Navigating the Ethical Beauty Space // An Interview with Skin Creamery Founder, Hannah Rubin

Skin Creamery, creates luxury natural and organic skin care products which incorporate fair-trade oils from the African continent. Based in South Africa, Skin Creamery was founded by Hannah Rubin 2014 while she was working in the beauty industry. Hannah was kind enough to share her insights with us and our audience of social entrepreneurs so that we might learn from her experience working in the ethical beauty space.


UpEffect: Tell us a bit about your journey starting Skin Creamery. 

Hannah: It has been an amazing learning journey and I have both loved every second and at times regretted my decision immensely. I choose to power through the hard times and turn them into learning experiences.

I really enjoy the fact that conscious beauty is becoming popular and we are expanding our business in this time. People are becoming more aware of ingredients and what they put onto their skins, this in turn translates into what they eat and feed their bodies and their children, which influences the way in which farmers farm and the demand for organic produce. So that excites me – to spread the word and create amazing products without the harmful ingredients.


Currently, what is a challenge you are facing and how are you working to resolve it? 

Hannah: Cash flow and supply chain management. We are working closely with a business coach to help work through some difficult tasks that I find daunting. We are learning to understand our business model better.


Would you recommend starting a company with a cofounder?

I think it could have a positive impact as you could share responsibility and ideas. I guess it would come with the same amount of pros and cons as starting a business by your self. I do not have a cofounder, unfortunately, or luckily…not sure *laughs*


How did you onboard your first 5 customers?

We had a very positive ‘organic’ growth, this was mainly through online sales and influencer marketing in the form of interested bloggers writing about our products.


How did you find partners that believe in the same ethical standards as you?

I have partners in terms of suppliers, which I consider imperative business partners as they help me provide quality ingredients to create products for our customers. I have very strong relationships with them.

What is your proudest moment?

I don’t have one that stands out. I do have many proud moments. I feel extremely proud and overwhelmed when people tell me how much they enjoy using my products. I can tell the sincerity in their voice and that makes me overflow with happiness. When I started the business i had no idea what the response would be, it was a big leap of faith. It blows me away everyday to see the growth of something I created.


Tell us a bit about your future plans and projects.

I believe that my business has a goal and destination of it’s own and I am just the vessel that helps to guid and mould it to get there. There are many opportunities and possibilities we have presented to us as a business and I have faith that they will work or not work just as they are meant to. With that in mind, I obviously have some guidelines of where I see the most potential and that is to expand internationally within the next year.


What’s the best advice you ever took?

‘Just keep going.’ In other words, don’t look back just keep moving forward.


What advice do you have for entrepreneurs when facing adversity?

To be more kind to yourself. To not beat yourself up over wrong decisions. To have more patience with the learning experience that is having a start up business.


Who inspires you?

Nature always inspires me and has the most profound positive effect on my personality and being as a whole. I feel uplifted and re energised after walking in the forest or along the sea shore. I am inspired by a host of people, I can’t name just one… but I guess my customers inspire me as they always have the most positive things to say.


What’s a book you always recommend and why?

‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This book taught me to trust my innate sense of power and courage, which had been hidden by self doubt. My favourite quote from the book ‘Sometimes there are no words to help one’s courage. Sometimes you just have to jump’


What are your top three tips for aspiring social entrepreneurs?

If you believe in something that will empower or uplift others, it can’t be wrong. If you believe in something that will help and better the earth, it can’t be wrong. If you believe in conscious corporation and everything that it stands for, then the planet needs you to show others how social business can change the world for the better.


You can follow Hannah’s journey with Skin Creamery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @skincreamery.


Do you have questions about how to start a social enterprise? Are you ready to turn your idea into a real-world solution? Click here to let us know a bit about your company or idea, and we will be in touch.


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