30th Aug 2020

Today, we have a really exciting interview for our “Beauty in Depth” series, talking with the lovely Maddie Booth, the founder of Scrubbee. Scrubbee is a brand new sustainable skin care line, which focuses on sustainability, affordability and repurposing ground coffee and ingredients into new products. Maddie is a recent University of Warwick graduate, who has utilised her love and knowledge of sustainability, to develop an ethical and homemade skincare line.

I absolutely love this interview and cannot wait to see what the future holds for Scrubbee. I hope you enjoy another insight into an incredible female-driven and empowered beauty business.

Lockdown has been a difficult time, so how you have you found it?

Lockdown has been a complete roller coaster for both myself and the business. At the beginning in March, I lost the graduate job that I was schedule on starting in September, whilst the business was to be a side hustle. Despite this, I am a sole believer that everything happens for a reason so I decided to realign and focus on the business, seeing where it could take me, making changes so that it could be a full-time job if necessary.

To keep me sane I started a mini side hustle alongside the business called @inthenude_art on Instagram. It is a nude art business where I focus on painting personal commissions, and this has been one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done! I also graduated from the University of Warwick in Politics and Global Sustainable Development (hence my businesses focus on all things sustainable!). 

Lockdown did slow down the development of Scrubbee, with our deliveries of ingredients being delayed. This meant we were unable to visit packaging suppliers etc. and worst of all, I still haven’t been able to meet the team that I took on in April face to face! Despite this, it has enabled us some time as a company to really assess and define ourselves and our goals, what we want to achieve and by when. 

Earlier this month I got offered my dream job which I start early September in Solihull (relocating from Cambridge…eek!) I will be working as a sustainability officer within a business elevator group, mainly working with SMEs to develop more sustainably! It is a part-time role which I am SO excited about as it’ll give me sufficient time to invest in the business and get it launched! 

We absolutely love your business idea so would love to know where your inspiration came from?

It has been almost a year since the idea for Scrubbee came to me. For years, I’d struggled with keeping my skin clear, trying every cosmetic out there. It wasn’t until I kept having allergic reactions that I actually began questioning; what is really inside our products?

As a student, I couldn’t afford high-end brands using solely natural ingredients so, I began making my own natural skincare alternatives from your everyday kitchen ingredients. I was studying Global Sustainable Development at university and so I was keen to ensure that the ingredients I was using were as sustainable as they could be. I really wanted to try and utilise waste ingredients and see if I could give them a new lease of life. Through research, I found that used coffee grounds had huge beneficial factors for your skin, such as treating acne and reducing puffiness. As a consumer myself, I have seen the amazing benefits it could have on your skin.

Have you always had an interest in cosmetics and skincare?

I have always been one to have cabinets full of lotions and potions of a variety of products, I was a sucker for any product that promised to ‘fix’ your skin! I am slowly coming round to being less of a cosmetic/skincare hoarder, and now only buy from certain brands I really believe in!

I have been making my own products for years now, but only somewhat recently have actually learnt how to properly formulate them! I find it so exciting to be the one in charge of the ingredients, knowing exactly what is going in. After all, your skin is your book cover and it’s so important to look after it! 

How does it feel to be launching your own brand at such a young age?

Exciting … but also terrifying! Every single day I go through an array of emotions when I am working on Scrubbee. It can be super overwhelming sometimes to think about everything and I am probably the most critical of myself than I have ever been which can be draining at times.

For anyone starting a business, you’re likely to feel imposter syndrome: Am I good enough? Do I know enough to do this? But for someone only 21, these feelings are enhanced: Am I too young to do this? Will people get behind a business that has been started by a newly graduate?  

Despite this, the support I have received has been incredible. I think the thing for me that keeps me going is the fact that I know eventually I want to work for myself completely and so even though at times it is really tough when things do go right and the business flourishes, you feel insanely proud of yourself. That is a feeling you wouldn’t get in your typical 9-5. 

Is using natural and sustainable ingredients in your products something thats really important to you? 

Yes absolutely, I really don’t think there is any space in the market now to be a company ‘greenwashing’. I accept that I, myself, or my business is not 100% perfect. But every single step of our journey from our suppliers, our ingredients and our packaging is assessed and chosen because it is the most sustainable option out there for us! 
The current cosmetic industry is filled with products that are harmful to your skin, contain unrecognisable ingredients and are mass produced on a scale which blurs the supply chain and removes the consumer from the process. At Scrubbee, we are looking to change the way we consume cosmetic products. We want our consumers to know exactly what is in their product, where the ingredients come from, how the product is made, and ensuring we use the most sustainable packaging. The journey of the product is so important for us. All our ingredients, aside from the coffee, come from one family-run UK supplier which enables us to ensure we are as honest and simple as we can be! The product itself is handmade so we know exactly what goes into it (no nasties!).

You’re on a desert island and you can have one cosmetic and one skincare product, what do you chose?

Oh my god what a question! I would have to take vaseline, honestly, I have no idea how people live without this, I use it on my eyelids, under eyes, dry lips, dry parts of my skin every single morning and night! The other one I would have to take would be a moisturizer (one that contains SPF), I am super fair haired so I need that spf and I would definitely be in the water all the time on that island so would need some moisture help! 

What’s next for Scrubbee UK?

So many things!! We will be launching with our first product line soon (we hope!) we are just finalising a few things so it is perfect before we launch! Our first product line is our coffee face scrubs, repurposing coffee grounds from Cafes/takeaways! We have so many other amazing products that we want to launch too after we have secured our first line such as coffee body scrubs and lip scrubs, before reaching out to repurposing different ingredients and producing another product line!

I love how this sustainable brand is run by such a driven young woman and am sure you will agree, Scrubbee is such an exciting brand. We cannot wait for the launch soon and are so excited for Scrubbee’s future! Don’t forget to follow Scrubbee on their instagram @scrubbeeuk and keep an eye out for their super exciting launch, coming soon.

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