Junior Meets Tania Rodney, founder of Dandydill Way
When a high profile make-up artist turns her hands to children beauty you just know its going to be special - we found out more when we chatted to the woman behind Dandydill Way
Have you discovered Dandydill Way yet? This newcomer to the children bath time beauty shelf is simple, effective and almost a little too elegant for just the kids. Us grown-ups have been sucked in to the charms of Dandydill Way too.
Created by high profile celebrity make-up artist Tania Rodney Dandydill Way it's a culmination of Tania’s experience both as a make-up artist and as a mum. Made to take special care of muddy knees, smudged faces and tangled hair inspired by childhood freedom and potential, captured in beautiful design that wouldn't look amiss in any instagram-styled bathroom.
We caught up with Tania to find out more...
Hello Tania, please tell us about yourself and your family?
Hi. I grew up in Yorkshire, the eldest of four and I now live in London with my 9-year old daughter Billie and our dog Freddie.
Tell us about Dandydill Way and how you came to create your brand? How did you come up with the name?
I worked as a make up artist in the music industry for many years, travelling all over the world and meeting some incredible people. I even managed to tour with my daughter when she was a baby by taking my sisters and niece along to help. Once she got a bit older and needed a more regular routine I became a stay at home mother. I needed to start work again but, couldn’t go back to being a make-up artist with the unpredictable hours and globe-trotting clients so I had to come up with a business I could run from home whilst taking care of my little girl.
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I’d noticed that there were lots of beautiful skin and hair ranges for babies but nothing special designed just for children.
I felt that since many parents were interested in design as well las wanting to take the best care of their children, I could create something unique and beautiful for them.
The name Dandydill Way came about as my daughter and I were on a walk in the countryside. I grew up with lots of freedom to play and roam outdoors with my sisters and it’s a freedom lots of children don’t have nowadays. My daughter plucked a Dandelion flower and held it out to me and informed me that it was a Dandydill. I immediately loved the name.
It seemed to really capture the idea of childhood freedom and potential - the hardy, sunshine-bright flowers and the lovely seeds that can float away to grow into a new flower who knows where!
You are a pro make-up artist and have worked with Nelly Furtado, SherylCrow, Beyoncé, David Bowie, Eminem, Marilyn Manson, Sting – what made you decide to launch children collection?
I first thought about creating a men’s range of products - especially since I’ve worked with some of the biggest male artists in the world - but, it’s a market that was already well served by the bigger brands. I’ve travelled all over the world and know first hand, there really is nothing else that’s luxurious and beautifully packaged for children. I felt that if I worked hard enough I could create something very special.
What’s do you think makes Dandydill Way so different to what is already around in children beauty already?
The Dandydill Way range is utterly unique - so, special it can be given as a gift. Each product in the range contains an extract of British Hawthorn berries picked by a professional forager based in Herefordshire on the Welsh borders. She goes out into the countryside around her home with her baskets at the end of Summer and hand picks the berries that grow wild and uncultivated around the Black Mountains.
They’re then gently dried to make our extract. I love hawthorn trees - they’re a humble little tree with an amazing history in natural, folk medicine in Britain and all over the world. The Chinese prize them as “mountain berries” and use them in food and medicine to this day.
I’m obsessive about detail and spent ages finding the right people to work with. It was never going to be a “kitchen brand and first I had to hire a specialist to create the formulations. I eventually met an award winning scientist here in the UK who cared as much as me about the quality of everything he created. We spent four years refining the formulations and making sure that each worked perfectly using naturally derived, plant based ingredients. Even the preservatives we use are natural or food grade to protect the products and also the ethos of the brand.
The packaging is so simple and elegant – how important was this to you?
It was absolutely essential! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve winced as I walked into another stylish bathroom ruined by a horrifying display of gaudy plastic! I needed to create something that I was proud of.
It was tricky to get right because our packaging has to stand out but also represent the quality of our formulations and the ingredients we use. I was persistent and eventually found the right designer to help create the look of the brand, another detail obsessive, Margot Lombaert. I love French beauty brands - I think they’re unquestionably the world leaders in beauty and, I looked long and hard to find the right designer for Dandydill Way although it’s a British brand that meant French!
There is 4 products in the launch collection – what’s can we expect to see next? Are you launching any new products soon?
Yes! We have 3 new products to introduce later this year. The first is really exciting - it’s a natural deodorant for children - but, not at all what you imagine adeodorant to be; it’s a gentle, light lotion containing a very special ingredient to stop odour developing and NO interfering with the skin’s natural function. It’s very kind to skin, moisturising and feels wonderful - our testers have all raved about it.
We’re also bringing out a super rich and creamy cleansing mousse for skin and hair (note to mums - it makes a lovely facial cleanser) as well as a moisturiser with the most effective and pure ingredients. I can’t wait! (neither can we!)
What 5 words would you use to describe Dandydillway?
I think Dandydill Way is best described in 4: Exceptional care for children. It came to me as it’s the one thing every parent wants to give - in every respect.
What 3 things have you learnt/discovered about being a mother and launching a new business/venture?
Excel spreadsheets were the first thing I had to learn about! I wasn’t really prepared for “business” as a make-up artist and it was a steep learning curve, but these are 3 things I learnt:
- Being a mother and trying to get a business off the ground can be very lonely. It was important for me to get out into the world and meet people in the industry, especially in the early stages when my ideas needed refining.The effort you put in to meeting people connected to what you want to do is never wasted.
- Be prepared for a long journey - I started my business 6 years ago and it’s only just launched. There are no shortcuts, problems take time to solve but each time something out of my control caused a delay it turned out to be beneficial in some way.
- Self belief - I learnt to trust my own instincts about whose advice I should take and whose I could discount. I’m not a fan of the focus group approach but there are definitely people I’ve met whose opinion I value.
Back to your work a pro make-up artist – what’s your number one make-up trick for mums to look less tired – bedsides concealer and red lipstick?
Very simple and I always give the same answer - eyelash curlers! Shu Uemura are the classic and best. Also, a great time saver is to have your lashes dyed so you don’t need mascara. Number two (one, really) ALWAYS wear an SPF, a tinted moisturiser is a great way to help give tired skin a glow that will protect... minimum factor 15. I wear factor 50 but as you know - I’m quite obsessive!