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Cowshed Product Developer: A Day In The Life

Cathy Rose is Senior Product Developer at Cowshed, Cheeky and Neville. Cowshed opened it’s first spa in the old cow shed at Babington House in Somerset in 1998 and now has locations in Berlin, Istanbul, Chicago and New York to name just a few. It still promotes the essence of an English country garden, using the very best organic, wildcrafted and fair-traded plant extracts and essential oils to create honest and natural products.

While the product names might be playful; Grumpy Cow, Moody Cow and Horny Cow, for example, they take formulations very seriously; there are thoughtful scents to enhance your mood, herbal remedies and truly indulgent products that really make a difference. You can find out more about Cowshed.

Cathy says:

I am definitely not a morning person! My alarm usually goes off around 7am and bleary eyed and slightly grumpy, I head straight to the shower to wake myself up with one of our lovely Cowshed bath & shower gels, my favourite mood at the moment is grumpy cow uplifting bath & shower gel, it’s so fresh and zesty, perfect to help kick start the morning. After quickly throwing on some jeans, heels and a slick of mascara I head out the door to catch the bus into Soho. I live in Camberwell so in the summer months, when the weather is a bit better I try and walk in. Sometimes living in London can feel exhausting but as soon as you cross the bridge from south London to north London, you can’t help but fall in love with it again. Even after 8yrs it still catches my breath.

I start work at 9am but I am usually in the office earlier so I have time to check my emails, make a coffee and ready myself for the day ahead. Being a Senior Product Developer for Cowshed Product Ltd is such a great job to have, I love it! I have been fascinated with beauty since I was a child, it helps being the youngest of 3 girls. I used to watch my mum put her lipstick on and I would be completely entranced – I’m still like that now! I love digging around in friends make up bags and venturing into beauty departments. I could spend hours playing and chatting to the sales assistants about new products, our experiences with them and why we love them. I have a particular passion for fragrance, whether it is fine fragrance or home fragrance, I’m not picky – I love it all. My favourite part of the job is absolutely seeing the product you’ve launched being discussed on blogs and receiving positive reviews by your peers. Less appealing is work admin and email chasing but I guess it has to be done!

The most useful advice I’ve received is: ‘always treat people the way you would like to be treated’. Working in such a small industry it is important to always make a good first impression, you never know when your paths will cross again. I studied Three Dimensional Design at University in Manchester specialising in product design. I first fell into beauty working as a packaging designer for a luxury British brand. It was a great place to work, with an amazing Head of NPD who encouraged me every step of the way and helped me expand my skillset to now include briefing formulation, fragrance, copy writing and graphic design. My career role model is Thea Green, founder of Nails Inc. Thea grew up on the Wirral (North West England) like I did, in fact she lived about 15mins from the house I grew up in. As a young entrepreneur working in fashion, she spotted a gap in the UK market for professional high quality manicures. Thea now heads up one of the most successful and innovative global nail brands collaborating with key influencers such as Victoria Beckham and Alexa Chung. She manages her ever growing brand while also bringing up a family – she is amazing.

I don’t really have a lunchtime ritual, I usually pick up something quick and easy because work is generally quite busy. I usually finish work around 6.30pm and head to Soho House for a cocktail or two with work colleagues or friends. My tipple of choice is an Eastern Standard with vodka. It’s so delicious and refreshing although can be dangerous – not too many on a weeknight! I try and go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week – if I’m good I head to spin on Monday, boxing on Wednesday and body combat on Thursday. By Friday I’m fancy free and ready for that delicious cocktail and guilt free weekend of fun.

My dream job would be a marine biologist. I’m fascinated by life under the waves and I feel most content when I’m by the sea – rain or shine, it’s where I’m happiest.

My 3 online sources of inspiration are:

1) Pinterest – I get so much inspiration from this website. I have the app on my phone so even when I’m on the bus I can scroll through and look at everything from cool packaging to fashion and beauty trends and even recipes. It’s addictive.

2) Spotify – There’s not a second that goes by where I’m not listening to music. I relax to it, exercise to it and even work to it. Music can so easily influence my mood and lift me when I’m feeling down. It’s also a great way to reminisce and day dream about happy times and great people. What’s not to love about that?

3) Whatsapp – I’m obsessed. It’s a great way to stay in touch with my friends and family 24hrs a day. Most of my family live in the US. I particularly miss my sister Liz who moved from London to California around 2 years ago with her husband. My sister has recently just given birth and whatsapp is such a great way to share photos or videos for free so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on watching my nephew grow up. He’s only 7 weeks old but he is changing every day, it’s nice to still feel a part of his life even though we’re on different continents and time zones.