Cubby’s Salve Collection is a cruelty-free, green skincare range created by Margaret Ozgur in her kitchen in Glasgow. Thanks to the staff at Langside Library, Margaret was referred to the Business & IP Centre at The Mitchell Library, where she received the advice and support needed to help establish her business.
Tell us a bit about your background
My first job was washing cars with my wee brother when I was 10 years old. I also did gardening jobs and was making infused petal perfume from a young age! I was always quite fascinated by scabs on the body, always outdoors so I always had scrapes and scabs which I enjoyed picking/healing! In fact, I removed my own verrucas successfully from my foot aged 12 years old following no success with attempts with verruca creams. They’ve never returned!
I attended Glasgow Caledonian University, undertaking a BA in Hospitality Management, from 1993-1996 and worked in hotels, restaurants, bars in Glasgow, Greece and France. I love the outdoors, nature, travel, food, languages and history. Following on from work and travels, I pursued my passion for Photography at Glasgow’s College of Building & Printing and Sheffield College, completing an NCTJ in Photo-Journalism (1999-2000). I was then a freelance photographer for The Big Issue and Caledonia magazine. Being freelance was difficult so I subsidised income with promotions and demonstrations.
What inspired you to start your own business?
Cubby’s was born out of the sheer shock at the amount of harmful ingredients inside baby products. I wanted something non-toxic, gentle, and effective for my Cubby. The magic of blending Cubby’s ingredients to create beautiful Cubby’s Salve was akin to developing Photographs in the dark-room. Pure magic! Initially made for my own wee Cubby, then family & friends. When folk were sharing how their eczema had eased and contact dermatitis was soothed, I developed Cubby’s Vegan Salve.
Cubby’s became Cubbies, and now has over 11 products in the range, including Soothing and nourishing Cubby’s Salve, Moisturising & Softening Mimi’s Salve, Hydrating & Protecting Cubby’s Oaty Lip Salve. We have Naturally Repelling & Healing Cubby’s Midge Salve (as long as no nut allergies as it's blended with sweet almond oil). It's effective in repelling the wee blighters in Scotland & Ireland, and works for mosquitoes in Japan, Cuba, Corfu, Turkey, Malta, Egypt, Antigua & Barbados. Side-effects include healing cold sores after 3 days. It soothes psoriasis and has a calming effect on horses too.
I've created Cubby’s Natural Deodorant and Cubby’s Boobie & Scar Bar, which has no lanolin and soothes scars. It's great for cracked nipples and encourages milk supply when massaged into boobies thanks to beautiful Avocado Oil. Anti-inflammatory Cubby’s Nana Nurse Salve eases arthritic swelling in fingers & hands thanks to the beautiful, powerful blend of Turmeric & Black Pepper. Cubby’s grows naturally with Cubbies.
I come from a Family of Healers including Mum, Dad, Gran & Pappy, learning always. Cubby’s Great Pappy summed up perfectly the purpose of a Doctor “To assist Nature in the healing process”.
Business & IP Centre Glasgow
How did you hear about BIPC @ The Mitchell?
I was advised to contact BIPC by my local library at Langside after asking for a business book there. We spend a lot of time in our library. We love it.
What steps did you take to get involved with the BIPC?
I attended Entrepreneur in Residence with Rachel, who was insightful. I also attended an appointment with the IP Attorney who was very informative and welcomed Cubbies. Great access to information - Tony Lyon was very helpful at The Mitchell.
What are your business goals for the next 2 years?
To carry on with my labour of love and healing with Cubby’s, offering a gentle, non-toxic alternative for all. My youngest is still wee so wouldn’t want to grow so much it takes me away from her. She helps in Cubby’s Kitchen and has her own wee Cubby’s corner. She says “A work. A work” and loves to help. When she starts school, which will be in 2 years, I can see then. I'm constantly inspired by all around.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting their own business but doesn’t know where to begin?
Funnily enough I was asked this very question yesterday by a young student who is a brilliant baker. I advised her to contact The Mitchell Library and recommended a book. As long as you are passionate and have a wonderful product you believe in, the business side comes bit-by-bit. Learning all the time. In order to know the road ahead, ask those coming back. Older, wiser folk are always full of wonderful advice. Thanks to the libraries for helpful and informative staff.
Find out more about Cubby’s Salve at https://cubbyssalve.co.uk/