Karen Sinclair Drake of Sophyto

"Organic principles are a point of difference between an authentic brand and a bogus one. Organic also supports the farmer as opposed to the petro-chemical industry."

Karen Sinclair Drake of SophytoKaren's personal quest searching for an effective natural anti-aging line has indeed taken many years. Working with expert chemists and doctors, she found inspiration from complementary and alternative medicine which emphasises the body's innate ability to heal and maintain itself. Taking this concept and applying it to skincare supported her theory that skin has the ability to defend, heal and maintain itself.

This holistic has attracted more customers who are dermatologists and naturopathic doctors who appreciate the science behind the ingredients.

Can you give a short history of how you got to where you are now, including why and when you went organic?

We joined the UK Soil Association in 2002 where we spent five years in research and development formulating a professional line to very strict, robust standards. Sophyto was the first professional skincare company certified by the Soil Association and in early 2008 we launched the line at the American Academy of Dermatologists in Texas. We felt it was important to gain support from the scientific community as there are still many people on the fence about how effective organic and natural products are. To this day we work with skincare professionals around the world and that really helps endorse just how effective these products are.

Organic principles - why do they matter?

They're a point of difference between an authentic brand and a bogus one. Organic also supports the farmer as opposed to the petro-chemical industry (in relation to health and beauty care standards).

What does the Soil Association mean to you?

We view the Soil Association as the Rolls Royce of eco symbols. Just after we became certified after all those years in R&D, we were invited to join the health and beauty care standards committee, which was a great honour. We work as a US arm of the Soil Association and enjoy educating potential licensees to the many benefits of carrying such a prestigious symbol on their products.

Who are your customers and where are they?

Our customers are naturopathic doctors, plastic surgeons, dermatologists and spas and online specialty retailers, as well as organic-loving consumers everywhere. Our biggest market is the US and we also have a wonderful loyal UK customer base who can shop directly from our website.

What do you love most about what you do?

Pushing the boundaries, seeing the invisible and watching our team conjure up fabulous products from nature's bounty.

What do you find most frustrating about what you do?

Travelling and staying in hotels takes its toll sometimes.

If I wasn't doing this, I would be...

...designing sustainable textiles.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

It sounds like a cliché, but my biggest inspiration comes from nature.

If I was Prime Minister I would...

...make every citizen more accountable for taking care of our planet and its inhabitants.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Patience.

When were you happiest?

When I had both of my parents.

What is your favourite meal?

Organic roasted vegetables drizzled with white truffle oil, a little celtic sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Dream dinner party guest?

Karl Pilkington, so he could share his tales of visiting the seven wonders of the world. I think he's hilarious!

To find out more visit www.sophyto.co.uk



Bookmark and Share




Meet more heroes...

Vanessa Warn of Little Green Rascals Organic Day Nursery in York
"We need to respect the land in terms of what we put in to be assured of good stuff coming out for our children and their children."
Rhiannon Rowley of Abaca in Carmarthenshire
"I am passionately committed to manufacturing in Wales and to using as much Welsh organic wool as we possibly can."
Jane Shepherd of Organics for Kids in Oxford
"Given some of the serious environmental and human problems associated with conventional cotton growing, organic cotton seemed like a really good place to start."
Lesley Zwart, Youngstock Manager, Eastbrook Farm
"Organically we strive to have animals that are naturally healthy, but they can of course still get sick. The better we know an animal the sooner we will pick up if they are not fit."
Geetie Singh of the Duke of Cambridge in North London
"Always stand by your principles - you may be less well off financially, but you will be better off in yourself. Money just buys you the same stuff but at a higher price."
Tim Deane of Northwood Farm in Devon
"Organic principles have to underpin the practice, and once they are understood and really taken on board most of the rest of it is common sense."
Safia Minney of People Tree
"I’m interested in the triple bottom line – people, planet, profit. A product has to not only work in terms of customer quality and satisfaction, but also environmentally and in human terms."
Rohan Marley of Marley Coffee
"I find great joy knowing that we are supporting the communities in which our coffee is grown as well as promoting key pillars of youth, planet and peace that are true to my own and my family's values."
Dr Paul Benham of Primrose Organic Centre in Wales
"I arrived at the bare field of Primrose farm in 1985, gained the Soil Association symbol in 1986 and began farming organically to assess whether I could disprove the view of the time that organics could not achieve high output or superior quality."...
Sebastian Pole of Pukka Herbs in Bristol
"We have always been 100% certified organic with the Soil Association because we felt strongly that we did not want to try and improve people's health but damage the planet's in the process. So an organic business was the only way."