There’s no denying our love for By Sarah London skincare, and there’s no denying our love for the wonderful women behind the brand, Sarah and her sister Lauren. Having recently launched as part of our skincare offering here on BEKIBO, we thought we would sit down with these ultimate girlbosses to discuss how their gorgeous brand came to be!
What propelled you both to launch By Sarah London?
BY SARAH LONDON has been many years in the making, before our launch in November 2017. I worked in the beauty industry for almost 10 years and have been creating skincare at home since I was a young teenager. I took my passion much more seriously six years ago when my sister (and now business partner), Lauren, was recovering from leukaemia. I was unable to find skincare that I trusted as many natural and organic ranges had long, cryptic and often confusing and misleading labelling. So I made it my mission to create my own blends using the finest, certified-organic and sustainably-sourced plant-based ingredients to soothe and nourish Lauren’s sensitive skin. Lauren loved using them as did friends and family. So the brand grew organically from there until we both took the plunge to launch the business and leave our corporate jobs behind last year!
Tell us what is it like working together as sisters? And what do you think you value most about each other as business partners?
We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so we allow each other to thrive in those areas where we have the skills and expertise, and support each other in areas where we need the other’s brains! By knowing each other so well, it means we can make decisions really quickly which is essential in launching a business in a fast-paced and highly-competitive market. It also means we can call each other out on ideas that are not as great as they might sound in our own heads! I value Lauren’s straight-talking, analytical and operational strengths, and Lauren says she most values my creative vision for the brand and unrelenting tenacity on social media!
How have your previous professions contributed to your brand and your products?
I worked in the beauty industry for almost 10 years on the branding, strategy and communications side which gave me a fantastic insight into the industry and the mechanics behind growing a global brand. It also gave me the opportunity to travel and gain inspiration from countries that are incredibly forward-thinking when it comes to wellness and sustainability. I still love to plan a trip to Scandinavia, the US or Australia to be inspired! After Lauren recovered from leukaemia, she finished law school and qualified as a lawyer, specialising in private investment funds. While it might seem unrelated at first glance, her qualification has equipped her with an eye for detail, ability to work under pressure (those late nights at the office are now paying off!) and communicate really effectively – skills that are critical to launching a new brand.
Alongside your passion for natural, organic skincare, what else drives you to keep on going to building your businesses on the days that nothing seems to be going right?
I passionately believe we should all feel empowered in the choices we make and I’m driven to bring greater transparency to an often overwhelming industry. Interacting with our customers is incredibly rewarding and gives me the motivation to keep on creating skincare they’ll love to use. For Lauren, she loves customer service – really! And she gets such a thrill when she’s able to help a customer on how to use a product or provide extra support to those new to natural and organic skincare. Maybe that relates to her lawyer side and her love of problem solving.
At what point of your career so far have you been especially proud of what you’ve accomplished?
We launched the brand in November 2017 and are thrilled to have won 5 industry-leading awards to date, including our Organic Facial Oil being awarded the Best New Skincare Product Launch by The Beauty Shortlist just 4 months after we launched – a truly magical moment! We’re both incredibly proud and grateful that our skincare collection is already recognised for being so effective and a pleasure to use.
What has been the toughest challenge you both have faced?
For me, it’s not having enough hours in the day! As a founder, you wear so many hats – I might spend a morning handblending our skincare and fulfilling orders, then in the afternoon I’ll be sat behind my laptop in meetings or on phone calls, and managing our social media channels in between! For Lauren, it’s been getting to grips with the tech side of the business. As a brand new, boot-strapping business, there is no IT department or 24/7 helpline to answer our tech questions. From SEO to PPC, Lauren has learned a new language which has been challenging but increasingly rewarding as the results of her learnings positively affect the growth and awareness of the brand – she’s been a true inspiration to watch!
There are a lot of other organic skincare brands out there at the moment. What sets By Sarah London aside from these?
We’re tackling the issue of transparency in skincare and advocating a more conscious way of living. By using only the finest certified-organic and ethically sourced natural ingredients, we believe you should know exactly what you’re putting on your skin and it’s why we detail a full ingredient list on the front label of each of our products – absolutely nothing hidden, artificial or synthetic. We’re the only UK skincare brand to do this constantly across our collection.
Apart from you looking after your skin, what else do you do to ensure a full state of health and wellness?
When Lauren was recovering from leukaemia, we both did a 360 review of how we were living and how best to reduce our exposure to harsh chemicals. This was incredibly important because Lauren’s skin was as sensitive and as fragile as a newborn baby’s! We’re big believers that less, of the best, is more – choosing organic products wherever we can is the best way to support this belief. Organic farmers nurture the richest soils for our crops to thrive in which is beneficial for wildlife and the wider environment, now and in the future.
What exciting things do you have planned for By Sarah London in the future?
Starting with bringing greater transparency and authenticity to natural and organic skincare, our dream is to become your go-to wellness brand for all your skincare, lifestyle and wellbeing needs. Watch this space…
Finally what advice can you give young entrepreneurial women who want to kickstart a career in the beauty wellness industry?
Wellness is such a buzzword and booming global market that it can seem very tempting to launch a business and try to ride the “wellness wave”. But you have to come from an authentic place or you’ll be caught out. Lauren and I are so intrinsically linked to BY SARAH and it’s such a natural expression of how we live our lives and how we want to empower others to lead more conscious lives too. This is really resonating with our followers and customers and helping to embed us in the wellness community. So, start with asking yourself what you really believe, what your values are and why you want to launch a career in this industry. Then, go for it and keep believing!
Words by: Sarah & Lauren
Instagram / @bysarahlondon