Bare Biology have nabbed the top spot as Company of the Week. We had a chat with the lady herself, Melanie Lawson, founder of Bare Biology.
Introducing Melanie Lawson - entrepeneur, founder of the UK's leading luxury Omega 3 health supplement brand and chic PLATF9RM member.
So how long has it taken for the business to get from your initial idea to where you are now?
It was really around February 2012 that I had the initial idea, it’s hard to remember exactly when. So that’s about 5 years ago. My eldest child was two at the time. I used to work when she was napping.
So that brings me onto my next question. How do you balance business and small kids?
I think it’s a matter of working in concentrated bursts. Because when you look at the way I used to work; I worked for a company and a lot of the day is spent in pointless meetings. So if you actually do just 4 hours solid focused work, you get a lot done. When the business got bigger I got a nanny because when going to london I wasn’t able to do the school pick up. And often I needed to go to networking events and things in the evening. So I think it’s working in a concentrated way and getting some help.
You mention on your website that omega three helped you overcome post-natal depression, could you explain further how it helped you combat this illness that many new mothers suffer from?
We need DHA for our brains to develop. The mother’s DHA goes through the placenta to the baby's brain and eyes. It’s not really talked about but what happens if you have babies and you breastfeed the DHA goes to the baby through the breast milk. Especially if the mother, like me, has babies quite close together. So if the mother doesn’t top up to compensate she will be deficient in DHA. We worked recently with a charity to raise awareness about post-natal depression. It was my first TV interview on London Live and we were discussing the fact there are things that suffering mothers can do to help.
What has been your biggest challenge in setting up your own company?
People. Hiring people. Knowing what you need and then finding the right people who can work in a start up. It’s really different working in a start up to a bigger company. Because it’s small and intense you have to all get on. In a big company you don’t necessarily see the person who owns it. It’s different in a start up and I found hiring the right people the biggest challenge. There’s four of us at Bare Biology and then I have a few freelancers. Its horrible having to get rid of people.
What advice would you give to someone interested in starting their own company?
Well I was asked this the other day actually…. I think you have to be sure, well as sure you can be, that there is actually a market for your business idea. Especially if it’s something, like the omega three market, which is really competitive and saturated. Most markets are, unless you’re inventing a new technology. You have to be sure you’re better and different to the rest. You have to make sure there are people that want your product and your service. People have ideas but they don’t know if enough people will want what they’re producing. You have to be realistic about the reality. So you have to be specific sort of person. I think sometimes people think start-ups are chilled but you have to always be pushing forward. You have to be self motivated, it sounds cliche but it is true.
Bare biology have a permanent office space at PLATF9RM , what made you choose us over other office spaces?Well Seb, the founder and CEO of PLATF9RM is a friend of mine. I was working from home and the people who worked for me were remote. It got increasingly harder to have a company culture and a team and I spent so much time emailing people. We looked at a few offices and they were so grim and depressing. I kept thinking why would I leave my lovely office in my lovely house? So I asked Seb if it was ready and I walked in and it was perfect. It’s like finding the right house. Great location. It has a nice vibe.
What is your favourite aspect of working at PLATF9RM
It’s super easy; we don’t have to worry about things like broadband and water, we don’t spend time worrying about those things. It’s always clean and tidy and feels safe. It’s easy and pleasant and we have a sea view.
Your omega three is sourced from Norway and I imagine with business you travel a fair bit, what is your ideal travel destination for pleasure?
I think now I have kids my answer is different. I’m half Irish and we went to Galway this summer. We went somewhere beautiful and remote. Lots of empty beaches.