The hardcore royalist and ‘The Crown’ fan in me couldn’t resist opening the email that introduced me to this week’s inspiring female founder as it simply read, ‘Duchess of Cambridge wears British-made lifejacket by brother-sister start up’…
*ears prick up!*
After a quick scan of the email, I went on to read about how Lauren Mead, now 30, Co-Founded TeamO Marine six years ago with her younger brother Oscar, to combat a recurring problem that had led to a number of fatalities in the British sailing community. Now heavily regarded by the international sailing community for its world-first design (which, as her initial email made reference to, was even worn by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Kings Cup regatta last year) it didn’t take long for me to respond and schedule this chat!
Not only does Lauren reveal how her role has evolved over the past six years as TeamO Marine has grown on an international scale, she also provides some really insightful advice on how to best approach a crowdfunding campaign given that TeamO Marine went on to successfully raise £270,000 on Crowdcube in 2018 and why they opted to move all production of the lifejackets from China to Southampton thereafter. She also opens up about their experiences patenting Oscar’s design early on and why they’re unwaveringly confident now when standing up to any sceptical comments from their competition; what she’s learnt from being on the other side of the interview process when hiring a team and her advice on how best to remain rational instead of taking things personally when you’re the boss!
It’s hard not to admire a business that genuinely saves lives isn’t it but Lauren’s clear vision and purpose-led ambition for TeamO Marine is infectious and I have a feeling each and everyone of us will be able to learn a lot from her story!