Scientia Founder Tiffany Salmon on Beauty, Family and Business

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In Bustle’s quick question, we’re asking women leaders for advice — from the best advice they’ve ever received to what they’re still figuring out. Here, Tiffany Salmon shares her approach to beauty and business.

As the rest of the country navigated banana bread and home workouts in lockdown, Tiffany Salmon was busy throwing not one, but of them new beauty brands. While performing two others as well. “There’s nothing my brain spends more time doing than looking at gaps in the market,” she tells me. And it turns out that beauty is a family affair. Literally. Salmon cut her teeth at cosmetics brand Amelia Knight for the past 15 years.

“Consumer perception and buyer understanding are things I feel I’m good at,” Salmon tells me on zoom with quiet confidence. That’s how she came to throw Scientia in 2019, a beauty innovation in nature and science with globally sourced luminescent ingredients. “I want people to read the products and think, ‘this does everything I want it to do!'” Tiffy and Tallulah was inspired by her own relationship with her children.

Adding to her budding beauty empire are glow hub Dip on Sunday. The latest launch, Glow Hub, is aimed at Gen Z, providing “cheap and easy to understand” products, with all the ingredients for a TikTok sensation. Soak Sunday is a true product of 2020, offering peace and tranquility amid uncertainty and storm. “There was a lot of fear back then and everyone wanted some calm and inner peace,” Tiffany recalls, guiding me through the restorative collection that aims to balance body and mind.

Here, Salmon discusses the ups and downs of running her own business and how she stays motivated.

You run three businesses. How do you do and what does an average day look like?

I am a single mother of two children, so life is very busy. I’m on my phone and on my email as soon as I wake up, but I take a break to go to school. The day starts well around nine o’clock, but the days themselves are varied: I can be in product development, work with the laboratory team, do formulation reviews or predict trends.

It can’t be easy. What do you think are your biggest challenges?

I mean it’s everything a challenge. Product development is what I live and breathe, but I still sometimes struggle with impostor syndrome. I try to remember that I launched two brands in confinement, in very difficult circumstances. Skincare is such a competitive market and sometimes it’s hard to be seen and heard. But challenges rotate you or make you do things differently and creatively, so I try to take it all in my stride.

So how do you stay motivated?

I am so lucky to be able to work with my family. They are great motivators and they are always there for me. I’ve learned that rejection and those tough times lift you up; they make you stronger and ultimately more determined to succeed.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love walking into a store and seeing what the products look like on the shelves, seeing the customers interact with them. It could be an idea for a product or formula that I had for breakfast one day and seeing someone take it and be like “oh wow, that sounds good” is an amazing feeling.

I also like going straight to the lab, talking to the team and coming up with ideas. Then in a few days I have a sample on my desk. It’s my dream job and being able to do it makes me very lucky.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve certainly been advised against my instincts before and I’ve learned to choose who to ask for advice. I think you know when you have good advice because it resonates with you.

And the best advice?

Never be afraid to ask questions because you’re afraid of looking stupid. How else to learn? Always ask! And surround yourself with people who can do the things you can’t do much better than you. Being afraid of the competition because you fear someone will do something better than you is ultimately not good for the brand, the company, and the team.

What would you say to someone who wants to get into skincare?

It’s a very busy market, so it’s very important that you find your niche and what will set you apart; whether it’s price, how you speak to the consumer, or an ingredient. You have to be really passionate and ready to work super super hard. Don’t be put off by rejection either. You only need one win to turn a snowball into something shiny.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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