The legal world to the beauty world is a huge jump, what inspired you to change careers?
It sure is! But all the time that I worked as a lawyer, I felt like something wasn’t quite right and I became more and more certain that I wanted to do something that allowed me to be more creative and entrepreneurial while still making a difference to other people’s lives.
It was discovering the amazing benefits of raw coconut oil a few years ago that inspired my passion for natural skincare, which in turn led me to discover just how few truly natural beauty and skincare options there were out there. So often a brand would market a product as natural but include the word ‘parfum’ on the ingredients list – which actually encompasses over 200 types of chemicals and preservatives. Ingredients lists all seemed incredibly extensive and unclear, and the inclusion of many of the ingredients went unexplained by the brand – which just didn’t feel right, especially with the large price tag that so many natural and organic products came with.
Ultimately, my overarching sense was that brands were not allowing consumers to make an informed choice about what they were putting on their skin – the largest organ in the body which absorbs at least 60% of what goes on it – and selling products based on ‘mystique’, a complicated, lengthy and opaque ingredients list or an over- the top product name.
I knew I had found something that I was passionate about, and I felt utterly motivated to change this and make a difference. I took the leap and chose to take some time out of law and start Sister & Co., launching Sister & Co. Coconut Oil and then working with a team of cosmetic chemists to develop the wider Sister & Co. Skin Food range. I haven’t looked back.
How is Sister + Co different from other organic 100% natural beauty brands?
Our mission is to create natural skin and body care products that are efficacious, luxurious and accessible – and by being transparent about what we put in our products, give consumers back control over what they are putting on their skin.
Our products are made using raw, unprocessed active ingredients of the highest quality sourced from all over the world. By focusing on quality, not quantity, and developing products entirely without chemical preservatives, fillers or fragrances of any kind in any quantity – meaning that the nutrients, vitamins and minerals remain fully intact – we are able to create highly potent formulations. Every ingredient we include in our products has a therapeutic purpose and is clearly disclosed on our packaging.
Potency is retained by blending our products in smaller batches than other brands, carrying out production runs every twelve weeks and bringing products straight to market, meaning that every product you experience is at peak efficacy.
With such beautiful products to choose from, what does your beauty regime look like for face and body?
I launched Sister & Co. Skin Food after becoming passionate about raw coconut oil when I discovered that it worked amazingly to clear up my recurrent bad skin, and I cleanse religiously with our coconut oil every night. In the morning, I wash my face with our Ultimate Cleanse Detoxify Charcoal Soap – I am 8 months pregnant and have found that my skin has become more oily so the combination of anti-bacterial coconut oil and purifying charcoal has really helped. I have tended to follow that with a few drops of rosehip oil before I put my makeup on, which is lovely, but I’m now using our amazing new facial oil launching at the end of April – we are super excited about this product, so make sure you check back for updates!
Our Dream Cream for Mothers & Babies has been a staple over the last few months – I haven’t got any stretch marks, which I credit the cream for. It’s an intensively nourishing blend of vitamin E-packed raw shea butter, cold-pressed almond and apricot oils, lavender and shea and can be used by mums throughout pregnancy and then on their babies. I also cannot rate dry body brushing highly enough – it works wonders to boost circulation and tone skin.
What are your beauty product handbag essentials?
Our handbag sized coconut oil, an on the go ‘everything’ balm – hand cream, brow tamer, highlighter… lipstick and one of our Lip Tonics (my personal favourite is the Rose Otto & Cardamom), which means your lips/lipstick won’t ever dry out.
What is your advice on a healthy work/life balance?
I think it’s really hard to strike, especially if you are your own boss as work is always at the back of your mind, 24-7. Lists help – work out your priorities over an allocated time period and stick to them as far as possible. Being able to say no, and the willingness to delegate are also important.
But ultimately, I can’t see that it’s possible to ever achieve the perfect work/life balance – so you have to make sure that you’re as happy as you can be in both areas, so it doesn’t matter when one inevitably spills over into the other. In my experience the people you surround yourself with, and making sure you are always learning and challenging yourself, are big factors that influence this.
Before you started Sister & Co you already had an interest in health and wellness – What are three health essentials you can’t live without?
A gym membership – I have to exercise to keep sane. I’ve not been very mobile over the last month because of severe SPD and it’s been hard being cooped up indoors…and super painful, a side effect of pregnancy I was not at all prepared for. Pip & Nut Coconut & Almond butter, I think my baby loves it too as I have craved it by the jar load over the last few months. And my essential oil collection – however you are feeling, whatever the time of day or night, there is always something that can help.
Do you have a personal mantra or quote that resonates with you?
You never know what you can achieve until you try. Challenge yourself and take the risk – you’ll most likely be surprised.
Favourite healthy haunts of London?
The Detox Kitchen, who were one of our first retailers! I absolutely love their lunches. Nama in Notting Hill – their desserts are out of this world… and I love going to the spin gym Psycle, it’s such a motivating environment – and I always make sure to pick up something from the yummy selection of Maple & Fitz goodies on offer.
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