Meet Our Partners | An interview with Abi Weeds, co-founder of Odylique
As an ethical gifting company, I get to partner with amazing brands who create beautiful, organic, sustainable products, to bring you the best in luxury gifting.
It's been my privilege to speak to the faces behind these brands, understand their story, and how they got to where they are today.
Today, I have an exclusive interview for you with Abi Weeds, the co-founder of Odylique, an organic skincare brand which you'll find in many of our luxury gift boxes.
I’m Abi, and I founded Odylique together with my mother Margaret back in 2003. Before that I was an economist at an investment bank and also a management consultant. I have 2 children, 2 cats, a hedgehog and a husband. I love food and running (a helpful combination!)
As I child I suffered from sensitive skin and eczema and my mother, who is a herbalist, began creating natural products to help. As an adult I realised that these amazing natural and effective formulations could help others with sensitive skin too
Odylique was originally called ‘Essential Care’. We renamed the brand Odylique in 2014 after a couple of mega brands began using Essential Care for part of their brand name. “Odyl” is an old Norse word meaning “power of nature”, so very apt. The ‘ique’ bit is homage to my love of all things French.
In 2003 we launched with just a handful of products that had been my mother’s skincare staples, plus a lotion she’d made for my eczema (Repair Lotion) and a shampoo she’d created for friend with a psoriasis-prone scalp (Gentle Herb Shampoo – the world’s first ever certified organic shampoo). Since then we’ve added to the range according to customer requests and now have around 50 products.
But the one thing that hasn’t changed over time is our ethos; our values are still the same as when we started.
Without a doubt it’s the lack of regulation. – If you sell food/ drink as organic, it has to be independently certified as such. That’s not the same with health & beauty products - organic certification is voluntary – so you get a lot of ‘organic’ skincare products in shops that are organic in name only.
We made the decision from day 1 to certify all our products as organic to give consumers an independent guarantee that what we make is genuinely organic. But it’s made life tough and we spend a lot of time explaining what we go through to be certified and that our products are a very different quality to what you might find elsewhere.
What has been your proudest moment since starting the business?
It’s amazing to think we came from making products literally on the kitchen table to having our own eco-factory and botanical garden. The day we opened up the site was a really proud moment.
But in all honesty what makes everything worthwhile for us is the often life-changing moments that our products have given our customers. Whether it’s helping someone overcome severe skin conditions like eczema, or an itchy scalp, or being able to wear makeup on otherwise reactive skin.
I’d say it’s much easier than it used to be. There’s never been so much organic food or clothing available as now. Genuine organic skincare is a little trickier to find, but is much more sophisticated than it was 15 years ago, so consumers are likely to find it more enjoyable than synthetic products.
I’d also say don’t be too militant about it. There are a few small changes you can make that would make a large difference. For example, switching high-volume, high impact food products like dairy, eggs and meat. And switching to organic skincare means you’ve covered a larger part of your lifestyle than you might think, as so much of what we put on the skin is absorbed into the body.
Try a multi-purpose product like our Organic Calendula Balm which can be used as a dry skin moisturiser / repair, lip balm or cleansing balm.
Particularly after a long run, I love to have a warm shower with a nice smelling bodywash and scrub (our Coconut Candy Scrub). Then I do a bit of self-massage – feet, calves and quads to iron out the aches, again with our Muscle Ease Massage Oil.
We can also put together a completely bespoke gift box for you, if you'd like to mix and match various products - we love creating the perfect gift so do get in touch!
If you have any comments or questions on our blog or gifting in general, please get in touch or leave a comment below – we’d love to hear from you.