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Helen Rankin

Female Founder Spotlight: Helen Rankin

3 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder

IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Helen Rankin
IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Helen Rankin

Helen Rankin, Mum of 4 and creator of Cheeky Wipes founded her business back in 2004 to solve a problem of finding wipes which she could use on her and her children’s eczema prone skin but which would also be environmentally friendly. The Cheeky Wipes all-in-one kit was the result, a unique kit which makes using cloth wipes easy. The business has gone from strength to strength, and is now also recognised as the UK market leader in reusable period protection.

What would you like to share with other women to encourage them to start their own business?

Starting your own company isn’t easy but is hugely rewarding. If you’re struggling with juggling the 9 to 5 and childcare too, starting your own company can be the solution, ultimately allowing you flexibility and a much better work / life balance. Freeing yourself from the office treadmill is fun, challenging and fulfilling. Life’s too short to wonder ‘what if’.

What are your 5 top tips for entrepreneurial success?

Treat your customers as you would want to be treated. We take a lot of pride in our amazing customer service and when things go wrong we welcome the opportunity to really turn things around and switch a disgruntled customer into a brand advocate

Be authentic. We only develop and sell products which we use ourselves because that way, we can give our customers a fantastic product and knowledgeable service. Which means that they keep coming back to us

Learn to delegate WELL (It took me a long time to figure this one out, but pay others to do what you dislike doing / aren’t good at so that you can free up time to add value to your business)

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. As long as you learn something each time you do, it’s worthwhile, even if it seems painful at the time

Know your numbers. You don’t need to be ready to quote them off the top of your head in a Dragon’s Den manner, but you should know where your costs are, how to manage them and have clear goals for turnover and profit

IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Helen Rankin
IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Helen Rankin

Who are the 5 women who inspire you the most?

My Grandmother, who brought up 3 children whilst also caring for her husband who suffered from PTSD after being rescued from the beach at Dunkirk. She spent her war years making nose cones for fighter jets, went on to run her own business and also made money from property moving house 17 times in 51 years!

Margaret Thatcher.  I don’t agree with her politics but her determination in taking on the male political establishment and bending them to her knee was nothing short of spectacular.  She was also instrumental in starting talks which eventually brought about the peace process in Northern Ireland, my childhood home.

Jacqueline Gold, CEO of Ann Summers who brought sex to our High Streets.  We talk about ‘taboo’ subjects a lot here at Cheeky HQ, with pee, poo and periods being our daily bread.  I feel that Jacqueline Gold has really helped break taboos around sex and sexuality, making sex and pleasure  ‘normal’ rather than something dirty and hidden.

Reese Witherspoon who is not just a fantastic actress, but also an amazing director and producer.  She realised that there was a gap in the market for programmes and films made by women, for women, so set up her own production company and went actively looking for books to create her own content

Greta Tunberg should be an inspiration to us all.  She single handedly did more to bring awareness to the climate change problem than all the G8 leaders combined.  She did this despite invoking the ire of many online trolls, including the ex-president of the United States.  Amazing determination and focus.

What are your favourite sayings/inspirational quotes?

Well there’s two: 

JFDI – Just f**king do it‘ 

I can and I will.  Watch me‘.  

Bit of a common theme there….

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