Podcast With Chloe: How to Run a Successful Meaningful Brand

Last summer, I was gratefully asked by Chloe to appear on her podcast Who and What She Wants. I hadn't shared the recording before now as it was my first ever and, truthfully, I felt so nervous about it. But, I listened to the full recording for the first time the other night and really did want to share the insights with you, especially on living with facial palsy, as I feel just as strongly about it now as I did back then.

I hope you find the recording insightful and inspiring and please let me know what you think! I've also popped the key points below.

Sammy x 

Listen here

I thought to start us off today it would be nice if you could just give a little insight into what Beauty In The Brain is all about and a little background into the journey that got you to where you are today.

...There were days when the fear would just consume me out of the blue and the enormity of what I was about to go through would just bring me to overwhelming tears.

This was mostly at work and so I would run to the toilets and do my best to hide it, but when it happens more than once and you start borrowing the makeup of whoever is in the bathroom at the time, it starts to become that little bit harder to hide, especially when you’re faced with “are you sure you’re ok.”

I realised these negative emotions I was experiencing were all just in my mind because there were moments of joy and moments when I genuinely was able to forget, despite initially fearing this would have been impossible to do.

I therefore had to remind myself whenever these negative emotions did arise, that in the present moment I was safe…I was happy… and I was having a great day at work.

I just needed to switch my mindset and focus on the really good things around me to make this challenge much more bearable.

One of my favourite mantras has always been “something good is about to happen” for the ability it has to change your mindset, improve your thought patterns, and keep you fixed in a state of excitement, because it’s those feelings - the excited, happy and genuine positive emotions - that mean you’re going to feel better about your situation, feel more able to cope with it and simply attract better.


I know that you donate a percentage of your profits to Brainstrust UK and Changing Faces UK which is so incredible, I was hoping you could share some insight into how you became involved with these amazing charities?

...It wasn’t what Brainstrust did, or the financial support they gave me at the time, it was the way they made me feel at that moment. And that’s something I don’t ever feel I’ll be done repaying which is why I’ll continue to support them forever in anything that I do.

Being on the receiving end of someone else's fundraising really opened my eyes to what a difference a little change in a collection bucket, or £5 donation to a sponsored run can actually make to the person in need.

From the moment I received that email, I made a promise to myself that I would find a way to give back to Brainstrust and that was the real driving force behind turning that simple quote bracelet from a subtle reminder for myself, into the different quotes I first started selling to others.


I’ve lived with it [facial palsy] daily for 15 months now and I’ve experienced the devastating impacts that it has on your confidence, your ability to socialise, your mental health and the way you’re perceived and present yourself.

Having a visible difference changes everything and living with it has really educated me on the daily challenges – like isolation, fear and social anxiety - that many people have faced their entire lives.

But it’s so important to me to continue to raise awareness for the many people born with visible differences, or who suffer traumas and sudden life changes, because I’ve also discovered that not all are as fortunate or even have the opportunity to explore corrective options. 

My most recent ‘face it’ range, which features beautiful cards and prints, each expressing the different complex emotions of visible differences such as feeling judged and as though you need to cover your face with your hand or stand on what you feel is your good side, ultimately hiding part of who you are, is for these beautiful people.

I’ve chosen to support changing faces with them because of their mission to make us feel as though we belong in a society that has made us believe that our appearance defines us. 

Our opportunities are a direct reflection on how we look, and so is how we are treated, and that’s wrong.

I was reading one of my earlier blog posts the other day – on the importance of being kind and not judging others based on their appearance - and it’s about how I was asked in the early days of my recovery what I wanted most.

I replied “just to walk down the street without drawing attention or having people look at me”- because my posture was frail, my balance was second to none, I looked drunk as I was unable to walk far or steady and my mouth, especially, was far more lopsided, the lack of tone in my cheek made my face longer and it was also before I had eye surgery so my right eye was also incredibly inwards.

Then I realised, that’s how some people must have felt their entire lives!

I was only just aware of these reactions because I was first experiencing this visible difference and was very tuned in to it going from not having that reaction, to suddenly having it. But the main message that I want this range to express is that you don’t have to experience a visible difference, or wait for something catastrophic to happen, to become educated or aware of your reactions to others or how much emphasis we put on appearance.


Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?

...I’m reluctant to say I saw obtaining money as a struggle, but I definitely grew up with the belief that you really had to work hard for money.

I’ve definitely always believed that you need to do more or think out the box in order to not just to make money, although this was definitely the main driver at those ages, but just to have a bit more freedom, and independence and to be able to exercise your creative muscle in a way that you only really achieve when you take full control over something. 


What have been your biggest challenges so far on your journey as an entrepreneur?

In many ways, that challenge of not having the previous experience has also been the biggest blessing.

I do feel that if you knew what aspects of a business you’d be faced with, or the journey you were embarking on, you wouldn’t do it, because you’d doubt your ability to do most of those things before actually giving yourself a chance just to try.


What would you tell someone who is wanting to start their own business within the jewellery market as I know it can often be perceived as being oversaturated?

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from starting this brand is that people don’t buy what you sell, they buy why you sell it.

And a powerful “why” is what will help differentiate you and make you stand out.


I know something that often is a struggle for female entrepreneurs is productivity. Do you have any tips for staying motivated and ensuring your to-do list is kept on top of?

I’d aim to write a blog post each week and would really focus on why it was important for me to achieve.

For example, for me, publishing a blog post meant aiding my recovery and cognitive ability, growing BITB and the awareness of tumours, strengthening my writing muscle, and feeling productive and accomplished at a time when I felt “behind” all of my friends, because I wasn’t doing what they were doing in that stage of our lives.

And that’s still something I do now. If I’m lacking motivation in something, I pause for a minute and think ok, why do I want to complete this task, what will I get from the end result.

It breaks down that to-do list of things you “think you have to do” into things that you WANT to do because you’re getting something from them.


If you were to start a new business from scratch today, what would be the steps you would take to get it off the ground?

My advice to start something is to break it down.

Take really small steps each day and do something towards it.

Even if you don’t feel as though you are making much progress, that 1% of little daily progress, in anything we do, really adds up overtime.

So it might just be thinking up a name and registering it one day to buying a website domain the next. Don’t think too much into it in terms of doubting what you can do or whether you have the certain skills in a particular area.

The best way to learn something is just by doing it and I feel that unless you just start you can spend decades sitting on the idea.


I thought we would finish this interview with a question I ask all my guests. Firstly, what advice would you give to all of the incredible women out there who have entrepreneurial dreams of their own but are too afraid to get started? Secondly, what does being a female entrepreneur mean to you?

Like I said before, just start!

Learn as you go.

Be certain of your strengths and become aware of what you’re good at and of your accomplishments instead of immediately doubting your ability to achieve X Y Z before starting, which is so easy to do.

Know that we are so fortunate right now to live in a time where we can immediately access podcasts or books or social feeds that are so useful and mean that we can obtain others’ knowledge so easily and often for free.

Utilise these.

Secondly, I think female entrepreneurship is about embracing who you are, speaking up about what you believe in and in the solutions you think you can bring to a problem. 

It’s about taking charge of your career, doing something you are passionate about, learning and growing, building meaningful relationships and most importantly destroying stereotypes.


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