Today I am thrilled to be interviewing Kate Cotton and Louise Ferguson founders of skinnytan.co.uk.
Welcome to Oapschat Kate and Louise and thank you for agreeing to answer some questions for us.
Can you describe what Skinny Tan is please?
Skinny Tan is the first self-tanner that combines a natural tanning agent with smoothing oils and guarana to help tan tone and reduce cellulite in one.
Many congratulations on being able to convince all 5 Dragons from Dragons Den to come on board with you, how exciting that must have been in 2013! What made you choose Piers Linney and Kelly Hoppen as your backers over the other three Dragons?
It was a really hard decision to make. Kelly really sold us as we are essentially a beauty product and she is so glamorous, she also told us about her global business experience and her contacts in PR and with celebrities. Piers Linney was so likeable in the Den too and had fun with the product and us. We had seen his credentials in business and it seemed a great idea to get 2 dragons for the price of one. They were both new and we would have been their first investment so it we knew they would give us there all!
We are all aware of the dangers of the sun. I have tried and failed with many fake tan products in the past, but your product looks and sounds wonderful. Cellulite is a problem as we all age and if Skinny Tan reduces its visibility, then that sounds fantastic! Is your product suitable for all ages and skin types?
The sun is the biggest ager of the skin so avoiding it is the biggest step to looking younger. But it's a catch 22 as tanned skin especially older skin looks better hiding the white cottage cheese effect blemishes and disguising spider veins. The problem like you say is many traditional fake tans dry out the skin which is bad news for mature skin. Also when we reach a certain age we want to look natural and graceful so risking looking fake and orange turns many mature women off. Skinny Tan has solved this because we have used a natural version of the tanning agent that doesn't smell, doesn't dry the skin and is impossible to streak. But most importantly this is not a dark or orange tan it really is a medium natural colour that is indistinguishable from a real tan but without the danger. Then of course there are the added bonuses for skincare including anti-aging anti-oxidants, hydrating oil and guarana a caffeine derivative well known for a firming effect on those problem areas.
How long does the product take to apply and how long does an application last for?
Skinny Tan is easy to apply. It includes a guide bronzer so you can see where you are putting it. But you don't have to be too careful - even if you aren't good at applying it and the guide bronzer is done imperfectly and looks a mess once you shower that bronzer off you will be left with a gorgeous even streak free tan- the developed tan really is fool proof- as long as it touches your skin it will be flawless. The tan fades naturally with your skin turnover which is between 5 and 7 days - actually longer on more mature skin.
One of Skinny Tan's products
Have you both always been ambitious from a young age?
I am not sure it was ambition that lead us to Skinny Tan. We did not think we would have this kind of success or have a global brand. Really we had just had children and wanted to have a business so we could be at home with our babies. We also had extra sagging and cellulite and wanted to create a product that made us look thinner. We set out to make the best tan and cellulite dual effect product. We had no idea what a runaway juggernaut we had created and that it would require the kind of drive and hard grind you expect from really ambitious people but when it did require it we stepped up we love what we do so the success was a byproduct really.
What made you choose this type of industry to work in?
Kate and I had both worked in the industry together before. Kate was in QA and logistics and I was a brand manager so we understood how the industry worked. It's a great industry because its all about helping women get more confidence and feel beautiful but its nothing that you have to take too seriously!
How do you relax Louise?
I am actually finding it really nice and relaxing doing homework with my daughter. You can't worry about big business when the focus is on spelling 4 letter words and sharing someone elses joy at achieving those most important early goals.
Where is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Holidays??? We live in Australia so everyday is gorgeous and sunny- we have laptops by the pool - well sort of! We also travel to the UK for work and to catch up with family so the whole relaxing beachy holiday hasn't happened for sometime. If I remember back to the days when I would travel a lot for pleasure I think I really loved Thailand - I would definitely go back there. Gorgeous beaches, lovely people and seafood to die for! Kate is more of a rough and ready camping type and thinks nothing of chucking her tent and kids in the car and driving off to the bush for a weekend here or there.
If you could choose one dinner guest Louise, who would it be and why?
I would choose Ricky Gervais- I love how funny and smart he is and how he laughs at 'awkward' human situations the most - those are the things that make me laugh too. He is also a big protagonist against Animal Cruelty and that's a passion of ours too.
Finally, have you any plans to expand further in 2015?
Absolutely! We are looking at new markets and new products - watch this space because great tanning is just about to get even better!
Thank you very much Kate and Louise for a super interview!
Take a look here at this fabulous website.