Luke Sherriff and Kristie set up Pinks Boutique Organic Skincare to be a certified natural and organic alternative for therapists in the spa industry. They hoped that by delivering treatments and products that had integrity and authenticity they would start to change the way that people think about wellness and approach their wellbeing and that of the planet as one holistic venture.
In 2017, he wanted to incorporate his passion for health & performance into the world of skincare, resulting in the launch of Proverb, Lifefuelled Skincare. At the core was the drive to create products for people who were serious about their health by giving them clean, natural formulations that worked on the level they expected.
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Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Luke Sherriff: Its my pleasure. The question I get asked most often is ‘how did you go from Professional Rugby to making Beauty Products!’ the answer to which is human health & performance.This has been the centre all my journey all the way from when I was young. I was always very active, loved being outside and engaging with nature. I was then lucky enough to study Human Sciences at Oxford University for 4 years which gave me the chance to study humans and how there interaction with their environment affects their health. It also afforded me the opportunity to play rugby for the university leading to the chance to play professional rugby for Harlequins and Nottingham for 11 years.
During that time I become more focused on my own health but never lost the passion for human health and as importantly how we impact the environment. Rugby and Beauty collided in 2006, when Kirstie, then running a beauty training school became intrigued by the improved performance I saw by changing my diet to be far cleaner and more organic. She instantly recognized that this could be applied to skincare products and launched the UK’s first complete range of organic spa products and treatments Pinks Boutique. After all, many of the toxins that we were trying to avoid in our diet at the time were in synthetic cosmetics and it quickly became apparent that people were keen to avoid this in products they put on their skin.
Fast forward to 2017 and we collaborated to launch a retail-focused range of products under Proverb, Lifefuelled Skincare, that to help people choose products that work better for their health and the health of the planet. My initial interest in human health has lead me to realize that it is intertwined with the health of those around us and the planet and so in 2020 we launched our first refillable product, a Natural Deodorant, and are excited about how we can bring more sustainable, natural products to have a positive impact on everyone’s health.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Luke Sherriff: Yes, Kirstie. Kirstie and I met at University and shortly after leaving she became ‘the other half of everything’ as I call her. We got married in 2008 and have been together for nearly 20 years which has included a professional rugby career, running 3 businesses together, and have 2 wonderful children. Besides that practically that she has carried have the load, we do everything 50/50, Kirstie is the strongest person mentally I have ever met.
She has not only supported me in my dreams, driven me to be a better version of herself, but has the most incredible reset button. In our house, we refer to it as her ‘super power’, the ability to most past and failure, learn the lesson and not hold on to the negative emotions that can wear you down. She is also incredibly humble with it, a trait I have definitely learned the value of (not often seen in professional sportspeople!), and as such has the ability to talk to people on any level from CEO to someone a 16-year-old on their first-ever beauty training course, its a real talent. There is no doubt I wouldn’t be where I am today without here nor have the belief that we are headed in the right direction, together.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Luke Sherriff: Product to market fit. For me, that is the big one. Most entrepreneurs I meet, and I include ourselves in this in the early stages, have a great idea for a product or service but it is usually something they are passionate about and not necessarily the right product for the market. So the one piece of advice I would give an entrepreneur is once you have your idea do the market research to make sure that your target market feels the same way about it! If nothing else you may get some ideas of how to improve the product 🙂
Is there a particular podcast you listened to, or business thought leader that you find helpful while maneuvering this pandemic?
Luke Sherriff: I particularly enjoy a podcast called Business Wars. It looks back at stories where 2 big brands/businesses, for example, McDonald’s vs Burger King, bringing to life the background as to how one came out on top and in many cases the continued battle. I particularly liked the L’Oreal vs Este Lauder episode for obvious reasons!
What is most important to your organization—mission, vision, or values?
Luke Sherriff: Values. We have been lucky to build a great team around us who while buying into our mission and vision for the business, at the core share our values as humans. The top of which is being kind to yourself and others. If we look for one thing in people we work with, both in our team and those we collaborate with it is their ability to put kindness first in business. Putting others goes a long way to building long-term relationships which in turn improves the chances of delivering your business missions and vision.
What do you consider are your strengths when dealing with staff workers, colleagues, senior management, and customers?
Luke Sherriff: Never assuming I am right or have the best ideas and always being willing to get better. I have some pretty strong ideas and have definitely been guilty of trying to make these happen but the truth is they aren’t always the best ideas. This however was usually due to my over-enthusiasm for an idea as opposed to my ego of having to be right and so I have learned a lot over the last couple of years about how to listen more and be a bit more patient when coming to a conclusion on what the best course of action. A the end of the day I am focused on winning and to do that we have to be the best team we can be and the best teams are constantly learning and moving forward together.
What have you learned about personal branding that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Luke Sherriff: As a founder in the early stages of growing our brand, our personal branding and that of the business are very closely linked. If I could change one thing about my own personal branding earlier in my career is to have made it a bigger part of the story of the Proverb brand. The more we interact with customers the clearer it is that our own personal story resonates better than any other content that we create, I truly believe if we had had a videographer document our journey from the beginning we would have built up a loyal following faster who in turn would have spread the message of the brand.
This may not be the case for all brands but for Proverb, Kirstie, and I as founders are one of the unique selling points for the brand so the more we can get our story out there the better.
How would you define “leadership”?
Luke Sherriff: Getting the most out of the others around you to achieve a common goal. Sometimes that will mean getting up and giving an inspiring speech to your team but more often than not it is being able to recognize the little things every day that will help them be the best versions of themselves, be that a kind word when they look down or giving them the chance to shine and the confidence that comes from that instead of doing it yourself, there is no room for ego in my opinion.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Luke Sherriff: Interestingly, this might not be the advice many are expecting. It is similar to a question someone once asked Kirstie and me about whether we would recommend working with your significant other. When I answered ‘no’ it raised a few eyebrows but the truth (Proverb – stand for a statement of truth or advice) is that like entrepreneurship, I don’t think working with your partner is for everyone, and I would ask anyone to consider it to think very carefully about whether it is for them.
I appreciate there are many people that think they want to work for themselves, and imagine the freedoms that come with this but the reality can be very different and many of my friends who have career jobs with great companies have the perfect work-life balance for them. The uncertainties and stresses that come from starting something from nothing can ultimately be hugely rewarding but the journey by definition is unique and unknown.
But don’t take my word for it, check out the E-Myth by Michael Geber, who does a great job of helping budding entrepreneurs to weigh up whether or not it is the life for them.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Luke Sherriff: “You Get What You Put In” – We liked it so much we made it our Proverb’s tag line. Ultimately, for me, health underpins everything you experience in life, and there is no stronger link between input and outcome than human health. Fight hard to put the right things into your body and mind and you will find that more often than not you get the right outcomes that are repeatable and sustainable.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Luke Sherriff for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Luke Sherriff or his company, you can do it through his – Instagram
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