IN CONVERSATION WITH CO-FOUNDER OF SALTEE - PATRICK McGUIRK

Tonya caught up with luxury suncare brand Saltee's Co-Founder, Patrick McGuirk to talk all things business, investment, charity & more.



Patrick tell me a little about yourself?

I am married to the brilliant Caroline and are very lucky to live in a house that we built in a beautiful village in rural Oxfordshire. Our 3 kids and 1 cavapoo are bundles of varied energy and all have featured as content creators or talent in Saltee marketing campaigns.



You are Co-Founder of Saltee Skincare, a luxury sun care brand which is a young brand - what did you do before?

I founded Saltee in 2019 with Sam Richardson. We had first worked together on a project to establish a recycling business when I was Recycling Director of Coca-Cola. Beyond a decade at Coke, my background is very broad having worked in both operational and commercial roles in start-ups, consumer and B2B businesses.
 

Tell us a little bit about Saltee?

Saltee was born from a shared passion for cultural exchange and life-changing holiday experiences. We call these experiences transformative travel, for their ability to make us see the world – and ourselves – in a different light.

We believe transformative travel stories are meant to be shared. With your partner over dinner and your children at bedtime, with your dearest friends around a campfire, and with the person sitting beside you on your morning commute. Telling travel stories opens windows to unexplored landscapes and undiscovered cultures, through which others can glimpse something fleeting, and beautiful – an experience, never to be repeated – of somewhere entirely different, in place and time. 


 


How did you and your business partner come up with the idea and why?

We wanted to create a differentiated consumer brand and we saw that SPF was a category that has had virtually no innovation in the last decade.
On a holiday to Mykonos Sam was shocked at how premium hotels and beach clubs were selling low quality SPFs. It was clearly a space that needed innovation and disruption. Saltee was the brand and formulation solution. 


What is the point of difference with your products?

At Saltee we are on a mission to create the best SPF range in the world. We want to encourage transformative travel by creating a light, easily re-applied SPF range that makes the perfect companion on any sunny adventure.

Every product in our luxury sun care range is evocatively scented, with fragrances to awaken cherished holiday memories.


Why is storytelling so important to you? 

From the beginning we wanted Saltee to be visually impactful but also a brand that focused on storytelling. We celebrate adventures and travel and love sharing and re-sharing those stories.



Tell us a little about The Saltee Foundation?

The Saltee Foundation is a charitable Trust created to promote cultural awareness and foster a better understanding of communities and environments outside our own. The Foundation represents our commitment not only to do less harm, but to ensure Saltee’s presence in the world is an active force for good.
Each year, a minimum of 10% of Saltee’s profits is invested in the Saltee Foundation. We’re incredibly excited about what the future holds for the Foundation, the initiatives it will fund, and the lives it will impact.
 
You have just done your 3rd investment round - what was that like to start dipping your toes into the world of investment?

Our investors have been generous in providing both the capital to power our growth but also the advice to help us in shaping the business of Saltee. Having a sounding board is important and we have been able to lean on our investors to ensure we see the big picture at times (especially during Covid) when we were drowning in the day-to-day detail of building the brand.

Would you have any advice to share to those and even myself on how to start this process?

Go for it. It is always easy to come up with a long list of reasons why not to seek outside help and investment but you won’t know until you try.


What is your mission statement?

Our Saltee mission is very simple – to create the best SPF range in the world. And we believe that we are well on the way to achieving that goal. 

What is next for you Patrick and Saltee?

For me it is being able to travel again and I am very excited that a twice postponed family holiday to California looks like it will actually happen in August. I can’t wait to explore the Pacific coast and Yosemite/Sequoia Parks with my kids. Saltee is underpinned by that travel and we are so excited to be able to share our products with people booking trips across the world this summer. After the Covid years we are energized to be returning to a world were sunny Saltee adventures pepper the year.

Why is scent so important to you?

Every product in our luxury suncare range is evocatively scented, with fragrances to awaken cherished holiday memories and spark dreams of your next exotic adventure. We know from our customers that the scent of a product can transport them back to a joyous moment on a beach, at a restaurant or with friends at sunset. Scent is such a powerful vehicle to bring and sustain happiness.

Can you share with us YOUR scent story?

An important scent to me personally is Fynbos. Fynbos is the vegetation of the Cape in South Africa that is created by the wild vegetation of that area. I enjoyed those floral and natural scents of Fynbos when hiking in the Eastern and Western Cape and the scents were an inspiration for the eventual formulation of Saltee SPF. There is just a hint of Fynbos in our hero product – Sea & Sun Lotion. 
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Thank you Patrick for sharing YOUR story.

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