Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Pinks Boutique - Organic Festival

Pinks Boutique is a professional spa organic skincare range designed, formulated and made in the UK with full certification from the Soil Association providing Eco-Luxury manicure, pedicure, facial, body and waxing products to spas and high end salons who want organically sourced ingredients but also demand professional performance. Here we catch up with founder Kirstie Sheriff.

What do you think sparked your passion for natural and organic ingredients?
Believe it or not- from professional Rugby. When I launched our first business Pinks Academy- a fast track beauty school for adults changing careers over 10 years ago Luke my husband and partner in Pinks Boutique was playing at Harlequins RFC for 7 years. Every pre season they would have a fitness coach or nutritionist who would make them do ‘odd’ things- one year they had to skip everywhere for 6 weeks and one summer before organic had gone into the mainstream they had to adopt a completely organic diet and lifestyle. Being in the house too I lived through it- the organic steak and broccoli cooking for breakfast at 7 am and the results for the boys were incredible. It started to make me worry about the fact I was teaching every day, bathing in product and covering my students in it. 

We were teaching approximately 1000 students a year and our tutors had a real influence on their career, what products they wanted to use and what they understood about ingredients. So, I started to research cosmetic formulation and once you do there is no turning back!

There was no professional organic range at this point in the Spa and salon sector and we launched Pinks Boutique to be the first complete range- i.e not just face and body but manicure, pedicure and waxing too. The strategy was and still is to be able to offer the professional sector and crucially the clients that walk in the door a genuine natural and organic version of Elemis. The spa sector really struggles with ‘natural’. Every brand that isn’t a medical spa brand claims to be natural. All the product houses teach this, their employees believe this and so in turn do the therapists and clients. There is no mention of what is really in the bottles underneath the sprinkle of natural essential oils they may have in there.

Pinks Boutique, how you chose the name?

Pink- why? For us Organic is too obviously white or beige with green leaves.  We wanted to create a brand look which appealed to all whether they care about organic or not. This for us is the future, to make even those that are not aware of what is in normal cosmetics use a luxury skincare product that is effective and not toxic. The brown bottles stand out from a crowd, the brown gift boxes and bags with pink or white highlights are very visually appealing- the aim was Eco Luxury.

Boutique- why? I had a list of everything I hated about dealing with the large spa product houses and I wanted to undo these and create a real boutique concept for our individual clients. As we specialize in attention to detail and arrive at the door of each client with a unique offering- 4 prongs.

1) UK made spa products with full certification from the Soil Association providing Eco Luxury manicure, pedicure, facial, body and waxing products to spas and high end salons who want organically sourced ingredients for professional performance skincare.

2) Training- our products are linked to signature treatments in which we provide training to our spas but we are also accredited to offer Insurance level qualifications in all the base beauty, nail and holistic courses so can support our spas training needs- e.g Brazilian waxing, Hot stones, Reflexology.

3) Spa Essentials is a one- stop concept for all the finishing touches to perfect your spa or salon decor.

4) Spa consultancy and advice- with our Boutique offering we have worked with many of our clients on projects from developing new sites, reorganizing spa structures and redesigning menus and full spa concepts. Ultimately our offering wasn’t simple and so we created a Boutique to house it all!

This is 'The Organic Beauty Month' you are launching in September is a fantastic idea. What inspired this?

We have over 85 spa and salon accounts now in the UK that all have owner, spa managers of hotel group sustainability policies that have led them to select an Organic brand. However, when we return to visit our spas it is very difficult in a busy back to back treatment world to find the time to really educate the clients on why the products are different and what they are going to do to your skin. Spa life is about treatments, we make incredible treatments due to our training background and this is what we all do all day long. Most people who enter our salons may have never met an Organic product before and in truth are not really looking for one- just genuine results for their skin. So the idea was to create a focus and some time to actually go back to this and celebrate the organic in what we do. 

The Soil Association in the past have been so focused on food that we felt we could help support them and really fly the beauty flag with a nationwide covering of spas. For the spa visitors they will be getting lots of nice extras in September- samples, advice and tips and full Organic brochures explaining the science of organic to take away with them. This will be sent out with Naturisimo purchases too.

Where do you see the brand 5 years from now?

The plan is continue the UK expansion supplying more and more salons and spas and to work with colleges to get some formulation and organic education into the beauty syllabus- this doesn’t exist currently. We will be expanding to the Middle East and Asia- Luke and I have travelled extensively there- our second home so I can’t wait for that part!

What do you wish you’d known when you started?

The list is too long in honesty; you make so many mistakes when you first start a business. I would be so good at it if I started again now!

What is the most challenging part of your job?

It is all a challenge but I think in truth that is why I do it, my husband and resident philosopher tells me that Life is a game, a great game and we all have to fill it with something or make a difference somehow. I have found a role that does both.  Right now, a personal challenge is watching my Oxford contemporaries working in the City or Law reach a peak in their careers 10- 15 years after graduation when their wage slips are becoming fairly incredible. When you have your own business cash is always going back in, never out to you it seems!  On the flip side on a weekly basis I am either in my home office or in 5* spas in the UK or abroad- no tube commute for me Also my skin is looking very good for my age!

What are your every day beauty essentials?

Toner- I use our Ocha Toner. I think people underestimate toner. It is always the one that gets left out of the facial regime but they are crucial to helping retain your skin’s natural moisture- just like your actual moisturizer. We refer to ours as a skin drink- you are missing out on a trick if you are not using a great Organic Toner. 

If you could treat yourself to one thing this month it would be...

A Pinks Boutique Signature Pedicure- described by Marie Claire as the best pedicure they have ever had, then coffee and cake with Luke and Layla. Frankly- any one of our treatments would be nice. Therapists never get treatments as a rule!

Shop here for: Pinks Boutique