Over the last few years, a small but promising league of women-led natural brands of all sizes had burst onto the beauty scene— I for one was excited by the trend. It struck a chord, re-ignited that spark, the long-held dream brought back- to branch out on my own someday.
I recall this was racing through my mind 18 months ago, I’d just come out of a particularly stressful period at work- (I held down a leadership role back then) and the pressure was on to deliver another record year of growth- yikes! Something had to give and Lordy, it was my skin!
Oh, the shame, going out there, talking with journalists, presenting at conferences and industry events with skin looking like rebel yell! I eventually manged to clarify through diet and overhauling my whole routine with a Clean shelfie regime- ultimately that was the thing that really made a difference for me- using natural products and understanding more about my skin. I'd gleamed knowledge through hours of research- which ingredients would be my elixir? How to restore glow and it eventually led me to the clinical team I now partner with.
It was sort of miraculous, the impact on my skin and self-confidence – I discovered anti-bacterial ingredients with the power to hydrate and banish blemishes. Antioxidants combined with botanical oils for that lit-from-within glow. Oh, and don’t get me started on the AHA + Superfoods love fest- if loving you is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!
I was hooked, strutting down the West End, looking like whoa! Then night time would come and I’d literally be wiping the pavement off my face thanks to the accumulated grime and pollution from my commuter schedule. I knew the damage it was doing and had invested enough time, money and energy in my regime to know this was bigger than stress acne. I searched around for Clean beauty products to combat the issue, to sort of "slay the gray" off my face and wanted things that were Clean, Vegan, and Affordable. Life in the big smoke was expensive- did I really need to choose between my mortgage and that £500 four step skincare routine? You know- great skin, but sort of homeless!
So, this got me started and here I am, 18 month later with the Clinical team that enabled my own personal skin breakthrough and the proud, tired, but crazily happy founder of a natural, organic and vegan skincare collection for city gals like me - Freya + Bailey Natural Skincare. We use superfood ingredients and plant chemistry to develop an Anti-pollution beauty line for stressed, dry, and acne-prone skin. It’s potent, clinically effective and available at a breakthrough price-point.
As a marketing professional, I admittedly had more experience relating to Product, packaging and all things Social (I launched the Skincare category for a global brand previously), but I needed to consult with experts and spend hours testing out different organic oils, manage operations, identify sustainable suppliers and everything in between.
While not entirely straightforward, bringing my cosmetics concept to fruition and onto the market has led me to a world of supportive female entrepreneurship that I’d never known back in my big corporate days. The passion, talent and sheer camaraderie has been amazing and I regularly engage with them still to make sure Freya + Bailey continues to deliver quality, high impact products that women want.
Though the journey continues, I’d say this to anyone thinking of striking out alone:
- Find your mentors- absorb everything. Listen to what others have to say—friends, family, experts, consumers, but ultimately you need to determine what carries through.
- Take time to develop your niche product and price- it’s a saturated market out there and you need to deliver an original product with a compelling but authentic core.
- Choose partners and suppliers that reflect your values. You are the company you keep.
- Run with the Romantics. Surround yourself with those that give you energy and inspiration. It’s a lonely road out there so make use of meet ups, networks etc to share invaluable insight and that all important glass of Prosecco 😊
Oh and one last thing- When life shuts a door, open it again. It's a door. That's how they work.