Tuesday 19 September 2017

A skinny dip into Clark and Ruth's romance

Ruth and Clark Hetherington run a teatox company together and were married in Las Vegas

Clark Hetherington proposed to his wife Ruth at a Bruno Mars concert. Photo: David Conachy
Clark Hetherington proposed to his wife Ruth at a Bruno Mars concert. Photo: David Conachy
Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith

As he passed through Dublin Airport security with a sparkling engagement ring in his pocket three years ago, Clark Hetherington was terrified that he would 'beep' and give the game away. He had bought VIP tickets for Bruno Mars's London show for his girlfriend Ruth Martin, who is a massive fan. Bruno started singing Marry Me, and Clark got down on one knee and popped the question.

"It was the biggest surprise ever," says Ruth. "Clark had been on edge all that day and I couldn't figure out why? A girl then came along with a bottle of champagne, so it had all been planned and it was lovely."

Ruth, 32, and Clark, 33, were married in Las Vegas in March 2016, when they went over to see the Conor McGregor fight. They only decided to do it a week beforehand as they're quite spontaneous people. "I'm not a bridezilla kind of girl," says Ruth. "I wore a wedding dress and shoes that I bought over there last minute."

It was just the two of them at the ceremony, but they live-streamed it to Clark's dad James and step-mum Shirley back in Bettystown. Clark grew up in Laytown, County Meath, and has a younger sister, Andrea. He and Ruth got together ten years ago, although they originally met when he was 18 and she was 17 and both were living in Drogheda. "We had a little kiss, but I was young and dumb and tried to put my hand up her top, and she wasn't having any of it," he says. "She didn't like me after that, and then I went off travelling for a few years. My dad turned 50 in 2006 when I was 23 and back home, and there was a big family event. I went to Fusion nightclub afterwards and met Ruth there and we got chatting. I thought she was just beautiful and I was instantly attracted to her."

When Ruth first met him as a teenager, she thought he was very handsome, but didn't like his personality as he was quite forward and "a bit of a player". As she chatted to him that night five years later, Clark seemed totally different and she really enjoyed his company. They shared a taxi home that night and he was a perfect gentleman. "He kept his hands to himself that time," laughs Ruth. "His cheekiness appeals to me now, as he is still a charmer with a bit of an edge. He called down to my house the next day at lunchtime, and my granny, Kathleen, answered the door. She and my grandfather, Thomas, raised me. I was out and my granny and Clark were chatting for a good half-an-hour and she loved him. She would be very particular about who I went out with and she always gave her opinion. She told me she liked him and I should talk to him."

Ruth and Clark went on a date the following week, and hung out together every single day after that. Ruth was very glad of Clark's support when her grandparents died in 2008 and 2012. "I wouldn't have gotten through it without Clark as he is my rock," says Ruth. "From day one, I was drawn to his eyes and he is like an extension of me. He is the other half of my circle, and we complement each other so well."

Ruth studied business at Dundalk Institute of Technology and began working in sales. She decided to study nutrition in her late 20s because that was her passion, and she worked as sales co-ordinator for a vitamins and supplements company. She had seen in Australia that teatoxes were taking off, but the ones she saw contained laxatives and she felt they could be quite harmful to your body. She and her friends suffered bloating, cravings and a lack of energy, and she began researching ingredients that would help with those symptoms. She formulated a tea and found a manufacturer to blend it together, and Miss Fit Skinny Tea was born. After getting great results from trials, Ruth and Clark funded the first batch of 200 teas in December 2014 from money she made from sourcing children's loom bands cheaply during the craze and selling them at markets. Clark designed the packaging and they both worked on the website. A buyer from Your Local Pharmacy bought 250 packets of the first batch, and three months later, they were in most major pharmacies.

Ruth says the tea helps you beat bloating, aids weight loss, and helps you have more energy and feel better in yourself. They turned to the influencer market to promote it, and it has been a huge hit. The workload became crazy, so Ruth gave up her job to devote herself to it full-time. She is CEO and Clark left his job and came on board full-time in February 2016 and works on marketing. The teatox has sold almost 60,000 units this year worldwide, and they have a male version. They have also introduced a high-strength vitamin D product called The D, which they believe is the best product on the market for vitamin D deficiency.

Ruth and Clark have an adorable young dog called Poppy, and while they have discussed having children, they're not there yet and don't know if they will get there at all. Clark says that while Ruth doesn't suffer fools, she is caring, kind, loyal, loving and trustworthy. "She is funny and witty but she is not afraid to stand up to people either," he says. "Ruth is a stronger personality than I am, and she is obviously stunning but I love her for who she is as a person."

"To me, a marriage is about support," says Ruth. "I couldn't have done any of it without Clark as he's just the piece that was missing. It is so exciting to be able to share something like this with your partner."

www.missfitskinnytea.ie

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