Chat With Luke Sherriff: Proverb Founder Interview
The Most Open And Honest Conversation You Will Find In The Beauty Industry
Launched back in 2017, Proverb was born from a passion for health and performance and bringing those values into the world of skincare. For Proverb founders Luke and Kirstie, at the core of the brand was the drive to create products for people who were serious about their health by giving them clean, natural formulations that worked on the level they expected.
Luke chatted with Valliant CEO regarding the growth of Proverb and his personal career path. Take a look at what made Proverb the brand that it is today.
Q: Luke, what brought you to this specific career path?
The question I get asked most often is ‘how did you go from Professional Rugby to making Beauty Products!’ the answer to which is human health & performance. This has been the centre of all my journey all the way from when I was young. I was then lucky enough to study Human Sciences at Oxford University for 4 years which gave me the chance to study humans and how their interaction with their environment affects their health. It also afforded me the opportunity to play rugby for the university leading to the chance to play professional rugby for Harlequins and Nottingham for 11 years.
During that time I became more focused on my own health but never lost the passion for human health and as importantly how we impact the environment. Rugby and Beauty collided in 2006, when Kirstie, then running a beauty training school became intrigued by the improved performance I saw by changing my diet to be far cleaner and more organic. She instantly recognized that this could be applied to skincare products and launched the UK’s first complete range of organic spa products and treatments Pinks Boutique. After all, many of the toxins that we were trying to avoid in our diet at the time were in synthetic cosmetics and it quickly became apparent that people were keen to avoid this in products they put on their skin.
Fast forward to 2017 and we collaborated to launch a retail-focused range of products under Proverb, Lifefuelled Skincare, that to help people choose products that work better for their health and the health of the planet. My initial interest in human health has lead me to realise that it is intertwined with the health of those around us and the planet and so in 2020 we launched our first refillable product, a Natural Deodorant, and are excited about how we can bring more sustainable, natural products to have a positive impact on everyone’s health.
Q: What is most important to your organisation—mission, vision, or values?
Values. We have been lucky to build a great team around us who while buying into our mission and vision for the business, at the core share our values as humans. The top of which is being kind to yourself and others. If we look for one thing in people we work with, both in our team and those we collaborate with, it is their ability to put kindness first in business. Putting others goes a long way to building long-term relationships which in turn improves the chances of delivering your business missions and vision.
Q: What have you learned about personal branding that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
As a founder in the early stages of growing our brand, our personal branding and that of the business are very closely linked. If I could change one thing about my own personal branding earlier in my career, is to have made it a bigger part of the story of the Proverb brand. The more we interact with customers the clearer it is that our own personal story resonates better than any other content that we create, I truly believe if we had had a videographer document our journey from the beginning we would have built up a loyal following faster who in turn would have spread the message of the brand.
Q: What’s your favourite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
“You Get What You Put In” – We liked it so much we made it our Proverb’s tag line. Ultimately, for me, health underpins everything you experience in life, and there is no stronger link between input and outcome than human health. Fight hard to put the right things into your body and mind and you will find that more often than not you get the right outcomes that are repeatable and sustainable.
This may not be the case for all brands but for Proverb, Kirstie, and I as founders are one of the unique selling points for the brand so the more we can get our story out there the better.