November 3rd, 2020
Niomi Smart is a content creator with conscious living at the heart of everything she does. With a loyal global following of over 4.6 million across her digital platforms, Niomi is an advocate for sustainability and sharing how everyone can make small changes to protect our planet. In 2018 she founded Smart Swap; one of the UK’s most successful clothes swap parties which was sponsored by BBC Earth, and has collaborated with other ethical beauty brands including L’Occitane with whom she created the Sweet Rosé Lipstick.
We caught up with her to talk about her brand-new skin line, Smart Skin.
You’re a content creator, championing sustainability with a global following of over 4.6 million – what was the impetus to create your own skincare range?
I’ve been living a plant-based lifestyle now for years, so skincare being cruelty-free and vegan is incredibly important to me. I really wanted to create my own brand that was exactly what I was looking for. Smart Skin ticks all of the boxes an incorporates the things I’m passionate about; being vegan, using sustainable packaging, natural ingredients etc. I came up with a list of things that I love and I created it so I’m really proud to finally share it with the world.
What were the first steps in setting up Smart Skin and what advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?
The first steps were to scour the globe to find suppliers who share our vision, enabling us to select materials and ingredients that are better for our planet. Everyone we work with is enthusiastic about positive social and environmental change, and is invested in sustainability. Once we found the right partners, we got to work sourcing ingredients and designing the products. My advice for other entrepreneurs looking to get started would be to make sure your ethos is strong, and that your whole team reflects that messaging. If the common goal is the same, you’re already on the road to success.
What did you want to achieve with your product line? How long did it take you to create and develop the concept from start to finish and bring it to market?
I wanted to create a range that was sustainable but didn’t compromise on luxurious ingredients, allowing both our skin and our planet to flourish. Prioritising sustainability comes with its challenges which is why this brand has been two years in the making. We searched far and wide for manufacturing partners who share our vision for creating skincare and beauty products that are kinder to ourselves and to our planet. We work with amazing companies like the FCS to ensure all of our packaging is made from certified recycled card, and all of our products are cruelty free, vegan and with 95% natural yet high-quality ingredients. We got our COSMOS certification prior to launch which was huge and meant that all of the hurdles were completely worth it!
What’s your favourite of your own products? And is there a product you wish you had created?
Oh it’s so difficult to choose! I absolutely love the Multi V Elixir Facial Oil when I need an extra boost of hydration. It’s enriched with 12 super oils including Omega 3 and Frankincense which are incredibly nourishing and it feels so luxurious on my skin. In terms of a product I wish I’d created.. I have always loved the Body Shop Body Butters – you just can’t go wrong with them can you?!
What’s your own skin care regime?
My morning and evening routines are very similar – I start the day using the Smart Skin purifying Golden Jelly which turns to oil when you mix it with warm water, and I use it again at night to remove any makeup or dirt. Then I use our Super C moisturiser which contains Superox C, a really unique ingredient that is incredibly hydrating. I think moisturising is one of the most important things you can do for your skin so I try to do it as often as possible.
As well as creating a skincare range, you’re also hoping to create a culture and a community of strong, inspiring, empowered women. Tell us about the seven who joined you for the launch. It must have been hard narrowing it down to just seven; how did you chose them?
So this whole venture is inspired by my amazing audience and some very strong women – particularly those who just ‘make it happen’. The creators, adventurers, innovators, heroes, entrepreneurs and artists who take on the world day after day and pursue their dreams. I put a call out to my followers announcing that I was going to be launching a new venture and I needed their help!
I heard from so many incredible women, and I chose seven whose stories really moved and inspired me. Kitti for example, trained to be an accountant but took a huge risk to follow her heart and launch a web design and branding business on her own. Francesca is paving the way for black women in geography, Bella is training to be a doctor and works with autistic children to give them a voice in the world of healthcare. This is what Smart Skin is all about – being you, celebrating being in your own skin, making a positive change in the world and doing better by our people and our planet.
Did you expect your career to be this varied? What is next on the horizon for you and the brand?
When I first started out, I never anticipated that I would have a career online. It was a relatively new space back then and I was very much learning as I went, but everything I do is in line with the things I’m passionate about – a sustainable and natural lifestyle. I have also always loved beauty, so my career has naturally evolved to encompass these things I care about which I’m so grateful for. The next step for Smart Skin is to expand the range and continue to fly the flag for sustainable beauty!
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