NICOLA MATTHEWS, Founder and CEO of Sienna X, has spent more than 15
years in the beauty industry. After working as cabin crew for British Airways, she explored offering treatments to fit around her family. Spotting a gap in the market, she patented her pop-up spray tan cubicle and sold her idea. She launched her “one range for all skin types” THE Skincare Collection in July 2019 into nearly 500 trade beauty stores across the UK, France, Belgium, Spain and Germany.
How did your brand start? I visited a beauty show with a friend who had a salon and at the time I saw it as simply an opportunity for a childfree day. However, once we were there I loved the buzz and the glamour, and by midday I began thinking that I really wanted to be part of this world. I was deliberating between buying a nail or tan kit, and I chose nails as I thought it would better fit in around the children. But when I realised it took two hours to do a full set I decided to purchase a tan kit too. However, I quickly worked out that there was no easy way to spray tan a client in my home or my client’s homes without making a real mess. My dad found an old nurse’s screen that we wrapped in black plastic and would take along a ground sheet too. One day, while my children were playing in their pop-up tent, I had a “light bulb” moment. After several sketches and mock-ups I designed and patented a viable mobile booth, perfect for therapists on the move and salons who couldn’t afford the few thousand pound booths. What’s your brand’s USP? Sienna X is the skincare expert’s expert. We are a pro-level beauty brand, supplying both beauty professionals as well as consumers. We use advanced formulations combined with the highest quality ingredients (all locally sourced where possible) to provide products that really do work. However, education is our real passion... we have a training academy and supply award-winning products, equipment, kits and support
to professionals, as well as helping people start new careers in the industry. In fact, we have helped more than 23,000 set up in beauty over the last 15 years. We have the highest CPD points for our beauty courses; having had amazing training throughout my career, this part of the business is one of my passions. I believe that education is a journey never a destination. We want women to look and feel their best and in the most natural way possible. This is woven into our fabric – the way the business runs and the support and advice we give out, from the true efficacy of our products to ensuring that we remain ethical in all that we do. The vast majority of our products are highly natural, have organic ingredients, are vegan and cruelty-free, and dermatologically tested. What do you love about your job? I am a typical business owner and always looking for how we can be/ do better. I love working with the Marketing Team on new product development and campaigns and I’m very passionate about supporting our partners and customers, always looking for ways that we can improve our service. I love helping and supporting customers with their business growth; the beauty industry is a perfect career because it can be full-time, part-time, fit in around your parenting needs, or an addition to a career you already have. Plus the majority of people that you meet are passionate and they love making their clients feel great.
I HOPE THAT WE CAN HELP WOMEN IDENTIFY THEIR OWN NATURAL BEAUTY WITHOUT Nicola Matthews THE NEED FOR INVASIVE TREATMENTS. 62
Nicola Matthews What lessons have you learnt along the way? To be very curious! My team will tell you that I ask a lot of questions. We are always doing market research and searching for supporting evidence to help inform our decisions. Some may not always pan out the way you expected, but you take these learnings on board and know for the next time. There is always a solution and I love the challenge of a problem. I learned to be