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Jazz Shaper: Joanna Jensen

Posted on 19 November 2022

Joanna Jensen is the founder of the baby and child personal care brand, Childs Farm, having created the brand in 2010 because of her own daughters’ sensitive and eczema prone skin.

The brand was launched into mainstream retailers Boots and Waitrose in 2014 and has become the number one brand in the baby and child segment. In March 2022, Jensen sold Childs Farm for £40m to PZ Cussons Plc, the personal care company and owner of well-known brands Imperial Leather, St. Tropez and Carex. In 2022 Childs Farm is still the market leader, now in sustainability as well as sales, and has recently become a certified B Corp. 

Jensen is also a leading advocate of supporting female founded businesses through her role on the Advisory Board of Buy Women Built (BWB), and as an angel investor focusing specifically on female founded brands. She is also an advisor of the Sustainable Beauty Coalition and works with a number of charities: Riding for the Disabled Association, The Parallel Club and Surfers Against Sewage.

Highlights

I knew that there were other people like me that needed something for their children.

I remember when I saw the soaps. The first bottles came out and I was so chuffed, but my mind was saying ‘right, how am I going to sell them’. 

When you start a business, nothing costs what you think it’s going to cost. 

As my grandmother once said to me, it’s all about turnover, turnover, turnover.  

I’m one of those people that doesn’t linger. I will deal with an issue, I’ll have a damn good cry and then I pick myself up and brush myself down and get on with it. 

This is something that any founder will have in common: you’ve got to have this resilience, you can’t take things personally. You’ve got to have rhino skin to a certain extent. 

If you don’t believe in what you’re doing or you don’t believe in your brand, no one else is going to.

You can’t be faint of heart and you can’t be shy. You’ve got to have that self-belief and you’ve just got to go for it.   

We talk now about work-life balance, I mean I simply didn’t have one. 

Now I’m an investor, I look for people that are prepared to put skin in the game themselves. 

I think I’m quite an anxious person underneath everything and I’ve only really realised it in the last few months since we sold the business. 

I’ve never spent so much time with my kids and I just feel like I’ve just started a whole new part of my life. 

It’s just a joy for me to celebrate how many brilliant female founders there are out there. 

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