The hardest words I've had to write...
A note about Honesty Skincare - 5th April 2022
7 years ago on a cold windy winter day I'm walking into my director's office and my heart's beating out of my chest. Thump, thump, thump. I have a white envelope in my hand, one sheet of paper inside and my signature at the bottom.
"Hi Isabelle, before we get started with our meeting today I have something I need to speak with you about. I’ve decided to leave the company… to set up my own business. Here's my letter of resignation"
I'm feeling such a whirlwind of emotions as my hands are reaching out to deliver the official document.
I’m excited, sad, happy, fearful, joyful, relieved… sweaty.
I'm feeling these emotions as I write this email to you tonight because… some part of me feels like I’m letting you down and I pride myself on being here for you. To support you, to be honest with you, to help you get healthier happier skin that has you feeling like the awesomesauce I know you are.
When I left my corporate R&D career job 7 years ago I had a dream.
Not quite Martin Luther King style, but to me, it felt deeply important.
I wanted to bring honesty to skincare. I was seeing first-hand how misleading marketing can be – and how disempowering, upsetting and life effecting it is when you’re experiencing a skin condition like eczema, rosacea, acne, hypersensitivity, reactive red skin, psoriasis, rashes or extreme dryness.
A skin condition that makes you want to reach for ‘natural’… because surely natural skincare's the most gentle, soothing and skin-repairing?
You probably know this already if you've been on my email list for some time now – natural skincare can actually be extremely irritating to your skin.
A big reason - it contains concentrated plant fragrances i.e. essential oils. Smells divine, like you’re a spa goddess, but can leave your skin in a cycle of itchy, tight, irritated, blotchy and inflamed redness.
When you have a skin condition and what's supposed to heal you makes your skin health worse, it’s not just your skin that hurts, it’s you too. You’re left feeling desperate, helpless, leaving in fear from flareups, feeling insecure in your skin.
As a scientist, I wanted to help change this and so I swam out of my corporate climb the career ladder job to create a natural, fragrance-free skincare brand that could;
- Calm and soothe
- Heal and repair
- Replenish and renew
By using science proven active ingredients. Science proven, natural active ingredients.
It sounds simple yet it’s surprisingly hard to find.
And so over the next year I gave birth to Honesty Skincare – a capsule range of natural, fragrance-free skincare using science proven actives.
There have been ups and downs, heartbreaks and moments of euphoria, minutes when I thought heck – what have I done!!?!, other times when I thought why did I wait so long!!?!, there was pressure, fear, joy, inspiration, passion and excitement.
I needed to make Honesty a success. My dad had told me not to leave my corporate job, it felt like my work peers were thinking, ‘why the heck would you leave’ and I wanted my partner Rich and friends to be proud.
So when in Honesty’s first year, the white, honest bottles of science goodness won multiple awards – it was more than I could have hoped for.
It felt like recognition, achievement, a mark in the sand to say and show - I can do this.
Proof to my dad and my past work colleagues that I can make Honesty a success.
The learning curve was steep. I was a scientist not a marketeer. And to sell anything you need to market, market, market.
It was all new to me. Scary, unknown, mysterious.
And so I chose to market in a way that felt most honest – I started a blog to help others. A blog where I would explain using science;
- Why you have tight feeling skin and how to get rid
- Why the pores on your face are getting bigger and what you can do about it
- How to exfoliate sensitive skin
- …and so much more
Is it how you found me?
And over months and years of writing, I would get emails, direct messages and blog comments asking for help.
If my skincare range wasn’t the very best solution for someone’s unique skin concerns – I wouldn’t recommend it. I found myself recommending other ranges, scouring for the perfect, science proven formula for a reader who needed help.
This is when, without consciously realising, I was driving Honesty ahead and up pops a big, strong, yellow diversion sign.
It said – SkinCoaching.
I started working with women like you 1-2-1, helping, showing and guiding you down the path to the healthier, happier skin you so deserve, through science proven, educated changes to skincare, diet and lifestyle.
It was exciting and frightening - I had always been the person behind the product, not the person at the forefront. Suddenly I was the service.
I felt all those emotions again… and the sweat 😉
I had two babies now – Honesty Skincare and my 1-2-1 SkinCoaching services. I know you’re not supposed to as a 'mum', but I start to love one more.
I'm seeing these amazing transformations I can help people get and as I get emails to say, you have changed my life, before I felt hopeless, embarrassed, insecure and now my skin isn’t even something I think about.
It makes my heart swell with happiness.
It feels like what I was meant to be doing all along.
And so this is when 1-2-1 skincoaching became my number one focus.
Now it’s time…
There’s an analogy one of my mentors shares with me.
She talks about her partner gardening and how once a year bushes, shrubs, even trees need to be pruned right back. Cut down so they can consolidate their resources and grow back even stronger next year.
I’ve known it was time to let go of Honesty Skincare for a while.
Let go to consolidate, strengthen and refocus on SkinCoaching so I can work even harder to help get you the healthier, happier, radiant skin you deserve. Skin which has you feeling amazing.
As a ‘mum’ I’ve not wanted to let go. And deep down I know I should have sat down to write you this email sooner.
I’m doing it now. Now is time.
If you’ve been a loyal customer of Honesty Skincare please know you mean so much to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I see every order that comes through and I couldn’t be here without you. It’s been my absolute honour to be by your side during your skincare routine. To help you get happier, healthier skin.
You mean the world to me and please know I'm still here for you as a SkinCoach.
With love and gratitude,
Your scientist friend,