When Rachael McLean was 19 she was badly injured in a car accident which tragically claimed the life of her younger brother.
In the year that followed, Rachael tried to overcome her feelings of grief and anxiety by going back to college, but found it too difficult, until one day by chance, a family friend introduced her to the art of soap making.
Having mastered the basics, Rachael who lives in Steppes, busied herself over the next few weeks finding out everything she could about soap making. With no job and no income, Rachael began making handcrafted soaps for family and friends as gifts. Then with new found confidence, she decided to think seriously about combining her new hobby with her reiki powers, which she has had since she was 9 years old, to start her own business.
That was in December last year, and today Sweet Peacock is selling unique collections of reiki, essential oil infused soaps to customers in New York, Singapore, France, Portugal and Sweden. Rachael, who is a second degree reiki practitioner, consciously channels her holistic therapy into the preparation of each Sweet Peacock soap.
Explaining Rachael said, “Reiki means a lot to me and it gives me enormous pleasure to be able to use this gift to empower my soaps with positive energies, knowing that they will be chosen to celebrate a wedding, the birth of a new baby, a birthday or any other special occasion.”
In addition to empowerment symbols and positive vibes, all Sweet Peacock soaps are infused with pure essential oils and the reiki chakra, an ancient word to define the main ‘energy centres’ within the human body. Each of her soaps are labelled to explain the chakras and the properties of the essential oils.
To help with initial funding and business expertise, Rachael approached the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) which supports 18-25 year olds across Scotland to set up and continue in business. Thanks to PSYBT, she was nominated to receive funding from the BT Scotland Young E-ntrepreneurs awards scheme. The scheme is focused on encouraging young people to use e-commerce to boost their start-up companies. Through the scheme, which is now in its tenth year, BT Scotland has invested more than £400,000 in supporting new Scottish businesses.
Commenting Rachael said, “I received great support from PSYBT who have been friendly, helpful and full of ideas. My PSYBT mentor has been very supportive and I know I can contact him for guidance and as a sounding board for new ideas for my business. It’s wonderful to get positive feedback from my customers and it also makes me hugely proud to be able to say that I have my own business.”
Brendan Dick, director at BT Scotland, said: “Rachael is proving that with self belief, perseverance and creativity you can be successful in your own business. She is maximising the use of her website as a visual platform to reach potential customers and Sweet Peacock is a good example of how the internet can be used to develop a market starting from a niche area. We wish her all the best going forward.”
Issued by Jen Nash of Panache Communications, Tel. no: 07971 466 220, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information contact the BT Scotland press office: 0800 0850 660 or Margaret Gibson and Louise Moore of PSYBT on 0141 248 4999. You can also check out the PSYBT website at www.psybt.org.uk.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Contact Rachael McLean on :
T: 0141 779 4804
M: 07935 098523