Most people will agree that 2020 was the year when we realised that the thing we need most in life is human connection. Many female entrepreneurs found it a real struggle working on their own, even if they were able to continue working, and longed for connection with other women in any way possible.
In general a lot of women find it easier to champion someone else and feel much better when promoting someone else’s products rather than their own. Saskia Marjoram of Saskia’s Flower Essences overcame this, as did many other companies during the pandemic, by collaborating with other brands, and has recently launched products with three other female led companies. She says:
“This has been my way of feeling supported and re-energised, bringing another dimension to my business and getting our products to other audiences.
Over the last year we saw a massive increase in awareness of how crucial our emotional and mental wellbeing is and how useful essences can be in traumatic situations with sales increasing 130% year on year which has kept me very busy, however I longed for more connection, more depth, more meaning. These new collaborations have brought the life back into my company and a renewed excitement to the business.”
The first collaboration came about when Sarah O’Keefe, the founder of The Cross Shop in Notting Hill, approached her to make a flower essence combination called F***Fear to help with many of the issues that the pandemic has brought up. They have since released Feel the Love and are working on a third combination to be released later in the year. Sarah’s company was launched with the main aim of producing exclusive, limited-run and creative collaborations and although only launched last year is going from strength to strength.
This was followed by a bath oil containing Saskia’s Breathe Deep, Seek Peace combination produced by Rowan and Lily Wynne Jones of Herbs for Healing who have taken over their mother Davina’s business after she sadly died suddenly.
As third generation plants women (their grandmother was the world famous 80’s garden designer Rosemary Verey) and long term friends of Saskia’s, this was a very natural and obvious collaborative effort and they are looking forward to producing more products together in the future.
And lastly, for the time being at least, the holistic beauty and wellbeing website WOW beauty, after ‘meeting’ on social media, approached Saskia wondering if she wanted to make a combination called Clarity, Focus, Flow after their founder Denise Robur needed help with this exact issue and thought that her existing clients would love the concept of being able to get on with their life in a clear and focussed way during these complicated times.
As we slowly ease our way out of lockdown, small female led businesses like Saskia’s and many others have come out empowered and stronger by the connections they forged when times were hard, supported by other women keen to champion them. Let’s hope that in the excitement of coming out of lockdown that we don’t forget these important lessons learned as we rush to return to ‘the old normal’ but rather we find a better ‘new normal’ where we champion each other and importantly, kindness and compassion.