Trader Spotlight: Old Faithful

old faithful

Old Faithful turns to nature for male grooming excellence. The name “Old Faithful” is a nod to the age-old history and effectiveness of the natural ingredients they use in their products. Their ingredients from plants and trees that have seen the passage of time and are still as relevant today as they have been for centuries. They are an Old Faithful: tried, tested, trustworthy.

Already popular, Old Faithful are trading again at the Harbourside Market this weekend, July 15th & 16th, where visitors will be able to snap up the new Makers’ Balm with a 25% off discount. We caught up with the brains behind the brand, Gareth, ahead of time, to find out about his process, ideas, and a cool customer…

Can you tell us the story behind Old Faithful?

I’m a qualified aromatherapist and after playing and experimenting with natural, therapeutic oils and essential oils for a few years, I wanted to put these skills into a more commercial environment. I wanted to develop a brand that reflected the natural origin and quality of the ingredients I was using for aromatherapy.

What’s the process of making your products, from conception to delivery?

Our latest product, Makers’ Balm has an interesting story and is a good example for this… I work from The Sustainable Studio, a creative co-working space in Cardiff. I first made this balm for Karen, a ceramicist based there (who also trades at the Harbourside Market). Ceramicists suffer from terribly dry hands after working with the clay all day. Karen loved the balm and so did everybody else in the studio who ended up buying a pot from me. They were raving about how good it was: Old Faithful Makers’ Balm was born.

What do you think most people are missing when it comes to skincare?

Most people are missing the knowledge to read the formulas of the cosmetic products they buy. For this reason we always include the plain English versions as well as the required botanical descriptions. The skincare/cosmetic industry is very similar to the food industry and most products on the market are akin to processed foods like microwave meals and margarine. Full of highly processed ingredients and cheap synthetic fillers. It’s seems it’s still quite easy to mislead the majority of the public in this industry. Rant Over 🙂

What’s important about organic skincare vs. what we can buy in Boots?

Organic skincare, clothing and food and drink etc are a huge step towards a better product and more sustainable world, in my opinion. Whether you are able to become accredited or are an ethical independent producer like myself with accreditation on the list for the future. Using organic ingredients ensures sustainable farming practices are used, the product will be more pure and retain it’s therapeutic benefits and will have no or very little chemical residue. Organic ingredients also tend to be less prone to other commercial processes in the supply chain which increase output and decrease quality.

I would like to point out that there is a difference between the terms ‘ Organic’ & ‘ Natural’ and both are open to various levels of exploitation. That’s why it’s great to have the platforms like markets to develop relationships and gain trust between the makers and the buyers.

What’s your most popular product, and what do you wish more people noticed?

Having developed the beard oil range first we currently have more direct buyers and retailers for these products. Currently the most popular is Blue Mountain. It has a very masculine scent with base notes of Tobacco & Sandalwood and complimentary tones of Nerroli, Cedarwood, Bergamot & Black Pepper.

Our new shave products and hand balm are receiving great feedback but it always takes a while to get new products off the ground. (Ed Note: Come try ’em this weekend!)

Do you have a secret skincare tip?

I would advise everybody to cleanse with either a natural, organic ‘Oil Cleanser’ or ‘Balm Cleanser’. Balm cleansers seem popular in the female market as the saturated fats like shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oil used for balms are good at removing makeup. An Oil Cleanse is by far the most natural way to wash your face and using the steam method with a hot flannel, the best way I have experienced. Old Faithful are planning on launching some at some point.

Go on, then, tell us about this customer.

I met a great guy at the The Bath Artisan Market last Sunday. He is a Stone Mason. In Bath!! Has to be one of the best places in the world to do this job, right!? He had some kick-ass beard action going on so of course, we got talking.

After a good ole chat he bought our Makers’ Balm, the balm we created for people who work with their hands. He loved the earthy scent of Vetiver & Patchouli so much he’s using it for both his hard working hands and beard! Genius!!

Hand & Beard Balm anybody?!?! B-)

Catch Old Faithful at the Harbourside Market this weekend, and come along and say “Shwmae Gareth!” for 25% off the Makers’ Balm.