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#WomenWhoHave quit the 9-5: Claire Hurst of Freeman Beauty UK

by Girl Tribe Gang HQ

Each month we bring you a new story from our #WomenWhoHave feature that shines the spotlight on one of our amazing Tribe members here at Girl Tribe Gang. If you are thinking of taking the leap then these women are the ones who can tell you what it’s really like.

In the #WomenWhoHave feature, a Girl Tribe Gang member will share her story of how she quit the 9 -5 and her hints and tips for building an incredible business.

Women who have quit the 9 – 5: Claire’s story

In today’s interview, we’re talking to Ilkley Tribe member, Claire Hurst, managing director of Freeman Beauty UK about her experience of quitting the 9 – 5.

Tell us a bit about your business?

I am the managing director of Freeman Beauty UK (Primo Distribution is the business name). We are the UK distributor for the Freeman brands here in the UK.

This is a huge global brand and the No.1 face mask brand in the USA. We currently supply high street retailers such as Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and TJ Hughes as well as selling on Amazon and via our own website

I don’t subscribe to the 9-5 Monday to Friday train of thought at all. I trust everyone who works with me to do the job they have whether they work from home or in the office. I have an unbelievably talented and fun group working alongside me; the office has a great energy and includes Rapha the office dog. We offer fully flexible working and a 4 day week.

Claire Hurst

What did you do before you worked for yourself?

I’ve been working for myself for over 15 years but prior to going self-employed I had many jobs: from working for a design agency managing key accounts to teaching people how to run businesses. I also specialised in conflict resolution and drug awareness in the workplace.

What or who inspired you to make that leap of faith and quit the 9-5?

For me it was a personal decision.

My Nana was getting older and I spent a lot of time with her but always at the weekend. I wanted to be able to spend more time with her and gave up the 9-5 to enable me to have 2 days during the week free.   

I was offered a contract to help train Virgin Airlines staff on managing violence and conflict and my first business was born!

What’s been your proudest moment so far?

There have been so many big and small moments to be proud of over the years.

Most recently, we have have been selected as finalists for The Beauty Awards 2018, a huge Oscar-style award ceremony with OK! Magazine. This is a great achievement and says so much about the brands we have.

What advice would you give to other women who want to take the leap and work for themselves?

I think this depends on time of life: for those younger with fewer responsibilities I would say find the gap in the market you can fill and do it immediately.

For people with families and mortgages I would advise having some financial buffer to allow you to make considered choices when you first go into business. Often the pressure of getting revenue can mean we lose focus and aren’t true to our goals.

Name the one resource (a book, podcast, website, tool etc.) that you cannot live without in business and why?

Know Your Why by Simon Sinek.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is an awesome book too.

I also listen to a lot of TED talks. All of these make you rethink what and how you approach business

At work we use Trello to manage and allocate tasks. I find this so simple and easy to use. It helps me see what everyone priorities and workload are. I am always keen to ensure we have a workload that right for that person and achievable..

I am however a huge fan of the wipe board as a visual of what we are doing and jobs to do. I even use one at home with a red, amber, green system! My kids love getting a job on the board!

Claire Hurst Girl Tribe Gang

What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned (in life or business) since working for yourself?

I used to have literally everything planned before embarking on a project but over the years I have learned that ‘good is good enough’. Don’t worry about the little details – get your project started and follow its path.

My second tip is: love being away from work.

This took me a while to achieve but I no longer spend hours every night working. If your work means you can’t do the things you enjoy then it needs rethinking. I now work less, have more people to help me and have never been better equipped to take time away from work and enjoy my life outside the business.

Thirdly, be brave and absolutely take risks.

Some of my biggest failures at work have led to such personal growth and business awareness I don’t regret them at all.

Where do you see yourself this time next year? Paint that picture for us

Gosh, that’s hard for me as we are running at such a speed at the moment.

I do see business growth but for me it’s about getting the right retailers and nurturing accounts rather than trying to grow too fast and loosing our flexibility and personal touch.

We are aiming to be in more UK stores and in 2019 I will launch our own skincare range under a new business called Clever Skin Co. I am so excited about these products and we have so many more great products to be developed. It’s the most exciting project we have ever done.

How has being a member of Girl Tribe Gang helped you?

For me it’s been about connecting with other women who are full of energy and ideas. I love meeting people with no limits in mind and who support others.

Where is the best place to find out more about you?

Say hello on:

Email: and for corporate info visit: Primo Distribution.

Learn more about Girl Tribe Gang

For more information, details on Tribe meetups in you area and how to join, visit:

Don’t forget to share this story with a woman you know is thinking about quitting the 9 – 5.

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