LEGRA is a family company, created by Cheryl and Andy Dunbar. Located in the seaside town of Leigh on Sea, Legra creates all natural body care. The name ‘Legra’ was taken from the first recorded name for their town, as documented in the Domesday book in 1086. From now on, we will be stocking these fabulous products in store and online. Here's everything you need to know:
Tell us a bit about your business...
LEGRA started as way to bring clean, non toxic alternatives to our family with the everyday products that we use, looking for ways to create a more sustainable lifestyle without the compromising of effectiveness. Instead of being as good as commercial products on the market, we found that we had created a powerful plant based formula that was in most cases, superior and kept the whole family smelling fresh and amazing. As a family of 6, creating products that would work for all of us was no mean feat, but we managed to pull it off. We learnt that your kids are your harshest critics!
What inspired you to start your business?
Realising that so much of what we put on our body ends up in our body through our bloodstream and can wreak havoc, especially with hormones and other factors. Whilst the environment that we live in contributes to our ‘chemical burden’ we can’t control all of that but we can control what we put on our bodies and if switching to simple natural formulas makes a difference then why wouldn’t you do it? It was really important to us that the products were not only good for you but also performed as well, if not better, than more commercial mass produced products.
Cheryl and Andy have been making non-toxic alternatives to everyday products
Where do you find your inspiration for your brand?
So many different places but if we had to pick one it would probably be from our family needs. Our children are aged between 17 and 24 (2 boys and 2 girls) so their needs are ever changing. Our body butter is from a recipe that we’ve been using for many years that’s been a remedy for after sun care, stretch marks, foot care and dry knees to name a few.
Does your location influence your products?
It definitely influenced the name! Yes, it does, living by the sea inspires us every day even if it just involves a walk along the beach to clear our heads. We use seaweed in one of our soaps and we use a lot of clays and exfoliants that are influenced by our environment. However we are inspired by so many places as we travel around the UK, from cities to the countryside there’s so much inspiration.
Can you tell us a little bit about your process?
The process for each of our products (we currently have soap, deodorant and body butter) is different. For Cold Process Soap – it’s hand mixed, poured into a mould, left to set, cut and then left to cure for several weeks. It’s a mixture of art and chemistry and like all good things it takes time!
Cheryl describes creating the soap as a mixture of "art and chemistry"
What aspect of your business do you enjoy most?
Getting customer feedback when we’ve managed to help them with something they’ve been struggling with. I think the first feedback we got was from a teenage girl who’d been struggling with back acne for several years, was really self conscious and not feeling very confident. She starting using our Pumice soap and it cleared it up. It's hard work running a brand when you’re a very small team but feedback like that makes everything worthwhile.
Do you have a favourite product? If so, can you tell us why?
That’s a hard one, a bit like picking your favourite child! I think we’d all have a different answer to that – my current favourite (Cheryl) is our exfoliating cube. It’s a perfect level of scrub and I love the essential oil blend, followed by Lavender and Geranium deodorant. I tried so many other natural deodorants for years and was determined to create a formula that worked for me so it’s probably the most personal to me. Andy’s favourite is the Bamboo and Kaolin soap because it always surprises him every time he uses it, between the essential oil blend and the moisturising lather it’s definitely been his firm favourite since the beginning.
Botanical elements play a key part in each soap's recipe
Are there any new products in the pipeline you would like to share with us?
There are a few, so watch this space! Our next product will hopefully launched within the next couple of months.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
Ah so many people on that list – we’ll let you know when Beyoncé calls us.
Finally, we love the way you use botanical elements in your products. If you could choose one plant or flower that you have enjoyed working with, what would it be?
Clary Sage – we use it in our Pink Clay soap blended with lavender and apart from smelling beautiful it has an amazing ability to make you feel happy and uplifted. It’s one of my favourite soaps to make.
I also love Hemp Seed Oil – we use it in our Body Butter as it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory whilst also encouraging skin growth and new cell generation. It’s different from CBD oil in both chemical structure and nutritional profile, so no, you won’t get high from using it!