Instagram: a place of candid plandids, filtered selfies, 'what I wore today' and 'what I ate today', 'how to train legs', 'how to style beds', and the never ending question of 'where can I get my hands on one of those???'
Instagram has become a marketplace where its users can personalise their high street by choosing what influencers to follow and what brands to endorse. This form of shopping returns the power back to the consumer; gone are the days of annoying adverts for products that aren't to our taste and gone are the days of the unachievable, glamorous, celebrity lifestyle. The everyday Instagram girl wants to buy from brands that she trusts, invest in people that aren't far different than her, and support businesses like Spectrum Collections.
If you're a frequent Instagram user, there is no doubt that you haven't seen a post of these beautiful makeup brushes and accessories on your feed, but did you know that the brand was set up by two sisters from Barry? The style queens that are Sophie and Hannah Pycroft came up with the idea of producing mermaid and unicorn inspired makeup brushes and accesories just as the trend was starting to take off. Sophie claims the brushes unique aesthetic really helped the brand grow organically through Instagram, as potential customers shared and tagged their friends in posts, they were even reposted by other brands such as MTV and Benefit Cosmetics. Unlike most make-up brushes out there the sisters utilised their own knowledge of fashion and trends and created something colourful and unique, becoming one of the most 'instagramable' products a girl can find.
Here's a sneak peak at all Spectrum's insta feed and all the products they have to offer, we can't get enough of the millennial pink!
With a marketing budget of just £100 in their first year, the sisters were incredibly grateful to the uplift in sales that Instagram provided, but for Sophie, its more than just a money making business tool: 'We now think of instagram as our shop window, so we try and keep it looking as fresh and on brand as we possibly can, but it's not just a sales tool for us, it's the best way to communicate with our followers and we share quite a lot of behind the scenes and our own thoughts and brand developments on instagram too.' By using Instagram as a point of contact with their customers, they offer hands on customer service, as well as cute snapshots of their much loved doggos around their home office.
The girls' love for animals goes above and beyond their insta stories of their dogs; my favourite aspect about the brand is their insistence on being cruelty free. Starting out, this was something really important to the girls and not just part of the current market trend that Sophie feels is being abused by the fashion and beauty industry in favour of making a large profit. All Spectrum Collections' products are vegan and PETA registered, a guarantee that ensures customers of the brands ethical efforts. Sophie tells me that one of their main focuses this year is improving the brand's green credentials by working towards reducing their packaging and streamlining their production.
On taking the plunge...
When I was first put in touch with Sophie, I was so surprised to hear that a brand I was so familiar with was in fact created just half an hour down the road from me. One of the main challenges I have faced with trying to gain a platform as a blogger/writer has been the way the industry is so London based at the moment. The lack of room for creative employment in South Wales was the main motivation for the sisters in starting their business; by combining their savvy business knowledge with their creative skills, Spectrum Cosmetics was born. Both working as freelancers at the time of their startup, they were used to taking risks and not relying on money in order to put their work out there. When asked about how they managed to take the plunge, Sophie said 'The first two years were really hard, and we didn't take a wage but kept working freelance so we could re-invest our own cash back into the business to steadily grow. We didn't have any investment so we just kept putting funds back in so we could develop new products, which was key to growing the brand and the ranges we now offer.'
I've really loved researching and discussing Spectrum Collections with Sophie as I think its so important to show other girls, particularly those from South Wales, not to be put off entering the creative industry due to a lack of opportunity and funding. One of my main reasons for starting this blog was to create my own job, 'if what you want to do doesn't exist, then create it'; Spectrum Collections is the absolute embodiment of this ideology. I'll give Sophie the last word on this one as her and her sister really are the ultimate girl boss goals.
'We both think if you have a USP, a great product and a good work ethic, you can create your own business, you just need to really focus on making the brand identity really strong, so that when another brand rips you off (they will if you get popular enough) then your customers will value the brand and not just the products.'
Its clear to see the unique selling point of Spectrum's brand as you scrolll through their insta feed, once again serving the perfect posts with all things pink.
Thanks to Sophie and Hannah from Spectrum Collections for taking precious time out of your day to answer my questions, you're a Hell Of A Girl x
Follow the girls on Instagram: @spectrumcollections
And to make a purchase https://www.spectrumcollections.com