In the run up to Small Business Saturday, we are supporting local small businesses by sharing their stories with you.
Could this be any more local? The name 'Maiiro' is a play on the Guernsey patois word for the sea "maiir", the seaweed is sustainably harvested in local waters and the inspiration for the luxury skincare range was founder Katy Rowe's grandmother, who spent time in her youth foraging on Guernsey beaches for specific seaweeds which gave her a lifelong glowing complexion.
Katy shares her story here with The List... in a list, of course.
Two years ago, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror attending to my daily 5-minute routine of applying, rinsing, poking, and squeezing, all in the vain hope that it would make me look and feel 10 years younger. Well, I’m sorry to say it constantly failed to meet my expectations. I came to realise that it was more a habit than a miracle cure and I was just going through the motions with the products I used.
My face and body needed and deserved more.
So, I started looking around and was sadly left wanting. So many products contained synthetic compounds and genetically modified ingredients that it was no wonder my skin felt clogged and dull. These products sat on my skin rather than working with it.
I remembered my Gran once telling me that she would go down to the beach and forage for specific seaweeds which she would then grind down to a fine powder and add olive oil to it, her skin was soft and flawless right up into her 90’s. I took this thought on board and after weeks of research, I began to realise what potent qualities seaweed contained. All the vitamins and minerals that we need on a daily basis, not just on our skin but internally, can be found in seaweed.
So, like you do when you’re doing your laundry or daily shopping, I came up with the idea of creating a multimillion-pound company selling organic cosmetics using seaweed, a commodity of which we have in abundance around our shores and selling my products to the world."
And so Maiiro was born. Maiiro is a play on the patois word for sea “maiir”. My main intention was to create a range of products that assisted healing. There were enough beautifying products available on the market already, and I needed help with my skin. So it was a purely selfish choice for the rationale behind my choice of products.
I love the Anti-ageing cream for its gentle daily moisturising capabilities but I’m super thrilled with the Pop end luxury Organic Lip Salve. I feel so decadent when I get it out of my handbag. It’s in a sleek silver tube and you just pop the end and it slides out. It keeps my lips moisturised winter and summer, and has helped me ward off cold sores as well.
Highlights? Winning Awards. Maiiro has been Globally recognised in the Pure Beauty Global Awards for 3 of our products and its only our first year of launch. When you think we were pitted against the likes of L’Oreal, Aveda, Elemis and La Mer it’s a huge accolade. Our marketing has been targeted towards the UK and US, but we have had orders and enquiries from as far afield as Tonga, Japan, Israel, Dubai in fact 72 different countries. The power of social media!
And challenges? Covid, undoubtedly. We had such big plans to travel all over the UK selling our products to retailers and getting into the duty free shops at airports and harbours, and before we could gain any traction, everything shut. We have had to rein in our plans and focus solely on e-commerce.
Maiiro has a very high regard for the sea and keeping it clear of plastic. We launched a campaign and petition in the UK called pack-of-lies to try and highlight single use plastic within the beauty industry which we actually won an award for. We pride ourselves on the minimal use of plastic in our products and actually use seaweed pulp as part of our packaging.
Without a doubt the best bit about local life it has to be collecting Seaweed. Not many people know that seaweed is actually a cyclically grown plant. The one we use grows from April to September and is hand harvested at a particularly low tide. There is a very old law which states that seaweed cannot be harvested between April and the middle of July, which means we are extremely limited when we can harvest. But when we are able to, it’s the most amazing and satisfying feeling knowing you are using something nature has freely given to you, that’s organic and healthy and sustainable, and this usually all happens while the sun is shining and everyone else is indoors or at work.
I may run an e-commerce business, but I am a complete technophobe! I can’t even post on Facebook without it going wrong! So for my business, I surround myself with IT boffins.
Made with protective natural antibacterial oils and butters, the organic lip salve is a personal favourite of ours - especially at this time of year!
Learn more about Maiiro