At Chic and Raw they strive to create and curate aesthetically beautiful products that will be good for your mind, body and soul. They firmly believe in the soothing power of beauty to promote a joyful spirit and a harmonious mind, which in turn establishes emotional stability and a healthy body.
Right now, we all need Chic and Raw in our lives. Founded by a husband and wife duo, they have been on a mission ever since turning to meditation to greatly improve their mental and physical health and they want to continue learning and sharing what works for them, and getting even better.
With positivity oozing from this brand, we couldn’t wait to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launch Chic and Raw…
There are 2 main reasons why – firstly I’d been working for major brand owners and retailers for a few years and I’ve always dreamed of having my own business. I enjoy the creative process and trying new things and so I thought why not create a lifestyle brand with my own vision.
The second reason is I believe in an economy where small businesses should be able to thrive and people should be able to express themselves and their values through what they create. Discovering a new small brand is so exciting and when you buy from them you know you are supporting something real, not the corporate machine. So I wanted to be part of that. Obviously the current pandemic has been difficult for those very small businesses so I think it makes me more resolved than ever to succeed, since a future where everyone shops at the same big brands would be so boring.
What has been the biggest learning curve since launching the business?
Logistics has been the most difficult thing to learn about and manage. We were previously using Amazon to deliver our products and they were getting lost or broken. Ultimately it has been a worthwhile learning curve, as we now work with two excellent logistics companies in the US and UK. This means we have more control over how customers receive our products and the overall customer experience has improved.
Wellbeing is at the forefront of what you do, why is this important to you?
If you don’t have peace of mind then everything else will go out of balance. I definitely believe that disease starts with negative thought patterns and emotions we can’t release and eventually take a toll on the body. When your thoughts, emotions and desires are in harmony with each other then you feel at peace. Looking after your body and diet is important but the mind and emotions are often neglected. This is where meditation and creating a beautiful home can also help. If your mind is chaotic and you live in a chaotic environment – how can you feel good? So step by step, it’s important to sort out your life. I’m no different to anyone else and life can be a rollercoaster, but I always find that by creating order and practicing self-care routines I can find a way to recover from any crisis.
As a husband and wife duo, how do you separate work and home life?
This is definitely harder to do during this time of lockdown! I have an office at home, which really helps. I can work very well in there and at the end of the work day, I leave the office and leave work behind. I think because I meditate I’m really good at switching off and relaxing. I can also do long stints of work but then take time off and completely chill out. I think down time is so important because otherwise you will become less productive. I also find that when my mind is relaxed and I’m doing something else – that’s when I have some great ideas and inspiration. Even though I’m not working my mind is solving out problems in the background and I suddenly figure out solutions!
Again a big part of this is taking time for self-care routines, such as meditation and exercise. Lighting a lovely candle and enjoying its fragrance!
What roles do you both play in the company?
I suppose I’m the person with the overall vision and the creative director! I also decide on the marketing plans and product design. My husband has the technical skills as he is a software engineer so he looks after anything to do with the website, graphic design and coding. It works really well as our skills complement each other.
Meditation plays a huge part in your lives, how has this helped you?
I started meditating quite by accident 28 years ago. It wasn’t common back then but I found a meditation technique that really works. To be in the first stage of meditation you need to be in what is called ‘thoughtless awareness’ where you are fully alert and aware but without thought – so you are completely in the present moment. Once you start developing that state it is very rejuvenating and relaxing. You can then be in meditation most of the time, so you don’t need to think too much, just when you want to – so you are much more relaxed and calm. This is very important for me and I think that having this inner life is so nourishing. It’s really our thoughts and emotions that are draining our energies. When I met my husband, he also started to meditate with me as he found it so beneficial.
How often do you launch new products?
We’ve launched a few early products quite aggressively in our first year of business and we’ve got quite a few products planned for this year. However, one or two new launches every quarter or every six months is what I would like to aim for.
Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do different?
There are always small things that with hindsight I might do differently but I couldn’t have known those things in advance. Overall I don’t have any regrets. I think that the journey itself has been interesting and enjoyable. I’m learning new things all the time!
Talk us through an average day in your life…
My lockdown life! My husband and I try to wake up early to meditate. I find that way we start the day right! Later after showers and breakfast, we start work. I plan my week so I know which tasks I’m doing on a particular day of the week. I aim to get one big thing done each day – which is very satisfying when I can mark it as complete.
I do some exercise before lunch. Then after a lunchtime break, I go back to work in my office and catch up on emails and other messages.
Around 4pm I meditate again for about 20 minutes to switch off from work. I have created a meditation room in my house which is only used for this purpose so it’s the perfect place to light a candle and listen to some music.
Then I usually watch some TV before making dinner. My mother calls every evening like clockwork to check I’m still alive. Sometimes after dinner, my husband I make keto desserts – which are delicious and healthy! Then I spend the evening watching either K-drama on Netflix or reading a good book. I don’t usually work in the evening unless I have an important project with a deadline. Eventually I go to bed but there’s no set time – just when I feel sleepy – sometimes early and sometimes late.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
A great deal – I think it’s the main way people are discovering our brand. Instagram in particular is such a great platform if you have a lifestyle brand. People are creating great content on there and sometimes we even our customers send us posts and stories that they’ve made with our candles. One lady sent us a photo of our Citronella Candle where she had recycled the tin as a flower pot, which was brilliant! Recently a lady sent us 3 stories about how much she enjoyed the amethyst candle she had bought. It is very gratifying when I know we’ve created some real value and joy for customers.
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
I love Jack Canfield’s Success Principles book – which is very motivating but I can’t say it’s a go to for quotes. I think I have internalized a quote that I heard many years ago from my meditation teacher, H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi – where she said “Whatever you want to do, go for it with confidence, and if it is good for you, you will be helped.” I’m paraphrasing a bit but that’s the gist of it. So this is now my belief.
What’s next for the business?
We have new products in the pipeline, hopefully launching this spring, and more throughout the year. We want to continue to expand especially in the USA. We’re still a small brand so there’s lots of headroom.
What advice would you offer to someone launching their own business?
I would say go for it, but have a plan and choose a category that is not over-saturated as that is easier. Be original and be authentic to who you are.
What does self care mean to you?
I think the self is the spirit, not the body, the mind or the emotions. Do what is good for the spirit. Do what gives you joy!
Where can people find out more?
People can find us at www.chicandraw.co.uk or follow us on Instagram @chicandraw and Facebook @ChicAndRawStore. You can see our best-selling Crystal Chakra Candles here: www.chicandraw.co.uk/collections/chakracandles.