Clare hornby

We chat to uber cool founder of ME+EM, Clare Hornby. If you aren’t already obsessed with ME+EM, you will be after this interview darlings!

We absolutely looove ME + EM! Can you tell us a bit more about the brand?

I founded ME+EM to fill the gap between luxury brands and the high street. We behave like a luxury brand, designing everything in-house in London and focusing on beautiful fabrics, cuts and contemporary detailing. However, because we operate on a direct-to-consumer business model, we can price our collections like a high-end high street brand.

How did your career lead to ME + EM?

I started my career in luxury fashion, at Harrods, and then moved into advertising, so when it came to building ME+EM, it just was a matter of bolting together that knowledge of the luxury retail market with an obsession with consumer insight.

What has been one of your best career highlights so far?

The day we launched, when orders came in from people I didn’t know. I realised that we’d made a product that people liked, at the right price – and that the website worked.

"I have a phobia of dry lips, and so anyone who knows me, knows I’ll be putting this on constantly. If I don’t have one of these on me, I can’t concentrate or relax."

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

I thought starting a business was hard, then when Brexit and the ensuing uncertainty happened, I thought that was the biggest challenge. But now, managing a business through COVID-19 really is the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced as a business.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

All the mistakes and learnings along the way have been necessary to move forwards and improve, so I wouldn’t want to do anything differently.

What is an average day like for you?

I’m involved in every area of the business, so my days really vary. One day I’ll be in meetings to sign off product, the next on a studio shoot.

What do you do in your down time?

I spend as much time as possible with my children and family, I do yoga every day and cuddle the dogs.

Which beauty products can you not live without?

I’ve probably spent about a gazillion pounds on Dr. Lipp’s Original Nipple Balm For Lips over the years. You’d laugh at how many of those I’ve bought from Space NK. And if you don’t believe me Space NK can show you my account!

Can you tell us your best beauty tips?

Even though everything I do in my life is about getting results fast, I am happy to be patient when it comes to skincare and wait to see the results. I’m currently using Skin Food by Weleda and it’s absolutely amazing.

What is next for you and ME + EM?

Well, obviously things have changed a lot for all businesses with the current situation, so we’re navigating our way through it to ensure we adapt as much as possible to the circumstances. Our strategy has always been about investment dressing and forever styles, with multifunctional designs that really work hard in your wardrobe, so we’re committed to making sure that stays at the heart of everything we do.

If you could encourage others to make one lifestyle change today, what would it be?

I’m obsessed with drinking Amazing Greens every morning – it’s powder you mix with water to boost your energy and immune system. I swear by it and always encourage my team to drink it too.