Llewelyn Thomas, owner and founder of Buddha Beauty, is passionate about purity. His natural skincare range, which includes body lotions, scrubs and face creams, is lovingly handmade from the finest ingredients and it’s all ethically sourced, too.
Llewelyn got the idea for his new brand while travelling the world as cabin crew with a major UK airline.
“I’d always been interested in holistic therapy, and whenever I used to travel to the Far East I always took the opportunity to look at local beauty, spa and relaxation techniques,” he explains.
“I started making my own bath products, just for friends and family, using my favourite lemongrass fragrance, and more and more people began to ask for them. I started a little informal business selling the products alongside my main job as cabin crew, then around 18 months ago I decided to follow my passion and left the airline to set up Buddha Beauty as a full time business. ”
Llewelyn trained in various types of therapy including reflexology, pregnancy and infant massage, deep tissue massage and acupuncture, and joined the Federation of Holistic Therapists before setting up his company.
“I’ve drawn on my own travel experiences when designing our product range, and I also wanted to make sure that the products were accessible to everyone, so they’re 100% cruelty-free and vegan. We started out doing markets and special events, but now we’ve just got our own premises – in Chorton-cum-Hardy – and I’m hoping I can relax a bit more and concentrate on developing the range. I still want to do events, though, as I love to get out and meet people and talk to customers.
“We’re so lucky with our location, as Chorton-cum-Hardy is a lovely area and Beech Street, where we are, is full of little independent shops like us. People here are so lovely and friendly, I love that they feel they can pop in for a chat and calm down a bit! We’ve also got three therapists here on site – Yvonne Kendal, our beautician, Sally Carmen who does Reiki healing, and Nikki Wolf who’s a very experienced teacher of holistic therapies, so we can offer a truly holistic service.”
Llewelyn currently uses UK suppliers for all his ingredients, as sourcing them directly from the growers and producers proved too difficult in terms of quality control. In the future, though, he hopes to start buying from small collectives where the purchase money will go back directly into the community. All the essential oils he uses are single source, undiluted and top quality.
To keep the personal touch in the products, everything is made by hand.
“I literally make it in house!” laughs Llewelyn. “I used to be a professional chef, and the middle floor of our house contains a commercial kitchen, which means I’ve got a clean, hygienic environment that’s perfect for making the products. If you come into the shop and take a bottle from the shelf, I’ll have made what’s in it myself.”
“As for the future, it’s such an exciting time for both me and the business, as not only have we got the new shop but I’m also adopting with my partner in the next few months, so we’re looking at introducing a children’s range as well as shampoos and conditioners. We’re also looking at new charity initiatives. At the moment, a percentage of the price of each product goes to either a local charity or one of our nominated charities, and we’d love to work with more local charities as it’s great to put something back and see the results first hand.”
The Buddha Beauty range is available online from www.buddha-beauty.com, as well as from the shop at The Coach House, 115 Beech Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M219EQ.