Maxine Laceby on female entrepreneurship, opportunities & challenges
Opportunities and challenges are always around the corner when it comes to female entrepreneurship.
One of those opportunities is creating one of the leading collagen supplement brands in the UK after cooking up chicken feet and pigs’ feet in her kitchen, and one of the challenges is transitioning from being a stay-at-home mum to diving into the world of female entrepreneurship.
Our founder, Maxine Laceby, is an amazing example of a female entrepreneur. She started Absolute Collagen when she was 50 years old and now her journey is inspiring others.
Watch Maxine’s recent talk at an e-commerce event, where she shared the opportunities and challenges that come with female entrepreneurship as well as Absolute Collagen’s brand story:
From mum to beauty entrepreneur
As she approached the age of 50, Maxine became more health conscious. She decided to cook up bone broth to drink to help treat the symptoms of arthritis. This also led to her seeing improvements in her skin, hair and nails. When her friends started asking her what she was doing to get such glowing skin, she realised that the secret was in the bone broth.
With her friends inspired by her home remedy, she became known as ‘the neighbourhood collagen dealer’. She created Absolute Collagen simply because it worked and wanted to bring us an affordable, hassle-free and easy to take collagen supplement. Maxine was determined to create a product she knew was going to improve the health of others and make every part of them glow.
At the time, she hadn’t had any experience in the business world as she hadn’t worked for the previous 25 years. But Maxine didn’t let those doubts stop her and now, two years later, she’s turned her kitchen table product into a million-pound business.
Absolute Collagen is now the leading drinkable collagen supplement in the UK, with an ever-growing nation of dedicated #Absoluters who are experiencing magnificent improvements in their health, beauty and wellbeing.
Female entrepreneurship opportunities and challenges
The path of female entrepreneurship is inevitably going to have challenges, despite the opportunities.
Maxine has dealt with many challenges since starting the business, including running out stock while sales were high and changing the formula.
But from each of these hardships, she learned a valuable lesson.
Last year we decided to change our formula after receiving feedback about the taste and sweetener we were using.
Though we had everyone’s best interests at heart, the flavour change didn’t go down well with our #Absoluters and we received a lot of complaints until we altered the new formula.
But instead of taking the hit, Maxine saw this challenge as a positive.
“What that did was give me a period of time where I really connected with my users. I connected with the people who used Absolute Collagen and they got to know us as a brand. What could’ve been a really negative moment that could’ve put us out of business, we turned into a positive.”
As Maxine says: “Business isn’t easy, there’s going to be lots of things that test you and it’s about how you deal with them. You will make missteps," Maxine’s alternative word for mistakes. “It’s about stepping up to the mark, having authenticity and being your brand - I am the brand and my morals have to come through the products and the way I treat my customers.”
Maxine displays how maintaining a positive attitude is key when it comes to female entrepreneurship; opportunities and challenges are all part of the ride. Never doubt yourself and trust your instincts when it comes to starting up a successful business.