Fantastic Female – Claire Lettice co-founded &SISTERS

Fantastic Female – Claire Lettice co-founded &SISTERS

Claire Lettice, co-founded &SISTERS alongside her daughter Lucy. Despite their age difference they both found that they had remarkably similar experiences of menstruation- and it was far from perfect! The discovery that mainstream pads & tampons were up to 90% plastic and took 500-800 years to biodegrade fuelled Claire’s resolve- there must be a better alternative! Claire started &SISTERS as a slightly unusual side hustle, but it has now blossomed into a thriving small business with a full range of sustainable organic cotton period care as seen, the gamechanging nüdie Period Pants & Period Cup and the brand new remüvie Intimate Stain Remover  &SISTERS is B-Corp certified and has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Cosmopolitan & Women’s Health. You can find &SISTERS on InstagramTik Tok & Pinterest.

&SISTERS

Fantastic Female – Claire Lettice co-founded &SISTERS

How did you balance being a mother and professional? 

The first thing you must do is define what balance means to you and don’t compare yourself to others Recognise that it (and life) will never be perfect. You have to embrace flexibility and recognise that ‘good enough’ is sometimes OK. At different times, say a big presentation then home life will take a back-seat .. ready meals, quick fixes, videos over bed time stories, but that you can make it up when the pressures off.Having a good support system is essential, whether that’s friends, family or paid for care. I was fortunate that when my two children were young, my salary afforded us childcare, even though this came at a cost (50%+ of my income), however, we knew it was financially short term pain for long term gain. When our children, were at full-time school, I was lucky that my husband was able to help out with after-school care two days of the week.


What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at each stage of your career? 

Overall, I’m fairly happy with the decisions I’ve made. However, I did consciously prioritise family over friends at certain times, especially when the children were younger. There just wasn’t enough time for everything and something had to give.   


Who inspired you and why?

Dame Anita Roddick.  I’ve always been drawn to people, especially women going against the grain… in any and all walks of life.In 1977, I visited the first ever Body Shop in Brighton. Anita was so far ahead of her time; her refillable containers, her transparency of ingredients, all ethically-sourced, natural and cruelty free and bought direct from producers. Her social responsibility and environmental issue activism have always seem to me to be the embodiment of ‘conscious business’. Something I’ve tried to achieve with &SISTERS. 
Today, I think there are some amazingly strong and inspiring women from the younger generations… writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Malala Yousafzai (Pakistani activist) Dani Lawrence and Josie Naughton and others behind Choose Love, (the refugee charity) and of course climate change activist Greta Thunberg

Fantastic Female – Claire Lettice co-founded &SISTERS


What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

Be determined, brave and believe in yourself.


Do you think women feel intimidated in business?

Yes.  I think women in general have greater ‘FOF’ (fear of failure ) than men and lack confidence  in their abilities.  In my experience this is often unjustified but it does mean that women being naturally more conscientious and not wanting to let anyone down often totally over deliver. 


Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.?  

At home, having a late and leisurely breakfast. 

&SISTERS

Fantastic Female – Claire Lettice co-founded &SISTERS


What do you love about your job?

The variety and that I’m continually learning.  Hopefully everything that I’ve done or am doing serves a greater good… from helping women make simple swops to more sustainable period choices …to helping empower women through being able to attend school or work through our give back policies. I’m also now working on a new business that sheds light on the use of (non-renewable) petrochemicals in the fragrance industry. 


What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made?

To work for myself.  First as a self-employed brand consultant, which enabled me to have greater control and autonomy over the type of companies and brands that I wanted to work with and also gave me financial security to launch a couple of side hustles which led to starting &SISTERS .


What’s the worst career decision you’ve ever made?

To not have gone freelance earlier!


How do you organise your time?

I tend to compartmentalise it into chunks. Mixing up the parts of the job that I like the most with those more drearier admin or time sensitive tasks.  I view those parts of the job I really enjoy as a ‘reward ‘for completing  those I don’t enjoy. It helps keep me motivated!


What do you think is your greatest strength?

Vision, coupled with perseverance. I know that’s two but I believe that the two are essential if you’re to succeed.


What do you think is your greatest weakness?

I’m curious by nature and always on the look out for the new, the innovative, the niche and the avant-garde… so a task can take a lot longer than intended as I tend to go down very enjoyable rabbit holes!


How do you make decisions?

I try to arm myself with as much information as possible.. especially the pros/cons,  upsides and downsides. Armed with this information I tend to be decisive, however,  I do recognise that nothing is ever static and that circumstances can change and so you have to adapt and pivot if new information comes to light.

Claire Lettice, co-founded &SISTERS alongside her daughter Lucy. Despite their age difference they both found that they had remarkably similar experiences of menstruation

Fantastic Female – Claire Lettice co-founded &SISTERS


What do you read?

Mainly fiction, a mix of classics and contemporary writers. I’m in two bookclubs, so I always have at least one book on the go. I  complement the novels with biographies or light ‘business’ books. I’ve just finished Bad Blood, about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. A real page turner.


What do you think are the secrets behind getting to where you’ve got to?

No secrets. Hard work, a supportive partner and finding the right people to work with at the right time… No (wo)man is an island!

MORE FANTASTIC FEMALES HERE