Lucy Bee is a 23 year old CIBTAC qualified beauty therapist and founder of Lucy Bee Raw Organic Coconut Oil. The company has gone from strength to strength and is stocked in almost every major supermarket in the UK. A partner with FairTSA (Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance), meaning that the farmers get a fairer price for their product as well as funding sustainable community projects that are carried out. We at Those London Chicks are excited to catch up with Lucy as we are huge fans of the Raw Organic Coconut Oil, as well as the principles of the company!
Tell us a bit about your journey prior to starting the company?
I was diagnosed coeliac when I was 18 months old and so my parents were forced to look at the ingredients in everything we ate. This, actually, turned out to be a good thing as it’s made us eat really healthily. Growing up in this environment, I naturally became interested in learning how foods can fight illness and, of course, I could witness this first hand!
I’ve also had an interest in beauty too and qualified as a CIBTAC Beauty Therapist. This complements my interest in healthy eating.
What inspired you to start Lucy Bee?
My parents passion for healthy, natural foods, coupled with me being a coeliac, has always meant that we love looking at adapting recipes to incorporate healthy ingredients. Ours is always a busy kitchen at home!
So, when we were introduced to unrefined coconut oil by a friend form Hong Kong, we realised that this was something wonderful and wanted to share it with everyone!
Were you nervous?
I actually do live the life you see through our social media. Lucy Bee is a family business, set up by my parents and we’re all involved, which is great as we all support each other.
The Lucy Bee ethos is that of ethical and sustainable living, recycling and eating close to nature with additive free products for health. Have you always been mindful of healthy living in your life, if so why?
Being diagnosed coeliac from such a young age has meant that I’ve grown up always looking at labels and ingredients. My parents strongly believe in the value of natural and organic ingredients and they’ve passed this onto me, too. I think that because I know how good I feel from eating healthily, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
We like to extend this to Lucy Bee, too, by using recyclable glass jars for our coconut oil; we use easy peel labels to encourage reusing the jars (plus give customers a free jar when they save and send us 12 labels); our brochure is printed on recycled paper; and our coconut oil is extracted from organic coconuts (we value the importance of organic farming methods) and is Fair Trade too.
Who or what motivates you to succeed?
I’m constantly motivated by the amazing encouragement we get on our social media from our followers. I love their passion and willingness to share their recipes and tips for healthy living with us – it’s very inspiring.
What has been your ‘crowning’ moment so far?
I think how quickly Lucy Bee has grown and the huge support from followers and their positive feedback.
Something I loved was a friend telling me she was out shopping for coconut oil and the person next to her said “When you think of coconut oil, you just think Lucy Bee, don’t you?” Perfect!
Lucy Bee has partnered with FairTSA how important is that partnership to you?
Hugely important – it’s the foundation of our brand.
When we’re approached by coconut oil producers to import their oil, as well insisting on it being organic and raw (and having a nice taste) we will only consider looking at them if they are prepared to partner with FairTSA.
This was the case with our oil that we import from the Solomon Islands, so they went through the necessary procedures to become Fair Trade certified. This is great because it means we can really help to spread the benefits of being a Fair Trade producer. As we like to say at Lucy Bee, we can all make a difference.
The company has achieved so much is a short space of time do you have any plans of branching out with other healthy Fair Trade products in the future?
We’re constantly looking at natural, good quality products for healthy living so watch this space!
Have you always visualised working for yourself and heading up a successful company?
Lucy Bee is a family business with us all working together, pulling in the same direction. We work well as a team, with everyone having ideas and thoughts on what works best.
We at Those London Chicks love the fact that Lucy Bee has set up ‘Charity at no Cost’. Can you talk us through how it works?
As we’ve already talked about above, Lucy Bee is a strong supporter of Fair Trade and we felt that this sits comfortably alongside supporting charities. We change the charity that we support periodically and ask for nominations from our social media followers.
At the moment, we’re supporting ‘The Little Blossoms Project’ which is a project within the charity ‘Love Support Unite Africa.’ Funds raised go towards supporting foster homes and baby massage amongst other things.
Everyone can help support this each time you buy something on Amazon. All you have to do is to go the Amazon website via this link on our website:
And Amazon will then give us 5% commission for those purchases. We donate ALL of that commission to the charity. This applies to ANYTHING YOU BUY THROUGH THIS LINK AT AMAZON. It’s simply a case of remembering to buy via the link (otherwise we don’t get the commission).
Lucy what advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business but are stunned by fear?
Believe in yourself! If you can make your hobby your career, it makes it all so much easier. Then be yourself and trust your instincts.
Finally, I know this will be a ‘toughie’ but, can you share one of your favourite recipes using your oil?
Mmmm, I have so many but if I had to pick one I’d choose these Cacao Peanut bites. They’re a great snack, simple to make and really curb that sugar craving. I love these straight from the freezer.
- 100g crunchy peanut butter
- 30g honey
- 50g Lucy Bee Coconut Oil
- 75g rolled oats, gluten free
- 50g milled flax seeds
- 10 – 15 g cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- OPTIONAL: instead of cacao, you can use raisins, chopped dates / apricots, cinnamon, orange / lemon zest
- Leave peanut butter, honey and coconut oil in a warm place to soften.
- Mix in oats, flax seeds and cacao powder.
- Roll into bite size pieces and place on a tray.
- Put into the freezer to set.
Lucy is a 23 year old, CIBTAC qualified beauty therapist with a love of healthy living including eating foods close to nature and exercise. Diagnosed as a coeliac at a young age, eating a well-balanced, healthy diet has always been important and has been the driving force behind Lucy Bee.
Thank you Lucy
Interview by Karen Bryson xx