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Five Minutes with the Founder

Alice Mackintosh & Rosie Speight, Equi London

Over the next few weeks we will be spending five minutes with the founders of our 12 new Brands of Tomorrow, getting to know them and their businesses, and finding out the stories behind their brands. Today we meet Alice & Rosie, co-founders of Equi London, the award-winning brand creating the finest supplements and formulas that nourish body and mind. Here the lifelong friends share their story, how, and why, they decided to go into business together with Equi London.
12th Apr 2021
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Five Minutes with the Founder Alice Mackintosh & Rosie Speight, Equi London

Tell us about Equi?
Equi London is a multi- award-winning, concise range of nutritional supplements with a unique approach; to bring the body back to Equilibrium.

The body is made up of 10 systems; systems that must be in perfect balance both individually and with one and other to achieve optimum health.  It only takes a small imbalance in one to have a ripple effect throughout the body. Equi is the only supplement that supports every single system, creating a holistic balance and Equilibrium between them.

Founded by Rosie Speight, a former investment banker and Alice Mackintosh, a leading London nutritionist, the lifelong friends launched Equi in 2018 with a range of synergistic supplements that help busy women power their bodies back to balance. Nourishing each of the body’s 10 systems (immune, reproductive, detoxification, digestion, energy, brain, hormones, musculo-skeletal, skin and cardiovascular), restoring inner and outer health and beauty; the Equi range offers the ultimate in holistic supplementation.

Tell us the story of how you built your brand
The founders of Equi, Rosie and Alice have been close friends for 15 years, meeting and living together at university and travelling through life together since. Both had both experienced a significant gap in the market for supplements that really work – Alice as a nutritionist looking for products for her clients, and Rosie as a customer trying to find something to support her skin.

The idea was born after Rosie went to see Alice to focus on improving her skin health. At the time she was working in Investment Banking and was living a fast paced and often stressful lifestyle, as so many of us do. Alice suggested a range of supplements for Rosie that were based on the science-based approach she has taken for over a decade in private practice. The products worked to target and support her whole body and within weeks they had not only cleared her skin, up but also improved her energy, digestion, concentration, sleep and hormone balance - she felt the best she had in years!

The numerous supplements Alice had given Rosie were only available through practitioners or specialist websites, were unbranded and sold in single forms. The way the ingredients worked together in synergy in the body was totally unique and the the pair quickly realised that they could bring this approach to the market, in one single supplement.  Helping people look and feel their best underpins everything we do at Equi and we try to bring the genuine love and friendship that we have for one another to every one of our customers.

Why did you choose to set up your business in the luxury sector?
Our objective has always been to elevate the standard of supplements available on the market and to create unique, premium products that make a difference.  We vowed never to cut corners in the standard of our formulations and the quality of our ingredients.  Every microgram in all of our products has been meticulously considered and is only included for its nutritional benefit; we source our ingredients from only the best suppliers ranging from pioneering labs specialising in the USA, to small organic farms in Asia who have specialised in botanicals for generations.  This careful curation of only the highest quality ingredients, combined with our unique and sophisticated formulations is why our products are so effective. It also allows us to are provide solutions to today’s evermore discerning customer.

The supplement market is vast and often confusing. In order to reach our target consumer, we had to present our Formulations as a luxury to set us apart from the low-quality and often ineffective brands that have dominated the supplement industry for so long. Our branding was crucial to ensure we spoke to our customer and we’ve ensured that our chic, sustainable packaging positions us well in the health and beauty luxury space.

What is your favourite thing about your job?
Alice – for me it comes back to one thing - being able to help people feel their best. Nutrition is such a powerful way of doing this and has the added benefit of offering lifelong benefits. The feeling I get reading a positive review or a customer writing to tell us the products have changed their lives never gets old for me!

Rosie - I come from a sales and trading background which was heavily focused on data and analytics. Even though Equi is primarily a supplement brand with a big sense of purpose, data and analytics drive how we operate, being a D2C e-commerce business. I love all of the analysis that comes with this and much of my job is spent ensuring our metrics are strong and finding ways to improve them. I get a huge sense of achievement when something we try works well as without the growth and scale that we achieve through this work, we wouldn’t be able to introduce new products to our customers or reach new people with our brilliant products.

What and/or who is your source of inspiration and motivation?
Going into business with one of your closest friends is making one of the biggest commitments you can to someone in life. Scaling business brings its challenges and naturally we both have our ups and downs, but we’re very lucky in that we provide a constant, positive motivation and support to one and other. This is one of the joys of working in a partnership based on a deep friendship and is something that we have always hugely valued.  We are inspired by many different businesswomen and men, who’ve grown brands from nothing and been a driving force in improving their specific marketplace…but having a shared vision and goal for Equi and a commitment to each other is what keeps us motivated.

If you could have any other job in the world what would it be?
Alice - This is a tricky one to answer as I have always loved nutrition and felt it was my calling. I also love to help people, so if it wasn’t nutrition then it would have likely been acupuncture or something therapy based. However, had I not gone into healthcare, I like to think I’d work with gems and stones, because I love geology and natural sciences. A geek through and through!

If you could do something differently in your career what would it be?
Alice – I have always worked as a self-employed business owner and that has meant working independently from the get go. For me working from home is part and parcel of my job and helps me balance life as a working Mum, however I would have loved to experience more of an office environment in my 20s.

Rosie -  I probably would have put less pressure on myself when starting out in Banking. It was such an intense time, particularly when first starting during my internship and then straight after University, with all of the uncertainty of how you were performing vs your peers and how far you were going to go. I’m much better suited to being my own boss and throwing all of my energy into creating something I’m truly passionate about vs. working for a big corporation and all of the politics that brings. That said, I had an amazing time and worked with some of the most incredible and inspiring people so wouldn’t change it, I would just try to think of it more as a marathon, not a sprint!

Where do you see yourself and your company in 10 years’ time?
We want Equi to have a global presence as one of the household names in the supplement market - the go-to brand for highest quality products that really work.  Dreaming small here!

What does success look like to you?
Success to us is every time we receive an email or testimonial from a customer who has experienced dramatic improvements in their wellness through taking our products.  We’ve had emails over the years that have brought us to tears from customers who have gone so far as to say Equi has changed their lives. If we can continue to do that every once in while, we’ll feel successful for life.

What advice do you have for any young entrepreneurs looking to start their own business?
Be prepared to wear a lot of hats, don’t expect to have any time off and get ready to grow a thick skin….but enjoy every minute as building a business is, we believe, one of the most gratifying things you can do in life.

What is your greatest luxury under £10?
This comes for free… but ensuing you are well hydrated all day, every day is one of the most important luxuries you can give to yourself.  We are made up of 60% water and this needs constant renewal for the body to repair itself and function at optimum.  So many of us fail to do this - if you’re at the point you’re feeling thirsty you are likely already a little dehydrated.  So a £10 reusable water bottle that keeps you drinking throughout the day will help with a clearer, sharper mind, better mood, better digestion, sleep... you get the picture.