Designed by Lucy Pierce for her baby’s sensitive, eczema-prone skin, what she created went well beyond her expectations, and with each application to bumps, bruises, burns, eczema and psoriasis outbreaks her family had, they discovered something else this little pot of wonder was capable of. SOS Balm is a combination of pure, effective, natural ingredients in the convenience of a balm. Created as a solution to baby skincare needs, especially allergies or skin conditions like eczema, it is delicate on skin but also effective, tackling sore, dry, inflamed and irritated skin without the use of harsh chemicals or steroids. Here Lucy talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about what inspired her to start SOS Balm, her biggest breakthrough, and what’s next for her beautiful business.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I created the product initially for my daughter when she was born with allergies and eczema. I couldn’t use my old favourite baby skincare products as they would just aggravate her sensitive skin. I began to get so frustrated when I researched ingredients and nearly every product in my bathroom cabinet was an issue. I tried different natural alternatives but there were very few available at the time and nothing really worked. I set about researching natural ingredients to make my own product and began experimenting. SOS balm was the result.
I realised as I refined the product over the years, I had a little wonder balm on my hands. We ended up using it on every cut, scrape, burn and eczema outbreak and it delivered every time. I gave a pot to friends and family every time they mentioned a skin complaint or had a baby and when they reported it clearing everything – even 30 years’ worth of psoriasis and working where other products hadn’t – they encouraged me to start selling it. It’s something as simple as a skincare product but a solution to a much bigger headache, and I realised there were a lot of other people like me, desperate for a solution to their family’s skin issues. Eventually, I took the plunge and launched SOS balm.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I dabbled at first, selling it at school fairs and even creating a whole range of products to go alongside it. I was running another business with my husband and the skincare business never got the attention it deserved. After winding down the skincare, I attended an intensive business coaching seminar. I’m a Life and Health Coach by trade and decided to do some continuing development training. During the 3 days, I had a brainwave and decided to go for it. I was going to launch the star of the show, which was always SOS balm and this time, I was going to do it properly. On that seminar, someone said the following that really stuck with me: “Do it scared, do it imperfect, do it messy and do it anyway”. That was the encouragement I needed to really get going. As soon as I made that firm decision, everything changed. I had the website up and running in a few days and within a few months, I was getting featured on TikTok, had loads of bloggers reviewing the product, and was shortlisted in the Mother and Baby awards.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The biggest breakthrough was me taking that firm decision and launching SOS balm. My fear had held me back for 9 years. I’d ‘played shop’ with it, but in all honesty, it was my insecurities holding me back from fully launching the product. I thought, how could I really sell something that I had created, in a saturated market? How could a little leaguer like me really make it happen? As soon as I really made that choice, it was like doors that had been solidified shut suddenly flung open. The next biggest breakthrough was all the confirmation I got from every tester and customer reporting back how it had cleared their eczema, psoriasis, rash or nappy rash in a short time. Every time I hear that feedback, I get a little happy tear and remind myself it would have been wrong for me to have not brought SOS balm to the market.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
With great difficulty! Despite being a life coach, as the old adage goes, doctors make the worst patients and in my case, life coaches make the worst clients! Work-life balance is something I have struggled with. I’m ADHD and can become very hyper focused on things. On one hand, it’s a talent and I can create things at magnitude speed, but in other ways, I neglect the important things like taking time out to relax at weekends, eating lunch and I struggle to switch off. Having reached burnout several times over the years, and having health conditions that affect my energy levels, I realise how devastating it can be to your mind and health if you don’t set those limits. I work on balancing work and family life and self-care every day to ensure I don’t reach burnout again. It is still a work in progress but every day I am getting better at it. The more I prioritise family and looking after my health, the better I am at setting boundaries.