Friday, 22 May 2009

UK monk's cosmetics enterprise

A British Benedictine monk is using his holy hands to make organic beauty products from beeswax.

Brother Anselm Carpenter has a calling but it's not just God he's serving.

The 24-year-old Benedictine monk has started a rather unusual business enterprise from an ancient monastery in southern England.

BENEDICTINE MONK ANSELM CARPENTER SAYING:

"I was making bees wax furniture polish, which sold quite well and I was bragging about it to a friend of mine and she suggested that I might want to try using the bees wax to make bees wax lip balm - which I'd never heard of. I was quite freaked out by the idea, that someone would use bee wax for other than polishing a floor. But sure enough I started flicking through some cosmetic recipe books and some beekeeping magazines and I found that there was such a thing as bee wax lip balm, and from there I developed my own formula."

Brother Anselm tried out his organic lip balm and hand cream on the brethren and a few other people before they went on the open market.

He now makes his products in five flavours, including lemon, peppermint and aniseed.

BENEDICTINE MONK ANSELM CARPENTER SAYING:

"A lot of people buy it and think its going to be awful and I'll probably just stick a wick in it and use it as a candle because that was my former occupation. But after people try it, I get a lot of positive feedback and the majority of people locally certainly have re-ordered."

He makes no gimmicky claims about the products.

But he does have the full support of his fellow monks.

ABBOT OF ST. AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY REPRESENTATIVE, FATHER PAULINUS GREENWOOD SAYING:

"I insisted from the beginning that we should be as professional as possible in the way we package the produce. I felt that the reputation of the monastery was at stake."

Whether the likes of Madonna and Demi Moore will be rushing to buy the "Sanctuary" range isn't clear.

But Brother Anselm's internet shop is proving popular.

The balms may not be endorsed by a celebrity but you could say they have the ultimate seal of approval from God himself.

Sonia Legg, Reuters.