The Back Story
I have always been fascinated by medical science and the body; how it works, what makes it healthy. I have always wanted to help people, so I trained to become a pharmacist and spent several years as an employee for a variety of brands. From a regional locum to managing Boots flagship store in Oxford.
In 2010 my wife and I bought a small pharmacy in Oxford. It was a struggling small business, but I could see there was potential, so we went for it. Within a year, we had tripled the turnover and I ended being voted pharmacist of the year. The business was voted the best pharmacy in Oxfordshire and I was also invited to 10 Downing Street in recognition of my service to the local community. Things were going well, and we welcomed our first child.
I carried on growing the pharmacy, becoming recognised in the field which led to requests for me to consult on product development for large pharma companies. On one of these jobs I struck up a friendship with David Hyland, another consultant, who had begun privately investigating collagen with a view to designing a new type of supplement. After several discussions he invited me to collaborate with him.
The Curve Ball
So, I was juggling two businesses and a young family. Then a curve ball hit. Shortly after my wife had given birth to twins, I experienced severe shoulder pain. My right tricep muscle and right chest muscle had begun wasting away. I could not put weight on my right side and was losing grip strength. I knew this was a nerve issue and immediately made an appointment with a neurosurgeon.
This was a MASSIVE reality check; the neurosurgeon warned me I was in danger of losing use of the entire right side of my body and the only way to resolve this was emergency spinal surgery (that in itself had risk of paralysis and other life changing consequences).
During my years of business ownership, I hadn’t taken my family on holiday. I had gained a significant amount of weight since I hadn’t exercised or looked after my diet. I realised that if I survived the operation, I would need to make some changes.
By the grace of God, my operation was a success. My surgeon advised me to take 6 weeks off from work, something I hadn’t done since qualifying. This was a real awakening and allowed me to spend quality time with my family. We cooked together, went out for meals and did things we should have been doing all along.
I also began taking the collagen supplement, Ingenious Beauty, that David and I had developed using a unique, patented capsule.
On a follow up appointment my neurosurgeon viewed the x-ray to see how my spine was healing. He was astounded and insisted on having the pictures retaken. He said my spinal bone had fused beautifully and that the healing was what he would expect following three months, not 6 weeks. As collagen is known for its ability to aid healing, I knew the collagen in Ingenious Beauty was responsible for this impressive recovery.
This led to a life changing decision. I knew I couldn’t continue trying to juggle two jobs, so I sold my long-standing pharmacy business to focus fulltime on bringing Ingenious Beauty to market.
The last few years have been a challenge, but I have loved it. Anytime we hear the from a customer about how Ingenious Beauty has changed their lives, it is always the highlight of my day. Since its launch Ingenious Beauty has won 7 industry awards and its success allowed us to expand our management team and our product range launching two more exciting supplements.
The New Challenge
At the end of 2019, with an expanded Ingenious team helping manage the supplement business, my wife and I decided we had the bandwidth to purchase a new pharmacy business. The idea was to hire a fulltime pharmacist and for my wife to manage the business day to day. I would help occasionally, covering sick days and holiday time. For a few months I had the perfect balance, primarily focused on Ingenious, but able to assist at the pharmacy when needed. Then Covid-19 hit. You can read more about that here.
Ingenious is, and always will be, my passion. To know that I have been part of creating something that makes a real difference to peoples lives, to how they look and feel, is something I am very proud of. Our company ethos has always been to produce the best possible products with no additives and only proven science. Recently we carried out a huge, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial on Ingenious Beauty the produced such incredible results we now have the backing of the Professor of Pharmaceutical Innovation at Kings College London.
However, right now with the country in crisis, I am doing my part on the frontline helping the local people in my community. Early on my pharmacy organised a team of volunteer delivery drivers to get medicine to the vulnerable and self-isolating, and as a result we are constantly business, receiving hundreds of calls each day.
In the future when the crisis is over, I will be able to focus more on Ingenious once again. But for now I am just so grateful to the Ingenious team who are all working from home keeping everything going, to the guys in the distribution centre and all the delivery drivers out there ensuring our loyal customers still receive their orders.