Clare Horner

CEO of Clare Horner & Co, a Consultancy Business which helps brands navigate the UK market, decide on best approach and to secure the right distribution channels.

Why is CEW membership important to you?

I have been a member of CEW for 18 years and have always appreciated the different events and the opportunity to meet other people with varied expertise from across the industry. However, having set up my own consultancy business 2 years ago, I have valued the support network of CEW more than ever. Lately I have been working with some of the Board Members on the Young Executive Programme. This subset of CEW is really important for the future of the industry and is a source of inspiration for me. With CEW it’s not just about attending events, it’s about talking to one another. Asking questions, asking for help if required. More than ever there are younger members of CEW creating their own brands or businesses and they are looking for guidance. Given the breadth of experience of CEW members, that guidance is undoubtedly available.

What do you love most about working in the beauty Industry?

It’s the people that really count. The products are of course beautiful, but what an amazing industry for people. Once in the industry, people rarely leave and relationships are built for the long term. It doesn’t mean life’s a breeze and you might have some difficult moments along the way, but ultimately you have friendships you can count on, with people who understand the business.

What are you most excited about for your business in the next twelve months?

Here and now as we battle with the Covid-19 impact, I am most excited about stores re-opening and a semblance of normality. For sure the ’new normal’ in will be quite different, but at least a glimmer of bricks and mortar retail would be a positive sign. The digital world of Beauty has moved so fast over the last few years and undoubtedly this will play an even stronger role in the future. I just hope key retailers are able to adapt their ways of working, creating the experiences people want to see in-store, so that footfall continues, once confidence returns.

What advice would you give to someone starting in the industry today?

Set clear goals, both business and personal, for the year ahead. Try and have short term wins along the way so that you can check off your successes. Make time to give something back, whether industry related or other. On a more practical level, a clear understanding of the digital ecosystem is vital.

How can we better support women in the workplace?

I believe the beauty industry has always been a huge supporter of women in the workplace. However, there continues to be an emotional wrangle between holding down a busy role and being a Mum. This is not just an issue for the beauty industry, but I wonder how we might alleviate some of this angst. Perhaps the shift to remote working in the Summer of 2020, might provide more flexibility for women with children to achieve a better balance.