Lawyer, turned skincare expert Sophie Thompson, discovered the benefits and skincare prowess of pure, 100% natural and organic coconut oil whilst on holiday 3 years ago. Taking inspiration from what she found, Sister & Co was born. The brand celebrates the use of wonderfully raw, unprocessed ingredients which are good enough to eat, without the use of synthetics preservatives, stabilisers or chemicals. The brand has gone from strenth to strenth since its launch and we recently caught up with Sophie to get the full story.
What inspired you to launch Sister & Co?
The idea for Sister & Co. came after a yoga holiday to Goa at the end of 2013. The local ladies working at the retreat sold raw cold-pressed coconut oil, which they made at home. I had suffered from problematic skin for years (despite being about to turn 30) and they told me to wash my face with it. I really wasn’t sure about putting oil on my face but couldn’t believe it when a couple of days later, my skin had totally cleared up. I also noticed that it took my make up off more easily than any makeup remover I had ever bought, and also moisturised incredibly well without leaving a greasy residue.
What can people expect from Sister & Co. products?
Sister & Co. products prove that going natural is not a compromise on efficacy or luxury. First and foremost our products work, but they also add style and flair to your bathroom shelf. We want to break the perception that natural beauty products are only found in the dusty back shelves of health food stores – our products are cleanly designed, modern and accessible. We also strongly believe in truth and transparency in the beauty industry. What you see with Sister & Co. products is what you get: products made with 100% natural ingredients and nothing else.
The original, signature Sister & Co product
What did you want to do differently with Sister & Co when you launched the brand?
When I came back to London after my trip to Goa and went to stock up on coconut oil, although it was readily available, none seemed as pure and light as what I had found in Goa, and all were sold as cooking oils – there was very little focus on skincare benefits.
That’s when I had the idea to source an oil of the quality I found in Goa, as a skincare product, with the aim of buying a small quantity to sell and just see how it went and whether people would be as much a fan as I was! After months of sampling, I found the oil I was looking for, and Sister & Co. Coconut Oil, our first product, was born!
Coconut oil worked so effectively for my skin (and the first batch I imported sold so well) that I became very interested in the concept of nutrient-rich natural ingredients, in their raw, undiluted and most active state, to heal and nourish your body on the outside as well as the inside. Formerly a lawyer, I retrained in natural skincare formulation and alongside our coconut oil I have developed the Sister & Co. Skin Food range, a unique collection of skin and body care products made with carefully selected skin superfoods from around the world including cold-pressed plant oils, raw nut butters and milks, sugars, salts, clays, waxes and pure essential oils. Our range proves the power of using natural ingredients topically when in their most active state – how they are found at source, raw and whole with all their vitamins and minerals fully intact.
Many brands make natural claims about their products, and while these products will certainly contain some natural ingredients, they are very unusually 100% natural - many will still contain synthetic fragrances, fillers, texturizers and preservatives, sometimes in low levels but often in considerable levels. Every ingredient we use is only and always 100% natural – we will never use synthetic additives of any kind. This means that our products have a shorter shelf life than many products on the market (1 year in comparison to 2-4 years) – however carrying our small batch production runs every 12 weeks and bringing products straight to the market means that every product you will come across is at peak freshness and efficacy, guaranteed, with the majority of its shelf life intact – and most importantly, the integrity of the ingredients uncompromised.
Taking the benefits of coconut to the next level; body scrubs infused with coffee and matcha green tea
Your coconut oil is pure enough to eat; do you include this in your diet too?
Yes, I add a spoonful to a smoothie or to my porridge every day. It has great nutritional benefits and is also a source of slow release energy, so I find it really helps control sugar cravings.
What is your number one beauty essential?
This is boring, but only too true (and free!) – sleep and water. I try to get 7 hours sleep minimum a night and drink 8-10 glasses of water a day – if I don’t I notice the difference in my skin straight away.
What’s next for Sister & Co?
Innovation is such an exciting part of what we are doing, and we have so many ideas for new products that we think our customers will love. This Autumn we are actually bringing out two nut milk bath soaks, which are lovely, as well as a gorgeous new body balm. We also have a surprise limited edition release pre-Christmas. Keep checking back for updates!