Friends of White Hot: Sarah Cross, Founder of Code Beautiful
One of the best things about the White Hot journey has been meeting many like-minded people along the way. One of these people is Sarah Cross, founder of the mascara brand Code Beautiful. Here’s a bit of her story, covering beauty, her love of Japan and Korea and her exciting next step… adoption!
Remember, White Hot friends can receive 20% off the full size Code Beautiful mascara and primer until 31 October 2016. Just visit code-beautiful.com and use the code WWH1 at the checkout.
What gave you the idea for Code Beautiful?
I was sat chatting to a friend about mascara and how annoying it was that we couldn't find the perfect one, so in a moment of madness we set out creating our own! We both had other businesses so we had already been in the industry for quite some time anyway. Making a mascara that was a hero product - the holy grail for our lashes - then got me thinking about creating a brand that was about heroes; those must haves, “we can’t live without” - like your capsule wardrobe for cosmetics. It would be for women who want amazing quality products with none of the nonsense and not to much choice - just multi-tasking products that we all love; The problem solvers.
What did you do beforehand?
I set up my first business, uber, in 2008 ( no nothing to do with cabs! ) uber is a specialist customer loyalty consultancy that helps brands and retailers with customer engagement and standing out from the crowd, which is something I've done as a career for about 17 years.
Which bit's of the job do you love the most?
That's so hard to answer, I literally love everything I do! I'm travelling at the moment and I've just been to Korea to trend spot and look for partners to work with out there. It's an amazingly innovative place and beauty is so high on their agenda, much more so than for us in the UK I think. But you know what I love? Just being in my office in Didsbury too. I work with my sister Emma and when I'm not travelling we work really hard to create an amazing experience for our customers. We love what we do so it doesn’t feel like work - until I have to do quarterly management accounts and have a finance day!
What bit's make you scream?
I think that the most challenging thing as we grow is relying on others and letting go. Having said that I'm very lucky with my team though. I've known most of them since I was a child so I would trust them with my life. Other things that make me scream are spiders and wasps, wasps in particular; one flew in the office a few weeks ago and I was on a conference call but I had to run downstairs and take it outside instead :-)
How long did it take you to make the perfect mascara?
About 2 years. I learnt so much about brushes and formulations and the perfect combination; we travelled to Japan and found some great inspiration from Japanese brands. I think you can see that in our packaging design. We manufacture our products in Europe for the best quality. So I love that we are a British brand, inspired by Tokyo chic and with solid manufacturing from across Europe.
Who do you most admire in business and why?
Women that manage to run their businesses and their families simultaneously without any compromise
What are the three most important qualities in an entrepreneur?
Resilience, adaptivity and a little bit of craziness
What are your other beauty must-haves (apart from CB)?
Oooh I have lots! A really good tinted cream - I'm using Mac at the moment; I’m into a vitamin C serum right now which gives such a good glow, Collagen gel and a really good brow pencil - I'm on the new Benefit one at the moment.
Has your make-up style changed as you’ve got older and if so, how?
Yes I wear less, a lot less! I used to wear foundation but now I can’t stand to wear it, so I just use my tinted cream, cream blush, obviously mascara; on a daily basis I wear VLM mini and then at the weekends if I'm going out I will wear FFL and VLM on top. I always do my brows and that's pretty much it. I often wear a lip plumper too (one that I'm developing…. Oooh there's a secret, no one knows about it yet!
What’s the best bit of advice you received when you were younger that you’ve always tried to follow?
To work hard, value the people around you and have fun in life. I'm 38 in a few weeks and my parents are so young at heart; I often play records when they visit and we dance round my front room, that's pretty cool.
What’s your next challenge?
To keep innovating for CODE, to make amazing hero products that solve problems for people and on a personal level I've just been approved to adopt, so a future challenge for me is to support, love and inspire a little person in my life.