We caught up with Sarah Murrell, founder of the recently-launched organic, plant-based skincare brand, BY SARAH.
Tell us a bit about BY SARAH?
At BY SARAH we handcraft luxurious, certified-organic, plant-based skincare, championing an honest approach to skin nourishment. We believe in making it easy to understand what you’re putting on your skin. You should have the same organic, ethically-sourced options in skincare as you do in food, with labels that are clear and easy to understand. That’s why we are pioneering up-front labelling and will always detail a full ingredient list on the front of each product. It’s our way of telling you everything you need to know, up-front.
How did the idea for BY SARAH come about? What inspired you to do this?
My inspiration and motivation to help us all make natural, organic skincare and wellness choices began with my sister’s recovery from cancer in 2012. While searching for gentle, natural and organic products, I found that it was impossible to tell what was in the products. Even many natural and organic ranges had long, cryptic ingredient lists and sometimes confusing and misleading labelling. So I decided to blend by hand my own products from carefully-curated, organic and sustainably-sourced, plant-based ingredients. And the finest of my blends have become BY SARAH.
How would you describe the importance of social media to drive BY SARAH?
At BY SARAH, we primarily use Instagram and Facebook (@bysarahlondon) and use these tools to connect with those who share our values in the natural, organic and wellness spaces. Connecting with early adopters is thrilling and seeing them spread the word about our mission is equally fulfilling. It is a time consuming but necessary component of running the business. Identifying and connecting with potential influencers and advocates for our business is a critical part of our social media strategy.
As the founder of BY SARAH, what does your typical day look like?
I love to see new order requests coming in overnight. I’m typically busy in the studio fulfilling customer orders, or on the phone and on my laptop, responding to emails, preparing for meetings and events, and spreading the word that BY SARAH has just launched! A constant in every day is my 2 litres of water, exercise, whether that’s at the gym or a brisk walk, and a burst of inspiration (often in the form of a TED talk).
What do you enjoy most about doing your own thing?
Being my own boss! Having total control and freedom to create a business I passionately believe in is the best thing for sure.
The beauty industry is fast paced and ever changing. How has it changed in your view, and what is BY SARAH bringing to the mix?
Prior to founding BY SARAH, I spent almost 10 years working in branding and communications, for the world’s leading beauty and lifestyle brands, including the Estée Lauder Companies, Unilever and L’Oréal. What I’ve noticed is real growth within the organic beauty market and the demand for vegan and cruelty-free products, with an emphasis on transparency of ingredients. BY SARAH has been created to help men and women understand what they’re putting on their skin by pioneering up-front labelling and using the highest quality, certified organic, plant-based ingredients.
What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced in creating your business?
The main challenge of being the sole founder of a business is wearing about a dozen different hats at any one time and needing to make decisions quickly. In any one day, I can perform the roles required by a CEO to an intern!
Here at Eyedea, we have been honoured to host some of the world’s leading women in business across different sectors. Who would you say are the women who inspire you?
Jo Malone is an inspiration and actually my first employer! I worked in the Jo Malone store on Sloane Street when I was 17 and was taken by the beauty and sophistication of her products. I also had the chance to speak with her at the Eyedea event in 2014 and hear first-hand how she built her business. I follow Arianna Huffington and admire her championing the importance of wellbeing and wellness through her best-selling book Thrive and website Thrive Global (I’d highly recommend the weekly newsletter!).
What would be your top 3 words of advice for anyone thinking of branching out in this direction?
Be kind, creative and courageous.
You’ve just launched, what’s next?
We launched on 1 November 2017 and so we’re still very new and growing our brand awareness. We will be exhibiting BY SARAH at a number of events over the coming months, including the Renegade Craft Fair on 9 & 10 December, and working on some very exciting collaborations. In the meantime, you can find us on Instagram and Facebook @bysarahlondon or over at bysarahlondon.com.