Inspirational Woman: Maxine Laceby | Founder, Absolute Collagen

Maxine LacebyMaxine Laceby is the co-founder of multi-award-winning supplement brand Absolute Collagen; a passionate advocate for women’s wellbeing and empowerment, a philanthropist and a business mentor.

In 2017, Maxine launched her brand with no prior corporate or commercial experience; a year later, she had transitioned from full time mum to wellness entrepreneur with a £1M turnover business.

Five years on and Maxine has built a credible, growing business heading for a £20m turnover and thousands of loyal ‘Absoluters’: a rapidly expanding community as excited by the transformative power of Absolute Collagen as she is.

Maxine puts her success down to her experience as a mother and the problem-solving skills this role nurtures, as well as her ambition, integrity and ‘power of S.I.R.’ motto.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

My origins are from a humble background where women worked hard and just got on with the job in hand, putting me in good stead for anything life had in store for me.

I was a happy stay-at-home Mum for many years, where I learned and earned everything I apply to the boardroom today.

Whilst embarking on a fine art degree at 49, I discovered the benefits of Collagen, a weird discovery via an art degree, but due to my superpower, ADHD, alongside being solution-focused, I spot opportunities everywhere.

The liquid collagen category exists because of me. I made it my mission to empower women with the most superior, readily available, cost-effective collagen supplement on the market.

From the launch in May 2017 to where we are now is unrecognisable in terms of growth, and my role today is the same as it always has been, never to lose sight of our purpose and to keep our absoluters firmly in the centre of everything we do.

 Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Absolutely not. However, as mentioned, the way my mind works means I am constantly questioning, seeking, looking, and inventing, so perhaps it was inevitable I would create something one day.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Hell yes! Being a full-time mother from the age of 25, with no business experience, created one of the earliest and most significant challenges even before I started.

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What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Where do I start? No honestly! Creating a category in itself is a tall order, not to mention setting the bar so high in terms of product, innovation, inventory and the best customer service. Absolute Collagen is operated on the power of SIR, meaning every absoluter and team member deserves to be treated with the power of SIR and made to feel Safe, Important and Respected

But I guess my biggest achievement to date is turning up as me, Maxine, nothing more and nothing less.

Your business started with very humble beginnings – what do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Remaining humble and never losing sight of what I stand for, my principles, my morals, and of course, my purpose.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to launch their own business?

Ensure your business and brand aligns with you, who you are and what you stand for. And always show up as you. You are, after all, your biggest asset.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

That women are recognised for everything they do every day but don’t get paid to do.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Keep going exactly as you are and never falter from who you are and it will be ok.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

Being the industry leader and an innovative brand means creating and facing challenges. Being the first to market with ground-breaking products means we will continually be educating which is always a challenge.

The future remains focussed on our absoluters and their needs. Ensuring we are constantly aligned with them and innovating products that fulfil solutions to the issues they find themselves with.

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