The Mumbelievables: Rachel Parsonage, MD of KMI Brands
Back in March at the Blogosphere cover reveal part I met the brilliant Noughty Haircare PR team over a chat about making the move towards more natural beauty and haircare products.
It turns out that Rachel Parsonage, the MD of KMI Brands (the company that built the Noughty Haircare brand) is an inspirational powerhouse and I am thrilled to feature this interview with her as part of the Mumbelievables series. Read on for her honest and emotive words about mum guilt, letting go of perfection, and what drives her to work so hard for her gorgeous family. Thanks so much, Rachel. You’re a legend.
This September marks a new phase in my life as my son Joseph starts school. The last four and a half years have been incredible, exhausting, rewarding, depressing, and every other emotion I can think of. But I wouldn’t change a minute of it.
I wanted children and I wanted a career however I often ask myself now whether women really can have it all. I think it’s unrealistic to think that you can have everything in equal measure. You have to make choices all through your life, and of course when planning a family, lots of decisions and questions have to be asked.
In January Allison Pearson, author of “I Don’t Know How She Does It” spoke at a convention in Hong Kong about whether the hand that rocks the cradle can in fact rock the boardroom – her outlook is that you can’t, unless there are a lot of sacrifices.
My career at Board Director level – both before and after becoming a mother – has been with incredible support from my husband. One of my reasons for working full time since my son was born is so that I can be around for him through his teens, a time when children really need support. I worry more for Joseph and what he will face as a teenager with the world of digital media and how fast the world is changing so I want to dedicate more time to him during these years.
Thankfully, this has worked out well as my husband wanted to start his own business so he could dedicate more time to our son’s early years.
I do have feelings of guilt that I am not physically around for him all the time, as I know many mums do. We all feel like we’re missing out on playing together, drawing together or going to the park.
“The real truth for me is that I actually don’t ever seem to feel like I get the balance right; juggling work and children is an ongoing struggle.”
As a mother and Managing Director it is so important to me that my company supports working parents to make the office a desirable place to work and ease the transition into becoming a working mum or dad.
At KMI Brands we completely value all of our employees and understand the unique benefits that parents bring to the table. I think it is unreasonable of companies to expect parents to adhere to rigid working practices. We offer our employees the opportunity to choose their hours and to work from home when appropriate.
One of my favourite parts of my job is working on Noughty Haircare, a brand I co-founded in 2016 to cater to all women and their families. Being 97% natural, free from parabens and sulphates, and gentle on the hair and scalp, Noughty is a popular choice for many mums. It’s important to me that Noughty has a sense of humour as I wanted to appeal to mums who want great hair but don’t take themselves too seriously.
“Perfection is unrealistic.”
Through our research we learned that women wanted a natural brand they could trust, that used only the best ingredients and really performed for their hair. A brand that bought as much cheeky humour and fun into the lives of all the family. We all strive for balance in our lives and with Noughty we are addressing the balance between virtue and naughtiness – sometimes you eat salads and go to the gym, some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to get dressed.
I think as mums we all need to be kinder to ourselves (and our hair!); perfection is unrealistic.
Rachel Parsonage is Managing Director of KMI Brands, which since 1993 has been designing and marketing innovative beauty products spanning haircare, skincare, styling, fragrance and colour cosmetics.
Follow them @sogooditsnoughty on Facebook and Instagram
Find out more at www.noughtyhaircare.co.uk