Before we opened Roobarb in May 2014, we put together a very long list of the types of products that we were keen to stock, included on the list were the brands that we wished to be associated with and so our wish list began.
Running alongside this list we also had a to-do-list and an action point to find a UK based body and skincare company that produced a totally naturally product, had a great story to tell, felt and smelt amazing and looked great on the shelf, and so the task began.
Over a period of weeks we spoke to a large number of companies and they in turn sent us samples of their products for us to test, our front room was like a department at Boots, amongst these were some well known names along with many others we hadn't heard of, but we thought we may like.
We tested and graded the product on quality, fragrance, packaging and price, there was no scienticific way of doing it, it came down to personal preference and was it right for Roobarb.
Some we tested were good but were just not making the grade, others were fairly average and expensive. But on our list we just thought all of them weren't right for us. So we decided to wait until we found the right one, we knew they were out there but we just hadn't found them.
Then just before we opened we went to a trade show and met Helen from Big Green Tree and we knew at that point we had found our skincare product company.
Big Green Tree are a natural skincare company, based in Derbyshire on the edge of the beautiful Peak District, and they manufacture their products by hand where they produce a range of natural, luxurious bath, body and skin care products.
Big Green Tree use the very finest ingredients such as shea and cocoa butters with high quality essential oils and carrier oils and no harsh chemicals.
Their unique blend of those key ingredients enable the range of natural skincare to aid regeneration and repair process that should help to create beautiful looking skin and a more radiant skin tone and texture. Big Green Tree says that their "aim is always to use raw ingredients that are, wherever possible natural and or organic and farmed/traded in an ethical manner" which was music to our ears. We knew that we had found the right company to work with.
Their packaging was also a big plus for us too, not only it was clean and looked great with a recognisable and modern image, but it was either manufactured from recycled material or could be recycled, both these elements fitted in well with the working ethics of Roobarb.
After trying out Big Green Tree's products we opted to go for body soufflés, hand and body lotions, body washes and lip balms plus the mens range called Virtus, for those of you who took latin at school you will know it means manliness, excellence, character and courage, but you knew that.
We decided on three of the fragrances from the range including Fresh Fig, Red Poppy & Ginger and Lime, Mandarin and Basil all of these come in the body wash, bath truffles, hand and body lotion and body soufflés.
We are really pleased with the response from our customers, once they try one of our testers they are hooked and they are beginning to come back time and time again.
The most popular of the range is Fresh Fig followed by Lime, Mandarin and Basil closely followed by Red Poppy and Ginger. We are hoping to stock more fragrances in the future and hope to continue, develop and strengthen our relationship with Big Green Tree.