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We caught up with Sara Quilter, Founder & CEO of Tailor Skincare and member of our Expert Panel to hear how life being a new mother and juggling an award-winning natural skincare business is going.

What compelled you to work in natural skincare? How did you get started?

In 2011 my mission was catalysed while interning in California's biotech startup scene. I became obsessed with uncovering how and why various chemicals get into our food, the products we use on a daily basis and into our skincare.

Struggling with acne during my teens I was put on medication that took a toll on my gut health. I was never warned about the impact of long-term antibiotic use on the health of our gut. Taking medication didn’t stop my search for the ideal skin health remedy and spending large sums on skincare for a solution.

Now I have a clear understanding of what goes into my skincare and onto my skin. There’s a growing body of research suggesting that many of the chemicals used in skincare can have harmful effects on our health and in many cases the regulations to protect consumers haven’t matured - leaving the responsibility with businesses.

I set off on a mission to change the face of beauty by creating clean, conscious skincare and placing customer education at the heart of our business. I invested my savings, purchased a Kenwood cake mixer and uncovered the secrets of how to make safe, effective, natural skincare all from my kitchen counter. I was obsessed with discovering the latest results-based natural ingredients and formulating using effective concentrations. Not just a bit of fluff added here and there for the marketing story!

Seven years on and eight beauty awards later, Tailor Skincare has earned its name as an authority on natural skincare, bringing transparency into a secretive industry. We have an online community of over 75,000+ subscribers and have partnered with some of New Zealand's largest retailers to offer clean, conscious skincare to loyal customers across NZ.

Have you had any happy/hard/rewarding moments where being a mother & working have overlapped?

One of the hardest things with being a new mum is planning my workload around Annabelle’s nap times. Nap time is scheduled but it’s impossible to know how long she will be asleep for. I’ve had to do more in less time; make quick decisions, prioritise and only complete the most important and impactful actions.

That said, one of the most rewarding moments (which happens week after week) is how supportive my team have been of me becoming a mum; bringing Annabelle into the office for the occasional meeting, adapting to me not being as present in the office and stepping up and beyond to support the business to maintain daily operations and to grow! I’m super grateful to have an awesome team.

What inspires you most about being a mother?

I’m just so lucky, I get to hang out with one of the most vibrant, happy, clever little babies - I know most mums would say this and everyone who does say this is right! I get it now. There is just nothing like seeing your baby try new things, learn new behaviours, meet new milestones. Seeing Annabelle interact with the world with such happiness inspires me to take a more light-hearted approach and to prioritise fun.

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve made since becoming a mother?

I say no more often to events than I use to -I can’t do it all and I’m not going to try. I don’t mind about missing out of this or that event, if something is truly important, I’ll make the time.

What lesson/s did your own mum teach you that has led you to the success you have today?

My mum always told me I could be and do anything I set my mind to. She always supported me and has always been my biggest cheerleader. This support gave me the confidence to dream big and go after what I want.

What is your best advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting their own businesses?

Do it because you love it. It won't always be easy, but if you love it then it'll be worth it.

What’s your top tip for keeping your skin healthy as a busy new mum?

I love to get the benefits of all of my serums, oils and my moisturizer - so I just put one pump of each in the palm of my hand, and massage over my face. Boom - done.

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