[7 MINUTE READ]
TGIF guys! Not sure about you all, but this week felt long for us, so we could not be more excited for some sleep this weekend.
If you also fancy getting an early night soon, you might be interested in today’s interviewee, Leah Uka. Leah is the CEO and Founder of The Laid Club, a sleepwear company that uses silk in their pillowcases and sleepwear to help your skin as you sleep.
The Laid Club believes silk can help change the way our skin develops fine lines, wrinkles and retains moisture during the night. To hear all about how Leah started up this truly unique brand and what her day-to-day looks like, just grab your coffee and let’s get into it.
Morning Leah! Could you start by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel it has influenced you today?
Morning! I grew up in Bristol in a working-class home. My dad was a publican and my mum used to work in sales. Although on the surface you could say that I experienced a good upbringing, there were elements that definitely shaped me into the person I am today. I guess you could say I have always strived for more. I had an ambitious nature, which was a rare thing coming from where I lived. I decided to leave at the age of 16 and join the British Army as a combat medic, and it was there that my interest in business developed. I started to meet people from all different backgrounds and that opened my eyes to what was possible.
"We donate and work with Ecologi to plant trees and reduce carbon pollution. So far, as a business, we have planted over 200 trees, and offset over 11 tonnes of carbon."
That must have been a very exciting time for you! How did you get started in the beauty and fashion industries?
I have always had an interest in the beauty and fashion industries for as long as I can remember. Having left the British Army with my medical qualifications, I decided to retrain and qualify as a skincare specialist. I opened up a clinic in Pembrokeshire after having my two children, using my skills as a medical practitioner and advanced skincare treatments to help people suffering from skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. Then, I began to help people who were looking to turn back the clock and started to focus on skin treatments for ageing.
That must have been really fulfilling to help all these people who were struggling with their skin. When did you decide to start up The Laid Club and why? Was the timing important?
Having grown up with problematic skin myself, I have always kept my finger on the pulse when it comes to skincare and the beauty industry. As most beauty enthusiasts will tell you, sleeping on silk has always been ‘the thing to do’ as it helps with acne, sensitive skin, oiliness, ageing, as well as being great for your hair!
However, I wanted to do something different from what was already out there on the market. I not only wanted to make a luxurious product but also wanted to make it affordable for the average consumer. Developing The Laid Club with the skincare ingredient Hyaluronic Acid not only made sense to me because of my background, but it is certainly an exciting prospect for any skincare or beauty enthusiast. You can take your nighttime routine to a whole other level with The Laid Club.
Totally! It’s something I have been meaning to do for ages but The Laid Club makes it really easy. Does The Laid Club consider issues relating to sensitive skin/allergies?
Yes, we absolutely do! Silk is fantastic, not only for sensitive skin, but it is also hypoallergenic.
I’ve heard that. So in what ways does The Laid Club consider sensitive skin/sensitivities/allergies throughout the process of selecting fabrics and materials?
As a brand, we only use the very best natural silk available, and that is 25 Momme, 100% mulberry silk selected by us. We enforce strict inspections and fully comply with ISO9001 and the International OEKO-TEX Standard 100, as well as using Non-Toxic Dyes.
That’s great to hear! And how does sustainability factor into your business?
As a brand, we are very mindful of our impact on the environment, which is why we use recyclable packaging where we can. We are also very aware of our carbon footprint due to being a worldwide shipper of goods. This is part of the reason we donate and work with Ecologi to plant trees and reduce carbon pollution. So far, as a business, we have planted over 200 trees, and offset over 11 tonnes of carbon.
Wow! That is really wonderful that you are keeping yourselves accountable. Do you think people are more conscious of the materials and fabrics in their clothes nowadays? If so, why?
Yes, without a doubt. The world is growing more and more aware and, as consumers, we are realising the impact of the things we do. It is important that we continue to evolve accordingly to help create a more sustainable future for generations to come.
I couldn’t agree more. Long-term strategies are great, but we need to keep accessing the situation as we go to ensure we are moving with the times. What were your biggest challenges in starting up The Laid Club?
We started developing The Laid Club before the pandemic hit and we were actually supposed to launch earlier this year, in March. Unfortunately, the world had other plans for us and so, our launch was delayed by over 6 months. This is not something we accounted for – I don’t think anyone did – so this was probably our greatest challenge so far!
That must have meant a whole lot of reorganisation for you and your team. What strategies do you think have been key to the success of The Laid Club so far?
Doing something different and changing the status quo for the better has been key for us. It has always been important to me to stand out from the crowd and not be a ‘follower’. Of course, we are in 2020 and, unfortunately, there is not much that has not already been done. However, for me, it is all about how you take something and put your own spin on it to deliver something totally unique. That is what sets you apart from the rest.
I love that mentality! What is your favourite thing about your job?
Seeing people fall in love with something you have created is without doubt the best feeling in the world. I love to create, and I love to make people feel good about themselves and give them something to feel happy about!
"The fact that we have developed our silk with hyaluronic acid is definitely a unique selling point."
That is really lovely! Right, which is your all-time favourite piece that you’ve ever created?
It has to be our signature pillowcase and sleep mask sets. Not only are they an absolute dream both from a luxury and aesthetic point of view, but they actually help people get better skin, better hair and better sleep!
Thanks so much for gifting us a set to try! What do you think makes The Laid Club stand out?
The fact that we have developed our silk with hyaluronic acid is definitely a unique selling point. I would also say our customer service and growing community of beauty and skincare enthusiasts that have come together in The Laid Club make us special.
Totally! A positive and supportive community can make all the difference to a brand. Could you describe your biggest “pinch-me” moment since starting up The Laid Club?
Aside from magazine features, it has to be being asked to work alongside a well-known celebrity makeup artist to showcase our products and have our products stocked in their luxury boutique store in Beverly Hills… Stay tuned! A lot has happened in such a short space of time. We only launched in October, so I cannot wait to see how we develop over the next year or so!
That is so impressive! I cannot wait to hear more about that partnership. What inspires you the most?
It sounds cheesy, but it is my family. I want to create a better future for them and that is what keeps me going.
I think it is most people’s driving factor if they were to be truly honest. Could you describe what an average day might look like for you?
In general, I wake up, do my skincare routine (yes, really...), do the school run, then get stuck straight in with work. That might involve working from home and spending the day in Zoom meetings or working from my clinic.
Your day sounds quite jam-packed. Would you say you are able to enjoy a work/life balance?
Yes, I would. I think that it is so important to have a balance! It is the reason we work and want to create a better future right? I also have two children, Jax who is five and Isla who is three, so it is important that I take time to be with them and be "mummy"!
What words do you live by?
“Never quit, no matter what!”
Love it! What is next for The Laid Club?
We have lots planned. We hope to continue onto concessions worldwide, develop new product lines and grow our team to be the best it can be!
Liked what you read? Head to The Laid Club site to shop now!
Alternatively, if you fancy checking out some of our previous interviews, you can find them here. Want more from CAROLINAGMX? Check this out: The Ultimate Review of UFO 2 By Foreo Sweden- Is It Worth It?