Babs Forman, founder of Skin Confident. I run all aspects of the company – from branding and design to outreach and marketing as well as, of course, carrying out client services.
Tell us about your business
Skin Confident is a skin camouflage and medico-legal expert witness service business.
What this means is that I help people who have scars, or any other visible pigmentation issues. I teach them how to use paramedical products that are long-lasting and waterproof when applied properly so that they can better conceal those issues.
As a medico-legal expert witness I provide the same service to people who are involved in personal injury litigation. Typically, someone would have been involved in a road accident, or an accident at work, or some kind of accident that has left them scarred. Not only does the skin camouflage assist in the rehabilitation process, but the expert witness report goes to the court to assist the judge in determining the level of compensation awarded. In that way the cost of skin camouflage can be calculated and taken into account to ensure adequate compensation is awarded.
I see clients all the time whose lives have been turned upside down following an accident or trauma and who are suffering psychologically as a result of their scarring and their altered appearance. Sometimes the manifestation is very serious, from social anxiety to depression, an inability to work or leave the house or even suicidal thoughts.
Sometimes it is less severe but still negatively impacts the quality of life of my clients and their willingness to engage in day to day activities. Although skin camouflage cannot give them their skin back, it can go a long way towards making them feel like their old selves again and more confident in social and professional situations. Whilst I would never advocate that anyone should use skin camouflage, I like to think that having the option and choosing whether or not to use it is empowering in itself.
What drove you to start the business?
I became interested in skin camouflage after I suffered from burns scars myself as a teenager. I spent time at the specialist burns unit and saw first-hand the devastating effect that scars can have on a person’s life. After a career in law, I retrained as a make-up artist to be able to help people feel more confident about their appearance. I had qualified as a solicitor at a magic circle law firm in London but did not feel that it was right for me. After a few different positions within the law I decided to go for a full career change and retrained as a make-up artist and then further specialised in skin camouflage.
Why did you choose The Accountancy Partnership?
I had been badly stung by my previous accountant, who at a critical time disappeared and left me in the lurch. I was fined for late submission of my tax return, and then spent the next 12 months trying to ensure that the next set of accounts was submitted on time. I realised that instructing a sole accountant has inherent risks. I had no colleagues or anybody else to turn to, I did not even have an address or anything other than a phone number (then no longer in use) and an email address (not responsive).
As a result, I was on the lookout for a more professional firm, which would not leave me hanging if anything happened to one member of staff. I really like the fact that the admin side of things is not taken care of by the accountants themselves, who can concentrate on delivering the core services. I appreciate the automated reminders and the information and tutorials available.
Would you recommend The Accountancy Partnership?
Yes I would, in particular to small businesses like myself. I feel that my business is well understood and that I am in good hands.
What do you have planned for your business in the future?
I currently provide consultations out of a shared space but am planning on opening up my own studio to see clients in. I am also working experimentally with one of the leading London hospitals on skin camouflage for facial prostheses, and would love to run regular clinics there.