SELF MADE Lucy Buck­ing­ham of Lucy Bee on mak­ing sweet suc­cess from co­conut oil

Co-founder of Lucy Bee, LUCY BUCK­ING­HAM, 26, brought co­conut oil to the masses. Here’s how say­ing no helped…

Cosmopolitan (UK) - - Contents -

➤ Con­nect on so­cial me­dia As a baby I was di­ag­nosed as a coeliac, so my par­ents were al­ways con­scious of what we ate. A friend in­tro­duced me to co­conut oil and it be­came such a sta­ple for us that, five years ago, I be­gan to source and mar­ket my own. No one re­ally knew about its ben­e­fits then, so I’d tweet tips and set up stalls at food fes­ti­vals. It took off when Joe Wicks ap­proached us dur­ing his early ca­reer and asked for a jar for his Lean In 15 videos. If in­flu­encers or celebri­ties fol­low us on so­cial me­dia, I’ll mes­sage ask­ing if they’d like to try our prod­ucts but, Joe aside, we don’t pay for re­views as I’d rather they be au­then­tic. ➤ Stand by your be­liefs There are so many in­gre­di­ents I’d love to add to the range, but if I can’t find raw or Fair­trade sup­pli­ers, it can’t hap­pen. I’ve had meet­ings with lovely peo­ple who say,“You don’t have to use or­ganic for this part of the prod­uct.” But that’d be com­pro­mis­ing our val­ues. It’s easy to feel tempted, but if you’re not strict, you’ll lose your USP. Be com­mit­ted to what your brand stands for. ➤ Wait un­til the time is right You don’t have to take ev­ery op­por­tu­nity that comes your way – just the right ones, at the right time. A few years ago, I was of­fered the chance to cook live on TV, but at that stage I strug­gled with nerves. So I said, “Thanks, but I’m not ready. Can we re­visit this in a year?” Never feel pres­sure to give an in­stant yes; if some­body re­ally wants to work with you, you can go back later. ➤ Use a per­sonal touch When we started Lucy Bee, I’d chat to peo­ple on Twit­ter as I would my friends, much to my fa­ther’s dis­may [he’s Lucy’s co-founder]. He’d tell me to stop us­ing smi­ley faces and be for­mal, but I didn’t heed that ad­vice and we now have a fol­low­ing of 379,000 across our so­cial chan­nels. My background in beauty ther­apy taught me that a per­sonal touch is cru­cial to build­ing a loyal cus­tomer base. I’d al­ways ask new beauty clients how many kids they had – so that next time they came in I could say, “How is your son?” Lit­tle de­tails like that make peo­ple feel spe­cial, so they’re in­clined to re­turn.

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