When Amanda Thomson’s partner grew a scratchy beard, she decided to mix up a softener, which led to a new business venture.
Amanda, who has been interested in aromatherapy and essential oils since her childhood, created a beard oil for John Rodger to soften the bristles.
Word soon spread round the couple’s bearded friends and before long, Metal Panda was born.
Mum-of-two Amanda (35) said: “Last Christmas I found myself unemployed for the first time in my life and I was struggling to find any jobs in the community education field.
“By then a few of our friends were using my all natural beard oils and they persuaded me to make that my job.”
Amanda, from Maddiston, started selling the oils from a Facebook page and in March moved into the Howgate’s Level 3.
Metal Panda has now expanded to sell homemade bath bombs and beauty products as well as stockists to brands such as Manic Panic and La Riche Directions. They are moving into a bigger unit within the independent retail space to offer delux beard oil and are opening a beard bar, allowing customers to custom make their own products.
Amanda said: “It’s been a crazy nine months but the feedback has been great, we get a lot of repeat customers and I am getting new ideas to try all the time.
“Everything is sent away to be tested and licenced and is 100 per cent natural. It’s high quality products but at low cost prices.
“I use a lot of coconut oil bases which have amazing beauty properties and everything is animal cruelty free.”
Metal Panda, which got it’s name thanks to John’s granddaughter not being able to pronounce Amanda and the couple’s shared love of heavy metal music, also sell their products from www.metalpanda.co.uk.