Jane Atherton is the founder of Phytomones Ltd skincare for Menopause Clinical Nutritionist, Skin Therapist, best selling author of The Menopause Secret and Menopause Advisor.
Lives in London and Hong Kong, married with two daughters.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I’ve been working in the health, diet & beauty industry for over 30 years, both in sales, and also research & development. After further studies in clinical nutrition & hormone health, I ran my own private menopause lifestyle practice for ten years and most recently developed Phytomone skin care products for mature, hormonally ageing skin.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
To a certain degree yes, but not down to the last detail. In the early days, I always knew the beauty industry was a draw for me and was lucky enough to work for Estee Lauder and RoC Cosmetics both in sales management and research & design, which was fascinating. Little did I know at the time though I would be developing products for my own skincare company 25 years on! Or be starting my own skin care company when I was 55!
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Yes, many. Especially when you start your own business and you enter so many different areas which are not in your expertise. I learned quite early on that a problem is just a challenge that needs to be approached in a different way – my days are full of them!.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
It has to be creating the Phytomone skincare collection. After being in the industry for many years and my knowledge of skin & hormone health, I was aware of the changes skin goes through from midlife and beyond and the ingredients now needed to keep skin looking healthy and youthful. It took me a while to find the right cosmetic chemist to work with and one who got my vision of focusing on specialised formulations for mature women only. But now I have my dream team around me and we are all dedicated to enhancing the lives of women from midlife and beyond.
The whole “business side” of things also took me completely out of my comfort zone. But I must say, starting a business at 55 was definitely an achievement, and now I’m almost 60 it certainly keeps me energised.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Passion and truly believing in what I’m doing. This is reinforced by the incredible reviews we get on the products and also the success of our social media platforms and community of menopausal women we have brought together in The Menopause Room.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I had several mentees in my menopause practice. They were all women over 40 and it was a wonderful opportunity to give them a chance to start the menopause transition on a positive note. And of course, our social media platforms for menopause are incredibly popular, especially our facebook page, which is almost at 100k follows now and the most popular menopause group in the UK (fb.com/themenopauseroom) – which has kind of evolved into an online mentoring group.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
You are on a journey, which means things will change. Don’t be afraid of change, learn to adapt and go with it, otherwise opportunities could be missed.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Ultimately I would love to grow the Phytomone brand and have a mind, body & soul wellbeing retreat where women can relax, rejuvenate and rediscover themselves as they transit through menopause.