Name: Marva Williams
Business: Puriskin by Vanessa Blake Cosmetics
Website link: www.puriskinbyvb.com
Having had several years of success in the telecommunication sector, In her mid-thirties Marva, was looking for a change of direction and something closer to my heart. Her grandmother was diabetic and did not fare well with the foot products that she was prescribed. Marva, wanted to find a non-greasy solution that would bring relief to her dry, sensitized feet which she would not only enjoy using but which would also provide effective, long-lasting relief without any sticky residue.
Marva had learnt from her grandmothers’ stories of her homeland Guyana that visiting a doctor was a luxury and that many parents and grandparents, would crush, boil and blend plants to make remedies for their ailments. As a child Marva had found these stories fascinating and as a grown-up, this fuelled a new direction of focus for Marva and her skin care story began. Marva now develops products for people always keeping the consumer need in the front of my mind, over the last year I have been doing lectures and training courses around the UK.
Marva, what is the inspiration behind Puriskin? My first inspiration is a personal one. Creative and driven environments and personalities tend to intrigue and influence me and I would say my grandmother was my greatest inspiration.
Having resettled to the UK from Guyana in her 40s during the sixties she was faced with many challenges in a new culture as she strove to achieve her ambitions for her and her family. which she did with incredible success.
Puriskin is a labour of love for me and a problem-solving exercise. I want people who had Skin issues to have nice products that they loved. It is about people loving their skin. I am passionate about making a difference in people’s life.
What are the key foundations of your business? At Puriskin by Vanessa Blake Cosmetics, we use natural ingredients and I love developing and formulating products that are not just wholesome and healthy to use but are as effective as many of the expensive beauty brands in the market-place for delivering noticeable benefits to skin. We get ideas for developing products for people’s needs by talking with our customers and listening to feedback. We get the most pleasure when a customer comes back to us and tells us their stories on how our products have benefitted them.
How has your business grown since you first launched? It has grown slowly, but what we have been able to do is build relationships with our customers and we find our customers purchase from us on a regular basis.
What have been your biggest struggles since launching? Getting people to know that there is a product that could help them out there. As a small business getting your voice heard in the beauty market, is the hardest thing.
What have been your greatest achievements?
- Winning #WOW award at the end of 2016
- When a customer comes and tells me who the products have helped them.
What differentiates you from your competitors? We make all our products In-house, we do not contract manufacture. We talk about performance skincare. A product has to do what we say it is going to do otherwise it does not see the light of day (get released to the public).
How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service? I always tell people there is no harm in trying, I am always explaining to customers that we are not reinventing the wheel, we are going back to ingredients that were used in centuries gone by. Natural products I believe are the way forward.
What are your goals for your business over the next few years? To keep listening to customers and develop products that solve customer issues. To develop a strong retail base so it is easily available to customers.
What is your message to the reader? Never give up, I always say the impossible is always possible. Dream Big.
Thank you Marva, for the interview. We love the connection and inspiration your grandmother was for you. Keep her legacy alive through your work.
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