Before I start to tell you of my journey I must first ask myself the question, what is it that makes a woman inspirational? Is it her bravery, struggle to achieve success, drive and determination, humanity or her depth of character? Perhaps a combination of all of these attributes, or maybe none? Can a woman be inspirational if she can simply just get through the day?
I ask these questions with the greatest of respect for all women. After my journey is more explained you will understand my total admiration for womankind in all forms. To me, women are inspirational and the journeys that many of us take provide many different forms of inspiration and greatness of which I have been lucky enough to experience and witness.
I am almost 41; a single mum of 3 fantastic girls 15, 6 & 5 whom I adore and they are very much the centre of my world. For me being a mum is without doubt the hardest job in the world but definitely the most rewarding. Prior to the arrival of my youngest girls, I always had a very strong career in marketing and would have easily been perceived as a ‘go-getter’ or a ‘career girl’. When the little ones made their appearance within 11 months of each other I found myself totally alone with them (two new babies, actually alone throughout the entire pregnancy of my second baby) and wondering how on earth I would be able to take care and pay for both babies plus my older daughter from my previous relationship. Friends helped me renovate the house & build a loft extension to make room for us all.
This I guess is where the journey really begins. 2 babies – 18 bottles a day, a nine year old at primary school & redundancy at work whilst on maternity leave – fantastic!!!! Where can I find a job that will pay me enough money to fund 3 children, a mortgage and £1600 childcare? I secure a job near London, which means a 2.5 hour commute each way. I leave home at 5.30am and arrive home around 8pm and then take over from childcare. Although tired & sometimes a bit grumpy, this was the best time ever. I would snuggle up with my angels and do the night time feeds and would enjoy sitting in the chair rocking the babies back to sleep in my arms often falling asleep with them. My youngest daughter also suffered seriously with dermatological problems – eczema.
Eczema in the atopic form is common in children but can be very disturbing for the child and the carer (me). We spent a great deal of time trying many different emollients, steroid creams & diets to alleviate her symptoms & reduce her level of discomfort and pain (eczema can be very painful & often becomes infected). There were many occasions where the skin on her fingers would split down to the bone & evenings when I would apply her steroids & she would cry her little eye’s out as the cream would sting her skin so much and all I could do was to be really fast applying the cream and then cuddle her in a cool towel to calm her skin down.
Working in dermatology along with my own experiences has totally opened my eyes to both healthcare and the power of how important the right information & the right products are at the right time. People can be affected so badly by the wrong information or lack of information and when it comes to areas of sensitivity such as women’s health, issues of intimacy, or dermatology (the skin is not only the largest organ in the body but also we present our skin to the world everyday), we are generally judged on how we look – this further adds to the pressure that we all feel.
Working within dermatology & associated organisations has been a great experience but I still wanted to do more, so I set up my own business in 2011 called Concept Healthcare Ltd with my first product being LadyBalance®, a prebiotic vaginal tablet for the treatment and prevention of Bacterial Vaginosis, vaginal dryness and soreness, intimate freshness & increased sexual activity. Women’s health was, for me, a whole new area of pharmacy healthcare. However, I quickly linked-in with some great key gynaecologists, GU consultants, Nurse Specialists and retail experts & we now have LadyBalance® for sale in 900 Lloyds pharmacy stores across the UK, online and also entering the Irish market very soon. LadyBalance® is a fantastic product that has made a really positive impact on women’s lives & we are looking forward to launching another great product in women’s health later this year.
Now I run 3 companies; Concept Healthcare UK Ltd, Concept Healthcare International Ltd and AB Consulting (Pharma) Ltd. I am back in dermatology (where my roots are) with the launch of ‘Boderm,®’ a range of premium skincare products for Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis, Facial aesthetics and Hair Growth Regenerator. The Boderm® brands represent over the counter skincare that have prescription strength actives. Having Boderm® as a company enables us to provide a range of products that can provide great results to customers in a way that allows them to be in control. The range will be supported with an online suite of educational support materials for easy/instant access plus online dermatologist support. It will be a fantastic resource & a great way to get information on specific therapy areas to understand which products are right via dermatology recommendations.
So, as you can imagine this all keeps me extremely busy and with the support of my Team, we can look forward to even greater success in the coming years.