Hi all! I hope you've had a fab 2017 and are looking forward to Christmas. I haven't blogged since February this year, very naughty of me. But I have my reasons, of which I'll go into below but I really should make time to blog about Organically Epic and our Organic and Natural brands more often. This will be one of my many New Year resolutions..... Well, as we are about to head into our 3rd year in business I've been reflecting on how 2017 has been for us personally as well as professional and I must say, on both fronts it's been a full on assault, in a good way of course.
We kicked off January with our prep for the Professional Beauty Show London in February where we got to meet wonderful professionals, consumers and potential customers - we were rushed off our feet for the two days but as with all of the trade shows we attend, we loved it. Megan and Katie from our sales team joined me at the show and loved it as much as I did. I even got to present to an audience, on stage (must to the teams amusement as they know how shy I am!). I presented on how to Get Organic and Natural products in your store, how to market them and ultimately sell them to your existing client base as well as attracting new customers. Who'd have thought I'd know what I was on about and that people would actually turn up to hear my advice.
I even had some questions at the end so all in all, for me personally as well as professionally it was a huge achievement. I've never ever presented to an audience before and if you'd have told me 3 years ago when I started Organically Epic that I'd be presenting, with a microphone, power point presentation and clicky thing (to move to the next page) to actual people who are interested in what I have to say, I'd have laughed and hidden at home for a few days at the mere thought of it. It's funny what you can overcome when you're passionate about the subject and realise that you do indeed, know what you're on about.
If you know me, Organically Epic, Epic Marketing or follow us on social media you will know that I was also 4 months pregnant at the time so 2017 has also been the year of baby number 2! more on this later...
Scroll forward to April and we were attending the Natural & Organic Products Europe trade show, also held in London. This time around Katie joined me again with Chelsea another sales team member. We absolutely love this show. It's the first year that we've exhibited as we've always gone in a visitor capacity but I must say, exhibiting was even more fun. Organic and Natural brands are usually small and more often than not family run and born out of a need to help skin conditions and educate others on organic and natural ingredients in your skincare, body care and hair care so there's a really nice feel to the show with everyone supporting each other. We can't wait for the NOPE show 2018!
We were also taken by surprise when we won BEST Natural Beauty Product at the show for our PearlBar floss picks (yes, we won it for floss picks!!) nifty right?
By this point I was 6 months pregnant so the aim was slow down after these awards, which was rather hard if I'm honest. Chelsea also found out shortly after the show that she was pregnant as well so there have now been two Organically Epic babies this year.
2017 has also been a year of fantastic awards for all of our brands. Eco by Sonya is officially a multi award winning brand, internationally racking up awards at the Natural Health International Beauty Awards, Janey Loves Platinum, The Beauty Shortlist, The Green Parent and they've just been crowned best Organic Beauty Brand at the Lux Beauty Excellence Awards. Eco are now in their 7th year so it's no shock that they are now winning awards left right and centre for their unique, one of a kind, organic tanning and body care range.
We were super super happy for our PearlBar toothbrushes to receive not one, but two Editors Choice awards at the Beauty Shortlist as well as a bronze award at the Green Parent Beauty Awards in the dental category. Add this to their BEST Natural Beauty win at the NOPE show and our little known natural, charcoal teeth whitening dental range is definitely on the up - we are so proud and honoured to work closely with the Founder of PearlBar, Bridget, on all matters marketing, branding and awards in the UK. We expect huge things for PearlBar when we hopefully launch their charcoal toothpaste in the new year. I'm just so sorry to all of our customers that this has not been available yet. There have been some set backs with regulations in the EU (I blame Brexit myself....) so Bridget and I announcing that it was on it's way nearly a year ago was a complete newbie error. You live and learn and we won't be making that mistake again. We just got all rather excited by the superior formula and results that we wanted to shout it from the rooftops..... fingers crossed Bridget will be able to work her magic and get this to us quickly in 2018.
We launched Karethic and BARR Sweden in February at the Professional Beauty Show with their awards following closely behind that of our larger brands above. Karethic won an Editors Choice award at the Beauty Shorlist Mama and Baby Awards with BARR Sweden winning best body oil for their Snow Oil (it's magical) at the same awards. BARR Sweden also won the coveted title of BEST Natural Product at the Pure Beauty Awards in October. A massive achievement for an unknown brand in the UK and Karon (aka Mum) and I got to attend the rather glitzy awards ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London.
Our most recently launch brand, Sosar Skincare, have not yet joined the ranks of the multi award winning bregade above but they will soon. They were shortlisted for best face mask at the Pure Beauty Awards and only narrowly missed out on the coveted title - fingers crossed 2018 will be their year.
We even won an award ourselves at the Janey Loves Awards in early July. It caught us completely by surprise, we hadn't even entered ourselves, we'd entered our brands, Karethic, Sosar and BARR Sweden. However, Janey loved Organically Epic so much that she put us in the best Eco Online Store category and who'd have thought we'd actually win it?! Funny story.... I didn't want to travel on the tube a week away from my due date and the rest of the Organically Epic team couldn't attend so I sent my husband instead. I said to him if our brands don't win, at least you'll get to speak to some lovely organic brand owners and have a nice breakfast. I'd spoken to Janey at an event 2 days before and said I couldn't attend and she said oh well that's ok and didn't let on that we'd won a thing. So, they announce that Organically Epic has won best Eco online store and Janey starts telling everyone I'm in labour. I wasn't but what a great story. My husband then gets all the questions and why the hell isn't he with me?!
I must say, it was rather nice to be winning an an award for our little family run, small business at one of the most coveted, prestigious, organic and natural awards out there just a week before I give birth to a gorgeous little girl.
After a super busy 7 months of the year, I welcomed my second child, Dulcie into our lives on the 20th July. I had notions of taking a few weeks, two months tops, out of the office and returning with a baby in a sling ready to go. It didn't quite work out like that. Turns out having a newborn and a nearly 5 year old who who has just started school is quite time consuming. Who'd have thought right? I must have been out of my mind thinking it would be easy. Fast forward to now and my nearly 5 year old, Evie, has just turned 5 and the baby is 5 months old. I've been working as much as I can at home, in the evenings and at snatched moments during the day. I've also managed to attend the the Pure Beauty Awards and the OK Beauty Awards more recently.
Mum, Katie and Megan have been doing an absolutely wonderful job managing Organically Epic in all areas, so much so that I do wonder how much they need me at all.
Chelsea is on maternity leave after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl last week and sadly Amber left Organically Epic a couple of months ago to work full time (we offer flexible part time options to our staff) for another business although she did join us at our Christmas Party which was lovely and really nice to see her. So, for Mum, Katie and Megan to achieve what they have with Organically Epic in the last five months is amazing. I owe them so much gratitude and love.
We had our Christmas Party on the 1st December, where much fun was had by all but I had a poorly baby at home who wanted me (she's still so tiny) so I left the party early, 11ish, which was early as I'm sure the party carried on way past midnight for some of the team!
Every year we have an afternoon in the office that we call our official office party that is the start of our Christmas Break. We all make food, exchange secret santa gifts and the alcohol is flowing (rude not to right?). All of our celebrations, fund raising, charity weeks, summer days out etc are a combination of the team at Organically Epic and Epic Marketing, our mother company so just in case you are thinking how can it be just 4 or 5 of you doing all this, fear not, there are 25 of us at the moment across both companies so we are a rather loud bunch. Anyway I digress, which I do a lot... we had our official last day in the office on Tuesday 19th December. We exchanged secret santas and generally had a lovely afternoon which then went on to a bar nearby for some of the team... it was rather drunken by all accounts. Again, I could not partake because I had Dulcie with me as the hubby was with Evie at gymnastics (our household has turned into an organisation that needs it's own PA - we don't know if we are coming or going) Dulcie had a great time being cuddles and snuggled by all the ladies in the office, she even got to meet another new Epic baby, Preston.
Our offices are officially shut down until the 3rd January, however, any orders will still be getting sent to you, albeit it, slightly more delayed than usual. Only slightly. If there are any issues with getting your orders to you we will give you a call to confirm.
(This pic is basically three quarters of us, some of the team are on holiday or had to pick up their little ones from school).
So, that's the general highlights of our year so far, the girls and Mum have had so many personal achievements but they wouldn't want me listing them on here, I'm the only one who lets you know the ins and outs to my life - if you follow our stories on the gram you'll know what I'm on about :)
I'll be back in the office in January, bright eyed and bushy tailed (albeit minus a few brain cells that are off with the baby) ready to hit 2018 with everything we've got.
We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year - here's to 2018 being EPIC for all.
With love, understanding and compassion, always,
Jayne, Karon, Katie and Megan xxx