Ma Naturals makes pure, gentle skincare, with ingredients only from Mother Nature’s bounty. Leaving the beauty of nature to nourish your skin, body and mind. The idea for Ma was born after founder, Katie, was tired of suffering from bad reactions to shop-bought skincare, and could see her young daughter developing the same issues. While studying to become a medical herbalist, Katie started making completely organic, pure products for her family and friends to use, using her expertise and love of Cornish botanicals. Read on to find out more about this pioneering brand.
What made you decide to start Ma Naturals, and what's the inspiration behind it?
Ultimately, I'm really driven by simplifying how we live. Less consumption. Less burden on the environment. Not messing with nature. But what tipped us over the edge into developing and launching our range was the great feedback we were getting from people we'd given products to - they loved what the products did for them, they loved that we were making locally, and they loved that we were representing the unique identity of the area.
What did you do before creating Ma Naturals?
Our professional background is pretty varied, but both my husband, Greg, and I have roots in advertising and branding, me on the creative side, and Greg on the business side. Greg now runs a design studio, and for the last few years I've worked at Falmouth University as a lecturer in Creative Advertising, alongside training to be an Herbalist.
How are the products made, what are the ingredients and where are they sourced from?
We make everything by hand from a small development kitchen in Wadebridge. Our Cornish ingredients are from Cornwall, of course! Some are bought direct from suppliers, such as the Sea Buckthorn that comes from Seth Pascoe in Lostwithiel, or are homegrown, such as the rosehips and petals that we use for our infused oils or powders. Otherwise, we use organic ingredients where possible, which are all sourced from reputable traders who can guarantee provenance and sustainable practices.
Where does your inspiration come from?
We're inspired by what's going on and changing around us - seasons, people's attitudes, new potential ingredients that we encounter. Anything can spark an idea for an update.
What have been the biggest challenges/achievements, or your favourite story on your journey so far?
The whole process has been a steep learning curve, just getting everything in place in terms of sourcing the right ingredients, making sure we've got enough of everything, designing and printing labels, navigating product regulations and carrying out safety testing - operations and logistics mainly. We've both learned so much in the last 6 months, and are both really proud of where we've got to, even though we know we've got a long way to go.
One thing that sticks in my mind is getting nailed by a freak wave when we were trying to shoot some products at Polzeath the other day. The tide can be crazy there. Even when it's going out you can get a sudden funnel of waves coming from different directions that pushes right back up the beach. Bottles flying everywhere. The worst thing is, Greg was watching the wave come in, and instead of warning me, he just took photos of it happening. That's love, that is.
How would you describe Ma Naturals in three words?
Synthetic-free & kind
What's your favourite product from your range?
The product I use multiple times a day is our Intensive Beauty Balm with Cornish Rosehip and Camelia. My skin is really dry and sensitive, and the balm is so rich...it's the only thing I've ever used that keeps the flakes at bay and makes my skin glow. Plus is smells absolutely amazing.
What is your connection to Cornwall?
Both Greg and I both have ancestors from Cornwall. Weirdly, both families were from around the same area in the west...hopefully we're not related! But, more recently, I studied at Falmouth in the mid-2000s, loved it, and then, when Greg's parents moved to North Cornwall in 2015 it seemed like we were being drawn here. We moved to Wadebridge in 2017 and felt at home instantly. We couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
Do you have a special spot in Cornwall that inspires you?
Probably a bit contrary considering we live by the coast, but I love the woods. We're lucky to have a lot of ancient woodland all around us in Wadebridge, and you can cycle through it on the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Bodmin. It is completely alive with something different every time you go - meadow flowers, purple azaleas high up on the banks, spring-green ferns uncurling, frosted branches...I find the peacefulness, the sounds, the smell of the greenery and damp earth really restorative. Plus, it's good for foraging!
What's next / any exciting plans?
Expanding the product range to include more options for oil cleansing, and to tackle more specific skin issues. We've also got a baby range in development that I'm really excited about.
Shop Ma Naturals here.