Women in Innovation: Claire Chesterton

"What leads to good innovations? Slow, considered approaches."

We interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries. This week we spoke to Claire Chesterton, Co-Founder of MIIROKO.

What are you working on?

MIIROKO is a salon-quality home hair colour, sold online with the help of a virtual hairdresser, so women can feel confident they have the right colour for them.

It’s been a passion project of mine for many years; as a hairdresser I could never understand why I couldn’t sell the high-quality professional-grade hair colour I used in the salon to people who were colouring their hair at home. There are so many reasons why someone can’t visit a salon, and touching up your regrowth or refreshing your colour at home is definitely doable! 90% of all home hair colour mistakes come from choosing the wrong colour, and with expert advice that can be avoided.

Why is innovation important to you?

Innovation, for me, is simply the drive to do something better. The desire to make something that’s better for the people and the planet fuels our creativity and innovation. I spent 3 years working on MIIROKO hair colour, refining it to be free of harsh chemicals and nasty smells, making sure it’s vegan and cruelty free – but still gives beautiful results like any other salon quality hair colour. This meant countless rounds of iterations and testing, pushing back on suppliers to be more environmentally conscious and not cutting any corners. This, in my opinion, is what leads to good innovations; slow, considered approaches.

What drives you to make a difference?

Honestly – the pressure on women to look a certain way to be ‘professional’ in the workplace drives me to do what I do. We already have huge barriers to jump in the professional world, and maintaining good hair should be the least of our worries. But the realty is, for many women, access to quality hair colour requires a significant amount of time and money. That’s why I developed MIIROKO home hair colour, so that women can access salon quality colour in a convenient and affordable way … and spend their time and money on the things that are more important to them.

Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?

Be curious! Question everything. When we drop the ‘that’s just the way it is’ attitude we can really start to see opportunities to make the world a better place, and that’s what innovation and entrepreneurship should be about!

What are you proud of right now?

We recently received an ICON Grant from Canberra Innovation Network. That was a really great moment for us. We are so grateful for CBRIN’s support!


Follow Claire Chesterton on LinkedIn and MIIROKO on Instagram, Facebook and MIIROKO.com

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