Here at Nouveau, we’re big fans of Girl Bosses. Our brand was set up and continues to be run by two entrepreneurial women – we also train hundreds of women every day; an army of Girl Bosses.
When we heard that behind the ‘most Instaworthy’ brush brand Spectrum Collections were two sisters in their 20’s we loved them even more!
We’re proud to be kicking off our brand new Beauty Insiders series by chatting to Hannah & Sophie, the brains (& beauty) behind Spectrum Collections.
You’re absolutely killin’ it and regularly breaking the internet at the moment; we’d love to take you back to the early days and ask you – where did it all begin?
It all began in the garage at Sophie’s house, we were both working as freelancers in the creative industries, Sophie as a photographer, Hannah as a videographer and online content creator. We really wanted to have a job we loved but without having to move to London, we love being Welsh and staying close to home was a driving force behind starting Spectrum. There really is a lack of creative industries in Wales, so we’re really proud to be one of the biggest brands here at the moment!
We’re also huge unicorn fans here too at Nouveau (isn’t everyone?!) Could you talk to us about your love for mermaids & unicorns and why you decided to feature this huge trend as a significant part of your brand? What was the inspo behind it?
To be honest, we are just huge lovers of colour and anything fun and quirky, we just wanted to create makeup brushes that weren’t just functional, they were fashionable.
Spectrum was launched around the same time the trend for coloured hair went crazy, along with the sudden craze for all things unicorn and mermaid, so it was really a case of right product right time. The really strong association with Unicorns and Mermaids came as feedback from customers telling us they reminded them of unicorns, and after the initial pink brushes were launched, the Glam Clam came about a year later, so we added Mermaids into the mix. We’re really proud to be the originators of stylised makeup brushes, and you only need to look at all the brands who have since started to emulate Spectrum to see how great a product it really is.
You’ve been featured by some of the greats; we’ve seen you in the biggest magazines and reviewed by the biggest influencers – what has been your most exciting feature so far?
One of our highlights was winning the Cosmo Beauty Award for ‘Best Brush Set’ in 2016, and also being speakers at their ‘Self Made Summit’ last month. We’ve also had 2 features in print in Vogue – one just this month – as well as so many amazing print titles, we’re genuine fans of magazines, a lot of our inspiration comes from seeing what trends are reported in the weeklies and monthlies, so we get such a huge buzz. We love when we spot a celebrity who loves their Spectrum Collections too, like when both Perrie and Jade from Little Mix rocked one of our bags.
You’ve done collabs with some amazing brands too; what’s been your favourite?
We love working with Nouveau of course, but also Nip + Fab are great collaborators. We are working on some huge collabs for this year and next year though so we think the best ones are yet to be seen!
I’m sure there have been so many, but what’s been your biggest pinch-me moment in your careers so far?
They have happened this year, but it’s just a little too early to say….we literally can’t give any hints because it will give the game away!
We’ve seen you visiting some amazing places on your Snapchat (SpectrumBrushes), can you give us any sneak peaks about any of your up and coming projects?
We’re so happy you love watching, hopefully we don’t come across too wierd lol! We’re planning lots more brand events this year and next year, and also we’re going to start doing a lot more pop up shops which we’re really excited about, so we’ll be popping up all over the country! Most exciting though for us is that we’re moving into a new office in our home town of Barry, which is beautiful so we’ll be doing lots more Instagram lives and Snapchats from there in a couple of months.
Starting your own business is never a walk in the park, did you ever think you’d be celebrating your 3rd birthday as Spectrum Collections?
Yes always! We never thought it would be this big this quickly, but we always knew we’d be Spectrum Sisters for life once we started the business we loved it so much.
We’re big fans of Sali Hughes, another lovely Welsh #GirlBoss, which women inspire you most in business?
It may sound a bit soppy but our biggest #LadyBoss inspiration would be our nan, she was always a grafter and worked her butt off to make ends meat when she was younger. She moved to France from Ireland when she was 13, and then to the UK when she 15, because there was no opportunity at home in Southern Ireland at the time. She made a success of herself selling vintage clothes, antiques, and lace at markets, so we definitely take a lot of inspiration from her. Also she’s so stylish! She’s on our Snapchat sometimes look out for her when we’re visiting Nottingham.
If you could give someone looking to follow in your footsteps and start their own company one piece of advice, what would it be?
Just one piece?! That’s really hard…the main thing you have to be is ‘committed’ in terms of time, effort, funds, everything really, but if we could add to that it would be ‘realistic’. Is the product and business actually viable? It really has to be something that consumers want. There’s so much competition with online retailers now that you need to have a really great USP.
We were never out to make a name for ourselves, we just have so much love for our product and the business, that always comes first, but our story makes us stronger as a brand, so it’s lovely that it’s getting out there a bit more now we’re established. Hopefully we can inspire lots more future entrepreneurs.