Meet The Pitch 2018 winner: Jennifer Rock, on growing her business and what she has in her handbag

Businesswoman Jennifer Rock, aka The Skin-Nerd, is IMAGE and Samsung's official winner of #ThePitch. The skincare aficionado had five minutes to prove to the judges she could hit targets, reach milestones and push to new goals; all the while inspiring the team around her. Jennifer’s online skincare consultancy has been going from strength to strength, and now she and her team have €100,000 worth of products to expand The Skin Nerd company even further.

Following her win, the mum-of-one said, "I am incredibly honoured to have won The Pitch. A huge thank you to the judges; Jo Malone, who has been an inspiration to me for a long time; Bobby Kerr of Insomnia Coffee, the dragon himself; Linda Nolan, head of marketing at Samsung Ireland and tech nerd supreme; the incredible Suzanne Homewood, enterprise sales director of Samsung; and of course Clodagh Edwards, CEO of IMAGE who has been supportive of me from the very beginning.

"Every single one of the women and companies we were competing against was a true threat (in a positive way) – thank you for innovating alongside me and creating a climate in Ireland where women succeed and support each other." Want to know more about The Skin Nerd and her beauty business? Here's what Jennifer told us about growing her company, skin care tips, and what she has in her handbag...

You have gone from a solo nerd to creating a tribe of nerdettes. How does that feel?

"It feels amazing. I’m so grateful that I have Team Nerd, even if some days it is just because they understand how bananas it all is! We’ve expanded so rapidly that for a while we were on different floors of our building."


Was expanding your team a difficult process?

"It’s a time investment to find the people who fit your team best. I was always looking for what Tony Robbins calls “intrapreneurs” – employees within a business who think like they own the place due to sheer passion. I knew from the beginning I needed people who were on my wavelength; people who don’t accept or expect the norm. Surprisingly, I feel like The Skin Nerd is like a magnet for this type of person."

Jennifer Rock, winner of The PitchPhoto: Jennifer Rock, Instagram

Time to show off… tell us how big your waiting list is.

"It’s gone! We expanded so that there wouldn’t be a waiting list per se. It’s lovely to be able to say six months worth of clients want to use your service, but it is not so lovely for the client. Right now, we have thousands in the Nerd Network, and our community of clients is getting bigger every day."

Have you any projects on the horizon at the Skin Nerd HQ?

"Some very exciting things that I’m under strict instruction not to discuss right now, but we’re working on upgrading our website so that it works better and is basically like a dashboard for our clients to find everything they need on one page. My first book, The Skin Nerd: Your straight-talking guide to feeding, protecting and respecting your skin", will also be out in autumn this year, so there’s that!"

What is your best skincare advice? 

"Wear SPF. It is the only 'quick tip' I have when it comes to skincare. If you aren’t doing anything with regard to your skin, start using SPF and work from there."


What is your biggest no-no when it comes to skincare?

"Can I only have one? If I have to choose just one, it has to be using facial wipes. They truly are so bad for the skin. They strip it of its natural oils, impair its barrier function and leave a film of debris and old make-up on your skin all night long. Wipes are not skincare in my opinion, and there are much more skin-friendly options to remove make-up such as the Cleanse Off Mitt... but I may be biased on that one."

Jennifer Rock, winner of The PitchPhoto: Jennifer Rock, Instagram

What are your must-have products to have in your handbag day to day?

"I always have a Yon-ka or Avène spritz in my handbag for Spritz O’Clock, which is whenever the need arises. An IMAGE Skincare Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex, as it is the only lip balm that I feel 'does' something for my lips, and a Cleanse Off Mitt for when I need to whip the make-up off quickly. I always carry a little bag of nuts for omegas too if that counts."

What is a typical day for you?

"I don’t really have typical days. Since I started The Skin Nerd, my life has been anything but typical, but I love it. My week includes a mish-mash of meetings, working on things in the office, the odd event or photo shoot and anything else that pops up. I’ve recently started getting up to jog and meditate before I go anywhere and this has given me a new lease of life. I am full of energy and ideas all of a sudden."


How do you get a work/life balance?
It’s about prioritising time for certain things. Everyone says “I don’t have time”, but that is simply untrue. It’s about making time for things. Sometimes I have to just stop what I’m doing and go home to see my son."

What is your business mantra?

"I have too many at the moment, but I always come back to “be a dreamer and a doer”. It’s all well and good to have an idea but it isn’t a meal until you make it one, if you get me. You just have to take a chance and make the tough decision for the sake of your business instead of putting it on the back burner."

Thanks to every who entered #ThePitch, and congratulations to Jennifer and her team at The Skin Nerd. 

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