First, Maskitec was just a part of her final major project at University. After seven years Kerry Liddell runs her own small business with lip balms, candles and healing pedants in North East.
Kerry, 31, from Newcastle, was always into marketing and fashion, that’s why she chose to study Fashion Marketing at the Northumbria University in Newcastle. The Maskitec came as part of her final project. “I had to create a collection which I had to exhibit as my final project along with my dissertation in London on London Graduate Fashion Week. The second part of the final project was to promote the brand. I was thinking about creative ways, to get a little piece of me in there, of what I like to do and represent the brand at the same time. I came up with an idea of making a little lip balm as an alternative to a business card.’’ She wrote all her details on the bottom of the little lip balm tins and was handing them out in London and run out on the first day.
‘I thought people are likely to keep a lip balm in the pocket for a lot longer than a business card of somebody they do not know.’ After all, she decided to end up in marketing rather than kicking Maskitec as the brand itself.
However, people started to contact her regardless of the lip balms so she found her way to start up Maskitec again this year. She bravely admits it was not that easy: “I was thinking too much about what other people thought about the product, rather than enjoying making the product and be passionate about it. And I think when I started again, I really had a passion for what I do and I enjoy making it and I think, it shows. And that’s, hopefully, why people like the product because they can see how much time and effort I put into it and it’s not just a job but something I really enjoy doing.”
Kerry does everything from scratch including designing the logo, doing the research about the ingredients, all the certificates that are confirming everything is safe and sellable to steaming and mixing up all the ingredients. The whole process of making a new range takes approximately a day.
“When I made it again this year, it was a mixture of achievement but equally hesitation, because I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for. I didn’t know whether it’d work or how it would be perceived by people” she added. “One of the things is that such pressure is out there to do something and do it well and to execute things to such a high standard and to look like you are having a great time and to say that everything is working and to have a successful business. Equally, at the same time, I think I was getting too rushed doing that and instead I started enjoying what I was doing and actually that took away the anxiety and all the pressure of that.”
Even in the hardest times, her mum and her friends were her biggest support: “My mum is my biggest supporter, she is such a lovely woman, so inspiring. Always enthusiastic about the ideas I have, always asking how is it going. Also, I have got a fantastic friendship group, we are all very creative and talented. There are a lot of strong influential women around me and I found that very empowering and liberating thing to have such a supportive network of powerhouses around me.’’
For Kerry, making Maskitec is a kind of relaxation and she promotes with the brand that it is important to take care of mental health and take a break for ‘me time’. “Everybody needs that little bit of me time to do what you want to do, whether you struggle to relax like me, cause I am a quite proactive person and I do not like to sit still very long, even when you go to the gym or light up a candle, everybody needs that time for self-love. The lip balms and candles are the products of my relaxation for somebody else who might benefit from just a little bit of self-care” she adds.
In the future, she would like to be within certain businesses across the North East but currently, she has seven flavours including the latest festive ones the Winter Berry and the Ginger Bread. The most popular one is still Lemon Bon Bon, which reflects how Kerry felt back in the day when she made it: energetic and refreshing.
If you would like to have a try and support Kerry’s business have a look here.