A Cottage Industry hard at work

Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassador and a winner of Dacorum’s Den 2019, Castaway Cottage, has been shortlisted for four Biz4Biz awards: Best New Business, Made in Herts, Best Family Business and the Best Corporate Social Responsibility award. There is still time to vote for them, voting closes this Friday https://bit.ly/2w3lNk1

There is no such thing as a relaxing weekend for the Castaway Cottage team. At the time of writing, the family is currently hard at work making beautiful soaps in every colour possible, wax melts in a plethora of punchy fragrances and their bath bomb press is in constant use. Director, Louise explains that apart from Christmas, Mother’s Day is one of their busiest times of the year with beautiful hand-made gift boxes of their gorgeous ethical cosmetics in high demand.

Louise’s autistic son, Archie created Castaway Cottage, after he visited Hitchin lavender farm and wanted to do something with all the lavender he had picked. This expanded to making bath bombs and soaps for family and friends for Christmas, and now, nearly three years later, Castaway is a thriving local business selling a wide range of hand-crafted bath-time produce that is not only kind to skin but fun to use, via their website, two local shops and at craft and offices in the local area.

Apart from the huge amount of time needed to hand-make and gift wrap all their produce, one of their biggest hurdles has been ensuring all their produce is ethical and environmentally friendly. Louise explains: “Sustainability was always a driving force behind our business; we can proudly say that absolutely nothing is wasted. All of the materials we use in our gift boxes are totally recyclable or compostable and in addition to that we upcycle wrapping paper, Christmas baubles, ribbon and other materials that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

The Castaway team is made up of three generations of the same family and they hand-make every single product they sell. Over the past year they have thoroughly researched their recipes and discovered that many potential ingredients were not as friendly as they would have liked. As a family with sensitive skin, they are always working to ensure that all their ingredients are both ethical and kind to skin and vegan where possible. They have had to overcome such problems as sourcing compostable and plastic-free glue, ensuring that vegan ingredients weren’t tested on animals (harder than you might think!) and finding compostable packaging that would fit through letter boxes for their new wax melt subscription service.

Visit their website: www.castaway-cottage.co.uk to see their glorious range of products or go in store to House of Elliot in Hemel Hempstead Old Town and have a sniff of their huge range of wax melts. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram @castawaycottageuk for information on exciting new products and tips on living sustainably.

While you are visiting the website to vote, why not check out the other Ambassadors who have been nominated including Louise’s other company Igloo Creative, the host of our January event Aubrey Park Hotel, one of our charity partners The Hospice of St Francis and Ten2Two.

Our Ambassadors