Never let distance or logistics get in the way of a good business idea. At least that’s the can-do attitude of Scoon’s founders, Marloes and Guusje. The light bulb moment for the platform happened in France, where adopted Londoner Marloes and Amsterdammer Guusje were holidaying together with their families.
The duo always knew they had the fire in their bellies to launch a business, it was just a case of right idea, right time. Within 10 minutes of brainstorming, the idea became obvious, but more than that - a necessity: why was there nowhere contemporary to shop clean beauty products and sustainable fashion sourced from all corners of the world?
Confident that their careers had equipped them with skills necessary to get their vision off the ground (Guusje directing e-commerce for MiH Jeans and Karl Lagerfeld; Marloes with 10 years in marketing for Unilever), they wasted no time in quitting their corporate careers to launch their passion project.
Here, discover a little more about what makes them tick.
How did clean beauty get on your radar?
Guusje: My friends were raving about the signature facial at C Cosmetics, a beautiful store in central Amsterdam, and as they all have amazing skin, I gave it a try. The therapist was telling me about all the nasties and harmful ingredients used in most beauty products and when I got home my bathroom felt toxic – I was shocked!
Marloes: For me, it was when I became a mum and it hit me (the hormones I guess..): ‘What products should I use on my baby?’ I started to read labels to check on the ingredients searching for all natural products. Naturally, I then overhauled my own beauty regime.
Marloes: We wanted a memorable name that was catchy but most importantly, reflected our integrity. Schoon with the H is a Dutch word with a perfect double meaning: it means clean but it can also mean 'beautiful'.
Who do you admire when it comes to clean beauty, sustainability and brand transparency?
Marloes: Tata Harper is definitely one of the leading figures in the clean beauty movement. She was one of the first who founded a chemical free line, but she did and still does this to the highest standards in the beauty industry. BYBI is one of my latest favorites. Created by the clean beauty bloggers Elsie & Dominica who just get it, a minimalistic vegan range with great products in fun looking recyclable packaging.
Guusje: Stella McCartney for sure. She was making eco-fashion sexy 20 years ago when no-one wanted to listen. Now she is more popular then ever as the new generation of consumers begin to grasp the extent to which the fashion industry is damaging the planet and people. It’s great to see the growing list of exciting brands that consider sustainability as part of their DNA. One of my recent discoveries is Riley Studio, pioneering an entire collection created from waste material & natural fibres.
What didn’t you realise about starting your own business?
Marloes: That it doesn’t feel like work! Everything you do comes from a drive and a passion, it’s been super exciting so far. From the great people we work with to help us build the platform, to the inspirational brand founders we’ve partnered with, there’s nothing like the joy of building something you believe in with a friend.
How do you communicate?
Guusje: I am all over the place - I contact Marloes through Google Chat, Google Drive, Gmail, Hotmail, WhatsApp, phone, iCloud, Dropbox, I have to get myself together!
Marloes: Ha ha that is so true - Guusje sometimes still contacts me via her old Hotmail address.
How would you describe each other?
Marloes: Guusje has an amazing positive energy and a YES mentality. She is not easily upset or worried about something and is very solution focussed. She has an amazing drive and work ethic to getting things done.
Guusje: Loes –as I call her - is an amazing friend and business partner. I think we share the same drive and energy yet Loes is the one who always stays calm and focused and gets us back on track.
What’s your vision for the platform?
Marloes: We want to be the go-to destination for meaningful modern brands from all over the world. We’ll soon be adding lifestyle, fashion, kids and home categories, so watch this space...