Natasha Glover is a solicitor qualified to practice law in England & Wales and the founder of Brown Skin Dark Lips Limited, a British beauty blog and online shop featuring a curation of beautiful things made by independent British businesses designed to boost confidence and wellbeing.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I am currently a solicitor, mother of two beautiful boys and the founder of Brown Skin Dark Lips Limited – a beauty blog and online lifestyle store. People who know me well would tell you I love a challenge and I think that is clear already!
I have a varied work background including a mixture of office administration, retail roles and two years in a finance department whilst completing the Legal Practice Course (“LPC”) in the evenings to become a solicitor.
I have always had an interest in beauty and have been blogging about it, as a hobby, for years. Following the birth of my second son, struggling with depression, and experiencing challenges with my levels of physical health, I decided I had to make some fundamental changes in my life. I finally designed the stationery I kept talking about and curated a selection beauty products to create a single online shop for self-care and practical organisation to complement my blog, Brown Skin Dark Lips.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I have never sat down and planned my career – in a way, it was set for me. My father was Jamaican and, in his view, I had no choice but to gain a degree to become either a doctor or a lawyer which will be a familiar story to many! I then chose whether I wanted to be a solicitor or a barrister then follow the appropriate path which, when I was on the route to qualification, was relatively inflexible. I wanted to take the shortest route however it took me longer than anticipated as I needed to work to pay for the LPC. I ended up completing a three-year qualifying law degree, two-year part-time LPC, working in a paralegal role then completing the training contract to successfully qualify as a solicitor.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
I have faced many challenges to becoming a solicitor and a business owner. I remember being told by my teachers that I would not be able to do a law degree, but I did. I remember my managers being hesitant to support me when it came to applying for the in-house training contract, but I succeeded anyway. Early on in my training, one of my training supervisors told me I wouldn’t qualify– and there I was thinking that a training supervisor is supposed to nurture and train their trainees!
The challenges to starting Brown Skin Dark Lips Limited were more personal. I was struggling to find myself again after having children. I had too many ideas and I doubted myself. Then when I finally decided to incorporate and make a public commitment, the Covid-19 pandemic hit! Strangely, whilst that was a huge challenge, it wasn’t as challenging as the doubts I had in my own mind. That is something I continually work on.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
It’s difficult to choose just one achievement because for each achievement I have had to overcome a different set of barriers. The first would be qualifying as a solicitor. The second was finding the courage and strength to seek help with my depression following the birth of my second son and getting to a place where it is now well-managed. The latest is the launch of “Shop Brown Skin Dark Lips” despite the immense pressures and challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
My own strength of conviction has been a major factor in achieving my successes. I cannot bear the thought of giving up, and I don’t like being told I can’t do something. I am motivated to prove to myself that I can achieve my aims and those hard-earned achievements keep me going.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
Mentoring is a wonderful thing! I have been both a mentor and a reverse mentor (to the head of an organisation) and I am currently a mentee. I would like to do more mentoring as I love to see others succeed, especially young people entering the legal profession, as I know it can be difficult. It’s good to have someone in your corner who will guide and encourage you without judging you.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
Societal change is needed which would take a series of actions and time, however my one change would be for everyone to call out misogyny every time it rears its ugly head. Stamp out the small things such as sexist language expressed by an individual so that it cannot grow. We need to make misogyny socially unacceptable.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
It’s ok to change your mind! It is possible to change your career and anything else in your life.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
My next career challenge is to make sure I meet my turnover target for Brown Skin Dark Lips Limited then revisit an earlier goal to provide legal services to small and medium-sized businesses.
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