Women Empowered: Claire Shread
Claire Shread is an industry renowned hair guru, and owner of Roccabox favourite Umberto Giannini. Claire met Umberto as a young artist when he contacted her to create a mural in his Birmingham salon, and from there became friends and business partners. As owner, Claire has worked to continue Umberto’s legacy, developing an all vegan hair care range designed to keep women looking and feeling their best.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Two kids, two dogs and lots of energy! I’m very lucky in that I am always excited to start a new day and feel thankful for the amazing gifts in my life.
What gets you through tougher moments in the day?
Remembering that every challenge will have a resolution, you may not always like the resolution but the anxiety of the unknown is usually far worse. That and yogic breathing!
Do you have a motivational mantra? What is it and when do you use it?
Not really, if I can’t find the motivation for something then it usually means I should remove it from my life! I’m a big believer in making sure you live your happiest life, none of us know how long we have.
You’re a busy woman - how do you make sure you find time for self care?
I make sure I get to 3 or 4 yoga classes a week and a swim at the weekend, my body tells me if I’m not looking after myself enough and I listen! That and being with the people I love are my biggest self care needs.
What is your top self-care advice for busy women, like you?
Take up yoga, it’s life affirming, amazing for your mind and body and I have reached many a challenging business decision whilst in a yoga pose!
How does beauty factor in to your self-care?
I love to go make up free and to have low maintenance healthy hair so great beauty products are a must.
What are your beauty routine non-negotiables?
Vegan and Cruelty Free products are a must for me. All of Umberto Giannini’s products are V+CF and my must-have products from the range are Curl Jelly for styling and Flowerology permanent hair colour which is 95% natural and is as good as any salon colour I have ever had. I recently discovered a great nail brand, Kure Bazaar, they’re Vegan and Cruelty Free but also without lots of the nasties usually in nail polish.
What does your morning skincare routine look like?
Cleanse with either a wash off cleanser or twice a week an exfoliator instead. I love a good eye cream and a light moisturiser. I’ve never got on very well with facial oils, so look for a light moisturiser that’s natural and minimal.
How does your make-up routine affect the way you feel?
Make up is power! If I need to find an inner strength to tackle a situation that challenges me then eyeliner does the trick!
Which body-care products do you turn to in order to transform the way you feel?
I absolutely LOVE fragrances, and the smell of fresh herbs and natural essences is enough to transport me to a peaceful place and relax. I always add drops of essential oils to my bath depending on my mood / needs. Tisserand is a favourite but I am always looking for a good essential oil that’s V+CF.
Do any particular make up items help to boost your self esteem, make you feel more confident or give you a feeling of being more powerful?
I’m currently loving Chantecaille Le Stylo Ultra Slim in black and Mermaid Eye Matt in brown, I love a strong eye look if I need to feel powerful.
How do you treat yourself?
Look at great art. I went to art school and still dream of being an artist! I always try and fit in a gallery or museum visit whenever I find gaps in my schedule and a real treat would be to spend the day drifting between galleries.
What is your top tip for boosting confidence?
Know yourself. When we’re young and brave we say yes first and figure out later. As you get older you get the wonderful gift of knowing what you can and can’t do and the confidence to say so! If you find your confidence being knocked then you can be sure there is an underlying pressure or situation that is causing it so take some time to figure out what is really going on.
How does the way you look affect the way you feel?
Mostly superficially, in other words how I look is lower down on my priorities than how I feel although the two can of course be intrinsically linked. A healthy body and mind equals beauty and you can always see that beauty in someone’s eyes and smile not eyeliner and lipstick.
How do you unwind at the end of the day?
Talking! My family says I drive them mad with how much I want to talk at the end of the day so I try to rein in my excitement to debrief with everyone but really that’s my switch off, hearing about everyone else’s day.
The International Women's Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachForEqual. What does this mean to you?
A dream of an end to inequality in the workplace, in the home and in the eyes of the next generation who have a chance of change. When I look back on my career and the extra pressures I have had to navigate just by being a woman it makes me weep inside. But at a human level, it terrifies me that younger women are slipping back into a position in society where they feel their appearance is their worth, I believe that the beauty industry has an obligation to be at the forefront of this conversation.