In Bustle’s Quick Question, we ask women leaders all about advice — from the best guidance they’ve ever gotten to what they’re still figuring out. Here, Tiffany Salmon shares her approach to beauty and business.
While the rest of the country was navigating banana bread and home workouts in lockdown, Tiffany Salmon was busy launching not one, but two new beauty brands. All while running another two, too. “There's nothing my brain spends more time doing than looking at gaps in the market,” she tells me. And beauty just to happens to be the family business. Literally. Salmon cut her teeth at cosmetic brand Amelia Knight over the past 15 years.
“Consumer perception and understanding buyers is something I feel I'm good at,” Salmon tells me over zoom with quiet confidence. That’s how she came to launch Scientia in 2019, a beauty innovation in both nature and science with globally sourced glow-giving ingredients. “I want people to read the products, and think, ‘this does everything I want it to do!’” Tiffy & Tallulah was inspired by her own relationship with her children.
Adding to her budding beauty empire are Glow Hub and Soak Sunday. The latest launch, Glow Hub, is aimed at Gen Z, providing “cheap and easy to understand” products, with all the makings of a TikTok sensation. Soak Sunday is a true product of 2020, providing peace and quiet amid the uncertainty and storm. “There was a lot of fear at the time and everybody wanted some calm and inner peace,” Tiffany recalls, walking me through the restorative collection which is aimed around bringing balance to body and mind.
Here Salmon discusses the highs and lows of running her own businesses, and how she stays motivated.
You run three businesses. How do you do it and what does an average day look like?
I’m a a single mum of two, so life’s really busy. I'm on my phone and on emails as soon as I wake up, but I take a break for school runs. The day properly gets going around nine, but the days themselves are varied: I could be in product development, working with the lab team, doing formulation reviews, or forecasting trends.
That can’t be easy. What would you say are your biggest challenges?
I mean, it is all a challenge. Product development is what I live and breathe, but I still struggle with imposter syndrome at times. I try to remind myself that I did launch two brands in lockdown, under very difficult circumstances though. Skincare is such a competitive market and it’s hard to make yourself seen and heard at times. But challenges make you pivot or make you do things differently and creatively, so I try to take it all in my stride.
So how do you stay motivated?
I am so lucky to be able to work with my family. They are great motivators and are always there for me. I’ve learned that rejection and those low times builds you up; they make you stronger and ultimately more determined to succeed.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I love going into a store and seeing how the products look on the shelf, seeing customers interacting with them. It might be an idea for a product or formula that I had during breakfast one day and seeing somebody picking it up and be like “oh wow, this sounds good” is an amazing feeling.
I do also love going straight into the lab, talking to the team and throwing ideas about. Then in a couple of days, I've got a sample on my desk. It’s my dream job, and being able to do this makes me very lucky.
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve definitely been advised against my gut instinct before and learned to choose who to take advice from. I think you know when you have a good piece of advice because it resonates with you.
And the best advice?
Never be afraid to ask questions because you're scared to look silly. How do you learn otherwise? Always ask! And surround yourself with people that can do the things you can't do a lot better than you. Being afraid of competition because you're worried somebody might do something better than you is ultimately not good of the brand, business, and team.
What would you say to someone looking to start out in skincare?
It's such a busy market, so it's really important that you find your niche and what's going to make you stand out; whether it's price point, the way you talk to the consumer, or an ingredient. You need to be really passionate about it and willing to work super super hard. Don’t be put off by rejection, either. You only need that one win to make a snowball turn into something brilliant.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.