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While working in the shop’s lab with a friend of mine he said to me, “You know, it’s not a shop unless it opens.” Despite knowing that the town was behind me, I was scared to open the blinds and share my little world with everyone. It was the final hurdle – and since rolling them up, I’ve learnt to continue to share everything.
Honesty is what drives Haeckels forward. It’s the transparency of our journey that allows our community and collaborators to connect with us.
We are a self-financed tiny giant. Every member of our team plays multiple roles – formulating, making, designing, photographing, programming, planning and installing – leading to the impression of a company many times our actual size.
This wasn’t planned: it arose from a desire to share Haeckels with other people; to enthuse them about the health-giving properties of the sea; to raise awareness about natural products that are every bit as effective as chemical-derived alternatives.
Seaweed hydrates; it’s rich with valuable vitamins, minerals and amino acids; it’s anti-bacterial, skin rebuilding and anti-inflammatory; it’s all-natural, and all around us. Under licence, we harvest it by hand from the beach just steps away from our shop.
We live and learn together. Our affiliated lab carries out full assessment and stability tests, but before that our products go through an honest, real-world formulation trial. We use them ourselves, comparing, collaborating and re-examining until we discover the perfect solution.
Sharing extends to everything we do, including our concerns not only for our local coastline but oceans across the globe. Sustainability has always been part of Haeckels’ philosophy and, as we’ve developed as a brand, it has only become more and more entwined with what we do; as we branch out into new territories, we strive to implement the same care we have in our home town of Margate, and raise the same awareness about the fragility and value of the ocean.
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Dom

Haeckels was founded in 2012 by volunteer beach warden and coastal enthusiast Dom Bridges.

Disillusioned by the production ethos of many larger skin care companies Dom wanted to create simple hand crafted products that showcased the surrounding coasts natural ingredients in the hope that the products themselves would then promote Margates heritage of healthy coastal living.

When Haeckels was just starting out Dom would collect seaweed and local botanicals along the Margate coast and bring them bring back to his family kitchen to experiment. Dom’s wife Jo soon said it was time to get a proper Lab and turn a passion into a business as every saucepan in the kitchen was starting to smell like a skin care product. Taking his wifes advice he acquired the Lab on Cliff Terrace in 2013 where more product formulas were developed to complete the range. The company has now grown; taking on members of staff whilst still playing an active part in the local community by organising beach cleans and taking part in marine conseravtion surveys.

As Haeckels develops over the coming years the heart of the company will always remain the same as it concentrates on craft first in the hope that the products themselves will remind and educate customers of the natural wealth of Margates coastline.