Claire Vero is the beauty and brains behind the revolutionary skincare brand; Aurelia Probiotic Skincare. After launching Aurelia on the belief that there was not another brand tackling skincare with the same probiotic approach; Aurelia was picked up by Net-a-Porter Beauty only three months after launch (selling out in 72 hours) and is one of Liberty’s fastest growing beauty brands. Claire now works 4 days a week to spend more time with her little boy Henry and tells us how achieving a work-life balance is a key factor to success.
On life before 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. Working as a Director within the Dermatology Centre for Excellence sparked an interest in the positive effects of balanced skin. 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, and 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.
Traditional vs. ‘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, maintaining equilibrium. We include this technology alongside a gorgeous selection of expertly selected botanicals, exquisite essential oils and a free-from ingredients philosophy.
Aurelia’s ‘hero’ product:
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. You can find our probiotic ingredients throughout our multi award-winning range of natural products in favourites such as the Miracle Cleanser and Cell Revitalise Day and Night Moisturisers.
The biggest drive:
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.
Greatest achievement to date:
For me it was being named as the first ever CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) Digital Achiever. The award is sponsored by Google and recognises digital excellence in the beauty industry. When I launched Aurelia Probiotic Skincare in 2013 all I had was a website and online tools like social media. It was such a shock to win but an amazing feeling to be acknowledged by such a prestigious organisation.
The career advice she’ll never forget:
For me, the best career advice I was given was that no one drives your career forward except yourself.
Inspirational women & mentors:
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!
On sticking to your principles:
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.
The work-life balance is a key factor for success and something I try hard to maintain.
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.
On unwinding outside work:
I love taking long walks around Richmond park with my husband Alex and little boy Henry. When I can I will indulge in a trip to a spa to fully relax and unwind. I love full body massages and relaxing, innovative facial treatments.
I tend to pair a jacket with trousers and boots. I’m quite tall and love mid-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 love cashmere jumpers as soon as the chill sets in and recently wore by gold sparkly shoes to the Christmas party!
The Fold’s Harley Dress in Fern and Grey is a favourite of mine. It’s a very flattering cut and the wool fabric is beautifully soft and has just the right amount of stretch. I’ve had a lot of compliments on it already! I love the Wren Trousers in Gold Jacquard as they’re comfortable, smart and cool and I love the hint of metallic in the fabric. The silk blouses are perfect when paired with jeans and jackets too.
Photography: Kylie Eyra
Accessories: Claire’s Own