Interview by Ceri Wheeldon
Just occasionally you talk to someone where you feel you could have been twins in a previous life, as their answers to your interview questions could have been your own if the roles of interviewer/interviewee had been reversed !
I had the opportunity to chat to Grace Fodor , founder of Studio 10 , an age-perfecting makeup brand ( watch out for my video review coming soon) about what it is like to be an entrepreneur and start up a new venture as she approached her 50s. Here is what Grace had to say:
I think there is a huge difference turning 50 to the experience of turning 40. I don’t feel any different, but as soon as you say 50 out loud it’s as though people look at you differently. 50 just sounds older, and it as though they expect to see a little grey haired lady. I didn’t feel at all stereo typed when I turned 40 – in fact at 40 I was very much the yummy mummy and very career minded. I have just turned 50 and my youngest daughter is 10. But 50 seems to conjure up a very different image!
It seems that there is no concept of what 50 looks and feels like today – 70 feels more like 60/50 used to be!
Why set up Studio 10?
I have a passion to redefine 50, and support women as they age. 50s can be a transitional phase in women’s lives, and I am determined that they should feel confident and be visible and seen as being valuable. I have met women who feel pressured to have a nip and tuck just to keep their jobs.
I appreciate the difference makeup can make. We all have days when we wish we could just stay in bed, but by getting up and putting on our makeup we can look in the mirror and not see a victim.
With makeup we can learn to fake it and present a positive front to the world, even if we might not feel it. It is the same with clothes. It’s all about positive thinking.
I wanted Studio 10 to be a range that really addressed the needs of mature women. There are brands that say they have anti-ageing formulas , but do they really address our needs? We can use BB creams and tinted moisturisers but as we age we want more coverage. We need to address age spots and pigmentation. I worked with a dermatologist and we incorporated ingredients to improve skin suppleness and elasticity, cell repair and moisture. We also want shortcuts to looking good. Many of the traditional make-up brands follow catwalk trends , celebrities and colour. We are not high fashion. Studio 10 is all about covering, correcting and concealing the signs of ageing. It is about quick fix problem solving. We address age spots, dark circles, fine lines. We looked at how the shape of the face changes as we age and looked to see how products could help add back the illusion of the structure of the face. We also lose colour as we age so our products have the pigment to add that back. Nobody wants to buy huge quantities of products -so even our brushes are double ended to help streamline the content of our makeup bags.
You only need to use our core products to see a difference. Makeup really can transform and turn back time.
If you look good you feel good and vice versa.
All of our products are formulated for mature skin. We want women to look peachy and radiant. We think about textures and how we can create radiance. Our outlook is very different to most brands, which is probably why we have grown from £200k to £1million in 12 months.
The challenges of setting up a business at this stage of your life:
You are permanently connected. My head is always buzzing and it can be difficult to switch off, but with technology you don’t have to physically be in the office all of the time. My team works on a flexible basis as well- as long as the job gets done everyone works the hours that suit them. And yes, I do recruit older women into the business. My latest recruit is 56 – she had a great CV and was perfect for the role. Most of my team work part -time to suit their own lifestyles.
Do you have a role model?
Difficult to say who my role model would be – although I have always loved the quirkiness of Audrey Hepburn. She wasn’t afraid to be different. I have always had good mentors. The book I have found most inspiring is ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.
I love what I do.
Many thanks to Grace for taking the time to talk to Fab after Fifty.
I hope to have the chance to catch up with Grace again soon 🙂