Sue Carroll is the CEO and founder of Notting Hill’s Young LDN, an award-winning skincare and wellness hub designed to champion youth and inspire confidence in everyone regardless of age, race, or gender, one treatment at a time. Young LDN is a friendly, effective business that recently established its first international location at Caesars Palace in Dubai. It aspires to grow into several additional luxury resorts in the upcoming years.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
Before relocating to the UK and having my children, who served as the inspiration for Young LDN, I worked as a senior speech therapist in Cape Town. I had a lot to learn, and it didn’t happen overnight. Since the launch of Young LDN at the end of 2018, I’ve learned a lot.
Young LDN is now a well-known skincare and cosmetics source. I was looking for a place to help my children with their skin problems. It is now a studio where anyone, from teenagers to young adults to skincare enthusiasts in their 40s and 50s, can feel at ease and welcome.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
After spending several months taking my teenage son to different dermatologists and skincare specialists for his hormonal acne, I finally had a “lightbulb” moment after failing to find a place that was both in the middle of somewhere being “young” and also able to give teens the advice they needed on how to take care of their skin. This gave me the idea to develop Young LDN.
How did you achieve awareness?
Working with a specialised public relations agency has helped us establish Young LDN as an industry leader by ensuring we are discussed in all pertinent stories about skincare, beauty, and well-being. Our experienced skin care specialists provide the media with consistent, expert-led advice and suggestions.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
I have been fortunate to have private funders who have supported me throughout the entire process. They have encouraged me, believed in me, and given me the courage to take chances and develop. Having a very capable staff under the direction of our senior aestheticians has also been a huge blessing for me. But a large portion of our most recent expansion can be attributed to our partnership with Irina Titze of RTC Sports, who has been a major force behind our global development into hotels.
What are the key successes?
The overwhelmingly positive interaction that our customers have had with our concept and service, in my opinion, has been the key to the success that we have so far experienced and the one we aim to retain for a very long time. According to the amount of five-star Google reviews, we operate (as far as we know) one of the best medical spas in London, which offers us an organic statistic that helps us to regularly enhance our services. We have only been able to ensure that our service stands out in a market that is becoming more crowded by understanding what it is our customers want.
Furthermore, it has allowed us to distinguish ourselves as a service that renowned luxury brands (like Caesars Palace Dubai, where we have recently launched our second location) can feel comfortable working with. We will constantly make every effort to guarantee that Young LDN provides the finest experience to our clients as the business expands.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Growing up dyslexic, it was really difficult for me to learn to read and stay up in class. After receiving no assistance throughout my time in school, I consider it a personal accomplishment that I got accepted based on my academic ability for a challenging university course. This is why I became a speech therapist and why Young LDN is so significant to me. When we are young, we all experience a loss of confidence in a variety of ways, and it is unfair to add terrible skin to this list of hardships.
Staffing continues to be an issue for the studio, especially considering Brexit and the shift in work habits brought on by Covid. Our biggest obstacle was Covid, and we are currently working to fully recover from it as well as the effects of prolonged closures on a new company.
What are your plans now/for the future?
We just established our first studio outside of the United Kingdom at Caesar’s Palace Dubai, in addition to our popular Notting Hill studio in the UK. Young LDN will expand globally, and we have some exciting new projects with a variety of top companies in the works. During the lockdown, the website has undergone substantial growth, and we plan to maintain this trend and increase e-commerce.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
I would advise them to be less fearful and risk-averse. I’ve held back from doing things out of fear, and when I look back, I wonder where I would be today if I had dared to take the risk. I don’t advocate doing foolishly, but you should occasionally take a chance against your fear. Try it out instead of thinking about what may have occurred in the past. Spend time with people you like, who are smarter than you, and who support what you are doing, and then go out and enjoy yourself!
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
It is important to carefully select the individuals who work for you, but you also need to provide them with the chance to succeed and develop. People will not work for a brand if they are treated unfairly and do not experience the values of the brand in their daily lives.
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
Three of the five people that most inspire me are members of my family. My husband has, for nearly all his life, wedded an entrepreneurial zeal with a near-religious need to do good, and has been very successful in doing so. He has given me the courage to continue working even when I feel discouraged.
Even though she may be challenging, my daughter has always been a patient and loving confidant for me. She has always impressed me with her unwavering commitment to doing her absolute best.
Every day, my son motivates me. He was the source of inspiration for Young LDN because he struggled with acne as he entered puberty. He has remained active in the development of the company to this day.
Together with my family, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Elon Musk, two extremely well-known South Africans, serve as inspirations for me. Archbishop Tutu demonstrated to the world that the oppressed can forgive their oppressors despite all the suffering that not only he but also his constituents endured at the hands of the apartheid regime. He did this while possessing a beautiful sense of empathy and compassion as well as being strong in his convictions and resolute in his moral outlook.
Elon Musk is positioned next to him because I am motivated by his capacity to carry out his dreams, despite how absurd or impossible they may seem at first.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
I get inspiration from, of all things, the lyric in the Hamilton song “Non-Stop” that asks, “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?” I like to answer this question in my head when I question why I am working so hard, with another quote: “I shall sleep when I am dead!” For while “A man [or woman] can do all things if [they] will”, even the best and brightest of us cannot stop our passage on to the “next great adventure”, so we must continue to make the most of life for as long as we can.
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?
Website – https://www.youngldn.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/YoungLDN/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/_youngldn/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/suecarrollyoungldn
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