Organic & Botanic

Organic & Botanic

With a degree in biomedical science, a career working for dermatology and plastic surgery specialists and a family history of severe skin conditions, it will come as no surprise that entrepreneur Margaret Goodwin chose to launch her own skincare range.

What might be surprising is how quickly the mum of six and step-mum of two from Esh has built up Organic and Botanic.

Margaret, who runs the business from one of Business Durham’s business units at the Durham Dales centre, said: “Establishing a business is so hard at the best of times but when you factor in that I launched Organic and Botanic not long before the start of a global pandemic, it’s fair to say the challenge is even greater.

“I started operating from a laboratory I’d created at my home in November 2019 but just a few months later the coronavirus pandemic broke out. I quickly realised I needed proper facilities to produce my products and found the space at Durham Dales Centre, but couldn’t move in until the first national lockdown had eased.

“At the same time, I incorporated as limited company, but then just a few months later we were back in another lockdown which really halted progress on the business. So instead, I focused my efforts on developing the product range behind the scenes and spreading the word about the business and the types of products I sell.

“Yes, the lockdown restrictions have made it harder to establish Organic and Botanic, but I do believe that as soon as we’re out of it the business will flourish.”

Margaret’s decision to launch the business came about by chance. One of her sons burned his arm on the kettle, suffering second degree burns. Margaret used manuka honey which she had in her cupboard to treat it, and the burn healed leaving no trace.

Thanks to her background in biomedical science – at Edinburgh University she and her fellow students made products for global manufacturer Procter and Gamble – and with her love of natural products, Margaret decided to research product combinations and natural ingredients to create a range of skincare products suitable for people of all ages with sensitive skin or who suffer from conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and nappy rash.

With the support of Business Durham, Margaret is working in partnership with CPI at NETPark to develop the latest addition to her range, a barrier cream – which must strictly adhere to cosmetic industry standards.

Her Organic and Botanic range, which is available to buy online and through her gift shop at the Durham Dales Centre, includes soaps, bath bombs, body butters, beard oils and moisturisers, among others.

Margaret added: “I am really excited about the business and working with Business Durham and CPI to expand my range. It’s only 14 months since I launched so to have the support of an organisation like CPI is fantastic.

“As someone with extremely sensitive skin, I know how important it is that the products I use are made from natural, fresh ingredients and that’s what I wanted to achieve from the Organic and Botanic range. It’s very early days but already the feedback I’ve had from customers that have tried my products has been excellent.

“I am so passionate about what I do and am looking forward to getting through the coronavirus pandemic and really establishing my business.”

Sarah Slaven, Managing Director of Business Durham said: “Margaret is applying all of her experience, both personally and professionally, to launch a business in an area she is incredibly passionate about, which as anyone who runs a business will testify is one of the key ingredients to success.

“For Business Durham tenants like Margaret, a key part of our role is to connect them to the fantastic support that is available in the area. The National Formulations Centre managed by CPI is an incredible facility based at NETPark, right here in County Durham. It’s exciting to see entrepreneurs like Margaret and other businesses from around the County utilise the facilities, guidance and expertise available to develop new and innovative products.  With the support of Business Durham and CPI, Margaret has every chance of establishing her business as a leader in the natural skincare field.”

Find out more about Organic & Botanic.