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What it’s Like to Rediscover Yourself in Your Late Forties
By WH Staff | Oct 14, 2021
I’m writing this piece on a train into London to go and see a Venture Capital firm to ask them to invest a million pounds in my rapidly growing business. In all honesty it’s not a position my twenty-year-old self would have ever expected to find myself in.
My twenties featured a lot of alcohol and my thirties a lot of nappies and soft play centres. It wasn’t my favourite decade – I faced massive challenges which severely knocked my confidence from divorce with a toddler and a baby, to juggling three jobs to try and keep our little family unit fed and housed all whilst caring for my mother who was suffering from rapidly advancing Alzheimer’s.
Somehow, I managed to hold it all together and make it out the other side. The kids are great, mum is happily bonkers and well cared for, and to all the friends that kept me sane during that time, I’m eternally grateful!
My forties have seen a newfound self-confidence and a reawakening of me as an individual. With that came the opportunity and headspace to pursue something new. WooWoo, my business, came about when I realised that there was something weird in our society around women and their sexuality. There was shame, not celebration. This shame meant that women weren’t going for smear tests, that men weren’t sharing the responsibility of birth control or passing on STI’s and I decided with my new found forty something voice to do something about it.
I had worked in product development for The Body Shop in my twenties, so I went back to my first love and developed a range of products designed to be bold, fun and confident. These products were aligned to the values instilled in me 20 years before at The Body Shop. Everything had to be vegan, cruelty free, as natural as possible and still be efficacious and deliver results.
During the research phase I spent lots of time in lots of feminine care aisles in high street drug stores and was wholly disappointed by the lacklustre, chemical heavy and unattractive choice of products on offer. We surveyed thousands of women to ask them what they really wanted and two years developing our range of natural, herbal products with a female chemist in London before officially launch to the public in 2018.
When I launched WooWoo I was keen to move away from the sterile, medical packaging of the existing brands on the shelf to bright pop colours, fun designs and engaging copy that spoke to modern 21st women. I believe women need safe, affordable, accessible options for their feminine care and pleasure and this just wasn’t on offer at the time of our launch. My vision was to create a brand and range of products with purpose and to lead and start open, bold and fun conversations on ‘care down there’ that would help tackle societal norms and taboos around feminine care and play a part in closing the pleasure equality gap.
Designed to display on bedside tables or left in the shower cubicle, not hidden in the cupboard, WooWoo’s packaging features unashamedly bold and original artwork that celebrates the natural beauty of the female form, alongside light-hearted humorous pack copy. WooWoo’s packaging has been designed to shift perceptions from shame and embarrassment around intimate care, sexual health and pleasure to one of celebration with the aim of helping close the pleasure equality gap.
It feels like we were onto something as the WooWoo range of products are now available across the globe in stores and online. We’ve had an incredible first five years. Almost every day I pinch myself when I think how in the three short years since we started trading we’ve managed to win a loyal army of dedicated fans and a multi-award winning brand stocked across multiple territories including the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Australia.
The next 12 to 18 months look to be just as exciting. When we launched our product range it was very much targeted at women aged between 20-35 but we want to support women on their entire life journey so next year we’re launching a range of menopause products and supplements that are designed specifically to help promote better intimate wellness. We also have big growth plans including breaking into North America.
Anyone that knows me well knows what a monumental journey of self-discovery it took to get me to the point of launching the WooWoo brand and get me where I am today. Thanks to my Mum I’ve inherited a bit of an entrepreneurial streak and a strong work ethic, but by nature I’m also quite shy and reserved. Putting myself out there in the early days for meetings to rooms full of investors and potential retailers was excruciating and something that didn’t come naturally to me. I hate public speaking – it literally feels me full of dread. Yet despite countless knockbacks I persisted.
Looking back now despite the absolute blind faith I had in the concept I know if I’d tried to launch a brand like WooWoo in my twenties or thirties I probably would have waivered. The life experiences and challenges and I faced in my former years built resilience, strength and confidence and shaped me into the person I am today.
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