News & Events
Meet Nancy, SBC’s Brand Manager
SBC Skincare was founded by Paul Mason, an entrepreneur and life-long businessman. Today, Paul remains at the head of the company though much of the day-to-day management has passed to his adult children, Nancy (Brand Manager) and Dan (General Manager).
SBC Marketing Manager, Kati Vardon, interviewed Nancy for an interesting insight into her involvement in the company…
Tell us about your childhood memories of your father’s businesses and the birth of SBC Skincare:
Dad had a London-based wholesale business supplying the hairdressing trade. While I was at school, I used to spend my free time helping out in any way possible, sweeping the warehouse floor, packing orders and stuffing hundreds of envelopes for old fashioned mailouts. As a teenager, with SBC Cosmetics, I used to fill eye-shadow pallets, pack comb wallets, spend hilarious moments modelling for students at our make-up school and join the gang for exhibitions. School holidays were always busy and I loved being part of the company.
What did you do when you finished school?
When I left school, I went to work in the business full-time, joining a team of around 20 people. I found myself learning all angles of the business, from manning reception to stacking shelves and attending the exhibitions. I’m a very sociable person, so it was great to meet and talk to so many people. I always worked and if it wasn’t here, it was serving pints in a local pub or selling ceramics with mum on her Covent Garden market stall.
In the early ’90s, I had ambitions of moving to France and speaking French fluently. I found a job as a hostess on a luxury, 120 foot, converted freight barge in Provence, packed an old company van (custom lined in gorgeous pink velvet!) and set off for the tourist season. Life was great, I spent March to October in France, then out of season I came back to work in the business. I repeated the pattern the following year, before spending winters in the USA cooking for some of the customers I met on the boat.
There’s an interesting link between skincare formulations and recipes. Do you still cook now?
I love cooking and trying new recipes, though I don’t have as much time now as I used to. In 1997 I trained as a Cordon Bleu chef so I could spend more time cooking professionally.
Once qualified, I spent the summer in Greece where I was lucky to cook in Skiathos and Athens. It combined two of my passions – food and travel. Working with the seasons also allowed me to also spend time with the family business, so I didn’t lose touch.
After spending a couple of years in the UK, I understand you sold your property here and moved out to France.
That’s right. I bought a house in Burgundy and stayed in France, all year round, for many years. My daughter’s early years were in France, where she attended the local village school. I remained in hospitality and trained in the wine industry. I had the very fortunate position of tour guiding and wine buying for a very famous travel company!
Then you later worked for SBC again whilst living in France?
By this stage, SBC had been working with QVC UK for several years, then they launched QVC France. I auditioned back in 2014 and became the SBC presenter in 2015. This was a wonderful opportunity to chat about our range of products on-air. I regularly travelled from home to their studios near Paris.
When did you come back to the UK to work in the business full-time?
As part of my father’s retirement plan, my brother Dan and I came back to the UK and into the company full-time. By now, the business was established in Suffolk, having moved from neighbouring Essex in 2001.
Like myself, Dan had remained in touch with the family business over the years and was happy to move back from his adopted Spain.
I spent time learning about all areas of the business and worked with the shopping channels. In 2016, we were working with QVC in the UK, Italy, Germany and France. SBC was also regularly seen on Shopping Live, Russia and TVSN, Australia.
How has your role changed over that time?
I am involved in a range of different processes and projects across the business. I work closely with our New Product Development team, looking at trends in skincare, emerging ingredients and, alongside a number of different departments, bringing new products to market. This is such an interesting and rewarding part of my role.
Where does your inspiration come from?
So many different people and places! My father, of course, for working so hard to build the business through decades of hard work. My daughter – and creating a happy life for her. I’m inspired each day by the wider SBC family and our hard-working colleagues. Without each of them, the business wouldn’t be what it is today.
I love seeing each new product launched and hearing the feedback from our lovely customers. We’re always looking for ways to improve packaging and reduce waste, so seeing the results in this area inspires me to continue to build on it.
Do you have favourite products from the SBC range?
I have an ever-changing and rather long list. Right now, our Lemon Myrtle and Thyme Cleansing Hand Gel is something I can’t be without. We launched it this year, to make an effective hand cleanser that is both hydrating and smells amazing.
I adore the moisturising gels that we are known for. Launched as part of our 30th Anniversary celebration, Sea Minerals & Blue Algae is on my list for the fragrance and the lovely coastal feel it evokes. Aloe Vera Moisturising Gel is a particular hero for me. I use it as an after-sun soother, an after-shave balm and always pop it on to insect bites. Propolis Moisturising Gel is amazing on my feet and also helps when I have an eczema flare-up.
I also love the Hydra-Collagen collection. I use the Replenishing Hand and Foot Cream daily. The Hydra-Collagen Cleansing Balm means make-up removal is a pleasure rather than a chore. It’s beautifully hydrating and leaves my skin feeling fresh and smooth. This year’s Acid Collection is wonderful too. I use the Glycolic Resurfacing Serum, all over my body, two or three times a week, then finish with Hyaluronic Gel Concentrate for the softest skin.
Honestly, I could go on all day!