Welcome to the next instalment of the #beautyinsider Q&As, where you can find out who is behind some of your favourite beauty brands, what they are working on and how they got there. This month’s guest is Camille Soldano, Head of Product at Temple Spa, a luxury British spa brand found in some of the most beautiful hotels (it doesn’t get much better than Ham Yard). Camille and I were colleagues at ADA, a company that partners with beautiful brands – we’re talking Elemis, The White Company, Penhaligon’s – to provide beauty products to luxury hotels all over the world. Apart from our French-Italian roots we also share a love of French frozen food Picard, now thankfully available in the UK.
1. Hi Camille, thank you for being my Insider Q&A guest this month. Let’s get started with your role at Temple Spa – what are you responsible for?
I am Head of Product at Temple Spa so I am essentially responsible for developing all new products for the brand, from concept to launch. My main responsibilities are body care, aromatherapy, all gifting and promotional activities including our Christmas collection, spa professional products and hotel amenities. I’m involved every step of the way until the product is ready to launch: the creative side, from formulation development and testing, copy writing to packaging selection, and the commercial side, from preparing the business case to price recommendation and profitability.
2. What is the best and the worst thing about your job?
Besides getting to play with skincare products all day, the best part of my job is receiving feedback from customers. Our brand philosophy is to help people to ‘Love Who You Are’. This drives everything that we do at Temple Spa so for me, as part of the Product Development team, my aim is to develop products that will make people feel better about themselves. It makes all the hard work so rewarding.
The worst part of my job is having more ideas than time! I’m lucky to be surrounded by hugely talented colleagues, including owners Liz and Mark Warom, and new ideas and opportunities come up all the time. I’m often reminded by my team that there are only so many hours in a day so I can’t prioritise every new brief that comes my way.
3. What do you love most about Temple Spa?
I love the care and attention that goes into developing every product that we bring to market. We know that we launch fewer products than some of our competitors but we won’t launch something until we are 100% confident that the formulation contains the best ingredients, the texture is perfect, the fragrance is right and aesthetically, it looks amazing.
4. What is the biggest project you are working on at the moment?
Sustainability and responsible sourcing are major priorities for Temple Spa at the moment. It’s important to us and important to our customers. It’s been a steep learning curve, as legislation and innovation keep evolving, but we have now evaluated every component in our product range and are working hard on providing our customers with improved packaging which is functional, looks premium and more importantly, lessens our environmental impact.
We’re always developing lots of really exciting new products which unfortunately I can’t tell you too much about at the moment, you’ll have to check out our website to find out more!
5. What does a typical day look like for you?
There really isn’t one. I have a clear idea of what I want to achieve when I get to work in the morning, but it’s usually out of the window within 5 minutes! When I am not at head office planning with our marketing or sales teams, I can be brainstorming new ideas with our owners and directors, working with our chemists, attending production, visiting suppliers in the UK or abroad, checking stock with our quality team at the warehouse, attending trade shows… Each day is completely different and impossible to plan for, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
6. Insider tips please! What are the key ingredients or skincare trends to look out for this year in beauty?
CBD (cannabidiol) has been gaining momentum for a while now and I can see it becoming more mainstream in skincare and body care, as it becomes more accepted and better understood as an ingredient. Biodegradable formulations will undoubtedly be a must soon and we anticipate certain ingredients to be banned.
7. And finally – what do you get up to when you’re not creating luxurious beauty products?
Exercise is my way of dealing with the stresses of the day. Running at the weekend is how I clear my head and it helps me to re-focus and get ready for the week ahead. I try to go to the gym most days and practice yoga.
If you have any burning questions you’d like to ask Camille why not leave a comment below? Or you can get in touch with her directly on LinkedIn.