Natalie Dawson founded Awesome Botanical in 2020 to help ease her own anxiety amidst a worldwide pandemic. Like many others, she was struggling when we were suddenly plunged into a lockdown and our lives were turned upside down.
“When the pandemic hit, I struggled a lot with anxiety. The family business had naturally taken a decline due to retail being forced to close, so I decided to channel this overwhelming anxiety into creating cosmetics.
“I started to study cosmetics and essential oils as this was something I used to help ease my own anxiety and I had a passion to create products that would help others ease their stresses and anxiety. Keeping the products as natural as possible was also extremely important to me,” Natalie explains.
With no shops open, Natalie decided to treat her loved ones on their birthdays to her new found creations and they went down a treat. With incredible feedback from family paired with a friendly nudge, Natalie was given the boost of confidence she needed to turn her brilliant new hobby into a booming business.
“Spurred on by my loved ones, I decided to take this further and research the legalities that go with selling cosmetics in the UK and in June 2020 my holistic skincare brand, Awesome Botanical, was born. We launched our first shop on Etsy and I have never looked back,” says Natalie.
“Self care is at the forefront of everything we do. When I created each product I had self care in mind, finding ways that I could take some time for myself with a product which would make me feel good about myself,” Natalie tells me as she begins to delve deeper into the ethos of her business.
“The aim is to revive, energise and ease away stresses which is why our products are made from essential oils. These natural ingredients are derived from plants and can be found in different areas such as the bark on the leaves, stems and petals. Some we use have been known to have beneficial properties, and while they can come with heaps of advantages and feel-good solutions, we don’t make any medical claims about our Awesome Botanical products,” she adds.
Natalie pours in hard work, dedication and many hours of research to ensure her products work as efficiently as possible, whilst smelling sensational.
“Our hand balms are packed full of natural, skin-loving ingredients. They are an intense moisturiser in the form of a solid balm rather than a cream which means you save on wastage. Our Natural Foot Balm is also a very popular option if you have dry or cracked heels as the formula works to bring intense hydration to your feet.
“For me, I have two favourite products which I use depending on how I would like to feel. The whipped soap range is an awesome alternative to a shower gel. Scented with a luxurious blend of pure essential oils, they are whipped to a fluffy and creamy texture, then piped into the jar.
“Their semi-solid velvet-like consistency makes them the perfect choice for a body wash. A little goes a very long way, which makes this a deluxe cleanser and an enjoyable experience that lasts for weeks. My personal favourite is Sweet Orange, it’s my go-to product when I wake up in the morning. It has a zesty fresh orange scent that uplifts you for the day ahead.
“When it comes to an indulgent evening, our range of eco-natural bath bombs go down a treat. My go-to when I need to feel relaxed and calm is the Sweet Dreams – Relaxation Bath Bomb. Lavender and Bergamot Essential Oils slowly fizz into the bath, filling the air with a serene aroma as tranquil floral, herbaceous, and earthy notes activate your body’s resting instinct,” Natalie explains as I begin to make a mental note of all the dreamy products I’ll be adding to my basket.
Just as I regroup after dreaming of all the wonderful products I can’t wait to try, the excitement resurfaces as we move on to discuss her fabulous gift sets. Along with the option to make up your very own gift set, there’s also a lovely range of already made ones that offer everything you need for the ultimate pamper at home.
From bath bombs, scrubs and a whole range of holistic skincare, you’re guaranteed to be looked after from head to toe.
All neatly gift wrapped in sustainable packaging, these gorgeous sets are perfect for eco-conscious consumers, beauty lovers and those who need a little self care encouragement.
When it comes to owning a small business, there are many tasks at hand. For Natalie, that means taking on the day-to-day tasks of running a business as well as making all of the products by hand in Gateshead.
“A day in the life of Awesome Botanical varies constantly. My morning is often spent checking what needs to be restocked, followed by putting a plan in place to make them. Next, it’s time to pack up orders and shoot off to the post office before checking on any PR requests. Then comes the part I love most… making the products. Running a small business single-handed means I cover so many roles, but I love it. I put a lot of love and care into our products, they’re made in small batches with raw ingredients
sourced from UK suppliers to ensure optimum freshness,” Natalie explains.
Since launching, the company went from strength to strength with opportunities presenting themselves from all directions. In 2020 and 2021, Natalie took up the amazing opportunity to sell her products at a Christmas Pop Up Event in Fenwick.
Soon followed her Natural Foot Balm being shortlisted by Top Santé for the 2021 Body Care Awards and success didn’t stop there. Awesome Botanical went on to win the Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday resulting in a huge increase in following on social media and tons of extra orders.
Watch this space. Hopes and plans to eventually open a shop combined studio, for customers to see the products being made whilst they shop, is on the agenda. But for now, all of the dreamy creations handmade by Natalie can be purchased via her website.