Interview with Lucy Vincent Marr of Sans [ceuticals]
When I first connected with Lucy Vincent Marr it was like meeting up with an old friend. For two brands to connect across the world and speak the same aesthetic language is truly a gift, especially in two busy industries. I had a chance to talk with Lucy and learn more about her process, her lifestyle and her feelings on being a business owner.
Mckenzie Raley: When you started Sans, what feeling did you want to harness to set your brand apart from others?
Lucy Vincent Marr: Sans is a culmination of everything I love. I started developing Sans [ceuticals] in 2007 out of frustration of not being able to find pure, natural, results driven products, that were also thoughtfully designed and sustainable. During development I also spent a lot of time with a dear friend who is a biotech scientist carrying out exciting research in the field of cancer. The more I learned how ingredients and cells work the more I desired to create a product that was good for both our bodies and the environment, whilst actually delivering results. This, I hope, translates into a feeling of confidence and enjoyment for our customers knowing that both their products and conscious are clean.
MR: Did growing up in New Zealand inspire you to use natural ingredients?
LVM: Most definitely. I am very connected to nature and the land. It has informed my upbringing, my interests, how I spend my time, and of course the use of natural ingredients in Sans products. In 1995 I became ill and started to research ways to heal and transform the body through natural and alternative methods. This opened up a whole new path for me, looking into what we eat, what we put on our bodies and into our environment, and what influence we can have through voting with our wallets. It’s been a long and interesting journey, one that has very much shaped our philosophy — combining nature with the precision of science to create high performance products.
MR: You've had years of experience in the spa industry- how has this shaped the way you run Sans?
LVM: When I was studying to become a hairdresser, I fell in love with trichology — a medical and cosmetic study of the hair and scalp. After opening my salons, I struggled to find products that would actively transform and restore my client’s skin and hair whilst being both clean and natural. I could see that my clients too wanted a solution and it was with this I took the leap to create my own. As Sans developed, I spent a lot of time with a dear friend who is a biotech scientist carrying out exciting research in the field of cancer. The more I learned how ingredients and cells work the more I desired to create a product that was good for both our bodies and the environment, whilst actually delivering results. I wanted products that could have a noticeable effect on skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis whilst being natural and sustainable.
MR: What does a typical work day look like for you?
LVM: I have a minimalist routine. This is by necessity, not design. As a mother it can be like a fire drill in my home every morning with my boys, so the focus is on school lunches and getting out the door before Sans work officially begins. At the studio, no two days are the same — we’re a small team meaning everyone can wear many different hats on any given day. Regardless of how busy things can get, we take the time each day to make a lunch time meal together. It’s become quite the ritual for our team and one that really brings us (and our love of good food!) together.
MR: Starting a business can be an intimidating process. What are the top three things you would recommend to women who want to start their own skincare business?
LVM: Research — know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You need to 100% understand what you’re putting into your body, the environment and what role positive or negative your products will play in this.
Perseverance — there’ll be set backs, there’ll be people who think you’re crazy, having the tenacity to stick to what you believe in and see it through is crucial.
Be curious and flexible — running a business (and living life in general) means there are surprises and curve balls every step of the way — which can serve as great opportunities to be creative, so I find the best approach, after an initial ‘wtf!' is to be curious and discover the alternative routes which lie ahead. I find curiosity helps me keep a positive and optimistic mindset.
And lastly — don't let things get too serious along the way.
Courtesy of Sans [ceuticals]