27 April 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Originally a qualified chemist (MChem) before moving into commercial roles in various FMCG companies, Kate Bache, co founder of Health & Her® www.healthandher.com is a specialist in international innovation, commercialisation and marketing leadership. Kate has more recently founded and successfully exited a new femcare brand, KIND Organic, and has big ambitions to develop Health & Her into a leading business in female health.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
After becoming a qualified chemist, I quickly moved into commercial roles and went on to have more than 13 years experience in blue chip pharmaceutical and FMCG companies holding senior marketing and innovation positions in international functions across Europe and Australasia for Reckitt Benckiser, Kellogg’s and PepsiCo.
My co founder Gervase Fay and I launched Health & Her® in March 2019 and our award-winning menopause health hub empowers women to manage their symptoms by providing cutting edge products, leading expert advice and clinically novel insights via ecommerce website, telehealth service and app. Health & Her® focuses on menopause, the site is the first of its kind to tackle female health changes with holistic advice that takes in a range of approaches. Health & Her® aims to evolve to support women from their first period to way past their last.
The site features a diverse range of experts talking on the biggest ranking menopause questions posed by women online, including articles from expert gynaecologists, leading psychologists, womb yoga teachers, career coaches and celebrity make-up artists.
The site also offers a free, digital Menopause Symptom Tool to help individuals understand and improve their menopause experience with hot topic news, expert views, first-hand testimonials and hand-picked products carefully curated and recommended by the women who have been there.
How did the idea come to you to start the company?
It was during the time working on KIND Organic that Kate discovered the complete lack of support for women experiencing severe symptoms of female health and in particular the poor availability of products and solutions for women experiencing menopause.
Initial research unearthed some shocking statistics related to this stage of women’s lives with the highest rates of divorce, suicide and job leavers associated with women aged 45-55. Further studies conducted by Health & Her showed the far-reaching impact of these issues with the UK economy losing 14 million days a year to women managing symptoms associated with menopause. This equates to £1.8bn GDP lost annually.
There was a clear gap in the market for a resource where women could understand their choices, discover information and find solutions and so Health & Her was born.
 Censuswide survey, 1003 menopausal women, UK, 2019
How did you achieve awareness
In the beginning, it was our symptom tool and expert advice which brought women in great numbers to the Health & Her site. This simple tool which allowed women to explore the advice and solutions available to them for their symptoms reflected the lack of education amongst women about menopause. A recent study of our symptom tool showed that 94% of women found the tool helpful. We soon realised that we needed to educate women more broadly – especially women who were entering menopause with no knowledge of the subject matter – so we launched ‘World Perimenopause Day’ on October 11th 2019. We researched perimenopause and shared our findings via PR and radio campaign to ensure women were getting the education they needed.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
Our main funders have been Development Bank of Wales, Inspire Wales, Impact X and a prominent group of angels. Our success has come from local and female-backing funds as well as very experienced business owners who have believed in our initiative. Interestingly, both women and men have invested as both have felt the challenges of this time of life – either first hand or as a supportive partner. I think our success in raising funds has been the team’s previous careers and success as well as gaining significant traction in a short space of time – i.e. we’ve delivered what we said we would.
What are the key successes?
Our award-winning website has gathered one of the largest global datasets on menopause which in turn is generating clinically novel insights and innovation . We are doubling the business every 6 months our own label range of products are going from strength to strength. Our disruptive Perimenopause & Menopause Supplements are now distributed in Sainsbury’s, Superdrug, Revital and Cult Beauty and our menopause app is in the top 3 menopause apps globally.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Trying to create a simple offering in a highly complex need state where there are 2 stages of menopause, more than 40 symptoms, and a different personal experiences of menopause for every woman on the planet. We certainly haven’t fully overcome these yet but we are proud of our holistic solution which has been designed to cater for every woman – no matter her menopause stage, symptoms or severity.
What are your plans now/for the future?
We are looking to extend our supplement range to new retailers
We are improving our online offering to women – simplifying it and generating more expert written content
We are also learning and improving our app all the time
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
The best thing I read before I started my own business was a book called Do Disrupt – Change the status quo or become it Mark Shayler.
It’s an incredibly simple book which allows you to work through what it is that you should do with your business. The bit that I always reference is whatever you do, it must satisfy 3 criteria: it should be something you love doing, it should be something you’re good at and it should be something you care about.
This has been my mantra in my short entrepreneurial career and I get excited every day about the difference we are making to women’s lives. And my team feel the same.
Can you share you top tips for entrepreneurial success?
Keep it simple
Do something that feels rewarding and that others will find rewarding
Collaboration over competition
Get close and stay close to your customer
Make a mood board of your 5 or 10 year personal vision – for the hard days
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most?
Jacinda Arden – for her incredible leadership whilst also having a family
Joanna Lumley – for her timeless intrepid adventure and inspirational lust for life
Tim Ferris – be being wildly ambitious in everything he does
Bill Aulet – an inspiration for entrepreneurs everywhere – every entrepreneur needs to read his book
Clayton Christensen – my original go to for innovation and how to think about bringing new ideas to market
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes
Logic will get you from A to B… Imagination will take you everywhere – Albert Einstein
I never, ever grew up as a young woman believing that my gender would stand in the way of doing anything I wanted – Jacinda Arden
What are your social handles and website links so our readers can connect with you?