A business woman has set up an 'eco and pocket friendly' gift shop that she make sure buyers know exactly where her products have come from and has not been tested on animals.

Hayley Ellen Watson, 29 from Haydon Bridge, is the owner of The Crafty Mare which she opened in 2018 and makes cosmetics and home scent products herself such as bath bombs, bubble bars, soap sponges, candles, wax melts, diffusers, perfume, soap.

Hexham Courant:

By learning from her own experience of buying cosmetic and scent products, Hayley knew how she wanted to operate her business.

"I decided to open the Crafty Mare gift shop because I wanted to know that whatever went into the products I was using was ethical, not tested on animals and environmentally friendly," Hayley says.

" It was so hard to find products where I knew what all the ingredients were or to find things which were pocket friendly.

"I never really could afford bath bombs unless I was gifted them at Christmas - and I thought it was unfortunate that pamper products were classed as a luxury item only. "

However, a year into business, Hayley found that she was going to be largely affected by Covid-19.

Hayley said: "Covid definitely affected me as people didn’t have the extra money for non-essentials and pamper products with being furloughed and worried about their job.

" I’ve noticed a lot of small businesses are struggling right now as cause and effect from Covid and Brexit rears its head… supply prices have gone up which means we have had to re-think our product prices and business plans."

Despite the set-back of Covid, Hayley still has a lot of customers who appreciate her products - some who use it for education and others to help them relax.Hexham Courant:

Hayley said : "I’ve tried to create products suitable for all ages and walks of life as they make such a huge difference to people - I’ve had customers tell me that their kids look forward to bath time and learn about colours and the different shapes and smells

" Some customers find the wax melts help them or their spouse to relax after a stressful day or boost their creativity.

"Hearing that feedback really fuelled my desire to create more products and keep the business running.

" Being ethical and environmentally friendly is my main business ethos. I also hold a high standard to safety - products must be tested and adhere to regulations before sale. Customers can be assured that they are receiving a hand-made item made with love and with safety in mind. I also sell items I buy in to accompany my hand-made products such as incense, bath oil beads which are cruelty free, wax melt burners and more."