Driven by a desire to create a range of nourishing, age-preventative skincare products using pure BioOrganic ingredients, Claire Vero used her 10 years of pharmaceutical experience to found Aurelia Probiotic Skincare. Since its launch in 2013 the company has gone from strength to strength, garnering a constant stream of awards and accolades. She shares her skincare recommendations, career advice and how she achieves the coveted work-life balance.
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Could you tell us a bit about your career and what inspired you to found Aurelia?
I joined pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline via their commercial management graduate scheme when I left university and spent nearly 10 years there. Moving around teams led me to dermatology where I fell in love with skincare and the effects that good skin health has on confidence and self-esteem. I started researching probiotics and the role they could play in skincare. It was here that the idea for launching Aurelia Probiotic Skincare was born. I set about creating a small range of products using unique probiotic ingredients, but that also ticked every box I had in mind. This included a sense of luxury, beautiful blends and textures, a very strict policy on ingredients, ethical sourcing and lastly a dash of Britishness.
What’s the difference between traditional skincare and ‘probiotic’ skincare?
The main difference is all about how the probiotics work. Aurelia’s Probiotic Ingredients continuously protect, restore and balance the skin from within. They help to reduce the damage caused by pollution and stress and activate the skin’s natural ability to repair itself. We include this technology alongside a gorgeous selection of expertly selected botanicals, essential oils and a free-from ingredients philosophy.
What is Aurelia’s ‘hero’ product, so to speak?
With our probiotic skincare becoming more and more popular in the UK and abroad, customers love the Revitalise & Glow Serum, our most potent and concentrated way of getting probiotics into the skin to help reduce inflammation. The serum is extremely lightweight and fluid, absorbing instantly to allow you to layer your products beautifully.
What drives you to do what you do?
Hearing from our customers and helping them to look after their skin is the biggest drive for me, and makes all the hard work more than worth it. We recently launched a new concept cream-to-powder deodorant which was reviewed by India Knight in the Sunday Times Style Magazine. We sold thousands overnight and it’s such a joy to know that our customers were willing to try such a different concept in deodorants, and that they have chosen to move away from aluminium-based antiperspirants.
What has been the best piece of advice you have received?
For me, the best career advice I was given was that no one drives your career forward except yourself.
Who inspired you the most? Do you have a mentor?
Jo Malone is a real inspiration because she built a hugely successful brand in the face of lots of adversity. I recently reviewed her book My Story for Management Today which I loved. I have several trusted advisors and mentors as well as the support of a number of entrepreneurs. Being a Walpole Brand of Tomorrow has been a wonderful help and support, and has enabled me to expand my network considerably!
What advice would you give to other women looking to found their own brand?
For women starting out in business my advice would be to never compromise on your principles or the quality of your product. Sticking to them will only make your brand stronger.
How do you balance running a business with being a mother and maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
After having my baby Henry in 2014 I took four months off before starting back at work three days a week. To do this I had to expand my team who would be managing the day-to-day while I was away. Growing my team sooner actually meant that the business has expanded faster, which was an unexpected blessing! Being able to take a step back from Aurelia early on gave me a whole new perspective on how the brand looks and feels which was very useful. Now I take one day out a week to spend the day with Henry, which works perfectly for me. The work-life balance is a key factor for success and something I try hard to maintain.
How do you like to unwind outside of work?
I love taking long walks around Richmond Park with my husband Alex, my three-year old Henry and newborn baby Atticus. When I can, I indulge in a trip to a spa to fully relax and unwind. I love full body massages and relaxing, innovative facial treatments.
Do you have any go-to styles for your 9-5 wardrobe?
I tend to pair a jacket with trousers and boots. I love midi-length dresses which I wear with suede ankle boots and black tights in the winter. I’m not strict with my wardrobe and with a soon to be three-year-old at home I usually go for the easiest option. I do love cashmere jumpers as soon as the chill sets in though!
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