From her sister’s fashion label to her own skincare brand: Meet Mary Temperley.

Mary Temperley spent ten years helping her sister Alice set up and grow the fashion label Temperley London but she always knew she wanted to create and sell her own product. In 2014, Mary founded MAKE skincare, a line of natural products for the face, body and bath. She makes everything by hand in small batches in a barn in Somerset. Mary, who is a mother of four, believes that whatever we apply to our skin should be good enough to eat. She never uses artificial perfumes, colours, mineral oils, parabens, SLS or other nasties in her skincare range. The MAKE skincare hand creams were recently voted ‘holy grail’ of hand creams by YOU magazine. Here she looks at the challenges and life experiences that have helped her as an entrepreneur.

I came up with the idea when… I discovered all nasty ingredients that go into many skin products that would be classed as extremely harmful if used in a food and are banned but are absolutely fine and legal to use in skincare. I was horrified into action to create my own line that was free from nasties and full of the absolute best natural ingredients which include a range of plant oils, vitamins, plant extracts and essential oils. I believe that what we put on our skin should be good enough to eat.

The biggest challenge is… We make everything from scratch so we have between 60 and 80 ingredients. This makes it a logistical nightmare. I also have four children so it's about striking the right balance.

The average day is spent… We spend most of the time making the products so we tend to make one batch in the morning before dealing with the days orders. I deliver to local stockists if they are close enough. Sometimes, I’ll go on a delivery round, often with my daughter who is just two years old, timed with her nap times if the day is going to plan.

The team consists of... Myself and two others, This increases in the months running up to Christmas when we have to call in extras, including my mum who is absolutely brilliant at labelling.

My favourite quote… “Time flies when you’re having fun” and "Don’t put off today what you can do tomorrow."

I am where I am today because of… a strong belief that what I am doing is creating something that is actually very good and worthwhile. As with many things, I took an indirect path to where I am, I worked with my sister Alice in fashion, I helped her set up and grow Temperley. We worked together for ten years along with her then husband Lars but I always knew I wanted to be in the country creating something of my own at some point. Having children was the catalyst for me to make the jump.

I am who I am because of… My family. I grew up on a farm, my parents have a cider farm and distillery, and my mum was always creating wonderful things. I think that making is in the blood as all my siblings make something, whether it be clothes, films, cider... We are quite tribal which probably defines me to some extent as well; we tend to just get on with it, knowing we all have each others backs so it's given us strength to forge our own paths.

The best advice I've been given… Put your head down and get on with it.

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July 2019