What started as a creative outlet for a Swansea woman turned into a full-time job after she decided to bottle up the benefits of local Welsh seaweed and launch her own skin care brand.

“It was just a creative outlet for me, I’m a bit of an amateur. I like to create medicines, lotions and potions,” said Jay Doyle, 51, from Swansea, who has been diving the Gower for seaweed. .

“I’ve always been fascinated by these exotic species that you see on the beach. But I never understood what they had in terms of potential health benefits, and that’s when I started looking for food,” he explained. Making natural skincare at home in Mumbles using natural ingredients, Jay began distributing his products to friends and family while working in business development at Swansea University. You can get more Swansea news and other news straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletters here.

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jay looking for food

Jay is currently in talks with Swansea University about a research project into the benefits of Gower seaweed.

Earthly Rebels Seaweed Soap
Jay’s handcrafted soaps are made from local seaweed and inspired by the sand dunes of Gower Beauty

But what started out as a “side job” has slowly turned into a full-time job for Jay, who said his life changed after launching his business, Earthly Rebels, in 2021. “It was a real game changer. I thought my job was too busy and not good for me, and work shouldn’t be bad for your health.’

Jay soon realized that his passion for his business was making products and reaping the “whimsical” benefits of ingredients harvested right on his doorstep. Wanting to demystify the process of creating skincare products, she decided to hold workshops to teach other people how to create their own products. Jay brings Gower seaweed to her workshops and each attendee goes home with their own jar of skin care products.

“I had this idea, I didn’t just want to make products for people, I wanted to help people create their own. That’s how Earthly Rebels came about, this crazy idea that I can do both,” she explained.

Jay Doyle, 51, from Swansea, dove into Gower waters in search of seaweed floating in the sea.
Jay has always been fascinated by “alien” algae.

One of Earthly Rebels natural products
One of Earthly Rebels natural products

Jay Doyle, 51, with one of his products.
Jay Doyle, 51, with one of his products.

The products that Jay makes and teaches others to make are all inspired by his home in beautiful Gower. “Gower is my spiritual home, I’ve lived here a long time,” he said. “I was sitting on a sand dune in Llangennit after surfing when I had the idea for my business. When I make soap, I try to replicate these dunes. It is a reflection of the wonderful coastal environment.”

Jay, one of eight children, said she found her own way into natural ingredients and created her own skincare products. “[My mother] she was a mother of eight, there was no room for creativity, it was just survival and going through life. But I think my interest came later in life,” she explained.

Jay now forages for wildflowers and seaweed in his small home workshop and advocates for others to source food in safe, responsible, sustainable and legal ways. “You can’t just go and collect seaweed on the beach”, says Jay, who explained that if you can take seaweed that floats on the surface of the sea, you need a permit to take home the seaweed that has been washed up in the beach.

In many areas of the Gower, raw materials such as seaweed are of great scientific interest. Passionate about sharing the benefits of natural ingredients from the Welsh coast, Jay is currently in talks with Swansea University about a research project to study Gower seaweed and find out how the chemicals can be extracted and incorporated into other products for him. skin care.

Having recently won a support package from Wind Street’s Founders & Co, Jay will be holding his workshops at an exclusive location in Swansea over the coming months. You can learn more here.

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