This International Women's Day we are proud to launch our new series IN BED W. where we showcase the inspirational women behind our most loved brands. And what better way to start than with our ultimate girl crushes, Dr Deb Cohen-Jones and Dr Clara Hurst from The Secret Skincare.
There’s something truly special about being a mum of girls, especially given the possibilities and opportunities they have in today’s world. What’s it like raising daughters in 2021?
DEB: Raising daughters in 2021 is definitely a challenge. Navigating social media, COVID and the increasing social pressures is no mean feat. The possibilities for my girls are endless but so are the challenges in today’s society. I feel my childhood was so much more simple - definitely less opportunities but also less pressure.
CLARA: It is truly a privilege to be raising a daughter in today’s world. While I acknowledge there are certainly some challenges given the rise and sophistication of technology and social media, but there have always been pressures on young women, so it’s really about adapting to these and working through them as a family. So many incredible opportunities that lie ahead for my daughter and her peers, it’s really exciting. She is growing up in a world that wants women to succeed, to be comfortable in their own skin and resilient to face whatever challenges come along. I know that whatever path she chooses in life, she will be supported and encouraged, not only by me but by her friends, her colleagues and by society at large - which is really promising and comforting as a parent. Being a mother in 2021 is about having open, honest conversations and providing a safe home environment that encourages self-expression. My daughter is at an age where she needs to feel comforted and nurtured, whilst also exploring her own individuality and independence, so it’s really about striking a balance between the two. I am also very passionate about encouraging a positive dialogue around beauty and self-image, we often speak about beauty coming in all shapes and sizes and Sienna has very much taken that on board, which is a relief as a mother given all the media pressure out there!
WHAT VALUES DO YOU HOPE TO IMPART ON YOUR DAUGHTERS?
DEB: Tenacity, a strong work ethic, loyalty, being true to yourself and your morals and making yourself accountable for your choices.
CLARA: Kindness, always. I believe people will always remember how you made them feel, so I teach my daughter (and son) the importance of this everyday. I also hope to impart the important lesson of self-belief, which will hold her in good stead as she moves into adolescence and adulthood. Being able to back herself and stand firm in her own values and beliefs will help her on whatever path she chooses in life.
WHAT WAS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOUR MUM GAVE YOU?
DEB: Never give up. If you want something make it happen. Oh and always over cater! We are Jewish of course!
CLARA: There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is confident within herself - this has stayed with me forever, and rings particularly true given my line of work. You can have all the injectables and skin treatments in the world but self-confidence is true beauty.
HOW DO YOU FIND BALANCE BETWEEN WORK AND FAMILY LIFE?
DEB: It’s tricky and has always been so but never more than currently with 2 jobs. I put my phone on do not disturb from around 8pm and make sure my week includes exercise, time with friends and family and outsourcing things like cleaning, ironing and even sometimes cooking (god forbid!).
CLARA: For me it’s all about setting boundaries and giving myself time to switch off and just be present with my kids and family. When you own a business, there is always something to do, you can work 24/7 if you want to! Booking fun holidays and taking time out each day whether it’s for a walk and a sunset dip at the beach or the evening meal together, those are precious moments and really special for me. I try and do most of my work when the kids are at school or in bed so I’m not taking myself away from them when they need me. It does mean some late nights, but it’s all worth it!
FOR YOUNG GIRLS/WOMEN LOOKING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS BUT NOT SURE WHERE TO START, WHAT WORDS OF WISDOM DO YOU HAVE FOR THEM?
DEB: Start with a simple concept or idea of what you want to create and stay true to this initial goal. Make small steps with good people around to support you but always with an ambitious end goal. Do not waver from your initial goal or vision.
CLARA: Don’t wait, just start! There will never be a perfect time. I’ve always believed that if you’re second guessing a business or career idea then ask yourself: “If not me, who?”
WHO IS AN INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN YOU LOOK UP TO AND HOW DO THEY MOTIVATE YOU?
DEB: I am surrounded by inspirational women but probably from a business point of view my inspiration is Karli Kloss. I love how she inspires young women to be more than just their appearance with her coding workshops and development programs. I love how she isn’t afraid to show or use her intelligence and inspires women to do traditionally male roles.
CLARA: I am so lucky to employ two amazing teams of women for both Blanc and The Secret, and I am constantly motivated by the passion and drive that each and every one of them brings to work each day. They are all so wonderfully different and unique in their own ways, so I’m really grateful to have such a mix of personalities, skill sets and life experiences to learn from each day. They are all so incredibly kind and thoughtful and their passion for what they do, makes my job as an employer so enjoyable and rewarding. I know I can lean on them during challenging times and we can celebrate the wins together as a team.
WHAT DOES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MEAN TO YOU?
DEB: Celebrating all women - the stay at home mums, the working mums, the business women, the women of the future. We are all blessed to live in a time and country where our opportunities are endless and we should all respect and acknowledge each other for the role we all play.
CLARA: To me it means celebrating the unique and wonderful community of women who make up our world and pledging to create a future for our daughters that is safe, united and inclusive.