with great pleasure and care. For me, it makes me happy knowing that the products we have made are loved by our customers. Furthermore, they can help to relieve people of their problematic skin conditions.