Simply Skin Wasn't Always About Femininity and Sensuality

Simply Skin… celebrating your femininity and sensuality. That’s the focus of my brand nowadays but I wasn’t always about celebrating my own femininity and sensuality.

When I was growing up and in school, I struggled. I was never accepted by the cool gang. I was never the girl the boys would chase after or show interest in. I was never confident in simply being a girl, comfortable in my own skin. It was a challenge. And on top of that I was bullied, even in Primary School. Nothing serious, nothing like the type of cyber-bullying you hear kids having to live with nowadays. But nonetheless I was bullied and it really impacted my confidence. And, to make matters worse, the bullies were predominantly girls – I went to an all-girls grammar school and it was tough. Not filled with the ‘young ladies’ that the teachers wanted us (and our parents) to believe.

As a result I grew up feeling ashamed of being female – I had first-hand experience of just how cruel girls could be to each other. Why would you want to be friends with people like that?

So through my University life I found that the friends I made were predominantly male and I felt comfortable and unjudged in their presence. And throughout my career in Finance, whether it be working for a small family firm or an American giant, I always felt more drawn to male colleagues (with the occasional exception) as I felt they didn’t view me as a threat or competition to them.

When I worked in Finance in the latter years of my career, there was an inhouse association called the Women’s Network. And I totally rejected that concept. After all the negative experiences I had had (and continued to have) in the hands of fellow-females, why on earth would I ever entertain the idea of joining a network filled with only women? I simply did not see the point. Looking back, that was a foolish mistake I made, but hey, hindsight makes intellectuals of us all.

Finally, after years of perseverance, I finally acknowledged the fact that my place in the world of finance and accounting was like trying to bang a square peg into a round hole… I just didn’t fit. And that’s when I decided to strike it out on my own and follow an entrepreneurial path.

But, a few months after leaving corporate, I realised just how lonely the life of an entrepreneur can be.

Although I had worked in an office filled with expats who all worked hard and played hard together, suddenly I found that I was no longer part of that professional gang. I had a professional gang of my own, now, and that consisted of… me.

And that wasn’t good.

Even though I’m not a very sociable person I soon learned that trying to build a business without the support and help of others was like climbing Mount Everest... without oxygen.

So I started to find networks to join and before long my whole idea of women being nasty to each other, of seeing each other as competition that needed to be written off, of bullying each other and judging each other slowly dissipated.

I joined a few networks to start with but I can say, with all honesty, that the networks that gave me the most support, that helped me grow my confidence and gave me the strength and perseverance to keep growing as an entrepreneur even during the most difficult times, were women-based networks.

The determination and sheer grit that each woman put into their business was an inspiration. The generosity, with their advice and time, that I received from women who had been in business longer than I had was unfathomable. The support I received from them encouraged me to travel the bumpy and, often, frightening path of entrepreneurship when, otherwise, I would have most likely have given up.

Gradually my idea of what women are, was changing. And along with that, slowly the shame of being female was starting to dissipate as I gradually began to embrace the strength, courage and downright determination that’s inside each and every woman.

And that’s when the concept behind Simply Skin began to change. That’s when my eyes were opened and I realised what I wanted from my brand.

I wanted to make high quality products that really worked but I also wanted those products to make women feel unashamedly feminine, irrevocably sexy, undeniably sensual.

I wanted my products to celebrate what it is to be a woman. I wanted my products to celebrate our femininity and sensuality. And over the past few years I feel I have achieved what I set out to do in this part of my brand.

So today, on International Women’s Day, I want to celebrate and thank all the women who have played a role in my life. To the school bullies who broke me down so I could rebuild myself into someone stronger, to the women who chipped away at my self-confidence when they treated me as a threat at work so I could one day radiate self-belief and confidence. But most of all I want to say “thank you” to the women who supported me and continue to support me through my entrepreneurial journey, who have buoyed me up and given me the determination to keep on trucking when times are tough, who have taught me to be strong and resilient and keep following my dream. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

Thanks to all these women, I am now passionate about encouraging women, just like you, to fall back in love with the amazing person you truly are.

I’m crazy-passionate about getting you to feel feminine and feel sensual so you can celebrate those qualities, unashamedly. And I’m a huge advocate for celebrating every woman’s individual and natural beauty for each and every one of us is unique and beautiful. No longer should we pay any heed to what the media, or fashion and beauty industries determine is or is not beautiful.

That’s why I create a #beautyfull post on my Facebook page every Wednesday to remind us what true beauty is and the beauty that each and every one of us women has both on the inside and the outside. And that's why I create a free Beauty Affirmations wallpaper that you can download to your desktop each month and look at every day to remind yourself of how beautiful you are.

As women we are unique – we are both strong and beautiful. And the two, very much, go together. So join me today, on International Women's Day, in celebrating the amazing and beautiful women we are.