Arabella and Charlotte, Raven Botanicals
A free-range childhood in the Scottish Borders, growing up in a virtually self-sufficient household with an artist mother who had an encyclopaedic knowledge of plants… you can see where the seed was sown for Arabella and Charlotte’s botanical beauty business, Raven. The name itself came from the family’s passion for rescuing crows from gamekeeper’s traps. One crow liked the family so much he stayed in the kitchen for 16 years, no matter how much they coaxed him to leave. The sisters started out on different career paths, Arabella studying painting and art history and Charlotte focusing on botany and forensic science.
But a few years ago, their mother died and not long after, they decided to do something positive, that she would have loved. That was in 2020 and skincare was a natural thing to do. “We’d been doing it for ourselves for a long time, we’ve always made balms like lip balms and then the oil came later”, says Arabella.” Charlotte has a background in botany then she did forensics so she’s hot on the research aspects of every ingredient we use.” Launching in June 2020, the pandemic was raging and home schooling full on but two and a half years later they’ve just moved into a studio. From the only Co2 extracted sea buckthorn oil in the country hand-picked in East Lothian to lavender oil from Fife, their range of facial oils, serums, masks, balms and cleansers use a range of natural ingredients. Sustainability is key and the sisters subject their suppliers to much scrutiny. But, says Charlotte, that’s what our buyers appreciate; hand-developed things which have some integrity about them.”