Our Year in Review - 2020 Edition
A Message from the Founders
As 2020 draws to a close, we wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on this year. Especially what this year has meant for Five Dot Botanics and for us as founders.
Beauty during a pandemic
This year was one that no one saw coming. The pandemic meant, like most businesses, we felt various moments of upheaval and uncertainty. From March onwards, we cancelled many events including Wolf & Badger in London; brand demo week at Holland & Barrett in Birmingham Bullring, and a Five Dot Botanics pop-up space in John Lewis, Bluewater.
Whilst it was disheartening to cancel events that we had spent weeks and months planning. We are fortunate to be a largely online business, so we were able to change direction. It was critical to be digitally-focused during the first national lockdown.
Putting people first
Five Dot Botanics is a business that has always put people at the heart of everything we do. We look out for and care about our customers, our employees and freelances and all the people we contract with as suppliers.
This year reaffirmed for us how important it is to look after all our relationships with people. It has been a year when being really human as founders mattered to people. As a growing business, we were not in a position to furlough anyone, however like many we did have to tighten some commercial relationships as we navigated choppy waters.
Hand sanitiser distribution
One of the things we are most proud of as founders this year is our free hand sanitiser initiative. It showed us the power of small acts and grassroots organisation.
It is easy to think that we don't have the power to create change, but doing good can be one random act of kindness. We like to think every bottle of hand sanitiser we gave away might have helped stop the spread of Covid-19 in some small way.
The creation of the hand sanitiser took a very unusual route for us. At the time, we could not secure the alcohol needed to produce hand sanitiser, and we answer ended up finding the answer in a drinks distillery.
The beauty and the drinks industry don't usually come together in the distribution of a product. However, we secured alcohol, and World Health Organisation approved hand sanitiser from Greensand Ridge Distillery, an artisan distillery in Kent, that used the alcohol-based by-products from their distillation process to make hand sanitiser.
We delivered small batches of hand sanitiser to St Christopher's Hospice in South East London, who provide 24/7 palliative care to patients, Lewisham Voluntary Services and, all our customers. As a small business, we have limited funds; however, we wanted to show that it is possible to help. We believe that small actions can make a big difference.
Five Dot Botanics community
Through-out this year we have been touched by all the encouraging messages we received from all over. Whether it is how much you love the products, our story or our design - these messages fill us with absolute joy.
During the first lockdown, we that time to focus on gratitude, and we ran a #90daysofgratitude series on Instagram. It was great to see so many posts from our community showing gratitude for everything from an appreciation of the clouds, gardening, meals, nature and the simple things in life. This year has been one where we were all forced to slow down.
Since launching, we have collaborated with lots of lovely people, from slow fashion, vegan living, skincare and city living. In the year to come, we hope to collaborate further with like-minded people and businesses.
Getting in the Press
We have been grateful for the media attention we got this year as more and more people’s attention turned to Five Dot Botanics.
We were featured in GQ, Red Magazine, Evening Standard, Metro, Stylist, to name a few.
For an independent brand working within the beauty market, where much bigger brands have millions of pounds to spend on marketing; the press mentions we get means a lot to us.
New Product releases
As a minimalist skincare brand, we were never going to have a vast catalogue of product launched.
But, this year we finally launched our much-awaited Calm Shift cleansing balm. With Lavender essential oil, the calming properties were something that people definitely needed this year, for their skin and a moment of aromatherapy relaxation.
New Retail Launches
When we launched Five Dot Botanics, we used to sell to people from our website primarily. We still love the connection this gives us to our customers.
We have now grown our retailer from Holland & Barrett and Farmdrop to The Grooming Clinic, Inka, Persephone Beauty, Sust, Wolf & Badger and Seekology. We have also started to see our brand grow outside of the UK, with our international base increasing daily.
Growing our Team
This year was challenging for many businesses. Lots of people were affected by furlough or redundancy. We always aimed to create jobs in the UK and grow our team.
Despite it being a bumpy year, we have a lot to be optimistic about. We’ve been fortunate to grow our team this year with support across marketing, operations and social. We’ve also worked with some incredibly talented freelancers for photos, videos and content creation.
We care about all the people we work with and hope that as our business continues to grow, we can keep an open and warm culture that matters so much to us.
Sephora Accelerates 2020
This year was also special to us, as Zaffrin was selected to take part in Sephora Accelerate 2020. Five Dot Botanics was the only British brand chosen to take part and one of only 12 brands in the group. Acting as a springboard for us, it has helped us to create a road map for our growth as well as international expansion. Hopefully, more of this will be unveiled in the next few months.
We can't come close to expressing how grateful we are to you for supporting Five Dot Botanics and for being a part of this movement of minimalist skincare lovers.
We wish you all the best for the year ahead and thank you for all your support. It means a lot to us!
Zaffrin, Brian and the Five Dot Botanics Team
Some Highlights from our Mentions in Press:Interview with Zaffrin O'Sullivan, Founder at Gender Neutral Skincare Brand: Five Dot Botanics @Tech Round