There’s a story behind every brand, but FanU’s is one that is particularly heartfelt. We caught up with the founder, Adele Marks to find out what inspired her to create the clever portable fans and why she continues to give back…
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I left school at 16 with 5 0-levels and worked in fashion wholesale, but I’ve always been hugely into athletics. I met my husband when I was 17, he proposed on my 18th birthday and we were married just after my 19th birthday. I had my first daughter at 21, second at 23 and son at 25.
Throughout the years, I remained devoted to fitness and wellbeing and regularly attended the gym; played tennis and enjoyed kickboxing. Once my children were at school-age, I trained and qualified as a personal trainer.
In 2009, I ran the London Marathon in aid of two charities ‘Young Variety’ and ‘Fight for Life’.
Over the last 20 years, I have worked on a committee ‘Fight for Life’, which raises funds for the children’s radiotherapy unit at the University College Hospital in London.
How did FanU come about?
When I had a hysterectomy at the age of 32 I immediately began experiencing hot flushes throughout the day and night with no warning. I would become awkwardly and uncomfortably hot in public places and realised my menopause had started. Although there were hand fans available, I couldn’t find an effective cooling fan.
In 2013, our beautiful daughter Jodi gave birth to our first grandchild Charlie, a gorgeous blue-eyed, bundle of joy and we were all crazy about him. Four months after giving birth Jodi found a lump (the size of a pea) on her left nipple. The doctor assured her that due to her age and the fact she had recently given birth it was probably an infected milk duct.
However, after a biopsy Jodi was given the shocking news she had breast cancer. Following the diagnosis and supported by an incredible cancer team, Jodi was given a double mastectomy as well as having 19 lymph nodes removed from her left arm. She had to undergo six months of extensive and grueling chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy.
Throughout Jodi’s treatment she suffered terribly from hot flushes, as did the other patients she spoke to who were having chemotherapy. Once Jodi’s treatment was finished she was told she would have to have an injection every three months for the next five years to put her ovaries to sleep. Thus sending her into early menopause and causing the hot flushes to continue, becoming more intense and frequent.
Wanting to do all I could to help Jodi and knowing first hand the discomfort hot flushes caused, I set about sourcing an effective air cooling fan that was pleasing to the eye and cooled you down. And so, FanuU was born.
FanU is not sorely for those suffering from hot flushes, but is also an effective air-cooling fan to help anyone who needs cooling down in a public place.
Jodi felt is very important to give back and chose Breast Cancer Now as the charity for FanU to support with every fan sold .
What advice could you give to relatives trying to best support someone through chemotherapy?
Be mindful and considerate. There will be highs and lows, days when it seems things can’t get any worse and days when there is a clear light at the end of the tunnel. Keep that light shining, be a source of positivity and brightness. Fight for and alongside whoever it is you are supporting and don’t forget to look after yourself too.
If you could give your 18 year old self one piece of advice what would it be?
Enjoy each day and live in the now. Give to others who might be in need of some care and extra love.
What is your desert island beauty product and why?