Hello, for those of you that don’t know I’m Jo, maker and creator of most things Valley Mist. I’ve never really given an insight to me and so with all that’s flying around in my head and what’s happening in the world I thought this was the only way to start back after the time out from socials this year.
Valley Mist has been my EVERYTHING for the last two years despite actually launching my business in 2016 when to be fair it was more like a very expensive hobby! I actually bought my first batch of plastic free packaging way back in 2015 funded by a generous bonus from my then job. There was no huge stack of start up money, just a matter of saving each month to buy new ingredients, safety assessments, equipment and all the other things that you don’t even consider when starting something like Valley Mist.
I started making skincare products around the age of 33, until that point I wasn’t the best at caring for my skin. I’m now in my mid 40’s. At the start I had a number of books to help with the methods and techniques required but to be honest I had several questionable creations. It takes so many failed attempts before you find the right method and formula, since then I have crawled up a steep learning curve, with books and investing in cosmetic formulation courses.
The hardest part of making skincare products is all the legal compliance…. it is endless and painful… oh and the maths, I nearly forgot to mention the maths. As a consumer you don’t think about the mind bending maths and working to 0.001 of a percentage when you use your lip balm, but we formulators do this is why it is so important that the products you use are safe and have full allergen listings on the label
So from Etsy hobby to international skincare brand…what changed? Blue planet 2 happened and the people of the world switched their focus to sustainable living…this change threw the spotlight on my little brand Valley Mist just at a point when I was feeling it was all just too difficult and I wanted to enjoy life more. This is the thing with any selfmade venture I guess, you throw your all into it and pretty much at the cost of everything else. Friends and family go on the back burner while you work an endless amount of hours to just keep your head above water.
This is the crux of this post, those important people who love and support you even when you seem a little unhinged and overwhelmed with everything. …If you are still reading this, I thank you.
My Mum was one of those important people. It breaks my heart to share but how can I move forward without acknowledging this amazing woman who inspired and tirelessly supported me, my lovely Mum passed away from Leukemia at the beginning of July. Some of you may have met her at the events we did together, in fact as recently as November last year, we had a brilliant time @northernlivingmagazine York Race courses along with @blenhiemcandles..what fun we had. I treasure that long weekend away.
The six months we had after her diagnosis were bitter sweet. Had my Mum not been poorly I would definitely not have had all of those afternoons with her, and for that I am grateful. I had no experience of losing someone to cancer, and I had not spent that much time in hospitals so seeing the huge amount of waste even before the covid lockdown was in place made me question all that I was doing regarding the plastic free revolution and Valley Mist. I have had time to reflect and reevaluate the direction of Valley Mist, but that is for another post.
To my suffering husband, family and friends, stockists, customers, and admirers of my little brand I thank you all for your support and kindness. I’m going to get back to social posting again and continue this Valley Mist journey that my lovely Mum helped me create.