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Botanical illustration with a black and white image of Julie Sheridon-Smith, Liz Earle Technical Director

Julie Sheldon-Smith

A leader's view

Julie Sheldon-Smith joined Liz Earle as Technical Director in December 2016. Having initially  considered a career in medicine, during her studies in Biomedical science she found herself working the lab of a premium beauty brand and realised that cosmetics, not healthcare, was her calling. Working to oversee the Formulation, Packaging, Regulatory and Quality teams, it’s Julie’s job to drive our innovations forward, while ensuring all Liz Earle products live up to the highest possible standards that we as a brand are renowned for.

Tell us about your role in the Technical Department at Liz Earle?

“I’m a Director for the Technical Department. Overall the role of the department is to own the quality and integrity of all Liz Earle Naturally Active products. The department is made up of different disciplines including Formulation, Packaging, Regulatory and Quality and there are 20 of us in total in the team. In a snapshot, our Formulation team works at the forefront of new product development working hand-in-hand with the Brand team to develop ideas and concepts for new products. Our Packaging team is responsible for ensuring best possible components are developed for Liz Earle products, while our Regulatory team works closely with our counterparts in WBA to ensure our products are safe and compliant for the UK, as well as the international market. Our Quality team works across both our Ryde and Cowes sites ensuring all our stock is fit for the highest Liz Earle standards and the culture of quality that Liz Earle is renowned for is maintained.”

How do you and your team keep up with the latest trends in the world of cosmetics?

“We are all big fans of all things cosmetics and have a natural hunger for learning and continuous professional development. We also work closely with our suppliers to look at new ideas and concepts, as well as ensuring we work in partnership with the WBA Global Innovation team to keep abreast of developments within the market.”

"We are all big fans of all things cosmetics and have a natural hunger for learning..."

Tell us a little about your background and career so far. What lead you to pursue this career path?

“I completed a degree in Biomedical science with the initial aspiration to work within the medical field. During my university years I was fortunate to get the opportunity to work in a lab environment for another premium beauty brand and it was then that I realised the field of cosmetics was better suited to me.  Over the years I worked my way up from initially lab-based opportunities across make up and skincare, to lead teams across Research and Development for the UK as well as international markets. I then diversified into fashion, only to return to cosmetics as the Technical Director opportunity here at Liz Earle presented itself and was too good an opportunity not to consider!”

How about life at Liz Earle, what made you choose us and what have you been most impressed with since joining?

“I knew the brand before I joined and also knew people who have worked for Liz Earle having always heard glowing reports about what the company is like to work for. The values and philosophy behind the brand, as well as the holistic approach to health and wellbeing also resonated with me and made the company appealing in a way I wanted to be part of.

How does our connection with WBA show up in everyday interactions of your department?

“We work very collaboratively with our counterparts at WBA to leverage synergies so for my department we are in touch daily. As a Technical Director I have reporting line to WBA whilst also being part of the Liz Earle Management Team.“

What about life outside of work, tell us abit about yourself and how you wind down and manage a work-life balance?

“Ok, so I’m married, I am a stepmum and I am obsessed with my cat! I am also really into fitness and an active lifestyle. My weeks are busy working across multiple sites, however, even when I am travelling I always ensure that I make time for daily exercise be that gym, CrossFit, swimming or running − whatever activity I can pick up in a given location. To ensure a balanced approach to work/ life my weekends are dedicated to family and friends.”

Any words of wisdom to share with those who are looking to start their career in a technical discipline…

“Work hard and always take the opportunity to learn from every experience.”

We’d like to extend a big thank you to Julie for giving us a glimpse into her role.