[7 MINUTE READ]
Happy Christmas Eve everyone! Before you start to wind down into festivities, we bring you your weekly Friday Founder interview.
This week we had the pleasure of chatting to Marie Reynolds, Global Skin & Wellness Expert and Founder of Marie Reynolds London.
In today’s conversation, Marie divulges why she got into the beauty industry, her biggest “pinch-me” moment so far and what the future holds for her brand. Without further chit-chat, grab yourself a hot cup of cocoa, and let’s get into it.
Morning Marie! Please could you start by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel it has influenced you today?
My childhood was a magical one. I come from a working-class family and was brought up in South East London with my two elder brothers. My father has always instilled in me my own self-belief that anything is possible through hard work, passion, and commitment.
"I sold my house, moved in with my parents, and invested everything I had into my company."
That is so vital to hear growing up. So, how did you get started in the beauty industry?
I started when I was very young, working in a local beauty salon. It was my first taste of the beauty world before I started working for a skincare company doing education and training. It gave me opportunities to travel the world and increase my confidence. My passion has really always been well-being and how internal wellness influences the skin, so as I was (literally) growing up in the industry, I found that I steered more towards the holistic side of things.
That must have been a fantastic opportunity to learn about the industry! When did you decide to start up your brand: Marie Reynolds London and why?
I started my brand in 2011 out of necessity. My profile was growing amongst beauty editors and celebrities and I started to outgrow the company I was working for at the time; my role didn’t align with what they wanted from me. I felt a lot of pressure from the company and didn’t feel like my needs as a single mother were being heard. I had studied hard throughout the years in wellbeing modalities that allowed me to create my own specific methods, so I felt this put me in good stead to start my own business. It was important for me to show my daughter that no matter how big companies make you feel, you should never be afraid to branch out and do your own thing.
Absolutely! So, would you say the timing was key to starting Marie Reynolds London?
Yes, because I had to provide for my daughter. I sold my house, moved in with my parents, and invested everything I had into my company. It was a risky move but I believed in my ethos and approach.
Wow! That is amazing! And does Marie Reynolds consider issues relating to sensitive skin and allergies?
Yes. My whole work ethos is focused on how skin issues arise from internal imbalances. I have a full collection of supplements and I recommend taking the right ones for your needs, along with your topical skincare products to target imbalances from within, as well as on the skin. All of my products are suitable for all skin. I don’t believe in skin types, rather that the skin reflects what is going on inside the body - as such, my products are formulated for everyone. This year, Marie Reynolds London products also started being stocked on The C List, which is the new beauty platform for cancer patients. That is so vital to me that literally anyone can use my products or treatments and see the benefits, no matter what their skin is going through.
I can imagine! What an incredible achievement. And in what ways do you consider allergies and sensitivities throughout the manufacturing process and when selecting ingredients?
The phyto-nutrients I select and all of my ingredients have to maintain the skin’s lipid barrier and microbiome. If these two functions are impaired, you will have sensitivity and may experience allergic reactions. Hemp protein is the basis of my hero products. My Restore formula is incredibly soothing and healing; the majority of the phytonutrients work on reducing inflammation that may be a result of the lipid barrier being impaired. The oils in my range are designed to work in line with the skin's natural sebum so the whole process works with the skin rather than forcing it into a state of false repair.
That is so interesting! Do you think people are more conscious of the ingredients in their beauty and skincare products nowadays? If so, why?
Yes, for sure! There is a lot of accessible information on social media platforms nowadays and a growing understanding that active ingredients are not always the correct ingredients to be using on your skin. The lipid barrier - and the many ways you can repair and protect it - is receiving a lot of attention recently so it is great that people are becoming more aware of how to look after their skin without using harsh ingredients.
I couldn’t agree more! Moving onto the business side of things, how does sustainability factor into Marie Reynolds London?
It is very important; my brand is almost 100% sustainable. The ingredients are organic, kosher, dairy-free, and mostly vegan. The packaging is almost there, there are just a couple of components that we are working on. It’s really important for my packaging to be 100% recyclable which it will be soon. My supplements are designed to go through the letterbox in order to reduce delivery packaging, and they are fully recyclable.
That’s awesome. What were your biggest challenges in starting up a business?
The pitfalls of all the red tape that is needed to launch products - for example, toxicology reports and registering them on portals. I create all of my products from scratch, from the barcode to the formula, right through to the finished product. Of course, my manufacturer physically creates the blend I want but there are so many testing processes and many other tiers of authentication needed.
It sounds incredibly complex! What strategies do you think have been key to the success of Marie Reynolds London?
Focusing on my own goals and not being side-tracked by others’ opinions or beliefs has been key.
That is so important! What is your favourite thing about your job?
Helping my clients with their skin and wellness needs. There is no greater reward than hearing you have helped someone.
"Life inspires me.. all things nature and science."
It must be so rewarding! Which is your favourite product that you’ve ever created?
It has to be Restore… although it is a little like picking your favourite child! Restore is my award-winning skin food facial mask; a multi-purpose powder mask that nourishes and protects the skin at epidermal levels.
Marie Reynolds London Restore not only feeds the skin but supports imbalances within the epidermal flora through the skin's microorganisms. When allowed to thrive, these microorganisms adapt to every skin condition and skin type resulting in balanced flora and fauna. Alongside providing antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, rejuvenating, and brightening results, each application of Restore provides the skin with 8 strains plus billions of live bacteria cultures. Restore not only feeds the skin but supports imbalances within the epidermal flora.
Restore has been the core of the brand. It was the first product I ever created and the reason I made my products available for consumers (on the recommendation of a well-known Beauty Director) and the success of the product speaks for itself!
Restore sounds like a game-changer! I need to try it! What do you think makes your brand stand out?
And what do you think is your biggest “pinch-me” moment since starting the brand?
Attending the Grand Prix in the Royal enclosure and staying at the Emirates Palace as guests of the UAE Ambassador and his wife. The Ambassador's wife Abeer is a client of mine and loves my work and products. Abeer and her husband curate a high-level four-day event and invite special guests to join them. I was very lucky to be one of the guests.
What a wonderful experience that must have been! What inspires you?
Life inspires me.. all things nature and science.
And could you describe what an average day looks like for you?
Calm chaos! My day starts very early; I am up and out the door walking the dogs with the larks. I am fortunate enough to live in Norfolk amidst the most stunning countryside and beginning my day with a clear head in this way is crucial for me. Then, my work day will begin in the clinic answering emails, doing Energy Therapy and doing online consultations back to back. As soon as the clinic opens I have skin therapies booked, colonic hydrotherapies, energy therapies and Live Blood analysis so it all keeps me very busy.
It sounds extremely busy indeed! Do you think you are able to have a work/life balance?
I didn’t but I realise I have to practice what I preach. I make sure Thursdays and Fridays are catch-up days so I do not do any therapies on those days and then, on the weekend, my phone is off. Family time is priority!
What words do you live by?
#HUTOMO - Heads Up Tits Out March On
Haha. That is brilliant! So, what’s next for the brand?
I’d love to launch in some new markets… stay tuned!