“Lack of capital challenged me but giving people a lifetime of skin confidence makes me stand out.” Helen Ritchie
We at BoxHuman are passionate about highlighting and celebrating inspiring humans and entrepreneurs; especially the ones who are inspiring, helping, and bringing light to the world. We do this to rebalance some of the negative messages we often hear, see, and receive daily. We met up quickly with one of these amazing individuals…
Hi there Helen, let’s start by getting to know you. Can you please tell us a little bit about you and what you are especially known for?
Hi, I’m Helen the Owner/director (of GFYS), Tea maker, Wife, and Mum to three rising stars. Reformed minx, Skin expert, Optimist, Cancer survivor, Well-being fan, Feel good girl!
I’m becoming known for my opposing view on skincare. Every young adult (and anti-ageing) brand takes a ‘weakening’ approach to skincare. Our difference? While others weaken, we strengthen.
What a great introduction and start to this inspiring business interview. Can you please tell us in your own words how did your inspiring journey begin, what happened, and how did you overcome it?
For me, it is about improving the lives of the customer. I love to be able to help people, solve their problems, look better and feel confident. It’s exciting, my thing. Healthy skin is my expertise but dealing with brands that encourage people to over-strip, over-treat and over-exfoliate which actually causes skin problems. Well, that makes me really uncomfortable.
I guess it took me 10 years working with high profile skincare brands and many faces to think this is the way forward. I know skin. I know the best ingredients. I know the simplest designs are often the hardest to create. I want to give people a lifetime of skin confidence. I need to stand up and stand out.
Thank you for sharing that. We’re intrigued can you tell us…What does your company provide and what inspired you to start this business?
I’ve created a simple healthy daily skincare workout. Skincare that’s fortifying, balancing, and vegan and it’s going to make you strong and your life easy. More time and money for the things in life that matter.
I’ve always described my approach to skincare as going to the gym. At first, you don’t really see a change but with consistency and strength, oh my you can get brilliant results! So I played around with names but always came back to ‘Gym For Your Skin’. My real passion is to help people with troubled skin, especially young people. Skin confidence means life confidence.
As with life, we know that there are ups and downs. This is the same unfortunately with business. Can you please tell us…What has been your biggest challenge or hurdle since you started your business and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been capital – I’m David versus the Beauty Goliaths. I’m an ideas person. My head is full of amazing creative ideas but you have to get a grip and realise what you can afford to do. Learn to say no or not now. With more capital, our speed of growth would be 100x faster. You just have to exercise patience because a good story and brand will always cut through.
Thank you for sharing that. Let’s lift up the mood now and move on to the next question… What has been your biggest achievement and proudest moment so far and why?
In business, it has to be going on TV with GFYS. It was like a shot of adrenaline. After my cancer (after my dad’s losing battle with cancer), I now think what’s to lose? I’m a different person. In life, you see everything differently. You stop and appreciate life and how short it is. Hence the good time girl thing! Good times can be just sitting around with the family or seeing the sunrise. Doesn’t always have to be rock n roll!
If you were to go back in time, what piece of advice would you give to yourself?
The advice I give my children. Just go with what makes YOU happy. When you are happy everyone else around you is.
We’re nearly halfway through our interview so it’s a great time to start our BoxHuman Inspire questions. So without further ado, let’s go… 1.) What makes you smile and inspires you to be you on a daily basis and why?
At primary school, my name was ‘smiler’. Do you know I’m not 100% sure what makes me smile. I think maybe an inner state, seeing lovely things. But smiling makes people smile back, and feel good and that’s worth doing. I grew up in a very happy home, where life wasn’t taken too seriously. What inspires me is to make a difference in one life or one moment.
2.) What is your favourite quote and why?
My favourite quote has to be…
“The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment.”
To finish our inspire question. “We believe that sharing inspiring words can inspire others.” If there was one positive thing you would say to someone to inspire and empower them what would it be and why?
What’s the worst that can happen? I talk that through, we say ‘so what’ and then you feel you are ready for anything. Most people are afraid of making mistakes. Making mistakes is the making of someone.
And lastly…What future life goals do you want to achieve and why?
Make GFYS a global brand – because it’s cracking stuff! Learn Italian (why wouldn’t you?), Learn the Piano, and Practice yoga daily. Do a TED talk for younger people (Gosh growing up now is fraught with self-confidence issues). Split my year 50:50 at home and travel. Have more parties/gatherings. Have more time to cook. I’ve got a lovely simple Italian cookbook by Theo Randall – it’s sitting there waiting for me!
Finally and to conclude this interview…A BoxHuman is an individual that believes in empowering themselves and others to transform the world for the better. Can you please tell us what makes you a BoxHuman?
I am a BoxHuman because if I could inject people with a glass half full of thinking, I would. We are not all dealt the same deck of cards and for that, I want to help people look for the light. I’d tell people to respect others’ needs, but not to put others’ needs over your own – you can’t help others if your own house isn’t in order.
Kill with kindness (thank you to my lovely friend Clair for this one) – a tactic in life that will get you through most things respectfully and without aggression. I’d like to be a jack in a box for young people – to tell them there is a way when they need it.
“Thank you, Helen.”
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