We chat to award-winning wellness brand founder, Rachel Mason about all things beauty, female founders and of course…her amazing brand, Our Remedy! We just looooove her!
First off, we want to say how inspirational your journey is. Can you tell us more about Our Remedy and how your recovery led to your focus on natural remedies?
Our Remedy is an award-winning wellness brand with a range of natural remedies for issues affecting women and people with periods, including sleep disruptions, anxiety, mood swings, hormonal imbalance, chronic pain and period cramps. The range is totally vegan and packaged sustainably, using eco-friendly vegetable inks and compostable shipping bags. Plus, every sale gives back – as we donate to Bloody Good Period for each bottle sold, helping those in need and fighting period poverty! My own health journey inspired me to set up the brand, as I went through a number of issues myself and found CBD extremely helpful at soothing my anxiety, managing pain and helping me sleep better. My health journey began when I was trying for a baby, and couldn’t conceive. I quickly found I’d never conceive naturally after an operation to remove a large cyst and check my tubes, which were blocked. I had IVF and was so lucky to conceive after one round with my son, now 3! After about a year I started to get similar symptoms to that I had when I had the cyst originally, so I booked a Doctors appointment. I had an ultrasound on the Friday evening and Monday morning at 9am I was called by the Doctors for an urgent appointment. They’d found a large tumour on my ovary, and before I knew it I was being rushed into theatre to have open stomach surgery. My surgery went well but my gynaecologist said he has looked into my pathology (results from the tumour) and found that it was stage 3 and had spread fast, if it turned invasive I would have a very low survival rate, I would need a full hysterectomy and removal of my remaining ovary. This did not only mean no more babies, but menopause at age 30. I was devastated.
I threw myself into work and this is really when the idea for Our Remedy started brewing! I got a few second/third opinions on my condition but every time it was the same. I eventually found a hospital in London where they agreed to take my remaining ovary and cryopreserve it, there is research at the moment that we are about 5 years away from being able to take this and put it with a sperm to create a biological child. I’d never been so happy to be a research project! So I had the op, and I have had an okay time of it. I put this down to the fact I research a lot on the right supplements to take after having a hysterectomy, as I am very pro natural products wherever you can, my top two being magnesium and CBD! I knew how much CBD could help other women but it wasn’t easy to find one that explained it to someone who knew nothing about CBD so I took matters into my own hands and created Our Remedy! I branded it and created a safe space online where women could open up about problems and hopefully find a natural remedy that would help them too.
What has been one of your best career highlights so far?
My career highlight is definitely having the ability to create a brand which focuses on the environment as a core part of its identity. I’m passionate about doing all I can and so when I started Our Remedy I thought carefully about what I could apply to the business. I decided to offer plastic free re-fills, exclusively print using soy ink and source compostable or biodegradable packaging where ever possible. I haven’t wavered, even though it would make my life so much easier to do so! I’m really so proud of this from a business and a personal perspective.
What has been your biggest challenge in your career so far?
Juggling being a mum and having a career is by far the biggest challenge I have faced and I think a lot of parents face. All of a sudden you are on someone else’s time and that someone doesn’t care that you’re late for a meeting, have 25 emails to reply to or need to personally deliver a parcel. I still feel like Im figuring this part out, so I have no advice about the best way to go about it!
I love that Dr.Lipp is recognised as a cruelty free brand! This is so important to me and I know it's important to so many others too.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
There’s no rush. I really felt like I needed to be a ‘grown up’ quickly, but looking back I should have spent more time in my little flat in London with my 3 best friends, travelling and generally just enjoying my early 20s, as that time is so short! I try to use that attitude now, but I know when I’m in my 40’s I’ll probably think that about myself in my 30s! I try to slow down and live in the moment a lot more now.
What is an average day like for you?
Busy, busy, busy! I never set an alarm so how the day starts really depends on what time my son wakes up. If it’s early then I will do a workout in the morning, then the nursery run and then aim to walk into the office but if I’m running late I usually drive in. I usually start the day by checking / writing my to-do list but I try to make it as realistic as possible as I don’t like to be overwhelmed with tasks. I find if I set realistic expectations I’m much more likely to stick to them and even do more which I think makes you feel better and more productive. If your to-do list is overwhelming it is probably going to make you feel very anxious and can actually be a backwards step. As a small business owner my day is so varied. I work on new products, social media, accounts, blogs, SEO, my shop in Leigh – the list goes on! But I really love how varied it is. After doing the evening nursery run and bedtime routine for my son I’ll do dinner and then finish off any work that needs doing if I didn’t get a chance or spend a hour doing something for me which is usually an hour to watch TV, have a bath or some yoga depending on my mood. I think its so important to try and take a little bit of time for yourself – one of my favourite sayings is ‘there’s 1440 minutes in the day, take a few to yourself!’ when you look at it like that it seems crazy you can’t spare a few of those minutes just for you.
What do you do in your down time?
It so rare these days! I don’t count my weekends being a parent to a toddler as down time, as its the total opposite of relaxing! But I do usually have one weekend a month where I’ll go out with friends to brunch and spend the whole weekend away, so I guess this is my down time! I also love going for long walks, I live right by the sea so I just turn left or right and can walk for miles with a good podcast on. I also love painting my house, I like to change things up a lot and I really enjoying painting and decorating. I’ve always been quite artistic but I like also moving about a lot so have always enjoyed painting walls and having the ability to transform a room quickly.
Which beauty products can you not live without?
This is such a hard question because my immediate reaction is I could probably live without everything if I really had to, I’m quite simple when it comes to my routine. I think I would say dry shampoo as I really hate having greasy hair and if I was going to a festival it would probably be the one thing I would take to make sure I looked okay the whole time!
Can you tell us your best beauty tips?
Cleanse, tone, moisturise and apply SPF every day! I didn’t take proper care of my skin in my 20’s at all. Now I make an effort to wash my face twice a day, which sounds silly when written down, I mean of course you should wash your face twice a day! But the amount of times I used to go to bed with make up still is really bad.
What is next for you professionally and personally?
I think these two goals are actually linked for me and its to really focus on growing Our Remedy. The past few years for me have been spent in and out of hospital – I had 3 operations in 2019! There was little time to really focus on my career and now feels like the right time for me to focus on this and although this is a work goal it also feels very personal to me, so the two are totally combined! I feel so lucky to be doing something I love so much day to day that I can say it is my one main goal!
Do you feel strongly about knowing what ingredients are in your beauty/natural remedy products? Why?
Yes. I only shop with cruelty free brands and have been doing this for about 10 years now. I think being vegan / vegetarian is so much more than just not eating meat / dairy so I try to apply it to as much as I can and this includes my beauty routine . I’m pretty clued up on best cruelty free products now, I know what I like and what works for me but it has been a long process to get here and lots of trial and error. I can see why its difficult at first but I think you need to take it one or two products at a time rather than trying to switch everything at the same time.
If you could encourage others to make one lifestyle change today, what would it be?
Stop using face wipes! They contain plastic so are bad for the environment but if that’s not encouragement enough then do it for your skin, they aren’t even a good way to take your make up off. You’ll never beat a good old fashioned flannel and nice cleanser! Your skin will thank you and you notice the difference so quickly!