Episode 28: An Exited Founder on Staying Optimistic and Resilient on the Entrepreneur Rollercoaster with Aaron Chatterly

Oct 5, 2023 | podcast | 0 comments

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You can find a link to the full transcript for this episode HERE.

In this episode I’m excited to introduce you to Aaron Chatterly, an exited serial founder who, having sold his beauty retailer to Sephora in 2021, is living the dream so many founders aspire to when they start their companies. However, in this episode we’re going to be talking not only about the highs, but also some of the lows he’s experienced along the way and what’s helped him stay optimistic and resilient through it all.

Aaron co-Founded beauty retailer feelunique in 2005. feelunique was Europe’s leading premium online beauty retailer with 80,000 health and beauty products from over 900 major brands such as Chanel, Estee Lauder, bareMinerals, Dior, Clinique, Decléor, Benefit, YSL and Lancôme.

He led a partial sale of the business to Private Equity in 2012, and in September 2021 sold the company to LVMH/Sephora. Aaron has recently launched a new teen beauty brand called indu. He is also an independent Director of Nasdaq listed beauty acquisition company Waldencast, a non-Executive Director of Digital Jersey and an Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust Women Supporting Women. He was voted one of the 50 most powerful people in Online Retail for 2014 by Retail Week, IoD Director of the Year for a Large Organisation 2013 and finalist in the UK Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012.

Dwelling on something and picking it apart and being affected by either bad decisions or bad circumstances, you know it’s helpful to understand what might have happened and learn from it, but dwelling on it, and ruminating on if we’d done this, or if we’d done that, is just of no help whatsoever.

We cover a wide range of topics in this interview including how Aaron and his business partner broke into the competitive beauty industry, how he stays optimistic and resilient despite the inevitable challenges of entrepreneurship, and his experience of selling his company and the lessons he learned along the way.

We also explore some of the mental health challenges he’s faced, how he juggles family life alongside the demands of entrepreneurship, and how being a parent to twin teen girls inspired his next business venture.

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • How Aaron shifted from working in Telecom to the world of entrepreneurship
  • How his entrepreneurial skill set he developed in his first venture helped him launch a successful second company, and allowed him to break into the competitive beauty industry 
  • The secret ingredients that helped drive the success and sale of feelunique 
  • His perspective on past mistakes that helps him stay optimistic and resilient
  • His experience of selling his company and the lessons learned along the way
  • The challenges of becoming a father (of twins) in the early years of his company and how he’s juggled the responsibilities of running a company while also being there for his family
  • How he proactively cares for his (mental) health these days
  • The next company he’s launching – indu, a beauty brand specifically for teens – and how his own experience of raising teen daughters has fueled his passion for this business

Find Aaron Online:

Resources & Inspiration from the Show

List of resources to help you find a coach, therapist, or peer support If you’d like additional support for your mental and emotional well-being as a founder

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About Founders’ Fears & Failures and your host, Dr. Melissa Parks

Melissa is an entrepreneur, former therapist (PhD in Clinical & Health Psychology), and an executive coach for entrepreneurs with a special focus on startup founders. Her passion for supporting startup founders in particular began after witnessing firsthand the emotional rollercoaster her husband experienced as a startup co-founder.

She started the Founders’ Fears & Failures podcast with the mission of shining a light on the mental and emotional challenges that come with life as a startup founder. Having lived abroad for 10 years herself she realizes how much we can learn from hearing stories from around the globe which is why the show doesn’t focus on a country-specific startup ecosystem.

Melissa is also the co-founder of the Location Independent Therapist Community, and a mom to a toddler who keeps her on her toes, and fuels her passion for helping to make the world a better place.

If you are interested in coming on the show, please get in touch. We would love to hear your story.

Want to connect further? Get in touch with Melissa on social media:

Want to work with Melissa?

Melissa is a former therapist who provides executive coaching for entrepreneurs around the globe. Schedule your free discovery call HERE.

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Disclaimer: The Founders’ Fears & Failures is for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only. It is not meant to be used for personal health advice and should not be construed to constitute personal or professional consultation or guidance, or to replace medical or mental health treatment. The opinions expressed by this podcast, including the podcast guests, are not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of a medical or mental health provider regarding any questions or concerns you have about your medical and/or mental health needs. If you are in crisis, please visit this website to find a list of suicide hotlines around the globe. 


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I'm a therapist-turned-coach who loves working with clients around the world! I work with the globally mobile community to support them through transitions as well as entrepreneurs who need support navigating the rollercoaster of entrepreneur life.

I'm also the co-founder of the Location Independent Therapists (LIT) Community, a mom, a self-compassion advocate, and an aspiring author.