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When I think of females who inspire me and compel me to work harder a few come to mind: Candice Pool of Billy, Sheryl Sandberg of ‘Lean In’/ Facebook’s COO and Sara Quilter – CEO of Tailor Skincare.
Sara Quilter is a force to be reckoned with, her company ‘Tailor Skincare’ began because she started to research new trends in organic horticulture and as a result, Sara began questioning what she was putting on her skin.
Quilter’s questioning marked the beginning of Tailor Skincare.
Tailor Skincare is now an award winning, wildly popular brand, which not only brings you the best products for your skin, but is also committed to diversity and supporting the community, through their Tailor Fund and their competition to find the Face of Tailor; a face of beauty that is different than the norm, not only beautiful on the outside, but self confident, healthy – and like you and me!
Sara spoke to me about her favourite products, social media and being a CEO.
Take us back to before you started Tailor Skincare, what was it that you noticed the beauty/skincare industry was missing or when did you recognise a need for a company like Tailor Skincare?
Great question, before I started Tailor I had always been interested in using skincare. But didn’t think about the importance of natural until moving to California in 2011 to be part of the organic horticulture scene. I began questioning the products I was using and didn’t like the ingredients I found in my skincare. So I threw the products out (high end and cost me a bomb) and started investigating the ingredients in natural skincare and how to make great skincare.
This took me a while and the first few products (that never made it to market) were lets just say experiments. I wasn’t satisfied with just purchasing someone else’s skincare and calling it a day. I wanted to know why ingredients were used and make my own. I guess so I could know, with confidence that every single ingredient in a formulation is going to be good for my skin and health.
You’re currently studying a diploma, which is amazing, can you tell us about your choice to undertake the study? Why was it important to you? And what will it mean for Tailor Skincare?
Yes that’s right, I’m doing a diploma in Cosmetic Chemistry. Seems a little backwards to be doing it now, but at the end of the year (all going well) I can officially put the title “Cosmetic Chemist” at the end of my name! I started the business and learnt everything from Google. I know, it’s crazy! I also know there’s a lot of misinformation out there, a lot of scare mongering and a lot of opinions with NO SCIENTIFIC VALIDITY.
That said my post graduate degree from Victoria University did teach me something. It was in Psychology so not super useful for getting a “real job” (jokes), but it did teach me how to conduct research and assess the validity of studies. So I applied these principles when making skincare. Only paying attention to credible sources and looking to see if multiple credible sources are saying the same thing. When you do this you can conclude that you’re on the right track even if your library is Google. So I guess at the end of the day completing this diploma is just ticking another box off the to do list (but I love the subject so it’s fun).
Tailor Skincare and you personally have a Instagram presence and considerable following , what are your thoughts on Social Media, as both a content consumer and creator?
Social media is an incredible platform, we are so lucky to have immediate access to so much content and so many customers. I have social media to thank for my business success and am totally grateful for this. That said it can also be a source of anxiety and a platform for comparison which can be detrimental to our mental health – which is really worrying especially for our younger people where social media is the social circle. This is really worrying for me because there’s so much comparison of your low lights to the rest of the world’s highlight reel and this just isn’t healthy! But it’s not social media’s fault, it’s just the way the platform is being used. This is why I’ve launched a campaign to find the face of Tailor. It’s a beauty search but I’m not looking for someone who can take a flawless selfie from any angle, that’s just boring to me. I’m looking for someone who radiates beauty from the inside out and who’s purpose is bigger than themselves. Tailor skincare is a vehicle and my aim is to use it for good and social media can help propel this vehicle to do great things in the real world. It’s the same for any business and any person. You chose how you show up in the real world and online. But I do think we need to focus on giving people the tools to do this.
Tailor Glow Pots
What make-up/skincare products from Tailor do you reach for in the morning? And are there any products from other brands that are your current favourites?
In the morning I keep it simple.
I finish by adding a pop of colour and highlight to my cheeks with all three shades of Tailor Glow pot (Astra, Solar and Luna) then do my brows with a natural pencil (I forget which brand) and end with a natural mascara, I‘m currently using Ere Perez. That’s it. No foundation just good quality skincare. Fave products from other brands – if I’m going to be in the sun I’ll use some Frankie SPF.
How has running Tailor Skincare changed your life? Did you always see yourself as a CEO or in the business realm?
Honestly, I wanted to be a clinical psychologist. I never thought I’d have a skincare business. I wanted to do some sort of social good in the world. For me Tailor can allow me to do this. As I said before Tailor is a vehicle and it’s not just about the skincare.
That said when I get a customer who comes to us and says that Tailor has changed their life because their skin is clear and they now have the self confidence to put their best face forward this to me is winning, It’s not about cosmetic beauty it’s about health and self confidence.
But yeah, I never thought this would be my path. That said I never quite fit in either. At school I’d hold my tongue because my opinions were weird or I’d get teased for saying something a little out there. In the corporate world I’d question the status quo far to often because I could see ways we could improve things.
But this doesn’t go down to well all the time. So I guess I was never meant to have that 9-5 job and I never have had a permanent 9-5 either. I was always a temp worker and never managed to secure permanent employment, except at Tailor. So yeah, perhaps it was meant to be.
Sara Quilter is a living example that having a passion, is powerful and can help you build incredible things, from companies, to brands and beauty revolutions.
More than that Sara shows that we must never stop questioning the norm and as consumers we must be aware of what we are buying; and by extension the trades and practices our purchases support.
Keep questioning. Keep building on your passions, it could take you to heights you can only dream of.
You’re beautiful, you glow girrrrl! You could be the Face of Tailor; apply here.