Inside the UpCircle Beauty’s Ingenious Social Media Success Journey

Co-founder, Anna Brightman shares her story of changing the face of the beauty industry, transforming coffee grounds into UpCircle skincare products.

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Buckle up, for Anna Brightman, the co-founder of Upcircle Beauty, is here to whisk us behind the scenes of a brand that’s turning leftovers into luxurious beauty staples.

Anna was 22 when she launched UpCircle, the brand that’s grown to become the UK’s #1 upcycled beauty brand – in just six years! When they discovered that more than 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds that are consumed each year in the UK alone are sent to landfill,

Anna and her brother Will decided to start collecting coffee from cafes across London and transforming them into skincare products.

The story behind UpCircle Beauty

At UpCircle, we elevate leftover natural ingredients, bringing them back to life as beauty products your skin will love. Our brand name encapsulates our core purpose: sustainability and promoting the power of the circular economy.

The circular economy sits at the heart of what we do. UpCircle also hints at ‘upcycling’, the process of making something better from things that already exist. Our ultimate mission is to leave the world better than we found it by transforming ingredients that would otherwise be discarded into natural, organic beauty products – better for you, better for the world.

  • Now stocked in over 45 countries, UpCircle had to move office twice in 2022 to accommodate their rapidly growing team.
  • Their upcycled ingredient portfolio is also growing – upcycled raspberry seeds, rose petals, hibiscus acids and oat powder are now all being rescued for their next product launches.
  • UpCircle have extended the circular approach that they take to their ingredients to packaging too and have now refilled 50,000 pieces of packaging via their “Return, Refill, Reuse” scheme.

How big is your social media team?

Our social media strategy is centred on reactive posting. We know that trends come and go at the speed of light, so it’s about being ready and raring to go. Our wonderful team of 3 are experts in creating content that is engaging, on-trend, but most importantly – sincere.

How do you create boundaries when working on social media?

Social media is a difficult field to navigate, it’s important to acknowledge what works for us and what doesn’t. It’s tempting to hop on to all trends, but sometimes they’re just not the right fit – and that’s okay! Protecting our brand will always come first.

Our customers value our sincerity as much as we do, and we want to honour that boundary by being true to ourselves and transparent in everything we do.

Anna Brightman

What is one tip you have about using Instagram?

Our social media hero is Instagram – we love interacting with our UpCirclers and seeing the results of our wonder products! It also has the best features, for us, to communicate with our community and create hype for new product launches.

One tip is to use it as a two way channel of communication, from brand to customer and customer to brand. Ask questions of your customers via your content as much as possible.

What are some posts you’re proud of and why?

They’re authentic posts that tell the story of not just the highs but also lows.

You can see the importance of sharing the origin story and the context of being a founder.

We also have an example of our first appearance on This Morning and how the feedback inspired us to make a change. If you believe in yourself and your brand, don’t let negative comments get in the way, use it as your motivation.

What’s a social media hot take you have?

Your feed doesn’t have to be perfect! Our hot take on social media is that imperfection is perfection, at least for us. It shows sincerity, and makes our community feel like there is a person behind the screen. We love showing behind-the-scenes of UpCircle, and our followers love seeing it!

One social media tip I would give to someone starting out in the field would be to learn how you can best use the platform to make the most of its features and analytics. Creating beautiful content alone won’t get you noticed, it’s about building a community and optimising the features to get the best results!

anna brightman

What should marketing be, in your opinion?

We believe marketing should be: Sincere, Smart, and Social.

By that I mean, in a world saturated by marketing and advertising it’s sometimes hard to know who you can trust. Creating honest, transparent campaigns is the way forward to help you stand out from the crowd. You can still be smart with this, taking advantage of trends and marketing moments, just fitting it in a way that aligns with your brand and maintains sincerity. And finally: social. You are nowhere without your community. Engage with them, learn from them, and thank them!

You can find the full UpCircle range online and check out their social media, too, for the latest product news and happy customers.

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