British Beauty Council Co-Founder Kate Shapland has had an amazing career with vast experience in a variety of roles. She is an experienced beauty journalist, whose passion of leg care and health led to the creation of her beautiful skincare line Legology.
Sadly lockdown is not kind to legs. A combination of a lack of exercise and no holidays in the near future, can mean they’re easily neglected. However, there are some very simple and effective ways to keep them looking and feeling their best. As always at Beauty Bytes, we’re keen to discuss how the beauty industry and professionals are riding the waves the pandemic has brought on. We spoke to Kate about her leg health recommendations, what’s keeping her happy and healthy in lockdown and how her brand Legology is handling business through this challenging period.
- How are you coping with isolation and what have you been doing to keep your body and legs looking and feeling healthy during lockdown?
Before I founded Legology, I’d worked for myself for many years as a writer which is a fairly solitary existence, so managing isolation has not been tricky for me as far as producing content goes. What I do find challenging, however, is not having the team around me to bounce ideas off and address things that are so easily done as part of ongoing office conversation. We’ve maintained a daily Hangout call for the entire team from 9am every day, which has helped us all to stay on track with our tasks, to make decisions together and generally feel cohesive. I’m quite active as I have two dogs that need walking, so I’m usually out with them first thing getting in a few thousand steps before a day at my desk starts. Concentration is harder though – perhaps that’s age!
- A result of lockdown for many has been a significant decrease in daily exercise, even that of the daily commute previously provided. Do you have any simple and effective tips for stimulating leg circulation in absence of this?
I walk to work, which takes about 20 minutes each way, and despite the dog walks I’ve noticed a big difference in my energy levels since that stopped. It’s incredibly important to keep your lymph and circulation active – lymph only moves when you move, which is why so many of us feel heavy-legged by the end of a day sitting at our desks and a main cause for cellulite build up. If you don’t have time to walk during the day (if you’re back to work, try walking a couple of extra bus stops and take the stairs, not the escalator or lift), keep moving your feet – pointing and flexing them to help pump lymph and blood flow – under your desk. Another good trick is to roll a tennis ball under the soles of your feet; it really helps to move the lymph.
- As Legology is a lean team, how are you all navigating this unique and challenging period? Do you have advice for beauty entrepreneurs who are self-reliant right now, or also only have a small team, to handle business?
I’m extremely fortunate in that while ours is a lean team (I love that expression BTW), everyone is prepared to play a wider role than they might be expected to in a non-entrepreneurial environment or normal times. It comes down to having the right people around you and this is definitely the case. Everyone at Legology is prepared to go the extra mile to make something happen, even if it’s not especially part of their job. This is so valuable, because a small start-up or scale-up company relies on personalities who are happy to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. My advice to anyone who is in a similar place, nurturing a small company or being self-reliant, is to choose your team carefully and intuitively. The right people will help you scale the mountain. And they’ll have a laugh doing it. Always important to laugh!
- Despite the challenges faced, are there any opportunities that you and the Legology team are identifying in the wake of the crisis that you hope to take on now and in the near future? For instance, new product innovations or ways to support your community of Legology fans?
Legology has always had a great community and this has developed even further with the challenges that have come with the crisis. We also launched our Cellu-Lite Challenge at the beginning of the year with 20 volunteers from around the world, and the community that evolved from that has been absolutely remarkable. We plan to further develop the community side of our business in coming weeks because we know how many women want to be able to talk about body issues, confidence and positivity in a safe environment, and we can offer that.
On the business side, we’ve learned the significance of having excess stock – up till now we’ve been very scientific about our production and manufacturing what we’ve needed; now we are ordering in far greater volume than ever in order to maintain continuity in uncertain times. We’re lucky, however, to have a close working relationship with our manufacturer and suppliers, and they have all been able to be flexible and act quickly for us over the past few months.
- You have vast experience in many positions, whether as a beauty journalist, co-founder of the British Beauty Council and of course, creator of your own beauty brand! What are the key experiences or turning points in your career to date that you feel are arming you now in the crisis?
Every new experience in the work environment, whether it’s turning a feature around within 10 minutes or dealing with a palette of glass bottles that have arrived at production in a million pieces, helps you deal with the next issue. So, I’d say there’s no one thing that I see necessarily as having been a turning point, more a succession of things. I have a sneaking suspicion that there may be a personality element at play too: a can-do invincibility that carries you a surprising long way in life.