Relax LDN is a Skin Studio in Hackney. According to their website, it is dedicated to non-invasive and results-driven skincare. Moreover, they provide bespoke treatment via holistically trained skin coaches, who believe in maintaining healthy skin from the inside out. Next time you catch yourself in East London, in need of a facial, definitely check them out. Until then, here’s an insightful Q&A, with the lovely Katie White, the founder of Relax LDN.
What was the inspiration behind your brand?
The inspiration behind Relax LDN came from a few different places:
In 2012, I was struggling with my skin and was finding it impossible to find someone who could offer me something that actually worked.
Beauty therapists knew a lot about products but not so much about the skin and body. Doctors treat skin disorders in a symptom-centric way and only have pharmaceutical tools such as the pill, antibiotics and roaccutane. Skin clinics have a very harsh approach which includes lasers and peels and my already inflamed skin couldn’t hack it.
During this time my dad was unwell and it led me down a path of researching the power of nutritional therapy and complementary medicine and I felt it could play a big part in helping my skin.
I was also working for a premium skin company at the time and was becoming more and more disillusioned by the beauty industry’s inflated retail prices for products that didn’t seem to do much.
I felt there was a gap in the market for a holistic and results driven approach to skin and this is how re:lax was born.
What makes your brand different?
We are a holistic, natural and high performance skin studio based in Hackney. We use our three-pronged approach of topical treatments, nutritional therapy and lifestyle advice to help our clients achieve happy, healthy skin.
We are person-centric rather than product-centric. We are not a quick fix or a fad. We prioritise our clients health (inside and out) and support them in finding the root cause of any skin concerns.
Is your business your passion?
Haha, my business is my life at the moment – I have been doing this since 2016 but opened my first stand alone studio in May 2019. My team is growing quickly, we are now 4 with 2 more joining imminently!
I have started a training programme for people who want to be facialists called re:lax Skin School which has brought 24 new therapists into the world so far.
I have also trained in two new modalities this year (Sculptural face lifting and buccal massage + cosmetic acupuncture)
I live and breath re:lax, I think your business has to be your passion if you want it to flourish.
What made you start your own business, instead of going down the 9-5 route?
I have always wanted to be self employed. I knew that I didn’t want to be a sales director or business manager in someone else’s company.
I did really enjoy my 9-5, I had an amazing team and manager and I am super glad I didn’t have this level of responsibility in my early 20s, however, I did find it creatively frustrating as global corporations move slowly and have a lot of guidelines that need to be followed.
I wanted to be able to come up with ideas and follow them through. I wanted the control and flexibility that being a business owner gives you.
If you originally went down the 9-5 route, when did you know it was time to leave and start your own business?
As I was progressing through my career, I felt that it would become increasingly harder to leave from a financial perspective as I got older (high salary, mortgages, etc.. )
I got a promotion and then went on a family holiday for Christmas 2014. While I was away I decided I had to start making plans to shape my future.
When I came back I went down to 4 days a week so I could go to CNM (college of naturopathic medicine) one day per week to study for my Nutritionist Diploma and after 2 months I handed in my resignation so I could go to beauty school.
What’s the hardest part about being a founder and what’s the most rewarding?
The hardest part is that it can be very isolating and if you don’t have a partner you will be alone in the decision making process.
The most rewarding part is every victory, kind word or achievement, no matter how tiny, is just the best thing in the world.
Any advice you’d give to aspiring business owners?
Don’t expect to start at the end. Don’t be discouraged if all your dreams don’t come true overnight. Everything worth having takes time, consistency and hard work.
Also, be flexible so you can keep evolving and growing.