Mum and daughter corner the market for redheads
WHEN it comes to jokes about redheads, Jen Rose has heard them all.
Having had fiery hair and pale skin all her life, she has learned to take such quips in her stride – and has even coined a few "ginger jokes" of her own.
But when her favourite brand of shampoo – formulated specifically for her hair type and colour – was discontinued, Jen failed to see the funny side.
After scouring the globe to find stockists, she realised there was a gaping hole in the market for a business that provided products specifically designed for people with red hair and pale skin.
So, along with red-haired daughter Jess Shailes, the Goole-based entrepreneur launched her own.
Jen said: "Having lived with pale skin and red hair all our lives, we understood the frustration of not being able to find the right products for our hair and complexion.
"I managed to find a really good shampoo, but even that was discontinued.
"It made me think, why not set up a business specifically for people with red hair?"
As well as having first-hand experience of red hair and pale skin, Jen also has retail and business experience while web designer Jess has a marketing degree – all of which have proved vital in driving the business forward.
The website www.everythingforredheads.co.uk was launched last year and has proved an instant hit – not just with natural redheads but with people who dye their hair or have pale complexions.
Jen said: "If you have a very pale complexion, finding the right products can be a nightmare.
"Regular make-up can be too dark, so if you wear it you tend to look a bit like a clown."
The mother and daughter duo began sourcing products, including Dainty Doll – the cosmetics range developed by former Girls Aloud star Nicole Roberts.
Everything For Redheads now boasts an impressive range, including everything from lipstick and concealer to haircare, books and gifts.
The pair were also keen to offer support and advice, not just to fair-haired consumers but also to parents, particularly those whose children may be subject to bullying.
"I don't find jokes about red heads offensive anymore, but when you are younger everybody picks on the ginger kids," said Jen.
"It ranges from the mildly laughable to the downright ridiculous and, well, 'Gingist'."
In a move aimed at encouraging people to celebrate and take pride in their red roots, the website features articles about redheads in literature, jokes about redheads, blogs and a "fabulous redheads" gallery.
It has taken them a lot of hard work, but even Jen and Jess are taken aback by its success so far – particularly among seemingly unlikely customers.
"We thought our customers would be based solely in the UK," said Jen.
"It didn't seem like something that would appeal to places like the Mediterranean because people there tend to have dark hair and, well, Mediterranean complexions.
"But we now have customers across Europe, including the Mediterranean and Finland, which came as a bit of a surprise. We also have customers in the United States, so for a business launched in the recession, we feel very proud."