A HOMEGROWN skincare company is making waves on the world stage, after securing an exciting new partnership with clothing and lifestyle brand Urban Outfitters.
Clonakilty-based Warrior Botanicals, the brainchild of local woman Réidín Beattie, is set to become a household name, with their organic natural deodorant cream now available at Urban Outfitters’ London stores, and online throughout Europe.
As the daughter of health shop owners, Réidín grew up close to nature and became passionate about natural skincare from an early age.
“I grew up in the country with a lot of freedom, and I’m realising now as an adult how that really shaped me,” she says.
“My dad would take me and my two little brothers on adventures in his old Volkswagen and my mum would teach me about all of the plants and flowers in the area which has quietly inspired what I’m doing now.”
In contrast to her idyllic upbringing, after studying History of Art and Textile History in Edinburgh, Réidín found herself “rebelling” against her country roots, and working a conventional nine to five job. When the hectic city lifestyle began to take its toll on her health, she turned to food as medicine.
“It took me a while to realise my metropolitian lotions and specifically my deodorant were not doing me any favours,” she says, talking about the inspiration behind her mission to find alternatives.
“Our skin is the biggest organ in our body and the fastest at absorbing chemicals,” she explains.
“Imagine the damage that we are causing to our bodies by applying chemical ingredients that we would never dream of eating.
“This is particularly relevant to deodorants which are being placed on one of our body’s most sensitive areas. The aluminium found in many conventional deodorants literally blocks up pores so that sweating (the body’s natural way to detox) cannot occur.
Réidín admits she had “never planned to start a skincare business”, but “when I learned how important what we put on our skin is for our health, I could not resist sharing what I knew.
“I am mostly self-taught, but I think that has allowed me the freedom to be creative with my inventions,” Réidín explains.
“I have no fear around breaking down conventional formulations or combinations that have become normal. I prefer to look back to more ancient methods and to put a modern slant on them or to create something through feeling.”
Moving back to West Cork in 2016, she continued to experiment, and founded Warrior Botanicals. Her days are now spent creating the elements for a self-care ritual or a new product in her dedicated studio, or enjoying local nature with her loyal husky, Missy.
Her lotions and potions have quickly become a hit in local stores and farmers’ markets, with her brand’s dreamy aesthetic captivating online followers the world over. It was through her online channels that Urban Outfitters reached out to Réidín, a “happy and totally unexpected surprise”.
“They found the brand on Instagram and approached me late last year about working with them for their spring/summer beauty collection but I was afraid to tell anybody about it in case something fell though. I didn’t really believe it myself until I saw my little pots that I made by hand in my studio, listed on their website.
“I had heard loads of horror stories about being a small business and trying to navigate through dealings with big corperations but they have been an absolute dream throughout the entire process and I am so delighted to have their support.”
Local support has also been strong for the brand.
“My parents run the health food store The Olive Branch in Clonakilty, which has been such a good support for me and a really good way to get the product out on a local level and to get feedback from customers.
“I have also just started a stall at Skibbereen market on Saturdays. I’m trying to make it more community focused and also less packaging focused so that is a good opportunity for me to offer refill services to local people.”
Reídín says that she feels “very privileged” to be able to live and run her business from West Cork.
“I know I would be overwhelmed by the speed and intensity to city living and the stresses of trying to run a small business within that.
“So many of my friends have or are starting their own businesses here too and there are lots of young people living here at the moment and I find that very inspiring.
“It feels very special to be apart of such a strong community, a part of the creativity of this place.”
Warrior Botanicals can be found at a range of health and craft shops around Cork City and county, and online at www.warriorbotanicals.com.