Erin Sandral, Chief Experience Officer & Co-Founder of glo Lasers
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I’m a co-Founder and the Chief Xperience Officer at Glo Laser Centres. The business concept is actually a very personal one for me, because my husband came up with the idea after I developed severe melasma (hormone related pigmentation) during my first pregnancy. I went for non-invasive laser to get it fixed, and the results were amazing (but expensive to achieve!). So it spurned the idea of bringing high quality, affordable laser treatments to the market.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
One of my favorites is a young girl we met who came to us with severe acne. She’d been struggling with it for years and was very reticent to take medication for it, knowing how bad the side effects of acne medication can be. So we treated her and within 6 treatments her acne had dramatically improved, which gave us the idea to set up our gloCares programme. As part of the program, we treat 20 young people a year for free, helping them to safely cure their acne without the need for medication, and reducing the chances of them having to cope with acne scarring later in life. It’s one of my favorite parts of what we do.
What’s one of the craziest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
The beauty industry is a crazy one, and not always pretty. After working in it for a while, you start to hear the stories, some of which are pretty shocking. The one which blew me away completely, was when I learned that staff at a certain beauty outlet (which shall rename nameless) sometimes put pepper in a customers tea after their treatment if they decide not to buy a ‘package’. Yes, really!
The perfect day off would be…
Somewhere between lying in bed and watching movies all day (a combination of documentaries & side-splitting rom-com’s) and spending the day with my husband and two children at DisneyWorld. I realize they’re are juxtaposed, but that’s the truth…
A day in the life of an entrepreneur is…
Long, engaging, challenging and inevitably contains several important new learnings. I often work from 7am – 10pm and my phone is never off. Someone once told me that en entrepreneur is someone who works 100 hours a week so they don’t have to work 40 hours a week for someone else. I can’t disagree with that. There is never a dull day, though, and it keeps me motivated and gives me a huge sense of purpose.
What do you do for fun?
Adventure really helps me to remove myself from daily life – it’s one of my greatest sources of joy. My parents have a home in Kenya so I grew up spending a lot of time there and gained a real appreciation for outdoor life. My adventures so far have included climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, an eight week drive overland from London to Beirut, rock climbing in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan, a six week solo drive across America, getting my Wilderness Medical Certificate in the UK and the latest was just this past November when I joined a group of eight women from around the world to spend 10 days living with a local reindeer herding tribe in Siberia, Russia. At -35 degrees Celsius, it was my coldest adventure to date!
What’s something you’d like people to know about glo?
I think the biggest thing is that laser isn’t scary. Many people have heard stories about laser and assume that it has to hurt or damage the skin. That’s not the case at all. Non-invasive laser works in a way which doesn’t do any damage whatsoever to the skin and has no downtime at all. No cooling gels or numbing creams are required. So after 15 minutes at glo, your skin is deep cleansed, brighter and glowing and you can go straight back to your normal daily activities without having to worry about any painful recovery or hiding away.
What’s your favourite food and wine pairing?
Has to be a medium rare filet steak with a full-bodied red. I’m partial to a nice Merlot, Pinot Noir or Chateau Neuf du Pape. (But I really have no idea about wine, and am more than happy for someone else to do the pairing for me!)
What’s your view on the beauty scene in KL?
On the whole, the beauty scene globally is incredible, but there’s so much on offer that it’s often confusing for the customer. The general knowledge about what’s safe to do to your skin or which ingredients are safe to use is not great here in KL – I find that a lot of people are using harmful products or doing back alley treatments which in the long term cause more damage than good. The education around beauty is provided mainly through marketing from beauty companies here, and that’s, unfortunately, not always honest. If I could change one thing it would be to take harmful whitening products off the market and teach women to love their skin as it is and that fairer is NOT more beautiful.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
We just opened our fourth outlet a few months ago, and the next one isn’t too far away, so a lot of planning and resources will go into that. We’re also constantly focused on training to ensure our staff have the right skills to make our customers feel special and important. We take customer service very seriously at glo and not everyone on the planet is naturally comfortable with communicating, so that means lots and lots of training.