Clare Hopkins, Balance Me Limited
Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, Clare Hopkins started her career as a stockbroker, but knew she wanted to run her own business. In 2002, she teamed up with her sister to launch an events company, spotting a gap in the market for corporate events that catered for women. Appointing specialist consultants to carry out beauty treatments, Clare used her knowledge of essential oils and aromatherapy, gained from a course taken at university, to make the products for the ‘goody bags’, such as a foot polish and super-toning body oil. When Topshop expressed an interested in the foot polish as a gift for its first stand-alone shoe store launch, Clare knew she was on to something, and Balance Me was born, offering a range of natural beauty products that were results-focused and affordable.
The 50-product range are now stocked in over 200 Waitrose, John Lewis, Wholefoods and also in spas, hotels and gyms including celebrity fitness guru Matt Roberts’ personal training centres. Online outlets include Ocado, Lookfantastic.com and their own website: www.balanceme.co.uk.
They have won 35 industry and media awards including the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) UK Beauty Insiders ‘Best British Brand’ 2013 award and the CEW UK Members Achiever Award 2012. The company employs 14 people and has experienced rapid sales growth on its own website. International expansion is also on the cards, with Balance Me selling its products in Germany, Singapore, Sweden and Denmark, and Japan the next country on the list. Additionally Clare is working with Debenhams to roll out a new premium self-select beauty concept.