Posted: Wed 6th Aug 2014
Sam Farmer will be at The Beauty Exchange on 17th September, telling the story of how a shopping trip to buy deodorant led to an idea for a business that's now selling nationwide.
What were you doing before you started the business?
I was and still am a stay at home dad helping to bring up Emily and William. However, I'm so busy with SAMFARMER that they now seem to be looking after me rather than the other way round.
How did you come up with the idea for the business?
I'd gone to buy my daughter, Emily, her first deodorant. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the pink, pouty and submissive packaging aimed at her and the steel grey macho stuff intended for my son, William.
I'm not sure they took me seriously after I stormed out of the shop, dumbfounded by the sexist stereotyping marketing we'd been confronted with, shouting 'that's all bullshit, you're both equal!' and assuring them things were about to change as they ran for cover.
What is the product and how/where is it made?
The SAMFARMER range is unisex and consists of every day essentials, specifically formulated for young adults. Skin and hair has essentially the same structure regardless of gender so, from a cosmetic science standpoint, there's no need to segregate girls from boys.
The tubes are made and printed in Suffolk, the product is formulated and manufactured in England and I ship it from Devon. I am committed to constantly improving the sustainability of the range and supporting British business.
How have you promoted the brand and what has been your most successful marketing activity to date?
I've used social media to get the message out and sent testers to bloggers and journalists. By far the most successful response has been from national newspapers. Sali Hughes in the Guardian and India Knight in the Sunday Times are hugely influential.
How did you secure the deal with SpaceNK?
Having met lots of people whilst starting the business, I was introduced to an industry professional and influential blogger. She wrote an article about what I was doing and the following day SpaceNK got in touch. It's quite a long process from the initial meeting to securing your products on the shelves but very enjoyable and the first time you see them in store is quite something.
What next for Sam Farmer - the business and brand?
Making the range more accessible to the people who want to buy it, is essential, as is keeping up with the scientific advances in ingredients and raw materials. I'm working on new products to be launched next year, all unisex of course, and will be approaching retailers who share the same vision for providing excellent personal care formulations for young adults, without the stereotypes.
Meet Sam and other beauty entrepreneurs including Jo Malone, Will King and Denys Shortt at The Beauty Exchange
This event [click to read full agenda] will connect small businesses with buyers from large retailers, with entrepreneurs who have successfully made it onto store shelves, as well as beauty bloggers and experts on topics ranging from pitching to PR: