Sam Farmer

Brand Owner

Company:

SAMFARMER

Education:

SCS Cosmetic Science Diploma

Sam Farmer(Brand Owner)

What made me interested in Science

I was the kid at the back of the class mucking about whilst Mr Caufield, my Chemistry teacher, was explaining the transitional metals. I was afraid of looking stupid by asking questions about things I hadn’t understood.

It was my best friend, Ed Taylor, who told me that science matters. He explained why I’d incinerated my lunch - evidently pasta, tin foil and microwaves are not a good recipe. I really regret that time at school as I wish I had asked questions and followed Ed into the Sciences at A-Level. Never mind, here I am 25 years later having gained a Diploma in Cosmetic Science. I’m certainly not shy of asking questions now.

My career so far

I started in property surveying and realised quite quickly that it wasn’t for me, and then went into television production. After my second child was born, my wife and I decided that I would stay at home to look after them. When they reached that age when a deodorant is an essential item, I couldn’t find a unisex range for their age group. The ingredients were the same but they were segregated into boys and girls.

I decided to create my own unisex range and wanted to learn the scientific basics involved in formulation. Having joined the Society of Cosmetic Scientists and enrolled on the Cosmetic Science Diploma, I worked with experienced formulators and toxicologists learning and asking questions all the time. The range launched in January 2013.

Day to day role

After the daily routine of walking my six dogs and having a cup of tea, every day is different. I deal with all the different aspects of the business, whether that’s stock-taking, product development or talking to customers and journalists. Being the boss means that I can choose what to focus on.

Favourite part of my job

I really enjoy talking to young people in schools and colleges about the personal care industry. Everything from formulation and manufacturing to marketing and packaging. Being a member of the SCS allows me to go to many different events, with some talks held in the beautiful library at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London. As well as keeping up to date on the latest research, I’m able to hear fascinating stories about other people’s careers.

Most challenging part of my job

Using science to challenge the misinformation of cosmetic ingredients that is prevalent in some parts of the media.

Most exciting career moment so far

There have been lots of high points so far. Getting my Diploma results was great, as was walking into SpaceNK and seeing my products on the shelf.

However, I think the most exciting moment was when the first delivery of SAMFARMER arrived. The culmination of hard work, collaboration and a vision of creating something different is something I will always remember.

What I find most interesting about the cosmetic science industry

My real interest is in personal care for young adults. Products you use everyday but perhaps don’t even think about. Keeping formulations up to date with scientific discoveries in skin and hair structure is fascinating.

With new ingredients being discovered all the time, regular packaging innovations and manufacturing processes constantly changing, there's always something exciting happening. I love it.

How I use Chemistry in my job

As well as answering questions about the SAMFARMER range, I’m able to talk to chemists about new ingredients and how they might be compatible within an existing product. A knowledge of Chemistry - even if it’s basic like mine - helps in conversations with suppliers, manufacturers, journalists and buyers.

When I’m not at work…

I’m doing what my children tell me to do. Leaving the decision making to someone else for a change.