The launch into retailers was the conclusion of two years’ hard work. I actually originally created the range in 2009: we went into Fenwick’s and Lloyds Pharmacy. But I decided to relaunch the range two years ago, and wanted to create something really special for women with olive skins.
My background is as a biochemist, so I’ve spent the past two years working on the formulations and the textures of the products. It’s taken a really long time to perfect everything - it would have been very easy to manufacture something similar to a product that already exists - but I didn’t want that.
During the relaunch, I’ve had to make some of the hardest decisions of my life. I walked away from two venture capitalists before I found the right one. As a startup you’re always short of funds, but sometimes you just have to be able to say no in business. I think you’ve got to do things at the right time - you have to wait. Thankfully, it paid off: I now have investment from a Kuwaiti firm which is perfect for us.
What I love about the job is that I can combine my scientific background with something a bit more creative. Sometimes you’re boxed off - but it allows me to unleash both sides of my personality. Sometimes people make you think you’re either a creative or a logical thinker - but I think it’s possible to be both.
My day usually starts early: I try to get an hour of work in before breakfast. That’s partly because I have to work with businesses in a lot of different time zones - so I’ve learned not to operate within normal working days. I have to have that flexibility.