First of all, can you tell us a little more about Valerie and what inspired you to start the brand?

Valerie is a women's wellness brand focused on helping women through perimenopause. Perimenopause is such a misunderstood phase of a woman’s life. Menopause is starting to be talked about a lot more but a lot of women don't know how early perimenopause can start, often in a woman's late 30s. There are up to 48 different symptoms of perimenopause, they vary over the years and are different for everyone.

The idea was born two years ago by my co-founder, Olly, who has a close relationship with his mother. When talking about menopause he wanted to help her through his degree in nutrition and career scaling supplement brands. Olly’s Mum had been misdiagnosed by her doctor with depression which is quite common. Olly realised there was nothing on the market that would help, or do much good, and saw an opportunity to help people like his Mum with a supplement in a liposomal formula that was highly bioavailable.

I have a passion for women's health having struggled over the last few years with burnout and hitting perimenopause myself. This impacted my energy and health and I felt like lost a part of myself for a number of years.  I joined Olly at the end of 2023, we want to ensure that more women can thrive in what can be the best years of their life, rather than just survive!

In a world of social media, there are so many differing opinions and information out there - it can be a minefield at any stage of life. What are the principles you aim to teach with your new platform?

At Valerie we are focused on community and bringing education to our customers. Even though women have always gone through perimenopause, it can still be a taboo subject that is not talked about much and there’s even a lack of knowledge and resources with doctors. We will be bringing experts from doctors to holistic health practitioners, nutritionists and many more to help women understand what's happening to their bodies. Through education we want more women to make informed decisions about how to better manage the perimenopausal journey.

What were your own experiences with your health and lifestyle that helped to shape Valerie and everything you do?

In my late 30s I suffered from burnout. I was depressed, anxious and my health severely suffered. I now realise this was exacerbated by perimenopausal symptoms. Many symptoms of early perimenopause are similar to burnout - I knew of neither until I was three years through trying to manage the problem. Similar symptoms include anxiety, reduced ability to cope with stress, heart palpitations, sleeps disturbances, severe fatigue, feeling irritable, body pain, brain fog and autoimmune flare-ups.

It was only when I ended up in hospital in America, after getting sick all the time, that I sought further help. I had a number of blood tests through my GP showing everything as normal and the response was to simply “try not to get so stressed”! There was no mention of hormones or perimenopause. I turned to a nutritionist and naturopath with different tests and started taking a huge number of supplements and minerals that I was depleted in.

As a brand we’ve developed the daily essential liquid shot, which now means I don't have to take as many products - I was rattling around with all the tablets! We have developed a liposomal format that is up to x46 more bioavailable than pills and powders. I now know the nutrients are much more likely to enter my bloodstream and fulfil their intended purpose. It can take a long time to re-supplement and mineralise so the liposomal is fast-tracking things.

Approaching perimenopause can be a daunting phase of life. How important is community and sharing experiences?

I believe it’s hugely important, that’s why creating a community is at the heart of Valerie. We started one pre-launch, like a founding committee who helped us with business decisions such as branding, logo and marketing, but also sharing their experiences and symptoms. This has allowed us to bring the right products to market to help relieve the most common symptoms and prioritise the most requested content.

We are developing a dedicated community platform for women to interact. We we will be hosting online and physical events to educate and inspire as well as having some fun. Come and join us

What’s the most important advice you would give to women starting to experience perimenopausal symptoms?

Talk to people. You can feel like you’re going a bit mad with the weird and (not so) wonderful things that are going on with your body. It’s unlikely you are alone. There’s some great books you can read at any age to start understanding what to look out for and many public figures are starting to talk more openly about their experiences.

Also, come and sign up to Valerie’s newsletter where we are building a wealth of content and community hubs that we will be releasing to help more women understand and embrace their bodies. This should be a time of empowerment and if we understand what’s happening we can make informed decisions about lifestyle changes.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My coach and good friend Poppy Delbridge. I worked with her for a number of years and she helped me manage stress and anxiety through her tapping technique, known as ‘Rapid Tapping’. Not only has this method helped to regulate my nervous system but I now use this to help create amazing things in my life such as repositioning my retail consultancy business and launching Valerie.

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face?

The pandemic was a challenge and a blessing all at once. I was severely burnt out and lost all of my consulting clients, so likely a sign to take some time out. This caused me more stress and I didn’t have the ability or understanding to slow down or stop, so I chained myself to my home desk and pivoted my business. I’m really proud of the changes I’ve made and how far I’ve come - I believe you have to experience the tough times to create something new. I doubt I would be working on Valerie without that experience.

Accomplishment you are most proud of?

There have been a few - becoming a Buyer at Selfridges before the age of 30 was a big goal I achieved. Finding a new version of myself in my late 30s through the turbulence. It now has to be Valerie, although it’s early days, I feel like I’ve found my life’s purpose and it’s my mission to help more women thrive through what should be the best years of their life.

Top beauty ‘must have’ in your makeup bag?

Skinceuticals mineral radiance SPF50 - it’s an amazing tinted SPF I wear instead foundation, it’s lightweight so doesn’t cake in fine lines, giving you a great glow. I always get compliments on my skin when wearing it. The Studio 10 corrector palette is a fantastic addition to touch up under my eyes, redness and blemishes.

And finally, your favourite quote to live by?

“Slow down to speed up”. I tend to do everything at 100mph and now it’s a daily practice to slow down. It’s amazing what you can create when you allow more space on your life.

For more information, visit the Valerie website or find them on Instagram and TikTok.

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