Driven by passion and ethics, Kitty created BeeBalmyUK and has never looked back
Catherine (Kitty) Campbell couldn’t find the right balm for her baby that fit her ‘green’ credentials, so she made it. And then she started to get inspired about how far this could go and so BeeBalmyUK was born. A business driven by a clear mission and heaps of passion. Read Kitty’s fantastic story here.
What is your career background?
Very mixed! Mostly in clinical research but I’ve dabbled as a chemistry teacher, have been an equine nutritionist and have even worked in an artisan jam factory.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
BeeBalmyUK was born from a passion to want MORE from skincare products. I couldn’t find a baby balm when my daughter was born, that ticked all my ‘green’ credentials….so I made one. All natural, sustainable, plastic free, with a low carbon footprint and bee friendly, other people seemed to love it as well and so the business idea was created.
How did you move from the ‘idea’ to the actual business?
With a big metaphorical shove from my husband! I also listened to The Independent Spouse’s podcasts back to back and became really inspired. I thought, ‘why not’, and started writing a business plan.
What have been the main high and lows in starting your own business?
As I am only just starting this venture, I’m glad to say there haven’t been too many lows so far. However, as I am only sourcing ingredients from the UK it has been very frustrating (and eye opening) when products ‘from the UK’ are actually only packaged or designed here. It has meant a LOT of research and questioning suppliers.
In terms of highs, so many! But there is nothing more satisfying than that ‘eureka’ moment when, after much experimenting, tinkering and formulating, your product turns out exactly as you wanted.
Can you describe / outline your typical day
A tricky one as it changes every day. But in general, if my daughter is at nursey, I’ll use the time creating, formulating and testing recipes, speaking with suppliers, adjusting my business plan and using social media for marketing. I’ll often work from a local café or farm shop to get a change of scenery (and a slice of cake!).
If my daughter is at home, we’ll have a mummy daughter day and I’ll do a bit of work when she has gone to bed.
What motivates you?
Great product feedback! Hearing how the balms have helped people with various skin conditions and to hear people actually rave about the products, I mean, is there anything better!? I literally do a happy dance every time and it really motivates me to drive the business forward.
What has been your proudest moment?
As I am still in start up stages with the business, it has to be just taking the plunge and starting BeeBalmyUK. After 2 years of deliberating it is the best feeling in the world to finally be doing it. I’m really enjoying the process of setting up, learning lots and meeting so many inspiring people.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
I’m a bit busier, and the business is constantly on my mind at the moment, but I am really enjoying it! Everything I do is driven by a passion to make a positive change and I think this is making me a more positive person. My husband said the other day ‘it’s so nice to see you do something you are passionate about, you’re so much more relaxed.’ And I think that can only be a good thing for family life.
What three adjectives describe your strengths?
Determined, inquisitive, enthusiastic.
As a military spouse, what has been your biggest obstacle when trying to balance work/kids/your spouses’ military commitments?
I guess it has been being in a new posting whilst setting up a business; I don’t have that immediate support network if I am having a difficult day. That said, I am meeting some amazing people on the patch and the online support from the various spouse networks has been invaluable.
What advice would you give fellow Military spouses who want to get back into work, retrain for a new career or start their own business?
In terms of starting your own business…GO FOR IT! We may sometimes feel disadvantaged as military spouses when actually, we are part of a huge, diverse, supportive community and I think you should take full advantage of that.
For more information, find BeeBalmyUK on Facebook and Instagram: @BeeBalmyUK
To check out the inspiring Independent Spouse podcast visit:www.theindependentspouse.co.uk