As a part of our Beauty Duets series, we are catching up with some of the coolest organic businesses run by women in partnership. Tanya Hawkes and Esme Hawkes don’t happen to have the same surnames by chance — they are a mother-daughter team that co-run Therapi Honey Skincare, a pioneering company whose innovative Soil Association certified organic formulations use the therapeutic benefits of honey and work to reverse the decline in bee numbers and the loss of biodiversity. We had the two of them walk us through how they came to work together and how the influence two generations has on their business.
What inspired you to create Therapi Honey Skincare?
T: The inspiration for Therapi came after many years spent studying honeybees and their incredible ability to transform sweet nectars, healing resins and botanical extracts into natural medicines and superfoods. Our dream was to create a range of pure and effective organic products that used these amazing ingredients, championing nature’s greatest alchemists and promoting sustainable beauty.
E: Like the bees, our aim is to work with nature and leave the world more beautiful than we found it. The honeybee colony is the inspiration for our business model – one that has collaboration at its core and is female-driven!
You are a mother-daughter team – how did you come to work together?
E: Mum started developing Therapi whilst I was at university. I studied Biology and was fascinated by how interconnected natural systems are and the role humans play within these systems. I’ve always seen organic farming as a pivotal piece to the puzzle to maintaining the fine-tuned balance of these systems so when I left university, I began helping Mum with Therapi and completely fell in love with it.
T: The beautiful thing is that Therapi now feels like it is an entity with its own spirit; it needed both of us to bring it together because we each bring quite different things to the table. Underlying this though is our shared love of nature – it guides everything we do.
How does having two generations running a company shape it?
E: I don’t think either of us could imagine having ever built Therapi without the other one. Mum brings a wise and incredibly loving side to Therapi, whereas I think I bring the disruptive energy of youth. We come at things in very different ways but somehow it works – I think we must complement each other well.
What is the best thing about being a mother-daughter team?
T: It has to be the inherent trust in our relationship. Running a young business is a huge learning curve so being able to say whatever’s on your mind is very constructive. Having someone to share it all with is special but having that someone to dream with is even better.