Ever wondered who the founder(s) are behind your favourite brand? Where their ideas come from and what motivates them?
We love meeting the creative entrepreneurs and hearing their inspiring stories behind the brands at A LITTLE FIND - each so perfectly unique. And as we are all about uncovering little gems and sharing them with you, we thought you'd love to hear their stories too, in our new blog series - MEET THE FOUNDER.
We are very proud to start the series with Sam Farmer, founder of award-winning teenage skincare brand Sam Farmer, who's travel pack was chosen as one of the '10 Best Travel Kits' by British Airways Highlife Magazine.
MEET SAM FARMERALF: Sam, where did the idea for your brand come from?
Sam: I left my career in TV to stay at home and look after my daughter and son. When they reached that age when deodorant became an essential product, I went looking in the supermarket aisles and the first thing I noticed was that deodorants were segregated by gender.
When I eventually found the products targeting my eleven-year-old daughter, I was shocked. They were called Tease, Minx, Play it Sexy and Be Sinful with Pink and pouty images.
Venturing into the men’s deodorant aisle to see what they had to offer for my son, it was all black and grey cans called Control, Power, Adrenaline and Force.
The same ingredients, the same throat clenching fragrance but using sexually aggressive and sexually submissive marketing to attract their attention, when all they wanted was not to smell at school. That’s when I decided to create a range of personal care products that did their job without the stereotypes. Having completed a Diploma in Cosmetic Science, I now sit on the Council for the Society of Cosmetic Scientists.
ALF: What was your mission when you started the Sam Farmer brand?
'To create a unisex alternative to the ‘Lynx effect’. A brand that doesn’t use their gender to tell them who they should be or how they should behave' - Sam Farmer.
To create a unisex alternative to the ‘Lynx effect’. A brand that doesn’t use their gender to tell them who they should be or how they should behave. One that involves a product specifically formulated for their skin and hair issues, relying on scientific evidence and not marketing fads, and to give young adults an informed choice.ALF: What are the key values of Sam Farmer?
Equality - Efficacy - Sustainability
ALF: What are 3 lessons you have learnt in setting up your own brand, that you can share with someone just starting out?
• Educate yourself in what you are selling.
• Ignore what everyone else is doing and stay true to your ethos.
• Don’t lose your sense of humour – this is the most important!ALF: Would you do anything differently?
Plan ahead. I created the range because of a sense of injustice, I was so focused on getting the products made that I hadn’t really thought about how I was going to sell them.
ALF: What would have been your Plan B?
'They wore flat caps and neckerchiefs, it looked so glamorous, I thought dustbin men were England’s answer to American Cowboys.' - Sam Farmer
There was never anything other than plan A...ALF: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A dustbin man. When I was growing up they used to ride on the back of the truck and lift the metal bins on their shoulders. They wore flat caps and neckerchiefs, it looked so glamorous, I thought they were England’s answer to American Cowboys.ALF: What is your favourite country or city you have visited, and why?
Kolkata in India. The noise, smell, energy and history of the city was something I’ll never forget. I’d just grabbed some street food when monsoon season started, one minute it was dry and hot, the next I was waist deep in rushing water. Incredible scenes.ALF: Do you have any travel tips you can share with our readers?
When you’ve finished packing, empty half your bag and take twice your spending money.ALF: What product would you recommend for a trip?
A moisturiser, always.ALF: What is a beauty product that you can't live without?
Not really a beauty product but deodorant is an essential when travelling.ALF: What is your life motto?
ALF: Can you tell me what you love about yourself?
ALF: How do you distress and recharge?
ALF: What keeps you inspired?
Being interested in people.
My wife, life is so busy we are like passing ships in the night sometimes.ALF: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
You’re going to die, get on with it.
Nicely said, Sam! :)