All entrepreneurs naturally take different paths. Some nurture an idea for years before they start while others spot an opportunity and seize it. Lucky Cloud was the latter, when founder Lucy Cardwell started the company in her kitchen trying to solve her lifes skin issues one small batch at a time. Using the best ingredients for the best outcome, the Edinburgh based skincare brand has been wowing customers around the world with their extensive range of vegan products that deliver results. We caught up with the woman behind it all to see how she got the brand where it is today.
Hey Lucy! Tell us a little bit about yourself and Lucky Cloud!
Hiya, I’m Lucy waves
I’m originally from Adelaide, Australia and moved to Edinburgh in 2008.
When I first moved to Edinburgh I worked at a few different arts organisations including the Edinburgh International Festival, National Galleries of Scotland and a Leith based Events Company called Unique Events.
I launched Lucky Cloud in 2015 while still working full time at the events company after a few years of research and product development.
So, what is Lucky Cloud?
Ok, here’s the spiel…
It’s a brand of luxurious botanical skincare for people with dry, damaged and sensitive skin. Vegan friendly and made by hand in small batches I use quality raw ingredients to create moisture rich, nourishing and soothing products.
Each product is formulated in house using natural, ethically sourced ingredients so we can offer you effective skincare that’s easy to use and good for your mind, body and soul… and the environment too of course!
The range includes body moisturisers, lip balms and an incredibly popular face care collection all of which are free from parabens, formaldehydes, SLS, mineral oils, animal ingredients and animal testing.
How did you get into this business?
Lucky Cloud Skincare was born out of my own issues with sensitive and dry skin. I’d suffered from skin conditions like dermatitis from a young age and was quite reliant on steroid ointments. Because of this I’ve always had an interest in skincare and skin health, but never really understood it. Until that is, I started researching ingredients and developing products for LCS.
If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?
Well, my previous work life was as an Arts Administrator for museums, galleries, festivals etc. I studied at Art School in Adelaide, so anything creative felt like a good fit. Saying that, Lucky Cloud has by far been the one thing that has felt the most natural (pardon the pun…) to me.
And if were to choose something completely different? Maybe animals, but not like a vet or anything, more like if I could be paid to pat and play with cats and dogs… that’d be cool
Do you have a life motto / mantra?
A friend once sent me an old Chinese proverb:
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”
This really resonated with me and it’s the only thing I think of when asked this type of question.
Whatever it is that you want to do, achieve, try – just do it !
Take us through a typical day. What time do you get up at?
I don’t really have a typical day, they can be quite varied… but here goes.
My alarm goes off at 7.30am. And then I usually snooze for a bit. I’m not very good at jumping out of bed as soon as I wake up.
When I’m in a good routine, I’ll do 15 minutes of yoga when I do get up, but this (unfortunately) comes and goes. note to self, start doing morning yoga again
I’m also a morning scroller – so I’m straight on Instagram while still in bed to have a browse, check what’s been happening over-night, reply to comments etc
I walk to and from my office, which I really love. I get 20 minutes of exercise twice a day as my commute. Plus, I love listening to music and singing along (yes, sometimes I get strange looks…) or podcasts.
On arrival to work, I start by packing up and doing the admin associated with any online orders that came in overnight. It’s a nice way to start the day and I include a wee hand-written note in each order, so it puts me in happy zone.
The rest of the day will be made up with (lots) of admin, writing blog posts, responding to customer queries, wholesale requests, researching potential new stockists, scheduling social media, updating website bits n bobs
Some days will involve manufacturing products, labelling containers.
I also do a few events through-out the year (fairs, markets etc) so there’s often a lot of prep for them.
Sometimes there’s also new product development. This is super fun! I love formulating new recipes, but it’s a slow process… and it’s never shared with the public until it’s nearing the end so it’s important to have peers, friends and family to share it with.
I’m currently developing two new home / lifestyle products and another face care item which will hopefully all be available by the end of the year.
How do you keep yourself organised?
Lists and notebooks – I pretty much carry two notebooks and a diary around with me all the time.I’ve never been very good at keeping it all digital and on my phone. I still really like hand-written notes
How do you keep yourself going through a humpday?
I don’t really every feel humpday to be honest – although I do work mainly Monday – Friday, there’s fluidity to it as well. Sometimes I work weekends (either at events) or just to get through some extra work. On the flip side, I can leave work early or start late to catch up with friends or give myself some down-time.
How do you wind down?
I love to read, sit in the sunshine (I’ve been called cat like on more than one occasion), and catch up with friends. I also love to crochet, which I know is a bit of a granny hobby – but I love it!
Re-charging the batteries in nature is also a great way to relax. I love going for walks, especially in forests and national parks.
Or just chilling at home… the couch, a glass of wine and a good tv series or movie = bliss
What's your favourite thing about what you do?
I think my favourite thing is when strangers leave me reviews or comment on my products. Knowing I’ve created something that someone really loves and is helping them feel better about their skin is so heart-warming. I do actually cry sometimes when I read things like:
**“I’ve never had a face oil work so well on my combination skin”
**“I think you’re a magician, I’ve been using your face oil for a month now and while I was always obsessed with your products this just exceeded all expectation!”
**“Love your body balm and even use it on my face, it's excellent! A little goes such a long way! Face oil next for me; thank you for such lovely cruelty free skincare it's a delight”
**“best lip butter I’ve ever used!"
Any advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Do your research. Find your niche.
Be aware that there is a lot of research, experimenting and paperwork do be done before you’ll get anything ready to sell commercially. There are a lot of legal requirements throughout the product development and there’s no way you can (or should ever) take short cuts.
Oh and don’t try and do everything yourself… hire a graphic designer, a photographer, a web-developer, a copy writer – whatever area you don’t have strong skills in… I think women are particularly bad at thinking we can do it all ourselves. And while we’re incredible, it’s ok to not be able to do it all
And good luck!