Here at Effortlessly Eco, we feel that the people behind the brands are almost as important as the products they sell! Here's your chance to get to know their stories so far, what makes them tick, and how their products are making a difference in the world.
Tell us a bit about yourself and the brand (i.e. what you sell, when did you start, where are you based)
Hi there! My name is Emily, I’m 23 and I run my little business Emily Arizona. I make and sell handmade skin, body and wellbeing products which are 100% recyclable and/or biodegradable. I started in March this year when the Covid-19 lockdown gave me more time to explore what I was passionate about. I’m based on the South Coast of the UK in my little town in Dorset. I try and source my ingredients locally where possible, for example, all the lavender and rose petals I use in my products are grown in my garden and hand-dried!
What inspired you to start your business?
I was so tired of seeing conventional products filled with unnecessary chemicals and ingredients which often added no value to the product. Not to mention they were often packaged in a ridiculous amount of plastic or non-recyclable materials. I love when you can tell something is handmade with passion, rather than an item off a shelf which is another mass-produced chemical-filled bottle with no story behind it. Emily Arizona comes from a place of love and passion to help our environment by creating less waste and using ingredients from the beautiful gift that is the natural world.
So far, what has been the proudest moment for your brand?
My proudest moment must have been when I got my first international order. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extraordinarily grateful for each order I receive, but when somebody from California placed an order on my little shop, I really thought ‘Wow!’. It was so baffling to me that somebody from the other side of the world would find joy and value in my little handmade products that they’re willing to pay for international shipping and wait for it to arrive! It still to this day makes me all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that people care about supporting little businesses like myself. I also love getting positive feedback from people, whether on Instagram or Etsy – it makes me so happy knowing the hard work and love I put into each product translates into the order the customers receive.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
My biggest challenge was definitely finding the space to create all my products. The number of orders I was getting increased quite quickly since launching at the start of the year. I found myself struggling for months to make all my orders in a tiny bedroom with little to no surface space! I had to write all my labels and tags on my windowsill and keep my ingredients in about 6 different places due to the space they took up! I’m lucky now though to have a renovated garage space where I can keep all of my ingredients and now have the space to experiment and have fun with new ideas! It makes my processing time much quicker too because I have easy access to everything I need.
Have you/are you introducing any sustainability initiatives?
Sustainability was at the core of my brand from the very beginning, so when seeking out spray bottles for my pillow mists and room sprays, I wanted 100% recyclable and even recycled glass if possible. I try and buy my ingredients in bulk where possible to reduce the amount of excess waste in delivery packaging too. I have recently changed the packaging from my seasonal wax melts from being just recyclable to being 100% biodegradable. Where possible, I keep my products as packaging free as possible; for example, my Rose Petal Sugar Scrub Bars are decorated with biodegradable twine and a biodegradable tag. I knew from the very beginning too that I wanted my shipping packaging to be 100% recyclable and biodegradable. My cardboard boxes are made from 70% recycled cardboard and are 100% recyclable, and the shredded cardboard parcel filling I source from local businesses who would otherwise just dispose of it; I then shred it into sheets to protect the products in transit. I am learning and growing every day and I try to find the best supplies for each product; I put a lot of thought into how each product is packaged!
Do you have a favourite eco swap and why?
My favourite eco swap would definitely have to be reusable cotton pads. Since regular cotton pads are bleached they can’t biodegrade, so finding a reusable alternative is such a game changer. In my opinion I think they are such a simple but effective swap, and you can rewash and reuse them time and time again. My mum actually crochets them for my shop, so I could never go without them now, haha! They also make such a nice little gift or stocking filler to help people make a simple but effective swap. And reusable face masks too – with Covid-19 sticking around for the foreseeable future, it’s so vital to keep a couple of reusable ones which can be washed rather than those horrible disposable ones!