Introducing Anna Persuad
Introducing Anna Persaud
Mother, adventure seeker and CEO of award-winning beauty brand This Works, with a PHD in biochemistry Anna Persaud is a serious expert on all things sleep and skincare.
Describe yourself in three words?
Tough, fair and energetic.
3 tips for staying balanced?
Sleep well, exercise regularly and get a sense of perspective by seeing yourself as part of a bigger picture.
What does a typical day look like to you?
My mornings are sacred as I try to ensure a good wake-up for my family. Technology is banned, breakfast is important and I make sure our house is fragranced with Morning Expert WakeUp Drops. I practice mental maths with my six year old and try to fit in 10 minutes on my exercise bike to get my cortisol under control.
I’m in the office by 9.30am and then work right through until 6.30pm. At least four times a week I head to a yoga class before I go home to take on family responsibilities. This can be anything from overseeing homework to putting my kids to bed.
I’ll then spend time clearing my inbox. Though I’m really strict about turning all technology off an hour before I go to bed at around 11.00pm.
How did you transition from biochemistry to beauty?
It’s a slightly convoluted career path of completing my PhD in Biochemistry and moving into pharmaceutical writing, then into pharmaceutical sales. I made the move into beauty through a pharmacist connection at LVMH who saw the benefits that someone with a scientific background could bring to the business.
What does female empowerment mean to you?
Empowerment is having the voice and belief to raise yourself up regardless of gender, age or circumstance.
Can you tell us about one woman that’s inspired you?
Our brand founder Kathy Phillips because she has never limited herself in terms of new adventures or activities. She is one of the most forward-looking women I’ve ever met, at the forefront of major trends, hugely resilient and with an endless reservoir of creativity.
What would you say to your younger self?
My younger self had a much better time than my thirties self. I had no responsibilities and studying for my PhD meant I was in an academic bubble. If I could go back and speak to myself I’d probably chide her to be more patient, have more self-belief and make relaxing a priority.
What’s been your proudest moment to date?
I’m incredibly proud of our achievements as a business and of my family but it’s rare that I feel proud of myself. Rather I have an overriding sense of gratitude for my family, my home, my team and all we’ve achieved together.
How do you balance being a Mum with working full time?
Truthfully, I don’t always, I don’t think anyone manages this 100% of the time. I work hard to manage my diary to carve out clear blocks of time for my family, my company and myself.
Today yoga, but I actually used to be a professional fitness instructor during the 90s. Last year I discovered that I have hip dysplasia which has limited my ability to exercise, hence my new-found passion for yoga.
Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know one from the other.
When do you feel best in yourself?
After my yoga class, it’s how I push myself physically and reboot.
How do you switch off?
It’s not every night but watching really rubbish TV has its place in my wind down routine. At weekends you’ll also find me pottering in the garden.
Any tips for those starting out in the business world?
Spend time planning your business, seeking advice and make sure you know who your customer is and how you are going to attract them.
Whatever your product is, ensure its different and ideally something people don’t yet know they need, then give them a really good reason to buy it.
Green juice or cocktails?
Finally, we have to ask what’s the secret to better sleep?
Our sleep pattern is set by our in-built circadian rhythm, which adjusts to its environment mainly through the external cue of regular exposure to light and darkness. Today we over-ride this natural rhythm with lifestyles that see us ‘always on’ and this is having an impact on both our ability to fall asleep and also the quality of sleep we are getting. Some tips I follow are.
- Restrict technology usage in the hour before bed. The blue light emitted by our devices suppresses the release of melatonin which can delay sleep.
- Keep lighting low in the evening, for example using uplighters only.
- Ban loud sounds and listen to calming music.
- Keep your evening meal light and avoid anything that may raise your body temperature such as hot spices.
- Avoid over-stimulation, for example I would never watch anything distressing or frightening at night.