We’re proud to have been able to help local business, Skin Genie, expand their online business and continue to help people look and feel good throughout the pandemic.
Jenna Ferguson started her business Skin Genie, in Harker, Carlisle, in July 2019 which offers treatments for issues such as acne, dryness and aging.
“It’s always been skin that has interested me the most,” she said.
“Growing up, my whole family had eczema and there was never much information on how to deal with it and so I was always fascinated to find out more about these skin issues. At school a lot of my friends had acne and that can lead to a lot of bullying and it’s a really big problem for people, so I began looking into ways that I could help.
"Skin problems can be hard for people to deal with, especially when they're young, but when they come in after having treatments for a few months and their skin is totally clear you can see the change in them and the amount of confidence they have and that's really satisfying."
Originally from just over the border in Scotland, Jenna worked in beauty therapy before studying advanced skin science and aesthetics in 2018. Her work as a beauty therapist included three years in London working for airline Virgin Atlantic pampering first class passengers on flights between major cities, before moving to Glasgow as a trainer for skincare brand Dermalogica for nine years. However, when she had her son Ezra, four, she decided to move down to Carlisle where she has been for the last 10 years.
"The first year after I started Skin Genie was just amazing, to finally have my own premises and my own clinic and get everything exactly the way I wanted," she said.
"It was just getting busier and busier when the pandemic came along and we had to close."
However, Jenna was able to continue working with clients by offering virtual skin consultations and recommending treatments and products.
“I also set up an online skin shop where people could buy the products and so that has kept me trading throughout lockdown,” she said.
“It was just a great way to keep the business turning over and growing while we weren't able to do treatments hands on.”
The clinic was able to reopen for client appointments on April 12 but Jenna says she will continue running the online service and shop alongside it.
“Lockdown has created a completely new part of the business and it still works for lots of people to be able to have their consultations online,” she said.
Jenna says The Cumberland building society was particularly helpful last year when she was establishing the online side of Skin Genie.
“I have been a customer of The Cumberland forever, I think I can still remember getting my first ever banking booklet with them when I was little,” she said.
“I shopped around when I was opening my first business, but I ended up just coming back to The Cumberland because you can speak to someone who understands the area and knows about my business and where it is, it’s just a more personal service."
“Last year when I was setting up the e-commerce side of the business not many other banks were accepting new account holders but The Cumberland took me on for a second account, so they’ve just always been really helpful.”
Scott McKerracher, head of commercial at The Cumberland, praised Jenna for her resilience and the way she had been able to adapt her businesses over the last year.
“Skin Genie is a great example of a local business that is totally in tune with its customers and agile enough to respond to changing circumstances - qualities that have been essential during the pandemic.
“It has been a pleasure to support Jenna and see how the online part of her business has blossomed.”