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About Us, Our Story

Hi sweeties,

 

Lovely to meet you, if this is the first time you've landed on this page we wanted to use it as a space to tell you a bit more about us and our business. 

The Brand

Spectrum was started by two sisters in April 2014. A true start up, the company was created from scratch from a garage in Barry, South Wales, UK.

Since then, Spectrum has become a globally recognised brand, loved by consumers for our five core brand values, these being

  • Vegan and Cruelty Free - no animal product
  • Premium Quality - offering only the best
  • Bold Design - evoking emotion and inspiration, always
  • Kind to our Planet - striving continually to improve product and packaging to be kinder
  • Affordable Luxury - everyone should be able to buy Spectrum

Spectrum specialise in creating makeup, tools and accessories that have professional quality at an attainable price point.

Loved by industry experts and every day beauty consumers alike, the brand has become a go-to for many customers worldwide who connect with our core values and who our products really resonate with.

We're proud to be distributed widely with a range of partners including Boots, Superdrug, Beauty Bay, ASOS, Pretty Little Thing, Zalando, and in the near future, Amazon.

 

And if you want to know a bit more about us.....then here's the long bit!

 

Who are we?

 

We're two sisters from Barry, South Wales who started our business  6 years ago in April 2014 and the time has really flown by, the main reason being we are having lots of fun. 

Spectrum came into existence because of lots of different reasons, so to help you understand more about the brand we though it would be best to share bit of real info 'about us' as people to give our brand some context, our story if you like.

We have both always been very passionate about beauty and fashion, we would spend hours as young girls scouring magazines and dreaming of emulating the fashion and makeup looks we saw, often we'd do each others makeup and beauty was always a source of fun, inspiration and escapism for us growing up. We would watch our mum get ready at her dressing table, and would ask her what she was using and why she liked it.

From those early memories watching mum we learned that makeup wasn't just something that was practical, only serving a purpose to make you 'look better'. A beauty routine is a ritual that when shared can bring so much happiness and really become a bonding experience. Makeup isn't just functional, it's very emotional.

Also, it became apparent that beauty products aren't just randomly selected, they are carefully curated and chosen for how they make you feel and that has stuck with us ever since.

From a young age, maybe 12, we always worked to earn pocket money so we could go shopping - unsurprisingly beauty products were our favourite, mainly because you could get something like a Barry M dazzle dust or a lip gloss for just a few pounds, and they were instant mood boosters. We were always, always drawn to colour. Even now if we want an instant pick me up a bright lipstick is our go to.

Now you probably have a good mental picture of us as 12 year olds, here's a pic just for extra context!

We've been consuming fashion and beauty since we were old enough to appreciate and afford it. Because we had to save to be able to buy anything, we've always been mindful of price point. As a beauty brand one of our beliefs is that we should remain accessible for a wide range of customers and offer a selection of products at an entry price point. As a company we work hard to ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy on our website. If you're a fellow beauty lover on a budget we want to be able to share that feeling of joy purchasing a new product brings, without compromising on quality.

 

So how did you start the business?

 

We certainly weren't born into the beauty industry and no-one in our family happened to a business background that we could tap into. Instead we went about starting a business a little bit by accident

Both of us have always been creative and that led us to take similar career paths, freelancing in photography, video, branding and content working for years with various businesses helping build them into recognisable brands

We know our creativity is what makes us stand out as brand builders and tastemakers so when we saw a lot of the companies we were working for gain great success, that's when we started to think about founding our own brand.

The idea of starting our own business was something we had from a young age, maybe 14 or 15, we knew we had the entrepreneurial spirit and were always hard workers, that is essential if you are going to have a start up. Although our family aren't from a business background, a lot of our entrepreneurial spirit comes from our dad.

Dad had quite a few businesses that he started over the course of our childhood and these were never successful, at least from a financial perspective. They brought him lots of happiness and you could see how passionate he was but for one reason or another they never took off. We always wished they did for his sake as it was what made him feel most like himself, this has resonated with us for all the years we've run our own business, it just feels right and thankfully we've achieved some of the success he never could, so we are very grateful for that.

The fact that dad worked tirelessly but never managed to achieve his dream always drove us to achieve ours, although no one in our family was able to give us financial or business support, we always had an abundance of energy and positivity from a very young age to go and do whatever we wanted to do.

The endless encouragement to 'go for it', so that's what we did.

From our early 20's we started saving, not really knowing what for at the time, we just knew we were going to make something happen and that's when we started thinking about our product.

 

Why makeup brushes?

 

That's the big question! There simply weren't any good enough.

As conscious consumers from a young age, we always wanted to know what we were buying was the best we could find for our (hard earned) money. Now we're running our own business we look at every aspect through the eyes of the customer, we expect our customers to feel exactly the way we did when we were researching products we wanted to purchase, carefully selecting and curating them for the right balance of quality, affordability and fun.

A you'll already know from this post we've always loved beauty, and when we started to invest more into our beauty routine ie. not just applying eyeshadow with a little spongy applicator that came for free, we realised trying to buy a good quality eyeshadow brush that wasn't mega expensive was really hard work, there just weren't any available.

The experience as consumers only got worse, when we moved on from smearing foundation onto our face with our hands to trying to buy a brush that would do a good enough job but cost less than £30 we were stumped, and frustrated. Even more so by the fact the options weren't just limited by price, but also because so many brushes were animal hair which we just didn't want to buy....eventually we did buy one because there wasn't another option, but then we were left with long black hairs on our face when the real hair brush started to malt!

After shopping around researching makeup brushes for quite a long time, the realisation came that we really couldn't find anything at a price we were happy to pay for the quality that we knew we deserved as paying customers. The following points are where we wanted to start changing the makeup brush industry:

 

Price - the vast majority were too expensive for us.

Materials - we were sick of the higher quality options being animal hair only.

Quality - back to the fact that a £30 brush had the audacity to leave you with unwanted hairs on your face!

Design - not to mention everything looked pretty much the same.

 

So that's how it started, we saw an opportunity as most entrepreneurs do.

 

There was an element of gut instinct at this point, a feeling there was something missing from this industry we'd grown up loving for being inspirational, accessible and fun. Yes makeup brushes existed and we didn't ever want to re-invent the wheel, the reason is that none of them caught our eye when we were shopping, or gave us that joyful feeling of purchasing something you knew you were going to treasure and collect. The options were purely functional and thinking back to our mums dressing table and those early memories, we wanted something that was far more exciting......

So we said, 'let's do makeup brushes.'

The next stage was trying to find a supplier, and that's when the real work started.

 

Did you know, our mum actually came up with the name 'Spectrum Collections' when we were all sat on our sofa dreaming up ideas. 

 

What's happened since then?

 

So much has happened since then, we won't detail everything in this one page but here's a summary of the important things we want you to take away, starting with the core values of Spectrum Collections.

  • Vegan and Cruelty Free - no animal product
  • Premium Quality - offering only the best
  • Bold Design - evoking emotion and inspiration, always
  • Affordable Luxury - everyone should be able to buy Spectrum

These values have been personal to us for years, and we've developed them to become four pillars of our brand. We still have the same values at the core of everything we do.

We are both very conscious consumers and always have been. We especially covet items that offer value for money, great quality, bold design and are easy to use. Often we will purchase the same item if it has all of these qualities, you'll see us in very similar outfits and makeup looks pretty frequently :)

So Spectrum comes from a desire to always have the best quality products at an affordable price point but with a luxurious feel, all the things we love and knew we could create within our own brand. 

 

On Sustainability

 

A lot of our time is spent on product design, research and development and we consider every single detail to make sure we're working towards minimising packaging, making it re-useable and recyclable wherever possible, and ensuring our products are made with a conscious modern consumer in mind.

We are always striving to be kinder to the planet, because we know that true beauty shouldn't destroy something else.

We see sustainability as a constantly evolving process and an ongoing project, as a small company we work very hard to do everything we can within our capabilities but of course we can only move as quickly as the industry as a whole. We love innovation so we're pushing our suppliers for better packaging solutions, but not at the cost of the product. Why would we want to offer packaging to our customers that means their order arrives damaged? We can't risk this happening so there has to be a compromise. 

At the moment we're making efforts to reduce single use plastic, source FSC certified paper and cardboard and minimise our packaging overall, while retaining our core brand values. 'Attainable Sustainable' is a phrase we like to use when talking about product development, basically doing our bit within our capabilities and those of the industry. We prefer options that make recycling easy for our customer, and if it can't be recycled we try and make it re-useable and even beautiful enough to keep and collect. We'll keep working on it and keep you posted.

 

Finally...the best bit

 

The best part of running our business is that we get to work together every day, quite literally on our dream.

Our HQ in South Wales is where we live and breathe Spectrum with our talented and passionate team, dreaming up new concepts and collections that we absolutely love and hope you do too.

Spectrum Collections is fiercely independent and that's one of the reasons we believe we're very different from other corporate beauty brands. Founded by two sisters and powered by a predominantly female team, we know our way around a makeup brush and what you want in your makeup bag.

So far We've gone from a garage in Barry to a globally recognised beauty brand. Considering neither of us had a clue what we were doing when we started we have done a lot of business since then, proving that if you work hard enough then you can achieve your dreams, we're living, working, real proof of that.

 

Lots of love,

 

Sophie and Hannah