Inspiring Makers: Ella Mclachlan, Phoenix & Providence Skincare
This week’s Inspiring Maker, Ella, is the powerhouse behind Phoenix & Providence skincare. This sustainable brand is based on the Isles of Scilly and incorporates nourishing seaweed into its minimalist and highly effective range.
We’ve tried the bath salts, Nourishing Oil, balm and lip balm and can honestly say that we loved them all. Each Phoenix & Providence product is clearly crafted with love and a deep appreciation for the power of natural products.
Ella is one of those effortlessly inspiring people, so we were very excited to pick her brains on her creative process, inspiration and award-winning brand.
Hi Ella. Tell us a bit more about yourself…
Hi guys, as you know I live on the Isles of Scilly. I came for a six month season back in 2009 and somehow never left. A large reason for that was meeting my now husband, Barney on the islands. I run an organic skincare company, Phoenix & Providence. Our skincare is infused with vitamin and mineral rich seaweed that we harvest from the islands’ shores at low tide.
How did you start making your offerings? What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?
I began making natural skincare products for my family when my children were small. At the same time I also began to wonder if I could bottle the feeling of swimming in the sea, my place of solace and quiet. After a swim my skin always feels clearer and brighter, and my mind calmer. This was the seed from where Phoenix & Providence grew. I completed a diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation which was a great way to hone my formulation skills.
I love making the products. Working with beautiful natural ingredients and essential oils sends me into a state of flow. The thing I most enjoy is the community that we have grown. We have the loveliest customers, and it is the highlight of my day to see someone return and repurchase a product they love using on their skin.
What’s your favourite product that you make?
I love the Rejuvenate Bath Salts as they really are the essence of P & P. A combination of seaweed and salt from the island’s waters that can help ease sore muscles, aid a good nights sleep and leave your skin with a natural glow.
My favourite product though is our Nurture Face Oil, it took a long time to get this formula right!
Do you have a morning ritual? How does this shape your day?
My morning routine is very simple. I let our dog out into the garden and have a few deep lungful’s of fresh air. I make a cup of tea and ideally have time to enjoy a couple of pages of my book. When my kids are up we all have a morning cuddle in bed, I’m not sure how many more years they are going to want to do this so I really treasure this time! Whatever the day holds I know I’ve already done a few of my favourite things and that is a lovely feeling I hold onto.
What’s your favourite tea?
I have Rooibos to start the day. Mid-morning I love Clarity Blend, and for evening After Eight (Thirty). I also love the Peaches & Cream Cold Infusion on a warm day. I’m not keen on overly sweet tastes but this blend balance is just perfect!
What keeps you grounded? How do you practice self-care?
Walking is a daily essential for me, as is skincare. Taking a few minutes to look after yourself with a simple skincare ritual can set the tone for how you look after yourself in other respects. I practice yoga and sea swim a few times a week. No technology, no distraction just self- connection.
I think the best way to practice self-care is through being kind to yourself. I think many of us feel we do too much or not enough. Sometimes it is just good to say to yourself you are doing your best, and you are amazing for doing that!
Where do you feel the most at peace?
With my family (and our dog), with no time pressures or obligations. This could be on the beach, out in our boat, or in our front room watching a film or playing a board game (we are addicted to Rummikub).
Do you have any words of wisdom for other creatives or people who admire what you do?
My advice would be to write down your core values, and when you start to feel overwhelmed block out the external noise and hone back to your list. As much as you can trust in your own intuition and what feels good for you and your business.
And finally, who or what inspires you?
My island home, the simplicity, beauty and seasonality of nature inspire me daily.
I’m also inspired by people carving out their own unique paths in life, like you two!
Please share/give a shout out to any small makers or businesses here:
Writer Jess Collins – Phoenix & Providence wouldn’t be where it was today without my wonderful copy writer Jess Collins. I’m so excited Jess has launched a new community, Empress, bringing like minded creatives together to break away from the fast-paced culture of marketing, instead taking a soulful, authentic approach.
Emily Ruth Yoga – Emily is an amazing yoga teacher and business woman. Her energy is infectious, and she has created a real sense of community both on and offline.
Fay Page Jewellery – Fay & Rob making beautiful jewellery inspired the islands in their workshop by the sea. They have been incredibly supportive and given lots of practical advice to me when starting P & P. They have been running their business for over 20 years which is amazing!
Please share/give a shout out to any products, books, or tools that you use a lot and love:
Do Books – I absolutely love the Do Book guides, they are a great place to start if you are thinking of launching your own business. Or for a general guide for anything from jam making to walking!
Flodesk – Building my community through email has been integral to P & P and I love the ease and style of Flodesk. If you search around online you should be able to find a permanent 50% off code as well!
Stamford Notebooks – Can’t manage without my weekly planner.
PR Dispatch – This is a great platform for small business wanting help and practical support in approaching their own PR.