Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic are the brains behind the successful all natural beauty concept: the Clean Beauty Co. They started Clean Beauty Co (CBCo) as a blog and, two years on, it’s now seen as the UK’s premier destination for natural beauty content. They released Clean Beauty the book (published by Penguin) in January 2017 and launched their skincare range BYBI Beauty in February 2017. As a natural brand, they provide transparency and innovation in their formulations to create really great, high performance products that actually work. Everything they do is 100% natural, vegan and cruelty free and promotes fresh, glowing skin – always. Good for your skin, good for your body, good for our world.
CBCo products are currently availble in all Planet Organic stores across London, BeautyMart in Topshop Oxford Circus, Content Beauty and a number of boutique international retailers. Stay tuned for their launch on ASOS!
We had a chance to catch up with Elsie and Dominika to hear more.
How did the idea for Clean Beauty Co. come about?
We met a few years ago whilst working in advertising – we quickly hit it off and discovered that wellness was a shared passion of ours. The idea for CBCo and making our own beauty products was a natural extension of what we were already doing with food: moving away from processed foods and trying to gain a better understanding of how food fuelled our bodies.
When we realised we were paying big bucks for moisturisers and treatments that just simply were not worth it, we felt disappointed and a little betrayed. We were inspired to make a change by taking control of exactly what went into our beauty products – by making our own! It started out as a blog and grew from there.
How would you describe the importance of social media to drive a business like Clean Beauty Co./BYBI Beauty?
Social media has been a crucial part to the business; it’s where we started out and it gave us an amplification platform for the content we were sharing, allowing us to build a community with little investment to begin with. It’s our key marketing channel and allows us to have two-way communication with our community.
As the founders of Clean Beauty Co., what does your typical day look like?
There is rarely such thing as a typical day for us! We are a small team so still heavily involved in all aspects of the business. Our days range from meetings with clients, our designers, our marketing agency, investors or web developer to working on new product development, sourcing suppliers, running photoshoots and meeting with the team to discuss our social schedule. Yesterday we were at a packaging innovations conference! It’s non-stop but we love it!
What do you enjoy most about doing your own thing?
We’re involved in every element of the way that our business runs which means we have exposure to areas we’d never dreamed of working in – finance, logistics, design…it’s so varied which means it never gets boring. We’re also both hugely passionate about the work we do and the goal we’re working towards which makes it very rewarding!
The beauty industry is fast paced and ever changing. How has is changed in your view, and what is Clean Beauty Co. bringing to the mix.
It’s such a great time to be in beauty as the landscape is constantly moving at the moment and we’re seeing really interesting trends emerge. Right now indie brands are challenging the bigger, more corporate brands by moving faster, providing transparency and shifting the way they communicate with their customers. We’re seeing small brand triumph which is very exciting. We’re definitely striving to be a disruptive brand and have the edge that we’re 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free too.
What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced in creating your business?
Every day throws a new challenge – we’re new to the beauty industry so there ar
e so many aspects of it that we’re still learning. Things go wrong all the time! But so many of our biggest challenges have proven to be our biggest learning points and often open new doors and opportunities for us. As a start-up the most important ability to have is being open to pivoting – learning from mistakes and changing direction at short notice.
Here at Eyedea have been honored to host some of the world’s leading women in business across different sectors. Who would you say are the women who inspire you?
The beauty industry is currently brimming full of incredibly driven, creative and smart women who are pioneering the indie beauty brand movement and challenging the norms. We look up to the likes of Emily Weiss (Glossier) and Jen Atkin (Ouai) are great examples.
What would be your top 3 words of advice for anyone thinking of branching out in this direction?
- Use social media as a low-risk way to test your market before significantly investing or making and big decisions. It’s a great (and free) way to really assess whether there’s an appetite for your product.
- Go into business with someone else. Neither of us would have done this without the other, start-up life can be lonely having a second mind to bounce ideas off and discuss things with is so valuable.
- Be open-minded to change, learning from mistakes, moving quickly and messing up along the way!
Clean Beauty Co/BYBI Beauty has gone from strength to strength since its start up, how do you see it taking shape over the next few years?
The aim is to build BYBI into a globally recognised beauty brand who produce fantastic skincare. We have a number of BYBI launches planned and will continue to focus on creating great quality products that our community actually want!
We will be collaborating with Clean Beauty Co. later in the year, and you can explore more about them here