I came across natural skincare brand, BY SARAH LONDON not too long ago, and I was instantly attracted to their minimalistic, yet luxurious, monochrome packaging. Little did I know, the brand had such a beautiful story behind it. A story, which would really resonate with me a few months later.
I’m introduced to and discover new brands all the time, but there were three particular brands I was introduced to before my mum’s diagnosis – all three brands were created due to a connection to cancer, with the premiss to help people both with or without cancer.
When I was introduced to these brands I thought, ‘I love them so much, I will definitely use these products myself’, but I also thought ‘I will keep them in mind to recommend to someone if I hear they’re touched by cancer’.
Little did I know, one to two months later my mum would be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I truly believe discovering these brands was a way the universe was getting me ready for what was to come.
BY SARAH LONDON was one of these divine brands, and I’m so excited to share their story on The Emasphere. With a range of natural, organic and vegan skincare products, the brand was created by Sarah, who’s sister, was at the time, recovering from Leukaemia. Finding a gap in the market for up-front natural beauty products, Sarah created a beauty range which tells you exactly what’s in the products (in their non-science form) on the front label.
With my mum’s recovery, BY SARAH LONDON products have been a god send. I’ve been ensuring mum only uses natural, chemical-free products. Chemo can leave you with really weak and dry skin, but the Body Oil, Facial Oil and Lip Balm have really helped to inject some nourishment and hydration back into mum’s skin. The products are fragrance free too, which is brilliant for those having aversions to strong scents.
Of course, BY SARAH LONDON isn’t just for those going through cancer, they’re perfect products for everyone and anyone. The brand really made me stop to think ‘what am I actually putting on my skin?!’. Just like you take extra care about what food you put in your body, your skincare and make-up needs to be thought about too. Have you ever thought about how many chemicals you could be exposing yourself to as you get ready in the morning?! Just some food for thought…
Anyway, enough from me! Here’s my interview with BY SARAH LONDON founder, Sarah.
I hope you enjoy!
Tell me the BY SARAH LONDON story. How did you begin? Did you ever think you would end up working in the skincare/beauty industry?
I spent over 10 years working in the beauty and wellness industry and have had a passion for skincare for as long as I can remember. My sister, Lauren, often tells the story of me preparing a presentation at school when I was about 13 on how to cleanse, tone and moisturise! A real turning point for me was when Lauren was recovering from leukaemia in 2012 and I created natural, organic, plant-based skincare to help soothe her skin. My blends became popular among friends and family and the business organically grew from there. Lauren made a full recovery and is now my business partner and we launched the brand officially in November 2017!
What makes BY SARAH LONDON unique? What kinds of products are in your range? Are they suitable for everyone?
Transparency is at the heart of our brand. We use the finest natural, organic, plant-based oils, minerals and clays from the earth and seas and detail a FULL ingredient list on the FRONT label of each of our products. We want to empower people and help them to understand exactly what they’re putting on their skin. We also detail the superpowers of each of our ingredients on the product pages of our website (bysarahlondon.com). Our skincare does not contain any hidden, artificial or synthetic ingredients, and being free from fragrance and essential oils, they’re suitable for all skin types and both men and women. We launched with our Organic Facial Oil (vegan), Organic Body Oil (vegan), Organic Lip Balm and very recently added our Green Clay Cleansing Balm and Bath Salts to the collection! We were so thrilled when our Organic Facial Oil won The Best New Product Launch 2018 by The Beauty Shortlist just four months after our launch!
Where do you get your inspiration from for the brand? In terms of types of products, ingredients, and even branding.
I’m inspired by the incredible powers of mother nature! Whether simply taking a walk in the countryside or being on a sandy beach, there is so much to learn by being present and aware of the nature and beauty around us. In terms of a product and brand aesthetic, I love Scandinavian design and Californian living, that’s my perfect combination.
What have you learnt about business and entrepreneurship since starting BY SARAH LONDON? Is there any advice you can give to someone who is aspiring to start their own business, or do you have any tips for anyone wanting to go into the skincare industry?
I’ve learned to wear many hats! In any one day, I could be hand-crafting products in our Studio, photographing products for our website and Instagram, engaging with our wonderful customers and then speaking at an event! The best advice is to be kind to yourself and celebrate the small wins; it’s a marathon and not a sprint and so it’s important to take stock along the way. A recent mini-celebration for Lauren and I was the registration of our Organic Facial Oil and Organic Body Oil with The Vegan Society – it’s more than just a logo, it cements our commitment to consciously choosing ingredients that not only provide rich nutrients for your skin, but do so without being tested on animals and without the use of animals in the manufacture of both products too
What are the three things you love most about what you do?
1. Creating beautiful natural and organic skincare that our wonderful customers love using every day; and reading their kind emails, Instagram comments and 5* reviews!
2. Meeting incredibly motivated and inspiring entrepreneurs and wellness mavericks.
3. Working with Lauren!
Your typical day looks like?
There is no typical day – but I’ll often be hand-crafting skincare and preparing customer orders, connecting with collaborators, designing new products, the list goes on…! Our days are so jam-packed that I keep a jug of water on my desk so that I make sure I’m drinking enough. And if I can’t get to the gym in the morning, I’ll go for a mid-afternoon run or walking meeting with Lauren – our Studio is in the South Downs National Park and so we make sure we maximise our fresh air and Vitamin D exposure when we can!
Do you travel much for business, or more for leisure? What do you enjoy most about travelling, eg. the food, culture, style?
I love travelling! We’re travelling quite a bit for business at the moment; we’re in Scotland this weekend for an event and next month I’m in New York for an in-store event with one of our stockists, Wolf & Badger, which I’m super excited about! Travel always gives me another perspective and being in a new environment fires up my creative ideas – I always come back with a notebook filled with new product innovations and collaborations!
Is there a certain area in the world you love travelling to, or dream of travelling to?
There are so many places I’d love to visit! Japan: to see the cherry blossom and their beauty scene. California: to stroll around the cute shops and boutiques of the coastal towns of Orange County and Santa Monica and see how BY SARAH could be featured! Singapore: I hear the wellness scene is really booming in the region and so I’d be interested to go and visit.
What are your top beauty tips for travelling? Are there any particular BY SARAH LONDON products you can’t leave home without?
Water, water, water! I drink a lot when I’m travelling to keep my skin super hydrated. I always keep a BY SARAH Organic Facial Oil (10ml) in my bag – it’s handy when travelling and means I can top up if I’m in dry environment, like AC on an aeroplane! I always have my Organic Lip Balm too – it’s so handy to keep my lips smooth and I use it if I have any dry patches on my hands (some soaps really dry out my skin).
Is there a particular businessperson you look up to and admire?
At the moment, I’m listening to a lot of the How I Built This podcasts by Guy Raz – he interviews some fantastic entrepreneurs and business leaders, I really like his interview style and I’ve learned so much from his interview with business people like Jane Wurwand from Dermalogica and Kate Spade from the eponymous fashion brand.
What does the future look like for you and BY SARAH LONDON?
Our dream is for BY SARAH LONDON to be the trusted wellness destination for all your skincare, self-care and lifestyle needs. We’re launching new products this summer and will continue to grow our community of followers who believe in our mission in the UK and internationally! 2018 is set to be an incredibly exciting year for us!
If you would like to donate to a cancer foundation, I would be beyond appreciative. Please see the details below.