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Midlife Reinvention: Karen Horsley launches Clockface Beauty Skincare just after her 60th birthday

Interview by Ceri Wheeldon

karen career invention over 50 image

In the latest of our ‘Fab Women’ interviews, we catch up with Karen Horsley – Co Founder of Clockface Beauty Skincare – who launched her business just after her 60th birthday- showing that it’s never too late to follow your passion and set up a business.

A little about Karen

I am 60 years old, from and live in York. I have two daughters Louise and Sarah and three Grandchildren, Alfie 3, Matilda 2 and Henry has just turned 1. My daughter and I started developing our launch products for Clockface Beauty during my late 50’s. We finally launched on 1st October 2018, which was one month after retiring from my 30-year career as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist and one week after turning 60!

What were your main activities before turning 50?

Up to the age of 60 I was a Specialist Biomedical Scientist, in my spare time I enjoyed jewellery making and creating natural skincare products.

What were your main activities since turning 50?

Leading up to and after retiring I have developed and launched a 100% natural, organic, vegan and cruelty free skincare range, alongside my daughter Sarah.

clock face natural skincare

Setting up a business over 50

What prompted you to start your business/ take up the challenge/follow your dream.

Firstly, I had total belief in our products and personally have a passion for ageing naturally and beautifully. This was something I wanted to share with other people.

I think there were a combination of factors. With retirement approaching I had the opportunity in terms of time, and when my daughter approached me to partner the business I felt that our personal and professional skillset was perfectly balanced for us to make it a successful company, with each bringing different complementary expertise– it’s also a fantastic opportunity to work alongside your daughter.

career reinvention quote

I felt strongly that I didn’t want my career to finish with traditional retirement.

How old were you when you started?

We started developing the launch range when I was 57, but I had been creating natural skincare long before that as a hobby.

Did you have to take any courses or training to do this?

For product development, which is my key role, I have used my experience as a scientist alongside a huge amount of research and constant testing.

What has been the best aspect of your journey so far?

Working with my daughter

What was /is your biggest fear?

Lack of confidence holding me back. I am quite a shy and quiet person by nature, although I am learning not to be!

Inspiration over 50

Did anybody in particular inspire you?

Jo Malone has always inspired me, this was compounded recently upon reading her autobiography.

What difference has it made to your life?

The biggest factor is growth in my self belief.

How did the opportunity come about?

My daughter and now business partner, Sarah, approached me about turning our passion for all-natural skincare in to a business.

What other opportunities have materialised as a result?

Meeting like minded people and hopefully inspiring other more mature individuals to follow their dreams

What are your next steps?

To spread the passion for natural and organic beauty and of course for everyone to try our range!

How have friends and family reacted?

They have been and continue to be extremely supportive and love our products.

Any regrets?

That I hadn’t taken up the challenge sooner.

Tips for women over 50

What 3 tips would you give other women over 50 looking to do something similar?

  1. Have confidence in yourself
  2. If you have total belief in your products/idea then go for it
  3. You are never too old!

Three words that sum up your life over 50

Exciting, challenging and rewarding.


Karen Horsley is the Co Founder of Clockface Beauty Skincare – 100% Natural, Organic, Vegan & Cruelty-Free for both Men and Women








Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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