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Why Work With LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, as you know and love today, was first started in 1995 in Poole, England before making their way down under in 1997. LUSH was founded by Liz Weir, Mark Constantine, Mo Constantine, Rowena Bird and Helen Ambrosen. Each bringing their own unique and incredible talents to the business.

For more than 20 years, LUSH has been creating fresh handmade cosmetics for customers all over the world. However it wasn’t always this way. In fact, humble beginnings brought us to where we are today.

Mark Constantine and Liz Weir (now Bennett) first met in the early 70s working at a Poole beauty salon. Mark was a trichologist (this is an expert in the science of hair and the scalp!) and Liz, a beauty therapist. Both were interested in creating effective beauty products. So in 1977, they started a business of their own - Constantine & Weir.

Mark and Liz developed a small operation hand-making herbal hair products for local herbalists and salons. With the help of Mark’s wife, Mo, they would concoct batches of products made from their own recipes.

Constantine & Weir began providing many best-selling items to The Body Shop. This was when Helen Ambrosen and Rowena Bird joined the business. With The Body Shop booming in the 80s, Constantine & Weir sold their formulas to the business after 15 years of partnership and became fully independent. With the funds they received from their formulas, they launched their exciting new mail order business, Cosmetics to Go (CTG).

CTG exploded onto the cosmetics scene in a burst of colourful catalogues and never-before-seen items! There were bath bombs, solid shampoo bars, and solid massage bars. Products which survived and evolved into the next millennium to be some of the colourful and familiar items you see today at LUSH. They constantly experimented and played with ingredients - and still do to this day!

The independent status also allowed them to focus on the issues close to their hearts. Staunchly against animal testing, they developed a buying policy that ensured that no supplier tested on animals - a pioneering policy that still stands today. They also funded the important work of those looking for cruelty-free solutions to cosmetics testing without the use of animals.

A visit to a London delicatessen also sparked the desire to use fresh ingredients in the cosmetics that they produced, and an emphasis on cutting down on preservatives within the range.

In six short years, the innovative CTG business unfortunately found itself in receivership. However, the team picked themselves back up and we soon saw the birth of LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics!

LUSH’s debut was understated and humble after the hard lessons from the CTG venture. The first shop was simply designed with the day’s specials written on chalkboards in the 29 High Street space. Frivolous packaging was nowhere to be found, and all money went into buying fresh, quality ingredients. This was the beginning of the signature LUSH look that still exists today.

The echoes of the Cosmetics to Go ethos is embodied in how LUSH has progressed and how we continue to do business today.

LUSH is still a campaigning company, still proud to swim against the tide and support groups and causes we truly believe in. We are still fighting against animal testing, and are working on preservative-free cosmetics. The creativity remains unfettered by industry trends, and thrives on passion, innovation and the excitement of the next invention.


LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics's People Support Coordinator, Zani Walker

“Hints from HR” turns Interviewers into Interviewees to ask the Human Resources (HR) professionals making the hiring decisions what they actually want, what they look for, their turn-ons and turn-offs, their best advice plus a little about their own story. Read on to get LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics’s advice:

Meet Zani

When you were 9 years old, what did you want to be when you "grew up?"

I had to ask my mum this one. Apparently, I told her I would be a pilot with 5 children, and that she would look after them when I traveled.

What was your first job?

My first job was as a kitchen hand. I hated it, but have since developed a passion for cooking!

How long have you worked in HR/recruitment?

4 years collectively… I took a break in the middle to go to university.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Meeting all the amazing people that want to work for LUSH.

If you could go back and tell your teenage self one thing related to jobs/career, what would be?

Seek out feedback and try, try again.

Hints from Zani

What I look for in candidates:

It’s really important that you are passionate and enthusiastic about the opportunity. There needs to be an obvious willingness to apply your skills and continue to learn and grow, and a real interest in our brands. Relevant experience always needs to be considered.

To me, the most employable skills a candidate could have are:

Great teamwork and communication skills will always take you places. Being proactive, working together with others, making decisions, problem-solving and achieving goals often take the involvement of more than just one person.

My advice to applicants who want to stand out:

Do your research! If you’re applying for a role in VM (visual merchandising) – we want to know your observations of our stores, windows, merchandise placement and product stories. If you’re a print designer, why not present a few print options for an upcoming season in your application?

Something you might not know about working for us:

At the Sussan Group, we are very passionate about internal career progression. We are forever spending time on the growth of our teams and bringing them on a journey. We also have longstanding community partnerships – these relationships are very special to our Company.

The biggest mistake you could make:

We all know that traffic, public transport and/or Google Maps can really challenge us at times, and often on the days you really need them to be your best friend; but if you’re late, lost or unable to attend an interview, be sure to communicate that to the relevant contact.

The first thing I notice about a resume:

It’s format. Where possible ensure your resume is easy to read and clear to understand. I also think it’s nice to have a resume slightly tailored to your personality. If you’re in the creative industry, let your resume be a little reflection of your own aesthetic and taste. Another really important document is your cover letter. Don’t forget to write one and don’t forget to be specific about the business and position you’re applying for. Everyone can see through a generic cover letter, and sending one where you have included incorrect information about the actual position/company you are applying for is a sign that you haven’t taken the time to complete this properly. Use this document as an opportunity to sell yourself and show your genuine interest in the specific position you are applying for – it’s your personal marketing tool.

The first thing I notice about a candidate at an interview:

Their level of engagement, interest in the position and the business. It’s also always important to present well and greet the interviewers in an appropriate manner.

Questions a candidate should never ask:

Questions are good. Remember this interview is a two-way process – you need to know that the position, the company, and the culture is right for you too. I guess there are things that you could avoid asking but I’d say that would just be common sense.

Don't shy away from asking:

More about the culture of the business as well as the challenges in the role and across the greater business. Also don’t shy away from asking why the role has become vacant and the salary range for the position. It is also important to ask about your Manager so you can determine if they are the sort of person you would like to work with.

Don't let this hold you back:

Experience in the specific industry. Perhaps we’re recruiting for an Assistant Accountant and you’ve had experience as an Assistant Accountant in hospitality but not retail. Don’t let that worry you. You might, in fact, have the perfect skill set for a position and it’s only the industry that’s new to you – don’t let this hold you back from applying as we are always looking for transferable skills.

What I want to know about you as a person:

I want to know about your career goals – both short and long term and how this role fits in with these. It’s great to hear about candidate’s career and personal achievements. It also helps to know how you like to work and be managed.

What homework I expect you to have done before the interview:

It’s important to have a good understanding of the position as per the job description. If you don’t have the job description – ask for one. You should aim to research and have a general understanding of the business and some of the work we’ve done, e.g. the charities we support. I like candidates to have visited our stores prior to the interview so they can talk about their experience.

My advice to a candidate who wasn't successful:

I would suggest treating that process as another opportunity – there is no doubt that you’ve learnt something along the way. If you are genuinely passionate and interested, apply for another role if a suitable opportunity arises, or ensure you have expressed an interest through our website.