The Interview: Alice Sagnier and Bridget Healy, Co-Founders, EverySkin
Alice Sagnier and Bridget Healy are the Co-Founders of EverySkin - a rising star in London's facial aesthetics and hair removal industry.
EverySkin launched in London early in 2021 and has already grown to three clinics, with more on the way before the end of the year. Aiming to make premium, personalised aesthetic treatments accessible to all, not just a select few, the company focuses on openness and inclusivity.
Each clinic features technology and treatments that are chosen not only for their effectiveness and safety, but for their suitability for every skin tone.
Sagnier and Healy speak to Tom Shearsmith, News and Features Writer at TheIndustry.fashion about their past experiences in retail, passions for the aesthetic and skincare industry, the constant drive for inclusivity and what the future holds for the business, which has already seen massive growth.
How are you both doing? Four months from launching your first clinic in Wood Green, and yet you’ve not slowed down. Please tell me you’ve stopped to take a breath?
BH – We’re doing great, thank you Tom! It has indeed been a very busy 4 months, but also incredibly rewarding to see our business come to life, our fantastic team grow and many very happy customers.
AS – And you’re right to say we’ve not slowed down. We’ve been very busy preparing the launch of our next three sites, which we’re excited to reveal very soon. You’ll be the first to know!
Individually, what’s your business history?
AS – I started my career consulting for retail & consumer brands, and was most recently Head of Strategy at Fortnum and Mason – a 300-year-old food experience brand that has undergone a fascination rejuvenation and commercial success in recent years.
BH – I was most recently General Manager of Laser Clinics UK and prior to that worked with private equity firm KKR’s Consumer/Retail team in New York and in Sydney. I first got involved in the laser clinics industry during my time in KKR Sydney when the firm invested in Laser Clinics Australia, and coming from the more mature Australian market, saw the potential to build scale in the UK.
How did you meet, and where did launching the business together come from?
BH – We met in business school seven years ago, and always thought we would build a business together. Our paths diverged post business school, but we returned to London in late 2020 and quickly realised the potential for a business like EverySkin – both from a market perspective and with our complementary skills.
Combining my deep understanding of operational best-practice with Alice’s focus on building a modern, customer-centric, digitally-enabled business, we felt we could disrupt the outdated UK aesthetic industry with an inclusive, accessible and transparent brand. We also see having a female-owned, female-run business would be highly differentiating in this industry.
Alice – you must bring something very unique having worked for Fortnum & Mason, with such a rich history embedded in London. What’s the change been like for you?
AS – It’s been a great transition, Tom, and there are many parallels between my work at Fortnum & Mason and my objectives with EverySkin. We often referred to Fortnum’s as the world’s oldest start-up, founded by two entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity and took a risk. The brand is still a success, 300 years later, largely due to its deep-rooted innovation and its ability to constantly reinvent itself.
This is the approach I’m trying to bring to EverySkin as we look to disrupt an outdated, exclusive industry with a modern, innovative and sustainable brand.
We’re challenging the norm with a commitment to offer premium aesthetics to everyone – every skin tone, gender and budget. How? Our menu has been carefully curated to treat all skin tones; our communication is approachable and honest – choosing simple, open language over complex clinical jargon; our clinics are in convenient locations, not remote from daily life; we have a seamless digital experience with a suite of convenient services including online bookings, payments, split payment functionality, a rewarding loyalty club, and feedback programme; and our therapists are not only true experts, but friendly and ready to welcome all guests.
For those who aren’t aware – what do EverySkin cover?
BH – As Alice said, our treatment menu has been carefully designed to serve all skin tones and skin types using the best technology, while offering affordable prices.
We offer medical-grade laser hair removal (using the gold standard Candela Gentle Max Pro laser) at very attractive prices – from £15 for underarms, £49 for Brazilian & underarms and £35 for face. Customers can expect to see 80-90% permanent hair reduction after a course of 6-10 treatments. We’ve been receiving amazing feedback from customers who are delighted with their results – it’s a fantastic laser.
Prices for the same treatments and medical device on Harley Street — and other more exclusive central London locations — are upwards of three times as expensive. We also offer high-tech skin treatments including microdermabrasion, chemical peels and microneedling – selected for their effectiveness, safety, and efficiency to fit into customers’ busy lifestyles.
And we work with medical practitioners who offer a selection of cosmetic injectables –wrinkle relaxers, lip filler and cheek fillers – all of which have been very popular so far.
The clinics are beautiful – what’s the story behind the design? They feel a lot less clinical than some others in the market.
AS – That’s great to hear, Tom, because this was very much the intention. We want our clinics to feel warm and welcoming, without the clinical appearance that can feel intimidating. They’re pared-back to reflect the essence of the brand, and feature warm, natural tones, as well as primarily UK-based materials. We also worked with lighting to create a comfortable space for all skin tones through appropriate lighting.
We absolutely love them and have been receiving fantastic feedback from customers so far. The clinics were designed by the very talented Olivia Westrom.
In terms of laser hair removal – tell me a little bit more about the technology and lasers that you use?
BH – We use medical-grade Candela Gentle Max Pro lasers for all our laser treatments – they combine two wavelengths (ND YAG and Alexandrite) to treat lighter and darker skin tones in the same amount of time and with the same fantastic results.
We also love it because it’s virtually pain-free (due to its unique cooling system) and the results are quick – we are getting fantastic feedback from customers.
You're originally from Australia Bridget, how does the UK market differ for laser hair removal? I imagine it’s quite different!
BH – In the UK, the industry is at the very beginning of consolidation and versus markets like Australia is highly fragmented with 0.2 clinics per 100k population versus 2 clinic for the same population in Australia. This means fantastic headroom for growth for EverySkin.
We have a lot of customers starting their laser hair removal journeys with us - whereas in Australia, customers are well accustomed to these treatments.
This means we have an important job to educate customers about their laser hair removal – some customers know very little about the treatment, some have been scarred by prior experiences with poor lasers. There has been so much technological advancement and if customers do their research and choose the right laser (like the Candela), the treatment is perfectly safe and effective.
The injectables market in the UK is growing and growing – how does EverySkin fit into that?
AS – We are very much benefitting from this trend, and saw a lot of pent-up demand coming out of lockdown when we opened our first clinic earlier this year. We launched our injectable treatments (wrinkle relaxers, lip and cheek fillers) with a waitlist and our medical practitioners’ diaries get fully booked as soon as we release their dates. It’s been fantastic to see Dr. Kate and Dr. Shivane so well received by EverySkin customers.
And we look forward to expanding our injectable offering across our existing and upcoming clinics, with some exciting ideas in the pipeline!
Finances. How is the business growing?
AS – We are thrilled with the performance of our first clinics – all three are exceeding expectations, and every month is a new record.
We are also delighted with the feedback we’re receiving from customers – the best indicator of future performance – and are already seeing a large number of repeat customers. We run an internal feedback programme and have received c.95% 5-star reviews – as long as we continue to focus on delivering a fantastic service, we’re feeling very positive about the future.
Throughout business there’s lots of confident women, from staff in the clinics to the management – is that intentional?
BH – very much intentional. We see our management team and owners - amongst the only female owners in this industry globally who are actually consumers ourselves - as a differentiating factor here in the UK. Although we do work very hard to appeal to all genders, women do account for the majority of our customer base.
As predicted, males will make up a small proportion of your clients! Not all those who were assigned male at birth would still either identify as such, and some males won't represent the typical heterosexual, does this come into play with decision making too, such as wording in promotions?
AS – Absolutely. EverySkin exists because we fundamentally believe every body should have access to premium aesthetic treatments, and this purpose underpins every element of our proposition. Just to name a few examples, we have a gender-neutral menu, we use gender neutral language in our communication, our consent forms acknowledge that some customers will not identify as male or female, and we work with partners from all communities.
EverySkin has been very popular amongst the LGBT, non-binary, drag queen communities and we couldn’t be happier. We were thrilled to welcome Bimini Bon Boulash, runner up in RuPaul's Drag Race UK Season 2, for laser hair removal after just a few weeks of being opened.
COVID-19 must be only described as the biggest challenge to not only a business, but to the world of treatments and skincare – how have you adapted, grown and learnt from this?
BH – Safety is our top priority – pandemic or not, a big part of our job is to make sure our customers feel comfortable and safe with us. So COVID has certainly thrown a few extra curve balls, but we put in place measures in clinic to keep our customers and our teams safe.
On the business side, we planned the EverySkin launch during the pandemic – so we were very careful to put in place appropriate measures to protect our business more broadly.
If you look towards the next 12 months, where do you go from here?
AS – Over the next 12 months, we’re excited to expand our portfolio of clinics and welcome many more customers through our doors. We feel privileged to play a role in the renaissance of the UK high street by bringing these amazing treatments to a wider audience.
We have no plans to slow down and have a pipeline of ideas including new treatments, digital services and partnerships we look forward to introducing.
Finally, how does EverySkin differ to its competitors?
BH – Great question. We see our main differentiation (1) Our commitment to building a truly inclusive business – and as we’ve discussed, this underpins everything we do at EverySkin; (2) The top quality of our technology and our treatments at accessible prices, enabled by our high-footfall locations; (3) Our overall branding is modern and approachable – we’ve have incredible talent bring this together; (4) Our seamless digital proposition that makes coming to EverySkin not only enjoyable, but convenient and rewarding.