An entrepreneur who started her business selling coconut oil in her 20s reveals how she has now branched out into skincare – and customers are thrilled with the results.
Lucy Willis, 30, from Hertfordshire, started her family business Lucy Bee in 2012 selling organic, Fair Trade coconut oil.
She shot to fame when Joe Wicks, the Body Coach, used her product in his Instagram ‘Lean in 15’ videos.
Now her business has shifted its focus from food to skincare including natural deodorant, self-tan mousse, cleansing cream and body scrub.
Excited customers have taken to Instagram to share amazing before-and-after photos documenting the effects of Lucy Bee’s products, with some saying they saw a difference in as little as three weeks.
Lucy Willis, 30, started Lucy Bee in 2012 selling organic, Fair Trade coconut oil. She has now branched out into skincare. Customers have taken to Instagram to share their results. Pictured, one woman before (left) and after using the Lucy Bee products for four weeks
Body Coach Joe Wicks was an early fan of Lucy’s coconut oil and used it in his Lean In 15 recipe videos. Pictured, Lucy and Joe smile for a photo
Lucy, the person behind the brand’s name, explained her idea for the business sprung out of her own experience of being diagnosed as a coeliac at 18 months old.
‘My parents had to completely change their way of eating and start cooking from scratch,’ she told MailOnline.
‘Growing up I have always been aware of what I put into my body as I’ve always had to check labels and this is what initially gave me an interest in food.
‘It also made me realise and have an interest in what I put onto my body which naturally led me to have a passion for the skin and skincare.’
Lucy Bee’s first product was organic, Fair Trade coconut oil at a time when there were only a couple on the market.
Lucy said: ‘We were different to a lot of brands being much more personal. It was me posting and replying to followers and was more like having a chat with friends than a big corporation with a bulk standard response. We’ve continued that to this day. It’s how I work and I love it.’
One woman saw an amazing change to her skin after using the Lucy Bee products for three weeks. Above, the happy customer shares the before and after photos on social media
Lucy Bee became a household name when Joe Wicks started using her coconut oil in 2014.
WHAT IS COELIAC DISEASE?
Coeliac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder in which gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.
Gluten provokes inflammation in the small intestine which affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
The condition is estimated to affect one in 100 people worldwide.
One percent – or three million Americans – are living with coeliac disease.
There are more than 200 symptoms of coeliac disease but the more common ones are:
- Abdominal bloating and pain
- Chronic diarrhea
- Pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
- Weight loss
The only treatment for the disease and is a strict gluten-free diet.
Only foods and beverages with a gluten content less than 20 parts per million are allowed.
Source: Celiac Disease Foundation
‘He had just started out with his platform and videos and I always found them really funny as he was different to everyone else,’ Lucy told MailOnline.
‘He messaged me and said he loved the brand and used it all the time so we started to send him coconut oil and then after a couple of years started working together officially.
‘We started around the same time and grew together which was really great to see. He has done amazingly well and it has been great working with him over the years.’
Lucy added: ‘Joe and I are friends but we no longer work together due to the change in direction of our business and where he was at with his.
‘We remain friends and I love keeping up to date with what he is up to via social media.’
Lucy Bee has recently moved towards selling beauty products rather than the original cooking oil.
Lucy said: ‘The plan has always been to go into skincare as it is my background. I was just waiting for the right time.
‘Lucy Bee is a lifestyle brand – we started with coconut oil which is very versatile and we felt we could go in all directions with the brand.
‘The skincare range is aimed at the majority of skin types but mostly sensitive skin due to the ingredients we use.
‘Our aim is to create results-driven skincare products which are kind to our customers’ skin, animals and the planet.
‘As I am 30 now anti-ageing is important to me so we are incorporating that aspect into a lot of our products.’
Ethics and sustainability were extremely important to Lucy when she launched her family business.
‘All of our products are made from scratch in the UK so it takes a while to formulate them, trial them and work on the best and most suitable sustainable packaging.
This customer noticed her skin looking fresher, brighter and more even after using the products
‘The entire range is certified by Vegan Society, Leaping Bunny and where possible Soil Association.’
The company has a range of skincare products including natural deodorant, self-tan mousse, cleansing cream and body scrub.
There are several new products launching this year: Vitamin A Eye Serum, Vitamin C Iridescent Face Serum and SPF.
Lucy Bee’s first product was organic, Fair Trade coconut oil at a time when there were only a couple on the market
But the road to a skincare range has not been without a few bumps.
‘We actually launched a full skincare range in 2018 after two years working on it only to have to pull the range within a few months of it launching,’ she told MailOnline.
‘This was a huge decision as a company as we had put so much work into it but there were many issues and we were not going to let a manufacturer potentially ruin everything we built due to their lack of professionalism and what we were promised.’
The Lucy Bee team regularly post before and after photos on social media showing their skincare product results.
Lucy said: ‘As you can see from the images, we have seen great results from customers using the skincare range.
‘The aim with these products is to make driven, natural and organic skincare products which actually make a difference to the skin while being kind to the skin, animals and planet.
‘The one thing that really means the most is when customers say it has helped to build their confidence and how they feel better in themselves.’
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