Interest in skincare has certainly grown over the last decade, with 9.2 million women said to use face cream products in 2019, as reported by Statista. Isobel Perl, founder of Perl Cosmetics had a business vision in mind a year before caving into her passion. Prior to this Isobel found herself in a corporate world job which she described as “not me”. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit that Isobel lost her position at her job, leaving her jobless and having to move back to her childhood home.
She comments, “The inspiration came in November 2019, I kind of hit a bit of a rock bottom. I’ve always struggled with not knowing what I want to do with my life. I felt like a small cog in a big wheel in the corporate world. I came home one weekend, I think I was burning myself out with work and even in my free time I was chasing happiness, my mum asked if I was okay and I just burst out crying. I started writing a list of the things I enjoy in life such as fashion, beauty and skincare. It was at the time that I read an article about two Australian guys who used the power of social media to build up their skincare brand. There was two things that frustrated me – it was two young men and they were creating a brand catered towards women and playing into their insecurities.”
After researching into clay mask brands in the UK, Isobel realised there weren’t many skincare products available of this kind and so the seed of Perl Cosmetics was planted. But, at the time Isobel was working full-time and living in a small flat in London. Naturally the idea went to the back of her mind and she forgot about it. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit in 2020 that Isobel revisited the idea, she adds, ” When I found out I lost my job, my parents reminded me of the idea I’d had and I thought maybe this is the world telling me to do it, to give it a shot “
Perl Cosmetics is mainly a one-woman band, with Isobel at the forefront of the company. Working on producing quality skincare has provided a focus for Isobel, away from the madness of the pandemic. Isobel’s Biology degree has also helped to shape her products, ensuring skincare needs of consumers are met. The Perl Cosmetics clay mask uses “a formula that harnesses the ancient healing properties of pearl powder to brighten and illuminate tired and dull skin”. The mask can be customised by each customer to alter the amount of oil used based on skin type and texture preference.
She comments, “A lot of my university career was spent in a lab and so my experience up until now has really helped me. Networking and asking for help has also been a big help. It has been quite a smooth run. But on the flip side of that, there’s so much Imposter Syndrome. I’ll look at someone else’s business on social media and start comparing myself. It’s very difficult to not feel like you’re an imposter in the industry. You forget all the hard work you put in and sometimes feel like a fraud.”
While juggling a full-time job at the Ministry of Defence and trying to run a business for the last six months, Isobel “accidentally” launched another platform which places a heavy focus on supporting women in business, @girlsinbusinessuk. After battling burnout, Isobel decided to quit her full-time job and enter the realms of self-employment to fully dedicate herself to her business. Looking to the future, Isobel hopes to expand her business and get her products sold in local stores.
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