If you want to offset your fine jewellery pieces to perfection you’ll need flawless skin. 111 Skin is the surgically inspired, scientifically led brand that delivers superior results.
What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine?
My mornings are the best part of my day, especially when it comes to spending quality time with my family and so, as soon as I’m up in the morning, I’ll get my sons up and ready for school. When it comes to my routine; I always start my day with a grapefruit juice and coffee, this is the time that I treasure where myself, Yannis and the boys can spend some time together over a healthy breakfast before we all depart of the day. In regard to my skincare routine, I will double cleanse with the Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser, apply my Cryo ATP Sports Booster and get ready for a workout which usually is a run in the park with my dog, Sparky and husband.
How did you know it was the right time to launch your own brand and what were the stepping-stones to that point?
Initially we worked quietly on our capsule product collection which was strictly designed for our clients within the Clinic and little did we know at the time, Doctor brands were quickly becoming the new beauty authority. Yannis’s expertise, knowledge and constant contact with his clients gave us the inspiration behind each of our products. The real revelation was the unexpected reception received from the first product – the Y Theorem Serum. It was a complimentary treatment given to his patient’s post-surgery and the demand from them as well as from the retail outlets such as Harrods (at the time) was incredible. The result achieved wasn’t just about post-treatment recovery; it was focused on the daily healing of the skin.
You’re London based, how has that helped or hindered in growing your own brand globally?
Being based in London has had a phenomenal impact on the brand nationally and globally. When you are based in London you are surrounded by such incredible people, energy and expertise. London attracts so many young and talented individuals and it has become a base that so many people from all over the world can call home and I am so fortunate that 111SKIN employees span across at least 40 different nationalities. I grew up in a very uniformed environment where different nationalities and cultures were slim to none and it’s one of the things that I treasure most about London, its diversity which breeds innovation – it’s inspiring for any brand.
Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of the brand and how have you grown the team to support this?
Definitely the creative! It is important to note that creativity doesn’t spark from one person and it takes different backgrounds, experiences and expertise to blend together in order for the brand to keep growing creatively. I treasure my finance team because the business side of the brand isn’t my strong point and I have to rely on these experts as the company closes in on £20 million in sales – it’s important to invest in a team of people that support your weaker areas of expertise. Creativity is my passion, but it is very much a collaborative process.
What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it?
I would say once you own a business, you work non-stop but to help overcome the hurdle I have been lucky enough to employ a bigger team and delegate efficiently. This was not so easy in the beginning as I couldn’t afford to hire anyone and was relying on myself but now that the brand has momentum, we can hire experts in the industry to support the growth of the brand.
Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path?
My mentors are those that are close to me such as my mother and my husband. Yannis still inspires me to this day from his discipline to study and continued practice of medicine over the last 35 years – and for him to still take pride in what he does every day is incredibly inspiring. I also look up to my mother but for very different reasons, she was so independent whilst living under the communist regime and was able to continue to work, explore and maintain such an exciting worldly view which she has also instilled within me.
What is your approach to scaling a business and client retention?
It is important to push and navigate a moderate growth over a short and quick succession. We have been very fortunate to grow quickly with the opportunities that have graced our path, but we purposely slow the growth to a moderate pace for sustainability, accountability and precision. When we look into growth, we look after, prioritize and nurture each account with our utmost attention. Each new territory requires our focus and we have learnt to pace ourselves and say no to big opportunities if they put unnecessary pressure on our key divisions.
In regard to our client retention we are not just selling skincare, we are an experiential brand and our hope is that our clients will purchase our products and have the ability to experience and fall in love with our 111 Harley Street Clinic, our biohacking Cryo/Heat Therapy treatments, our global Five Star Spas and take us with them on their life journey.
You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions or countries and have you seen any changes this year as a result of COVID-19?
I would say in the beginning we were the first brand to harness and introduce advanced masking technology that consisted of either Bio Cellulose or Hydrogel formulas. With the demand starting in Asia, we were then able to influence this technology in Europe and America and it soon became our bestselling category across all of our markets. In the US specifically, clients are driven by and attracted to key ingredients and as a clinically inspired brand, we invest in unique formulations with high efficacy to optimize results – this in-depth research is then what the US market looks for in regard to their products. Yet, if we compare to the Middle Eastern market, we have had a strong demand from our spa locations such as Jumeirah and the Mandarin Oriental as the clients like to experience the products through pampering wellness and facial treatments.
In regard to changes as a result of COVID, acne, pollution and anti-blemish skincare regimes have fast become global trends and the awareness around it has catapulted immensely. It has especially brought more demand around clinical skincare, ingredient efficiency, immunity, anti-bacterial and a heavier emphasis on doctor derived brands.
How has social media affected the beauty business and which platform has been most useful?
Social media has impacted the beauty business immensely, it has opened the conversation between the customers and the brands creating such a positive synergy which does in fact influence product selection, launches and strategy. With our own personal social media growth, it has its own unexpected success story where our customers really embrace sharing the love for the brand, their routine and their normal day-to-day occasions. The content has been unsolicited (we do not pay for any endorsements) with a huge exposure that has not only generated an organic reach, but we also get to witness how the everyday consumer uses our products and that feedback is priceless. Our biggest platform with the most growth has been Instagram, from backstage at fashion shows to the models and clients wearing and sharing our masks on flights, at home, events and in their downtime, it has generated such an exciting buzz.
Which product would you recommend for any skin type and which is the best for anti-ageing?
For any skin type, I would recommend the Y Theorem Repair Serum for its healing and soothing properties. Our skin is exposed to so many external environmental factors and in the process, our skin’s cells become not only damaged but decrease over time. The Y Theorem Serum is the perfect addition to support the daily healing of the skin and helps to support cells in creating the perfect equilibrium. In regard to anti-ageing, I do have to admit, I dislike the word for the negative stigma it portrays as ageing is a blessed and beautiful process but if I had to highlight a collection it would be the Intensive range. It is our most opulent yet potent collection that incorporates the most concentrated ingredients to treat visible fine lines and wrinkles and lax skin. Inspired by clinical treatments to stimulate the skin, the collection invites a healthy and vibrant appearance.
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Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration?
There are so many inspiring accounts that I look too, and I constantly discover new accounts from those that tag us in their routines over on Instagram. I enjoy scrolling through Revolve’s Instagram account and vigorously read the Business of Fashion. I also love the accounts of designers such as Laura Kim from Oscar De La Renta, Brandon Maxwell and impartial beauty accounts such as Violet Grey.
Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals?
I do and my rituals are encased in my skincare routines because I love to indulge in a treatment mask. It brings me such joy and a huge sense of calm with my current favourites being between the Celestial Black Diamond Lifting and Firming Mask and the Y Theorem Bio Cellulose Mask. I always start by double cleansing and then applying the Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil followed by the Celestial Black Diamond Cream. I also love to put my youngest son to bed and honestly, I do hope it lasts a few more years because I treasure these moments – my teenage son refuses for me to tuck him in bed now.
What advice would you give to your younger self starting out?
I would have to say to dream big, have no fear and don’t worry about people judging you.
If you had not launched your own brand, which other role would you choose career-wise?
I can’t imagine that I would be doing anything else other than working in beauty; but one thing is for sure I would have still found a way to be my own boss regardless of the industry.
Which piece of fine jewellery is your most precious and why?
My engagement ring that was given to me by my husband 18 years ago. Over the years he has asked me on a number of occasions to replace it, but my answer will always be no – it holds huge sentimental value to me. My most treasured possession has to be my David Morris Ring and my Lorraine Schwartz Evil Eye Bracelet.
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Images: Supplied / 111Skin Instagram