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12 Oct 2021

Meet the Makers: Fiona Ritchie of Siabann/The Ochil Skincare Company

Fiona Ritchie, Creative Director of Siabann/The Ochil Skincare Company
The Trust is proud to support talented makers and craftspeople from across Scotland, by selling their products in our physical and online shops. This time, we meet Fiona Ritchie from Siabann/The Ochil Skincare Company.

Please introduce yourself and your business

My name is Fiona Ritchie and I’m the Creative Director of Siabann/The Ochil Skincare Company.

Where are you based?

I am based in the Ochil Hills – I am so lucky that my back garden opens up onto the hillside. I have a soap kitchen where all the products are created.

When and how did you start your business?

I started making soap when my children were little. I was feeding them organic food but the bath time products were often filled with chemicals, so I started making soap and bath time treats for them... and it remains the fact that all my products are tested on my children!

What products do you make/design/create?

I make and sell natural soap and skincare and a beautiful little range of home fragrance products – all inspired by Scotland.

A range of Siabann beauty products are displayed against a brown marbled background. At the front are small tubes of lip balm and little candles in tins. Behind are soap boxes and tins of shampoo bars.
The Siabann range featuring lip balms, skin candles, and shampoo bars

What makes your business unique?

Siabann means ‘soap’ in Gaelic – our country and culture is at the heart of my products.

Are there any interesting materials that you use?

Thistle oil is in everything. It is a lovely light oil that brings antioxidants and nourishment to your skin.

Are there any eco credentials you can mention? For example, the use of recycled materials?

I only use natural ingredients, never palm oil, and all the products are vegan friendly. I have also developed a range of eco refills for my liquid products, so customers can reuse their bottles and diffusers before recycling the packaging.

What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?

The flexibility, as well as the opportunity to see a product all the way from its initial formulation to being packaged and sold in amazing gift shops around the UK.

The Siabann Bearr Man grooming range

What’s the proudest moment of your business career?

I still get very excited when I see my products on sale in a National Trust for Scotland property. Siabann has a loyal band of followers who send images from places all around Scotland…. it never fails to make my day!

What is your favourite Trust place and where would you like to visit?

My favourite place for the dog and I to explore is actually right on my doorstep – Dollar Glen.

How did you start working with the Trust?

I started supplying the Trust with soap and products about 10 years ago. My brand has evolved significantly since then!

What's your favourite product that you supply to the Trust and what was the inspiration behind creating it?

That's like being asked to choose my favourite child... The Scottish Nettle soap is a lovely gentle soap that soothes your skin and enables visitors to Scotland to take a wee bit of our beautiful country home with them.

What do you love about Scotland? #fortheloveofscotland

I love our beautiful countryside. It’s the inspiration for all my products: the huge open spaces, contrasting with the incredible rugged scenery of the West Coast.

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