Sophie Hooper is a single mother with two teenage daughters.
She joined Secret Saviours as Chief Executive Officer in April 2014. Sophie is a creative, strategic thinker, a driver and connector.
In a career that started when she was just 17 years old, Sophie has worked in the music industry, TV/film production and advertising.
Sophie’s career has taken her around the world. She has worked in Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Los Angeles and Singapore.
For the nine years before Sophie founded Secret Saviours she was the Managing Director of Team Saatchi, a division of Saatchi & Saatchi UK. At the helm of this cutting-edge agency, she was instrumental in the growth of a diverse range of beauty and healthcare brands, ranging from the launch of Olay Regenerist, P&G Pampers, Johnson & Johnson Baby Skincare range, Head and Shoulders all the way to the Government’s health/active lifestyle campaign and WRAP recycling and sustainability initiative.
Sophie’s personal lifelong passion for cosmetics and skincare, years of experience in the health and beauty sector and unfortunately, getting stretchmarks everywhere in both pregnancies, made her the ideal partner for vascular surgeon and inventor Stephen Barker.
Sophie founded Secret Saviours in 2015, the revolutionary new stretch mark prevention system, and since then she’s pulled together a strong team of business experts who have been working on a UK multi-channel roll out strategy.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I’m Sophie Hooper. I’m a single mother of two spirited daughters – now 19 and 20. I started my career working in music production and then as a TV producer in advertising. From there, I moved to a management role as MD of Team Saatchi London for 9 years. I met Stephen Barker, a vascular surgeon and inventor of Secret Saviours in 2014. He told me he had invented a product that actually prevented stretch marks and needed someone to take it to market. Having a tummy full of stretch marks from both pregnancies, I jumped at the chance and we launched Secret Saviours in 2015. In 2017 I became the majority shareholder.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I didn’t. I thought I would be in production forever as I loved it, but then when the opportunity came up to run Team Saatchi, I jumped at it and I loved that too! Launching Secret Saviours was a big change from Saatchi, but creating a brand that really does prevent stretch marks, and women love, is very rewarding despite the ups and downs.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Convincing male investors to fund a female entrepreneur with a female orientated product. Taking on a whole new skill – from product development to supply chain management has also been a challenge.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Taking the leap into Secret Saviours, raising investment and to date, saving over 9,000 women from stretch marks!
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Complete unwavering belief in the product and the science behind it. If you don’t believe in what you are doing, then you can’t do it properly.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
Mentoring is incredibly important. At Saatchi I set up a scheme called “The Grow Bag” to support and develop new people starting out in their careers. Over the last year, I have been lucky enough to have one of my investors – an extraordinary, successful and inspiring women as a mentor. She has completely changed my outlook on business, shareholder management and fund raising.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?
Ensure women are not discriminated against once they have had children.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
To grow Secret Saviours from a UK business to an international company that is preventing women across the globe from stretch marks.