5 March 2021|Business Growth, Latest Posts, Launching a business, Meet the Successful Founder
Rachel Mason is the founder and CEO of Our Remedy, an award-winning wellness brand offering sustainably packaged natural remedies for sleep, periods and anxiety. The range is totally vegan and eco-friendly, using soy inks, plastic-free refills, biodegradable shipping bags and recycled card boxes. Led by a team of women, the brand hope to provide support and hope for women experiencing debilitating symptoms associated with their menstrual cycle and beyond. Here, Rachel shares the story of the brand’s conception and its subsequent success, as part of our Meet the Successful Founder Series.
I trained as a graphic-designer and my first post-grad job was for a corporate company, putting together their leaflets, brochures and marketing materials. After three years in the role, I realised that my passions and creativity lay elsewhere and I had started to dream about setting up my own business.
But it wasn’t until a weekend break to Ibiza with a friend that the ‘lightbulb’ business idea moment came to me. We both noted that despite the island being very ‘image conscious’ and people working hard on their health all year round, once they got to the party island there was little in the way of healthy food and so together, we set up The Skinny Kitchen.
We found a little run down restaurant, astroturfed the floor and laminated the walls with rolls of white sticky back plastic. It sounds awful but it was lovely and we really seemed to strike a chord with others on the island. We spent many years developing the brand and the restaurant, as well as cooking up a storm in the kitchen! We quickly grew in popularity and got the attention of Ocean Beach, who invested and allowed the brand to expand and open two new restaurants in the UK.
It was my first taste of founding a business from scratch and running it day-to-day and you could definitely say I’d caught the buzz!
Several years later, my husband and I started trying for a baby and unfortunately we found out we both had some issues. Doctors found a cyst on my ovaries and discovered my Fallopian tubes were blocked, meaning that I’d never conceive naturally. My son was born via IVF several years later. However when it came to trying for our second, doctors found something more serious – cancer cells on my ovaries. After getting two more opinions from other doctors, the next inevitable step was a full hysterectomy, aged just 30.
Nothing will ever take the pain away of not being able to have another child, but in the days and weeks of recovery that followed, another lightbulb business idea sprung to mind. I’d suffered with debilitating period related symptoms and sleep issues my whole life however my only solution of management was to take strong painkillers, which would leave me feeling spaced out. I figured there had to be another solution and began researching alternatives.
I first discovered CBD in a private Facebook group for women who had gone through a similar health journey – and was impressed by the rave reviews it had. I decided to order a bottle of ingestible CBD tincture to try it out for myself and found it soothed my symptoms, improved my sleep and alleviated some of the health-related anxiety that was occupying my mind on a daily basis. The only issue was I couldn’t find a CBD product that tasted nice – which is quite an issue when you have to take it daily. So I decided to create my own.
After years of research, trial and error and finding someone who was an expert in the field to partner with, I finally decided to launch ‘Our Remedy’ in January 2020. The name seemed perfect since I initially created the blend as my own remedy, but hoped it could serve as a remedy for others too! Our first product, ‘Moon Swings’ was a blend of 5% CBD and essential oils of peppermint and clary sage, the latter of which is renowned for its healing properties in the women’s natural health world. Together, this powerful trio creates a wonderful natural remedy to potentially help soothe menstrual cramps, bloating, hormonal imbalance and mood swings. Of course, the addition of peppermint means that it tastes lovely too!
I signed a lease on a retail space and designed my packaging, hoping to appeal to an audience of women who were struggling to find something that adequately supported them. However in March 2020, COVID hit and I realised I’d have to turn my attention to online sales instead of the physical store. I poured my efforts into creating an engaging ‘hub’ for the brand on social media, ensuring my own personal health struggles were injected into the content so that there was a real face behind Our Remedy for audiences to relate to. We also put customer service at the very top of our priority list, ensuring there was support available both on our website and social media to help people decide on a remedy that was right for them.
Sustainability and giving back was another pillar to our founding philosophy – and we’ve always placed this at the heart of everything we do. It was important to me that our packaging was as sustainable as it could be. So we print our labels and boxes using eco-friendly soy inks, our retail packaging is made using recycled card and our shipping bags are all 100% biodegradable. We also donate to the UK’s leading period poverty charity, Bloody Good Period for every bottle sold.
The brand quickly grew and our hero product Moon Swings won an award in the ‘Best CBD for Periods’ category! The pandemic boosted searches for natural remedies for anxiety, sleep issues and menstrual pain, so we were able to deliver what people were looking for – and customers kept returning and leaving wonderfully positive reviews. We were so overwhelmed by the response.
So much so that we decided to launch an entire range of products at the end of 2020 to meet the demands of our customers. We created an entirely new blend ‘Pretty Peaceful’ which has been formulated to support those suffering with sleep and anxiety. It contains geranium and lavender, and has a subtle sweet orange flavour, again providing a natural remedy that is enjoyable to take on a daily basis. We also launched two strength varieties, offering an alternative solution for those who find they have to take a little more CBD in order to experience the full scope of wellness benefits.
Moon Swings has been especially popular with women and people with periods who experience debilitating symptoms associated with their monthly cycle, endometriosis and PCOS. We feel so privileged to be able to provide a natural remedy to support them and give them a happier period. We’ve also had incredible feedback from women going through the menopause (either through surgical or non-surgical means) who have found Moon Swings has minimised hot flushes and mood swings. One review even claimed the product had ‘saved her marriage’!
We’re delighted we’ve been able to blend and market CBD to support people in this way – and are excited for the future of the brand. We’ve had lots of interest from stockists and have a number of cafes who stock our product to drop into their hot drink offerings. Although CBD is best taken directly under the tongue, it can also be dropped into herbal tea, coffee and hot choc for a beverage with a plethora of wellness benefits. We have even more products launching in 2021 and we’ve just redesigned our physical retail space – so it will be ready to inspire once lockdown lifts!