Anna Brightman of UpCircle (3 min Read)

Radical Giving - UpCircle

What's your life motto?

To live without boundaries and to always be kind.

What have you learnt so far?

No work is below me, and no work is above me.

Where is your favourite place?

My flat in Battersea is probably my current favourite place. I’ve made or upcycled almost everything in it, including all the art on the walls. During lockdowns I got a lot of enjoyment out of my weekend home improvement projects! It’s important that your home is a place that you love being in I think.

Name your three favourite words?

Reused, repurposed, reloved!

What do you think makes a good company?

One whose ethics are built into their DNA – integrity and transparency is important in building the foundation of a good company.

Can you describe your workplace?

Dynamic, bustling and banterous. (Sibling co-founders… say no more!) We’re a tight-knit team who love to get together for drinks after work on a Thursday as much as we love letting everyone know what we’ve been working on in our Monday team meetings. We’re all extremely hardworking and enjoy being our own bosses!

What is your favourite food?

I can list on one hand the foods I don’t like.. and I’m always excited to try new foods too! My Dad is oddly very good at cooking Mexican food, so that’s always been a favourite cuisine.

What can you not live without?

My sister. (Who I actually live with!!)

What is the last thing you bought?

Someone DM’ed the UpCircle account saying that she had just launched her own jewellery business making jewellery from wild flowers. I had a quick look out of curiosity (If I didn’t have UpCircle then being a jewellery designer would be the next best thing!) and ended up buying this lovely daisy necklace from her. I think I’m one of her very first customers which is nice, purchasing from small businesses always feels more special to me. I also know what helps in the early brand launch days, so I’ll be taking a pic of myself wearing it when it arrives and will of course drop her a review too!

What advice would you give to the younger generation?

Public speaking gets easier, keep at it. I used to have a crippling fear of public speaking. Now I get flown to different countries so that people can hear what I have to say - who could've imagined?! It feels very surreal. I wish I could tell my younger self that the way to overcome the fear is to find what you’re passionate about. Once you’ve done that it becomes second nature, and a whole lot less terrifying.

Proudest moment?

Either being listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 this year or having three dragons fighting over us on Dragons’ Den. Both are things that I can’t actually believe happened!

What’s next?

Our product launches for this year include an ocean-friendly SPF, a Hand Wash, Hand Lotion and Hand Sanitiser Trio which we plan to launch widely into restaurants and hotels (as they reopen). We’re also developing a Night Cream and Lip Balm – all set to launch in 2021. The repurposed ingredients for those include seaweed extract and kiwi water! It’s still early days and we’re eager to be able to offer a full skincare offering, to cater to whatever skincare concern you may have, so new product development is a big focus for us. We’re highly motivated to continue sourcing varied ingredients that are ending up being thrown away prematurely.

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