“Whispering Angel, although we did get a bottle each off one of our girls for Christmas, which we were highly delighted with. It’s fair to say our recycling is not whispering when it goes out, it’s full of clinking bottles!” Sophie and Hannah of Spectrum Collections on the item they now can never find at the supermarket
You’ll detect an instant whiff of super sass as soon as you start reading the latest instalment of the WFH Diary series. This dynamite duo kickstarted their brand in a garage in Barry and climbed the beauty industry ranks in pink cigarette pants and Kat Maconie heels, unleashing millions of mermaid-coloured makeup brushes in their glittering wake. They’ve brought us everything from the Mean Girls Burn Book brush bundle to Jet Setter sets, Frida Kahlo Kabuki Brushes and, of course, their iconic Millennial Pink collection (a firm favourite on dressing tables across the globe). Their frank answers – and obvious wit – really struck a chord with me, from working late hours as they digitally skate across varying time zones to their love for snacking on toast and devouring Whispering Angel…this entrepreneurial duo are truly inspirational. Period. It is of course, the glorious Spectrum Collections sisters, Sophie and Hannah…
#1 We’ve just gone into Lockdown 3. In three words, describe how you are currently feeling…
“Motivated, creative, wanderlust.”
#2 Talk to us about your usual daily routine for your business and how this will change in lockdown…
“Honestly the daily routine is quite similar, thankfully not too much has changed for us. Our day involves heading to the office which we are both still doing, the rest of the team are WFH but we get so many deliveries and samples that we are still heading in so we can keep on top of everything. We usually get a coffee first, thankfully our favourite takeaway is open and it’s just by the office! So, we grab one of those and go for a morning walk with Twiggy, Sophie’s doggy who loves a quick morning trot, while we catch up on anything we’ve thought about. We have so many ideas we always talk them through with a coffee, inspiration is everywhere! We’re always texting with the team too, so often there will be an idea that’s come from one of our amazing colleagues and we always take other’s ideas on board. Then we get stuck into e-mails and catch-up with all the communications (there’s always so much going on) we spend most of the day corresponding, sometimes until way after 6. If we have a call or a Zoom conference, we usually don’t end up doing as much as we should, so we’ll do more work in the evenings. That’s the hard part, switching off. Especially when a lot of our collaborators and suppliers are in different time zones, we’re always talking! This has been the same during lockdown, but we have been busier, so we’ve been spending more hours working. We think while we can’t do much else, we may as well power through and then hopefully enjoy a holiday in the next few months. Fingers crossed!”
#3 How will/does lockdown impact your business and how can people support you throughout?
“Lockdown has actually made us busier, at the beginning we were of course extremely worried and had no idea what to expect. It’s been up and down, our biggest accounts were Boots and Superdrug, now they are two of the smallest for the time being, so we had to make some big adjustments and we didn’t know if we’d make up the difference, but thankfully we did in direct sales, and other online retailers. We tried to help support other small businesses during lockdown, especially the last lockdown where the shops had to close before Christmas, we did a shop small campaign and highlighted multiple businesses every week, we tried to do our bit to help.”
#4 Name three small businesses on Instagram you are supporting or would like to support more…
“We see so many businesses with incredible potential, and we really try to support small and local, @beautyinthebottleclinic, @flamingocandles and @thebox.editboutique are all amazing Welsh businesses that we try and support as much as we can, for skin care, self care, and a little retail therapy!”
#5 Favourite lockdown snack? Has this evolved from lockdown 1?
“Oh, we’re quite basic, not really ‘foodies’ so our go-to snack throughout is toast….if we’re feeling fancy we’ll have avocado and some feta…if we’re rushing we’ll have beans! Most recently a fresh juice bar @mothernaturejuicebar is our go to for a pick-me-up, they’re open for takeaway and we get a vitamin boost from these, great when we’re feeling a bit tired.”
#6 What’s your most recommended lockdown pick-me-up when you’re feeling down during lockdown?
“A good take-away never goes amiss! And a well deserved glass of wine at the end of the day, we try and stick to the later end of the week before having a cheeky drink, but that has been our pick-me-up, and M&S Percy Pigs. Pack of pigs, glass of wine, a candle, and Bridgerton obvs!”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreamt continuously about) during lockdown?
“Whispering Angel, although we did get a bottle each off one of our girls for Christmas, which we were highly delighted with. It’s fair to say our recycling is not whispering when it goes out, it’s full of clinking bottles!”
#8 Name a dinner/meal or beverage choice you feel might bring someone joy to their lockdown life…
“Pizza will never fail to bring joy to anyone!”
#9 Talk us through what’s new at your brand…
“Our new office! It is so beautiful, we are still decorating, and we are loving it, it’s an old train shed that has been completely renovated, and it’s like a hub, when it’s open anyway. We can’t wait to get our studio up and running! Oh, and did you hear? We have a collab launching with Katie Jane Hughes, which is MAJOR.”
#10 What’s your lockdown outfit most days? Have you, say, developed an unhealthy attachment to the elasticated waists of your leggings like myself?
“We absolutely have given up heels, we miss them, but we’re on a break. The current obsession is our Spectrum jumper, the temptation to wear it every day is real. And yes, joggers are the new jeans.”
#11 What series have you now completed on Netflix/Amazon Prime etc.? Any recommendations?
“We’ve completed Bridgerton, currently ploughing our way through Little Fires Everywhere, it’s so bingeworthy! And also, Celebs Go Dating is always so entertaining.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“Our nan, she lives in Nottingham, we miss her so much.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“Our mum sending us reiki and positive vibes, little notes of calm to help us out.”
#14 For a little Instagram-escapism and positivity, what account would you recommend?
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.3 “The Internet.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted again?
“We’re following lots of restaurant accounts, we love Sketch so we can’t wait to go back, so much pink!”
#17 What would be your five film recommendations to watch during lockdown…
“Mulan, Interstellar, Mean Girls, Shutter Island, Harry Potter! A big mix of everything.”
#18 What book would be top of your lockdown book list?
“Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight, read it twice, will read again. Love Buck.”
#19 Name an odd purchase you’ve made during lockdown…
“Weights, that have never been lifted.”
#20 The best gift you received this festive period?
“We get so many generous gifts, but the winner is always anything alcoholic.”
#21 Name a brand you would love to collaborate with…
#22 What’s your advice to lockdown brides?
“Stay focused on the good things, like how incredible your day will be, whether it’s completely different to what you had ‘planned’ it will still be full of love. We shot so many weddings, hundreds, each one is so different, but the thing that all the best weddings had in common was when the couple didn’t care so much about everything being perfect, and just enjoyed themselves, try not to control everything, just let it happen.”
#23 Your favourite beverage?
“Coconut milk flat white, or pornstar martini.”
#24 Name your favourite magazine to curl up with…
“Hello! Fashion, it’s once a month but always full of inspiration, colour, and fabulousness, a bit like us we like to think ;)”
Discover more about the Spectrum Collections sisters, and the utterly gorgeous beauty tools they create, by heading over to the Spectrum Collections website STAT.
Want to read more WFH Diary entries from your favourite bridal brands, boutiques and designers? Head on over to the Bridal Editor WFH Diary page. Plus, check out the editorial I did in their old Spectrum Collections’ Carnaby London store.