In 1998 a very British beauty brand was born deep in the Somerset countryside. If you've ever wondered why we are called Cowshed, there's a simple reason: we opened our very first spa in the old cowshed at Babington House, Somerset in 1998. The products that were used in the spa treatments and bedrooms at Babington were made using ingredients from the Victorian walled garden on the estate and those are the very same products that you can buy and enjoy at home today. The original scents - or 'moods' were created by master perfumer Richard Howard but the whole idea originated with Soho House founder Nick Jones. Here's the Cowshed story in his own words...
‘There was always a plan to have a spa at Babington House, it was just a question of where it was going to go. After looking at all the options it ended up in the old cowshed where the cows used to live. The Cowshed was the obvious name to call the spa because I never try and do a tricky name, I always try and use a name which is simple.
There was a derelict walled garden filled with herbs which we wanted to start using and then I met Richard - ‘The Professor’ and he started persuading us to make our own products. I liked the idea because I wanted much more of a sense of generosity in the rooms. At that time there wasn’t a huge choice to put into the rooms and I wanted Babington House to be different.
So we sat down on a Saturday lunch, drank a lot of wine and came up with all the names. There was a group of about eight of us and the more wine we drank, the more ridiculous the names got – ‘let’s call it Horny Cow, Moody Cow...’ - and that’s how it all happened.
I love a massage. I travel a lot and a lot of my stress sits in my lower back so if I can get a massage it’s better for everyone really! Whenever I go in there, the people who are giving me a massage always say what one do you want and I say you choose. I think it’s more about them than me. I’m always looking to be uplifted!
I think there’s a proper back story about what Cowshed is, there’s proper DNA and there’s Richard and the walled garden where the herbs come from. It was an accident – when we did all this we didn’t plan to sell them anywhere else apart from have some products at Babington House. But then people would come down to Babington House and say ‘well can I have these at home?’ That has grown into a substantial business. Now to see them in all the department stores and it becoming a proper boutique bath and body brand is fantastic.
Cowshed is much loved and we’re going through a process of keeping the love but also making it more relevant for today. So we are refreshing all the packaging and branding.’