Draft: Meet The Maker | Lucy @ Lucky Cloud Skincare

To kickstart our Meet The Maker series, I have chosen the makers behind the brands that have been with The Kind Store since day one! And first up, it's Lucy from Lucky Cloud. I chose to stock Lucky Cloud as not only are the products wonderful for sensitive skin, all of the items made by Lucy are vegan and handmade in small batches. Lucky Cloud came about after Lucy had suffered from eczema and dermatitis for over 20 years so if you are struggling with skin issues, we hope to have found your solution. If you need any advice, please complete our contact form!
Let's get straight in with some skincare quick fire questions:
  • Favourite essential oil and why I think I’m going to go with Lavender. Having given it some thought, I’ve realized that I use it the most. I think there’s an association I have going back to when I was little and we had a HUGE lavender bush in our back garden. Even now, my mum has so much lavender growing in her front garden that it’s almost impossible not to walk inside smelling of it after you’ve brushed past the bush. It seems to grow incredibly well in Adelaide, everyone has it! But, those nostalgic feelings aside, I think it’s also got some wonderful therapeutic benefits. It’s calming and relaxing, anti-inflammatory, reduces anxiety and stress, can improve sleep and is beneficial for eczema and damaged skin
  • Favourite skincare ingredient and why I’m a big fan of Jojoba Oil; using it in all my face care products at the moment. It’s technically a wax, which is liquid at room temperature, meaning it offers fantastic protection for your skin, as it helps to create an occlusive layer. It’s also really well suited to all skin types as it resembles the skins own natural sebum levels – it can re-balance oily & acne prone skin as well as helping to nourish and repair dry and damaged skin
  • Your one product you couldn’t live without Soothing Super Balm. It’s so multi-purpose – lip balm, hand treatment, moisturizer, tame flyaways, scratches & burns.
  • Bust a skincare myth 60% of what you put on your skin ends up in your bloodstream. This is one you hear a lot; and I used to believe it. (Note from Tash: I have definitely heard this and even said it myself!) There are too many variables to make such a broad statement and it just scares people… our skin does absorb some substances but you can’t put a number to it. Penetration will depend on the ingredient, the delivery mechanism, which part of the body said product is applied to, the health of your skin, and the environment around you (eg humidity). Some ingredients will penetrate only into the very top layer of our skin (like carrier oils, butters etc) while essential oils can go further and into your bloodstream.Obviously we do absorb some of what we put on our bodies, so it’s good to be aware and choose products you feel safe with, but 60% of EVERYTHING? Nah
  • Interesting skincare fact Our pores open and close. False. Maybe this is another skincare myth? But another one I’m sure we all grew up believing! It’s just not true – our pores don’t open and close. When we think about “opening our pores” we’re usually thinking of a facial steam (or hot cloth cleansing see my evening routine below). The heat & steam soften and loosens any dirt, grime, impurities that are within our pores, making the gunk easier to remove, which leaves you with smoother, fresher & clearer looking skin!
Share with us your evening skincare routine:
Brush my teeth (with a bamboo toothbrush obvs), take my contact Lenses out and cleanse using one of my Cleansing Balms – currently the Balancing Cleansing Balm.
Without fail I will wash my face before falling into bed, no matter what I’ve been doing, how many glasses of prosecco I’ve had or what time it is…Scooping a small amount out of the jar, I’ll massage the balm all over my face, watching as my make-up dissolves and concentrate on areas where my pores are their biggest (nose, chin area etc). Then, having filled the basin with warm to hot water, I’ll squeeze any excess water out of my cloth and start removing the balm. A final rinse of the cloth, I’ll hold it against my whole face; the heat is so relaxing.
It’s then mist all over with a face toner or mist, 4-5 drops of either the Nourishing Face Oil or Balancing Face Oil; again taking the time to massage it all in – not forgetting my neck as well. And lastly a little eye gel. This whole process takes probably less than 5 minutes. I think some people think skincare routines are cumbersome, but they really don’t take that long. If you do something often enough, it becomes habitual and erm, routine…
What are you top low waste hacks right now:
Grocery shopping I know that pretty much everyone has a re-usable shopping bag these days, right? I’ve always been a fan of the old tote bag; and have millions of them at home. But my bag of choice? Well, let’s just say you will definitely not find me without at least one of my Emily Mililchip “shoppers”. Emily is a friend and someone who makes gorgeous clothing, accessories and homewares; the shoppers or “bag for lyfe” are super hardwearing, big (you can get A LOT in them including multiple bottles of wine if that’s your thing), they’re bloody beautiful and they fold down pretty small, so fit really easily into whatever bag I’ve got. They’re practical but I love showing them off too.
Travelling & generally being out and about Another simple one, but I love taking my re-usable water bottle with me wherever I go. I drink a lot of water during the day, so being caught without some can freak me out…It’s especially good when on holidays, it’s so easy to suddenly be caught far from your accommodation and have nothing to drink… whether home or abroad, if there isn’t a re-fill station nearby, I’ll just ask at a local bar, café etc – sometimes you know you’re getting an internal eye-roll, but no one has ever refused !
I’ve also upgraded from a handbag to a small faux leather backpack. It’s so much more practical – can fit lots inside, meaning my water bottle and shopping bags (and snacks) fit comfortably without having to carry multiple bags…save the environment / save your shoulders. Winning.
Now onto your business and brand
  • Can you give us an insight into why you created Lucky Cloud and what was your very first product?
I was one of those (many) people who had suffered from dermatitis / eczema prone skin, for what felt like forever… I was diagnosed with it when I was in late primary school and then spent the next 20 + years using various steroid ointments, cortisone creams and trying to find skin cleansers and moisturisers that didn’t exacerbate the problem areas. It would come and go in waves and when it was bad, it as baaaaad (think cracked & bleeding skin, blisters and itches so bad they made me cry). I became really reliant on the steroid products, because it felt like they were the only thing that really “fixed” it. The thing was, these creams were only ever a temporary respite… and often made things worse, but back then I didn’t care… if it stopped the itch - good.
In 2012 after another nasty bout, Ioing) to learn about more natural products. I’d always had an interest in more natural remedies and knew that plant based ingredients were really good for us, but I’d never delved into the world.
One of the key things I learned was just how dry my skin was. I always knew it was dry, but hadn’t connected the dots completely with the fact that I actually had to moisturise my whole body every day. Whaaaaaat? I mean, it sounds pretty obvious now…but hey, no one had ever told me to do that before…
So I began reading, learning, researching and experimenting on my own skin. And now? I haven’t touched a steroid cream for over five years. Happy days! had a realisation. I just couldn’t continue slathering my skin with products that not only were full of horrible sounding chemicals but were also not actually helping my skin health. This coincided with a weekend mucking about in my kitchen playing with lip balm recipes – and things started to come together!
I began a lengthy journey (which is still on-going) to learn about more natural products. I’d always had an interest in more natural remedies and knew that plant based ingredients were really good for us, but I’d never delved into the world.
One of the key things I learned was just how dry my skin was. I always knew it was dry, but hadn’t connected the dots completely with the fact that I actually had to moisturise my whole body every day. Whaaaaaat? I mean, it sounds pretty obvious now…but hey, no one had ever told me to do that before…
So I began reading, learning, researching and experimenting on my own skin. And now? I haven’t touched a steroid cream for over five years. Happy days!
  • How have you found starting a business and what have been your biggest struggles?
I didn’t really intend to set up a business; it sort of just grew from an initial seed back when I was just playing in my kitchen and it grew naturally from there. I think anyone who starts a business will have faced challenged and struggles, it can be tough when you’re the sole decision maker. Sometimes things pan out, sometimes they don’t, the important thing is to not beat yourself up about it. Each “failure” is an opportunity to learn and grow.
Running a business on your own can also be quite isolating, so finding friends and communities that are supportive are crucial. People who understand what you’re trying to do and how difficult it can be; they’re the ones who will have your back.
Biggest struggle? Cash flow probably – when you have so many great ideas, but don’t have the cash to execute them when you want is something I’m often at odds with within myself.
  • Running a business that puts sustainability at its heart is harder than most, why is this important to you?
I mean, we only have one world right? We have to take care of it – you wouldn’t trash your own home and think it was ok. It’s honestly just a no brainer, every teeny thing we do can make such a huge impact over time. I’ve always been the person who told co-workers off for not recycling… taking things out of the bin etc
  • What eco considerations/steps do you take - i.e. packaging/sourcing materials/certification etc.
Right from the beginning I’ve always tried to source environmentally friendly materials. All my packaging is recyclable, re-usable etc. Non bleached boxes & packing materials, glass containers. The products themselves are inspired by nature, so I feel that I need this to be at the core of everything I do.
  • Do you find it tough?
Constantly. As a small company it’s really difficult to have a voice with really big companies, for example I can’t purchase at high quantities, which can rule out certain materials etc. Plus I always have to think about product usability and safety. The customer needs to be able to use the product easily and without contamination. It’s my responsibility to create products that will be safe no matter who uses them.
And plastic lids –I try to use a lot of glass and aluminum, but most lids are still plastic. Ugh. I’m always on the search for alternatives.
  • I'd love to know what changes and improvements you are working on. (You heard it hear first guys!)
I’m always on the lookout for new ideas – whether it’s packing materials, containers, ingredients that are more sustainable. Eg I’m looking at changing the sandalwood essential oil I currently use in the Nourishing Face Care products, as it’s becoming unsustainable and I don’t want that hanging over the brand.
  • The end user, our lovely customers, are fully on board with reducing packaging and non-recyclable waste, however I know it’s much harder up the supply chain. Can you briefly share how this works at Lucky Cloud from supplier packaging to sourcing ingredients and your own packaging. Many companies in the supply chain aren't customer facing, and therefore anonymous, so won't change until they absolutely have to!
Totally, as you say, I use recyclable / recycled materials and packaging etc. But there’s a lot of other waste… The number one thing I do is try to re-use packaging materials as much as possible. My workshop has a corner that is basically just flattened cardboard boxes and box filling material. There is a lot of other plastic that comes when ordering my materials, however, despite being small, we can question and ask. I recently got in touch with one of my suppliers (where I get the lip balm tins from) and asked them about the plastic sleeves each item comes in. I genuinely thought I wouldn’t hear back from them, but I did and they informed me they were in the process of changing the materials they use and that if I emailed them before I placed an order, they could omit the plastic. Which was fab! As you say, you’ve got to ask and demand change!
There are practical considerations though, like I said above about needing to think about my own customers and how they use a product, the same will go for raw ingredients. Most (all?) of the carrier oils come in plastic containers. But what are the alternatives? – you can’t package 5+ liters of oil in a glass container; imagine the weight! That extra weight would cause environmental damage in transport, would require much more packing material to make sure it was transported safely etc.
  • I’m really interested in what your day looks like. When did you take the leap to working at Lucky Cloud full time and how do you structure your day?
I started full time at Lucky Cloud in 2016 after I was made redundant from my office job. I think it was the best push I could have asked for; I’m not sure when I would have had the courage to make the leap on my own.
As for my working days, they can change and I love the flexibility I have working for myself.
Generally speaking though, I try to do a relatively normal 5 day working week, from 9.00am (ish) – 6pm (ish). This gives structure to my day; This obviously will depend on what I’ve got going on… markets & events, large wholesale orders, online promotions, extra admin – these things take up extra time, which can mean longer days or weekend work. And then there’s the whole “you’re never not working” issue, my phone is with me all the time, meaning I reply to emails, checking in with social media early in the morning and late at night.
But I do try to take the weekend off unless I’ve got an event on. My partner also runs his own company and he often has to work evening or weekends, so there’s always going to be some flexibility and variation with us
  • Alongside caring for the planet, all of your ingredients are natural and vegan. Why is this important to you?
I guess the simple straightforward answer is that there are so many amazing ingredients all derived from nature and plants. The power of plants is pretty incredible and I’ve always been drawn to much more natural and holistic remedies.I never had any desire to create skincare for the sake of creating skincare. It’s always been about finding amazing raw ingredients that actually help your skin. Yeah, it can cost a bit more, but once you use quality, it’s difficult to go back to just quantity… you know?
Plants are also incredibly accessible – vegan skincare isn’t just for vegans. Everyone can and should benefit from their healing power.
  • We’re all bout celebrating success at The Kind Store. We’d love to hear some of your favourite milestones and achievements reached since you started Lucky Cloud.
You know, this is one area I’m not very good at – celebrating achievements. It’s so easy to just go “ok, that was cool – but what else do we have to get done today?” Most recently, my Nourishing Face Oil was shortlisted in the 2018 Free From Skincare Awards, which was a fantastic feeling. It was a big category and I got some wonderful feedback from the testers.
Having my Coconut Lip Butter included in an online round-up of Natual Beauty products in Vogue in 2016, was, to say the lease freaking exciting!
But I’m often the proudest 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. The fact that I get to do this for my job? I get to create and make skincare for a living?! That still blows my mind
  • And finally, what does the word ‘Kind’ mean to you?
To be considerate to everyone and everything.
Being caring, thoughtful & empathetic.


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