Sean Harrington

Writer Vivienne Tang | October 23, 2014

Spearheading Elemis since the very beginning, Sean Harrington is now taking the skincare brand to new heights.

“We’re just embarkingon a completely new five-year strategy,” Sean Harrington, Managing Director of Elemis, says proudly when asked about the brand’s development. “We have a business that’s hugely successful in the United Kingdom. Probably we’re ranked in the top five product companies in skincare and beauty. We turn over just over £70 million and £50 million of that is in the UK. That’s 70 per cent of our business. So our whole focus now is to really build internationally.”

Harrington was distributing French beauty brands in the UK back in the day, but he always felt like there wasn’t a single brand that delivered the high quality that was possible, which led him to launch Elemis 25 years ago, together with Noella Gabriel, Director of Product and Treatment Development, and Steiner Leisure. The idea was to deliver a top-notch quality product from the UK.

“We created a formulation team,” he says, looking back at the brand’s inception. “We developed the concept. We designed all the products. We had some big challenges to begin with, because we created this product that was the best you could ever create, but it was costing us so much money. We were losing money significantly, because we had this dream to make it as good as it can be. So it was only over time that we managed to evolve the technology, get our own volumes up and to live what is now a very successful and profitable business.”

Harrington became one of the leading figures in the spa industry, spearheading the launch of the first UK Elemis Day-Spa and its therapies, carving a niche for Elemis in the global spa and skincare industry and establishing it as a cutting-edge brand that pushes the boundaries of beauty, covering numerous countries in Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Korea and Japan. And last year, Harrington was awarded a Special Industry Award by CEW (UK) for his outstanding contribution to the beauty industry and the advancement of women in their beauty careers.

Brands go through change and evolution...we’re ready for Asia
~ Sean Harrington