THE BIG QUESTIONS
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?
Co-owner and COO of BY SARAH, a new all-natural and organic skincare company that I run with my sister, Sarah Murrell (I’m on the left and Sarah’s on the right in the photo). We launched in November 2017 and we’re bringing greater transparency, accessibility and simplicity to the skincare market by pioneering upfront labelling: we detail a full ingredient list on the front of each of our products. It’s a simple, yet bold mission!
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
It’s so varied and fast-paced! I could be contacting retailers and collaborators in the morning, optimising our website and reviewing our strategy in the afternoon and then attending an event in the evening with Sarah. I’m learning so much and meeting so many inspiring and passionate people!
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?
I’ve had a globe in my room for as long as I can remember, so travelling has always been something I wanted to do – and have had the opportunity to do when I worked overseas (New York and the Caribbean) and will continue to do so with BY SARAH! We recently had a business trip to Stockholm and will be visiting New York in June.
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
BA Geography from Oxford University (Hertford College) and Bachelor’s in Law from the University of Law. I’m also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society – I love attending their Monday night lectures in London!
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
One of my tutors at Oxford told me that you make your own luck and I totally believe that! Make that call and go for that coffee as you never know what magical connections are just a conversation away!
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
There’s not one person that I look up to as my role model; I’m inspired every day by the entrepreneurs we meet who are challenging the status quo and forging their own path. Having a very clear vision and sense of self is an incredibly powerful force!
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
I work with my sister, so we let each other work in the way that’s best for us both – and we have regular dance breaks. It’s a thing – try it 😉
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?
The one thing that is missing is a dog. I really, really would love to have a dog! Preferably a Dalmatian.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
The dream is to have established BY SARAH as an international wellness brand that offers beautiful all-natural and organic skincare and lifestyle offerings.
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
Absolutely! It’s one of the reasons why I love to travel – it reminds me that there is a big wide world full of colour, creativity and diversity! We have purposefully created skincare at BY SARAH that is suitable for both men and women by not using essential oils or added fragrance. Skincare is traditionally associated with being a woman’s concern, but in creating such universal skincare, we have met with both women and men and broken some of the barriers to men in wanting to use skincare and feeling more confident and empowered in their choices.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
We’re working 7 days a week, but my work life balance feels much more in equilibrium than when I worked as an investment funds lawyer. I was diagnosed with leukaemia when I was 23 (just before my law school exams) and when recovering from months of in-patient treatment, I became acutely aware of my own sensitivities and boundaries. It’s one of the reasons Sarah founded BY SARAH. She was looking for effective natural and organic skincare for me to use as my skin was so sensitive, but found it really challenging and so hand-blended her own – and, with her industry knowledge and expertise, BY SARAH was born!
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
We are passionate about bringing all-natural and organic skincare to the market and this passion is our driving force. Being organised, calm and adaptable are the more practical skills that are required. I’m a big fan of lists and spreadsheets and I have many of them to help us navigate our days and weeks – with no two being the same!
ANY FINAL COMMENTS?
My favourite quote from Rumi: “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favour”.