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Spotlight On

Susie Willis, founder of Romilly Wilde

It’s not just the natural beauty of flowers we’re fascinated by, we relish in discovering the different ways in which their special properties are used. McQueens Flowers were delighted to create florals for luxury skincare company, Romilly Wilde and have since struck up a floral friendship - discovering many synergies between the brands.

The ethical skin-care company is uncompromising in its approach to creating high-performance, plant-based formulas with many floral extracts contributing to the ingredients. As well as flowers being central to both our creations - Romilly Wilde and McQueens Flowers share a commitment to sustainability - and both have proudly received a Positive Luxury Butterfly Mark. 

Inspired by both Romilly Wilde’s approach to sustainability and love for floral ingredients - our Lead Creative Alison Lythgoe has created the gorgeous Wilde Earth Bouquet. To coincide with Earth Day (22nd April) the brands are coming together for an exclusive Instagram Live (1pm GMT) - featuring a demo on how to create a hand-tied bouquet, a discussion about the powerful properties of the flowers found in the products that inspired the Wilde Earth Bouquet and we’ll hear from McQueens CEO Richard Eagleton and Romilly Wilde’s Founder Susie Willis on what sustainability means to them.

Ahead of our Instagram Live, we were delighted to sit down with Romilly Wilde founder, Susie Willis discover more about the company’s story.
Meet Romilly Wilde founder, Susie Willis
Hi Susie, thank you for joining us on the McQueens journal. We’re incredibly excited for our upcoming IG Live partnership. We’d love to find out more about the Romilly Wilde story - you launched the company 2016, what was your journey to getting there?

My journey to find Romilly Wilde was a natural connection from the brand and business I previously created, which was an organic babyfood brand. Working with natural ingredients is something very close to my heart, and keeping their natural integrity in tact is something that I strive for. It is exactly the same with plant based, natural cosmetics and skincare. The joy of this brand is the curation of a scent profile as well as a highly efficacious skincare line.

We share a strong connection in our mutual passion for flowers. We have relished in finding out more about the powerful properties of some floral varieties through your products - can you share some examples of these magical stems and how they contribute to your formulas?

I have sourced the likes of Gardenia stems, White Water Lily, Tuberose and hardy Snow Lotus. The hardy nature of these plants and the environment in which they thrive are the key to a great deal of cell intelligence, and we share a similar DNA make-up, meaning that cell to cell communication is inherent to both species and as such, the high-tech and clinical evidence demonstrates that these plant root, stem and leaf cells can significantly contribute to our own skin health, energy and metabolism.
Natural ingredients are at the heart of Romilly Wilde formuals
We’re intrigued -  where does the name Romilly Wilde come from?

It is simply a beautiful English name that I felt evoked the personality of this brand… romantic and rebellious; a traditionalist yet with a modern take.

When developing your products and formulas - what are your guiding values and principles?

I love this question. My guiding values are always raising the bar and creating a product that our skin needs and that takes into account how many variations and stressors there can be, both environmental and physiologically. Our skins are an organ, so need to be respected as part of a total system, and not as just the ‘outside’ bit that people see. We all strive for a glowing, healthy and robust skin and it is important to consider how skincare is used and in what order. The principal to our range is less is more and invest in a singular range that your skin can be familiar with and allow all the component parts to marry to become something that is built from the ground up. Skin architecture and product composition are key to all our development.

From inception to availability - how long does it take to create a new formula?

Normally around 4 months. There are trials, more trials and then more trials. We do not launch a product until it has undergone rigorous safety, stability and challenge testing and we are not a brand that churns out lots of products. We are not one of those businesses, but a brand that has an organic, loyal and strong customer base, and a growing tribe of advocates who know that this approach to skincare works… really works!
Congratulations on becoming a recipient of the Positive Luxury Butterfly Mark! What are the key sustainable practices for Romilly Wilde?

We are delighted and have been awaiting this accreditation for a while. Our most important practice is our move away from single use plastics and working with a new packaging supplier that considers the need to retain our luxury pack, but also need to use sustainable packaging. We also ensure that our raw material suppliers work on a ‘code of practice’ whereby they consider the sustainability of the source of the plant materials, and embrace bio-technology as the way forward… never stripping our natural environment
We know flowers are integral to your formulas - do you surround yourself with them daily and what are your favourite varieties

This time of year the garden is starting to grow tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and my favourite magnolia is just starting to bud. My most favourite I have to wait for… the fat and luscious peony. Our garden has a dedicated bed just to these and for a few weeks in June, we are blessed with an abundance of pink varieties. I love how they start in a tight ball, then day by day they blossom, but are then so delicate that any rain can destroy them.

Join McQueens Flowers' CEO Richard Eagleton, Lead Creative, Alison Lythgoe and Romilly Wilde Founder, Susie Willis on 22nd April at 1pm GMT in conversation - as they present and create the Wilde Earth bouquet on Earth Day..

Susie Willis, founder of Romilly Wilde

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