Get to know Diane from Bowe Organics who hand makes her range of natural, vegan haircare products including her award winning lash and brow oils.
What did you do before you started Bowe Organics?
I am a hairdresser and I freelance in London and also now have a salon in the North East. So this is what I was doing full time before I launched Bowe Organics
What was the inspiration for starting the brand?
My clients really gave me the courage and push to start my brand. After I was making skincare for myself at home my clients noticed that my lashes were getting longer and thicker and basically asked me to “bottle it” and retail to them so they could have the same results. An EU cosmetics legislation course and 2 formulating courses later and the business was launched.
How long have you been in business?
I launched Bowe Organics in 2017 but I have always worked for myself really. Before hairdressing I was a professional dancer where I was self employed also.
What is the story behind your brand name?
Bowe is actually my surname. It was actually quite a scary choice but I knew that I would only put products out into the world that I would use on my own skin and that I was actually proud of. This gave me the confidence to do it and now it feels like my own little stamp of approval.
What is the mission of Bowe Organics?
To empower women to fall in love with their inner core and outer being again. Just like when we were toddlers and we had no inhibitions, we just had pure joy and love for life around us.
What is your most popular product and why?
The most popular product has got to be the brow oil. The results that people message me with are incredible. I have had some wonderful stories from customers who had overplucked their brows in the 90s but are now starting to see thickness and condition improve.
What’s the best product for dry hair?
For dry and brittle hair it would be the Versatile Hair Oil in the fragranced or fragrance free. I prefer the fragranced as I have a little ritual I perform before applying it to my hair. The three essential oils in the blend help to ground, calm and relax you. Three things which really helped me when I struggled with anxiety attacks a few years ago. I rub the oil between my palms, cup them around my nose and take 3 inhales and exhales, before blending it through my hair I cup them.
What products would you recommend to someone who is trying the brand for the first time?
I would say the lip balm or the hair oil as you get an instant result. With the lash oil and the brow oil it can take up to 60 days of use before seeing a definite difference however people have told me they see a difference after a couple of months.
What tips do you have for using your vegan hair oil?
The top tip for if you are using the hair oil is to soak the hair in the oil as an all over treatment and make sure you add shampoo to the hair when it is dry before trying to wash it out. This is because water and oil do not blend well. By applying the shampoo to dry hair it starts to break down the oil making it easier for you to wash out.
Do you have any awards for your vegan hair care products?
Yes! The lash oil won silver in the 2018 Free From Skincare Awards in the hair category, this was 9 months after I launched and a proud moment. The Fragranced hair oil won commended in the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2021. The brow oil was a finalist at the Free From Skincare Awards 2021. The lip rescue balm won gold in the Free From Skincare Awards lip category in 2021. A very proud moment where I danced around my kitchen singing.
What’s next for your brand?
I absolutely love formulating so I have chosen to take some time to bury myself in my passion a little further and hold off launching anything new in the near future. I am also going back to college in January to study Trichology which I am super excited about.
How are you standing out from the crowd?
I try to be as raw and open as I possibly can. My customers talk directly to me and I am there when they need me. I love a puzzle, so if someone has a skin care issue they are struggling to resolve I love to try to find the answer.
How do you source your ingredients?
This has been something that is so so important to me. The dream would be to work directly with the farms who are growing and harvesting the ingredients to make sure there is a strict fairtrade policy in place and that no one is being exploited. I would hate for someone's livelihood to be compromised for my profits. As I can not fund a project this big the next best thing was to find a supplier who worked this way. Luckily, at the time when I decided to make a go of it, a client of mine put me in touch with a supplier who did exactly that. When you want something that badly things have a way of working
How are your products made?
By me! I have 2 rooms in my home which have been converted. One into a “lab” and the other into a storage and packing room. I blend everything by hand in small batches, pour by hand, then screw on the lids (the tamper evident pipettes are a toughie to screw on) , batch number with my little white pen and then label them.
How are you tackling sustainability?
I try my hardest to come up with ways in house to reduce. I have just set up a system on my website where you can purchase refill bottles. With my facemask jars you keep them for life, you then purchase refill sachets which have seed paper on them so once you refill your jar you can plant the sachet and it will degrade and leave flowers in its place. I also re use all packaging that my suppliers send to me. By using organic ingredients it is helping to protect the soil and eco system from various chemicals. I know a lot of companies plant a tree with purchase, I have not signed up for this but between November and March is tree planting season. So I volunteer for a local charity and for these 5 months we spend 2 hours on a Saturday and Sunday planting trees and shrubs in different areas. Personally I would have planted over 150 trees and I love walking past to see how they are doing. I got to meet some incredible people and it helps heaps with my anxiety also.
What’s the best thing about having your own brand?
Knowing that what I am doing is for the greater higher good. In all areas. For myself, my confidence and my personal development growth. For my clients know that what I am offering to them is from my heart and what I truly believe I have made the best for them. For my family know that they learn and grow along with me. And much more.
What’s been your biggest learning?
Learning that it is ok to stop, pause and just be.
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