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'Being successful begins in the mind'

SUCCESS: Dr Claire Eluka

COLLECTING THE fifteenth accolade of her career to date, an emotional Dr Clare Eluka took to the stage at this year’s Black British Business Awards (BBBA) to dedicate her victory to children in care.

For the hardworking founder of Premae Skincare, who grew up in a care home after her father’s death, the moment she was named a Rising Star in the Entrepreneur category was particularly poignant.

“It was really important to dedicate that award to children in care, black children especially,” Eluka told The Voice.

“I’m a children’s champion for AFRUCA, which works to prevent African Caribbean children going into the care system. The proportion of young people who are going into care from our community is mad. Back in the Nineties when I was in care, it was very surprising because we were the only black children in our area for a while and it was quite stigmatising but now it’s very common.”

Despite the rocky start, Eluka says her experience “propelled me forward”.

She added: “I’ve come from those circumstances and now as an adult this is what I’ve managed to accomplish so if I can give a bit of encouragement to someone who is ten years behind me then that’s brilliant.”

Writing her speech the night before just in case, the 30-year-old admits walking away with the coveted award was surprising given the stiff competition including The Apprentice finalist Bianca Miller.

“It’s a pleasure to win, but I thought Bianca had it because she was in The Apprentice, and she’s just about to launch her business. She is a rising star and she’s an awesome girl and we’d been rooting for each other, so when they called my name, it was just mental especially in front of all these people who I really admire. It was an absolute honour.”

Exhibiting entrepreneurial qualities from as young as five, the businesswoman behind the world’s first all-natural, allergen-free beauty brand shared she has always been motivated to “rewrite” her family’s history.

Having entered long-term care at the age of 11, the middle child of five siblings credits the sound advice from teachers as the motivation for her to excel academically.

She quickly discovered an aptitude for the sciences which form the foundation for her business.
With a doctorate in biochemistry, Eluka, a vegan, has turned her personal struggle with allergies – including intolerance to wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar – into an opportunity.

“I knew if I could remedy my own skin and my own health, I could help other people do it as well and I guess the rest is history,” she explained.

Celebrating the recent opening of her Harley Street private practice, the rising star revealed one of her surprise inspirations growing up was iconic singer Sade who was also her neighbour.

“I lived next door to Sade,” said Eluka with a laugh. “She’s just a beautiful person. We didn’t know who she was when we were growing up, we just knew her as Sade, the nice lady next door who let us hold her baby. For me, her career is so inspiring, the fact that she’s so timeless and can retreat from the limelight to be a mother and a normal woman.”

The grounded north Londoner also notes that her love of books written by motivational figures formed much of her personal philosophy on the “the laws of attraction”.

“What’s happening right now is a result of the last 12 months of my thoughts,” says Eluka. “So whatever is to come next is going to be a result of that. Life is just about living it, being it and never losing sight of the prize at the end, whatever the end goal is for you.”

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