empowering through creative business jour neys VOLUME 6/ ISSUE 29
EDITORS Karolina Barnes Anouska Lancaster / noushkadesign.com Emilia Vespoli Flavia Young / luxe-layers.com Nicola McCullough / strawberryblondebeauty.com Ellen Stanton / paleblueplate.com Rachel Edmonds
STYLISTS Louise Ives-Wilkinson / iwinteriors.co.uk Florence Ophelia Karolina Barnes COVER IMAGE PROOF READER Claire Smith / eclairesva.com
Jasmine de Silva, the story on p. 38 A big thank you to all our editors, contributors and
everyone who continues to support ESTILA.
ESTILA bookazine is created and published by
Palantti Ltd. The entire content of this publication is
protected by copyright and may not be reproduced
without written consent from the publisher.
Jasmine de Silva Jeremy Coleman
The views expressed in this publication are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the publisher. Original work and
CONTACT estila.co / IG @estilamag Tell us your story: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: estila.co
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photography are copyrighted by its owner. ISSN 2398-9041 Designed and printed in the United Kingdom.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF ESTILA
Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads or being stuck in the rut? We have. All of the powerful stories we write about in ESTILA have one thing in common - they are told by amazingly talented creatives who have gone through tipping points, frustrations, and aha-moments that have led them onto a new journey into entrepreneurship. Our mission is to inspire you to do the same. We believe that life is a journey about finding who you are and what your calling is. It's about challenging yourself, and the status quo. Only then, you can realise your true potential. We hope that the following pages will trigger a spark or an idea for you to take action and just go for it!
editorâ€™s note Welcome to the sixth print edition of ESTILA bookazine. The word, that comes to mind when summing up the following pages, is evolution. Most journeys you'll read about are a result of gradual personal development and growth. Frustrations lead to a need for a change. And a change leads to finding your own true calling. The stories of Jasmine de Silva (our cover story), Holly Tucker and Bozena Jankowska are perfect examples and case studies we all can get inspired by and learn from. Thank you for reading and your continuous support. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Karolina Barnes / editor-in-chief
MUST - READ STORIES
INTERIORS “Where creative thinking is on daily agenda.”
i n t eriors Âˇ blog ger stor y
Designing with longevity in mind words and photography by Meera Pendred
When we moved into our home a couple of years ago, it was a sea of beige and magnolia which I found difficult to live with because the rooms felt dull all the time and nothing looked good against these colours. So it wasnâ€™t long before I was pouring over my paint charts. I prefer to tackle one room at a time, treating each one as a design project. Having been on a career break to bring up my children, budgets for room makeovers are very small so I try to think creatively about how to achieve the look I want for little cost without compromising on quality. This means a lot of DIY and patiently waiting for sales on products I am coveting. Iâ€™m an advocate of design longevity, so when I design a room, I want to be sure that my family and I will love it for a very long time. The practical elements (i.e. the furniture layout, and the electrical and lighting plan) are always figured out first before I think about the pretty things. Having said that, accessories are always on my mind as a motivation for getting a room finished, because there is nothing more exciting for me than bringing a room to life with the finishing touches.
i n t eriors Âˇ blog ger stor y
i n t eriors Âˇ blog ger stor y
My love of deep blue, gold, house plants and splashes of fun colour is carried throughout the house, bringing style cohesion. My style is contemporary mixed with a little vintage, comfortable and not too precious, budget-friendly elevated by an investment piece or two and touches of gold, a balance of light and dark, and brought to life by plants. In short, I would call my style Relaxed Urban. I love a home that lifts the spirits. Colour makes me happy, without it my home would feel too sombre. Texture is the magic in a room. It is what gives a space life, warmth, movement and feeling. The textures in my home include natural wood, metal (mostly gold), textured ceramics, books, a wide variety of plants, cosy sheepskins and different fabrics from sumptuous velvets to cool linens. Without these, my home would feel flat. I would also add that besides colour and texture, I love fresh-smelling fragrances in my home, so I use reed diffusers and candles with scents depicting spring flowers, hedgerows, or the sea.
i n t e riors Âˇ blog ger stor y
i n t eriors · blog ger stor y
I really love all the rooms in my home that I have decorated so far. My living room is cosy and comfortable, perfect for relaxing. My dining room is bright and lively, ideal for long chats over food and drink. My bedroom is my calm sanctuary. My first son’s room is wonderfully vibrant and fun. I’m currently working on my younger son’s room which will be a bright room punctuated with gorgeous colours. When I have eventually designed the other rooms, I expect they’ll make it onto my favourite rooms list too! I believe in mixing budget items with investment pieces and handmade or upcycled products for a look that is completely individual. Start with the main furniture in the room, and don’t skimp on quality here. Go for something that looks spectacular rather than a safe option that is bland and boring; something that makes you feel happy every time you walk into the room. Some things are totally worth the splurge, but you don’t need to spend a fortune on the whole design. Shop around, sign up for offers at your favourite stores, check out charity shops and antique markets, see if something can be made for less than purchasing a similar item.
i n t eriors · blog ger stor y
The built-in alcove shelves and cupboards in my dining room cost less than purchasing good quality freestanding bookcases, and the built-ins look and function better as they make use of every inch of space. I had to prime and paint them myself to save money, but as I do all the painting in my home anyway, this was no problem. Ignore trends and take the time to figure out what you love, then shop with your style in mind. When it comes to accessories, I love geometric and abstract arty patterns, so I usually stick to these. I may love a floral cushion in a shop, but if it’s not going to work with my overall style, I don’t buy it. Take time to find the right things; your home and bank balance will thank you for it. I recently popped into a DIY store to pick up some screws and came out with a gorgeous large midcentury style planter on wooden legs. It was £20 and looks as good as a £150 option in another store. Don’t be afraid to do a bit of DIY. If you’re new to a technique, there are plenty of tutorials online that describe the process. For example: (1) The wardrobe in my son’s room originally looked like a boring white box, but I painted it a lovely grey and added extra long handles which I had sprayed a bright red, and now it looks fantastic. (2) My bedside lamp was a sale bargain, but it came in black which didn’t work for me so I sprayed it a fabulous gold. I did the same with the ceiling light in my living room. (3) My dining table was found at an antique auction; it is a solid piece of furniture but looked grubby after decades of use, so I sanded it back then stained and varnished it.
Meera is an interiors blogger and mum to two small children based in Nottingham. She started her blog after moving into her current home to document her design journey. Restricted by small budgets, she is always looking for creative ways to achieve beautiful looks for little cost. Hence her blog features DIY projects, room makeovers and design and styling tips. Among many achievements, her work has been recently featured in Ikeahackers interiors book.
i n t e riors Âˇ business stor y
Community spirit for travellers interview by Karolina Barnes, photography provided by Bryony Rosier
For anyone creative, stepping into one of Cuckooz's serviced apartments is like being home from home. You are immediately surrounded by the sophisticated decor, pops of colour, and unique design features and artwork. This is something that the UK service apartment industry was lacking. Most of the market is dominated by corporate and sterile spaces with no attention to detail. Cuckooz founders, Charlie and Fabienne, spotted an opportunity to change that by creating beautiful spaces for travellers who don't want to sacrifice their lifestyle and who seek more than just an apartment. They are genuine homes created to help nomads feel native. Here we chat to them about how the idea for Cuckooz came about, the business concept and plans for the future.
i n t e riors Âˇ business stor y
How did the idea for Cuckooz come about? Cuckooz is the brainchild of best friends, Charlie Rosier and Fabienne O'Neill, who have both spent time working overseas and travelled extensively together. Whilst visiting Argentina a few years ago, they realised the opportunity to bring a design-led, customer-focused serviced apartment to the UK. Design plays a big role in the Cuckooz concept. How do you come up with the design schemes? Do you work with interior designers? Both co-founders believe that serviced apartments could and should be more like boutique hotels, both in terms of design and services offered. We work with a new designer on each project, usually someone young and disruptive (not always a traditional interior designer) to give each building itâ€™s own identity. Where possible, we try to give a sense of the heritage of the area, to bring it back to our ethos #livelocal. We work with Conran on our big pieces, but in each apartment you will find unique and bespoke artwork or pottery from local artisans.
i n t e riors · business stor y How would you define your customer? Who are your guests? We are for anyone; but for the most part our guests are digital nomads, travelling the world with just their laptop. People who want to experience a city like a local and believe in a good work / life balance. We have people with us for an extended stay (some guests have been with us for 18 months) or just long boring work trips. All our locations have been carefully curated so that our guests can explore the hidden pockets of east London and the diverse communities that thrive within them. Can you share with us what we can expect in near future from Cuckooz? Absolutely…we are opening a new building very soon near Old Street – London’s Tech Roundabout! We are also exploring taking Cuckooz further afield into Europe – cities like Dublin or Amsterdam. Furthermore, we are exploring more opportunities that enable us to offer the highest guest experience. Our partnership with Simba is one example – we now have their amazing mattresses in all our apartments ensuring the best night sleep!
Featured apartment is One Bed Deluxe in Shoreditch. For more information about Cuckooz or to make a booking, please visit www.cuckooz.co.uk. Follow on Instagram @cuckoozldn
i n t eriors Âˇ styling stor y
Natural materials for good words by Karolina Barnes, styling and photography by Louise Ives-Wilkinson and Florence Ophelia
In a society dominated by cheap mass-production and high levels of disposal, it is not that surprising that over the years and decades we have unintentionally downgraded our quality standards. This applies to interiors too. However, when it comes to our homes, we have a great opportunity to explore and include natural materials and handmade items of high quality into the scheme. Not only that they are highly durable and long-lasting, they also provide the perfect "neutral" backdrop. What's more, they are good for you and the environment. Did you know that certain natural materials have a positive impact on our mood and physical health? This is what Biophilic Design is about. Every picture tells a story...
THE TABLECLOTH STORY Luks Linen: Made by master weavers, the Harman peshtemal is a natural striped and flat woven linen and cotton cloth. Its versatility and quick drying properties are perfect for any family home. Use it as a tablecloth, a blanket or a towel. www.lukslinen.com
THE PLACEMATS STORY Artisanne: Made from a ndiorokh grass and intertwined with long strips of recycled plastic, these placemats are not only practical but also provide a textural element to your table setting or home decor accessorising. www.artisanne.com
THE PLATES + NAPKINS STORY Nisi Living: Two materials that go really well together are porcelain and linen. Create a textural contrast with Nisi Living's Sky Blue Fringe Linen Napkins and Parisian cafe style Abbesses dinner plates. www. nisiliving.co.uk
THE ART STORY Poster Lounge: If you are an art lover on a budget, I recommend to check out Posterlounge. The art featured in this shoot is by Elizabeth Fredriksson, a colour addicted and nature-loving artist and graphic designer from Sweden. www. posterlounge.co.uk
i n t eriors · styling stor y
HARMAN PESHTEMAL LINEN CLOTH, Luks Linen £62.50 | SLIMLINE TRIO STEM VASES £96 (ex VAT), Anthology Five | FAUX ARTICHOKE, EUCALYPTUS & RANUNCULUS STEMS starting from £6 each, Artificial Green | DIAMOND RUG (indoor & outdoor) £119, ABBESSES DINNER & SIDE PLATES starting from £15 each, LINEN NAPKINS (SKY BLUE) £10 each, Nisi Living | ABSTRACT CANVAS PRINT by Elizabeth Fredriksson, 70 x 70 cm £18.90, POSTERLOUNGE, | PLACEMATS & COASTERS starting from £4.95 each, Artisanne
interiors Âˇ styling
i n t eriors Âˇ styling stor y
THE STEM VASE STORY Anthology Five: Make a striking flower arrangement with theses trio stem vases. Made from high-quality aluminum and finished in plated copper, they are a perfect edition to any table setting. Each vase has a magnetic base that makes it appear to float on the table surface. www.anthologyfive.com
THE FLOWER STORY Artificial Green: "Go with the faux" is the tagline of Artificial Green, a company specialising in supplying a wide range of premium high-quality artificial trees, plants, topiary and planters for indoor and outdoor use. The featured flowers are handmade by skilled craftsmen in Denmark. Each stem goes through along manufacturing process to ensure the most authentic and lifelike look. www. artificialgreen.co.uk If you would like to learn more about incorporating Biophilic Design into your home, please contact us via our website at www.iwinteriors.co.uk.
i n t eriors · brand stor y
Interview with Divine Savages words by Rachel Edmonds
Unveiling themselves to us only a short while ago with a fabulous launch on Instagram (that left us all wanting more before their website even went live) Divine Savages specialise in creating inspirational collections of must-have treasures. Not only beautifully designed each range is also divinely unique. It's eye-catching and eclectic creations that add personality, glamour and style to any interior. Each collection tantalises us with a wild reworking of the traditional. Fusing both classic and modern, Divine Savages’ designs offer the chance to turn every room into a living masterpiece. The team behind the brand, husbands Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy, lovingly create their innovative designs from their HQ based in South London. Known for their fabulously decadent creations the team pride themselves on delivering gorgeous gifts, glamorous home accessories, stunning wallpapers, fabrics and limited edition art prints to name but a few. Let’s face it, Divine Savages is on a two-men mission to inject a dash of wonder into your home and their collections truly reflect a passion for the unique with daring designs and patterns that always display a flourish of both the divine and the savage. After all their philosophy is that there is a little bit of both in all of us. Launched in 2016, Divine Savages is a relatively new company. Tell us a little bit about yourselves, the people behind the brand? Divine Savages is run by us – husbands Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy. We’ve always had a shared passion for interiors and home décor and so we decided to create something we could work on together – utilising our background in business strategy, graphic design, branding and fashion.
Your branding and designs are very distinctive, what inspired you to launch Divine Savages and why? The Divine Savages story actually began waaay back in 2012 in South East London when we were finally able to get on the property ladder and buy our first home. We loved being able to decorate our home for the first time after having lived in a rental for so long, and put our shared passion for quirky interiors and styling to use and set out to do interiors our own way - but we struggled to find what we wanted. So we began designing our own homeware, accessories and artwork, finding small suppliers and makers in the UK that could help us to create our unique vision, and when friends and family came to visit they kept asking where we sourced them from. The seed of an idea was planted, and we dreamt about potentially selling our range one day. Launching a new brand is notoriously challenging, how did you go about it? From concept to launch tell us a little about your journey and how you avoided the pitfalls that trip up so many start-ups? Well, life as it does, got in the way and it wasnâ€™t for quite a few years that our dream of creating a new interior brand finally came to fruition â€“ creating the brand in 2016 and launching just a few months ago in late 2017. Tom had recently decided to quit his design job at a fashion and branding agency and to finally go freelance and it was this opportunity that gave him the time to focus creatively on what would eventually become Divine Savages.
i n t e riors Âˇ design brand
i n t eriors · brand stor y I don’t know if we’ve avoided the pitfalls – we’re still learning every day about how to do things best, but that’s the amazing thing at running your own business – you can evolve it naturally as you see fit. Learn from those mistakes and move on and do things better, and if there is something you don’t know ask someone; we’ve been amazed at the support and advice people are willing to share and give. We owe many thanks to other creatives and businesses that took the time to answer our questions! Your style is refreshingly unique and very specific to Divine Savages, how would you describe it? With Tom’s background in illustration and fashion, our debut collections are, naturally, very design-led. Divine Savages embraces quintessential Maximalism; we want to encourage people to douse their home in colour, print and pattern, to embrace the ‘more is more’ ethos and to unashamedly allow their personal style to shine throughout their homes. There are no rules in interiors as far as we’re concerned – why can’t we fuse modern design with the classic, combine different periods and styles and clash pattern? Whilst our style is very recognisable and on trend for 2018’s bold interior resurgence, we always go back to the origins of before we launched - our key rule when designing anything is that we’d love to have it in our own home too. You’ve recently launched a new collection, ‘Deco Martini’. Will we be seeing more collections moving forwards? What can we look forward to seeing from Divine Savages in the future? Our Deco Martini pattern has been very popular in both the teal and blush colourways. We adore the classic Art Deco prints of the Roaring Twenties, so elegant and instantly recognisable, and we’re honoured that people have embraced our take on this. Tom is always working on new collections, he literally never stops! We have recently teased our Prehistoria print, which is very exciting – it’s our Divine Savages twist on a classic Victorian motif featuring fossilised dinosaurs – and will be coming soon on wallpapers, cushions and velvet. We’re also just at sampling stage for another wallpaper print which we can’t say too much about yet, but it’s looking awesome! Later this month we’ll also be launching our brand new greeting card range – we’re so excited about this! We brought our new designs to Top Drawer in January and will launch with around 45 card designs. It’s been such fun to develop this range and has allowed us to continue to express our sense of humour – fans of our grumpy Cat-titude art print will be pleased to know a card version is coming!
PERFECT PERCH research and graphics by Emilia Vespoli
SANTORUS Madame du Soir Silk Pyjama
M'ODA 'OPERANDI SILVA FURMANOVICH Marquetry Bird Pearl Drop Earings AMARA L'OBJECT - Natural Curiosities Bird Cage Candle
AMARA - MATTHEW WILLIAMSON Bird of Paradise Wallpaper
HOUSEOLOGY MOOOI - French Branch Light
AMARA - SARAH MILLER Birds in a Tree Silk Eye Mask AMARA - ROBERTO CAVALLI Bird Ramage Silk Throw
l i fe style Âˇ emer ging brands
Colour and form words, styling and photography by Karolina Barnes
There are so many exciting emerging brands undiscovered. In each volume, we try to highlight the best upcoming lifestyle accessory labels that will be big in the future. Here we share two of them, embracing colour and form.
l i festyle · emer ging brands
THE BAG STORY Stacy Chan: Designed by Stacy Chan, a well-travelled ex-corporate-turned-luxury-handbag designer, the Maddison backpack and Pink crossbody bag are inspired by strong women, architecture and geometry. Made in Italy for women with strong personalities for every occasion within their dynamic lives. Price £450 www.stacychan.com
THE CUSHION STORY Penelope Hope: Founded by Nadia Newton, Penelope Hope is all about bringing your home to life through bold and vibrant accessories. The Malachite Marble cushion features an original hand-marbled design in emerald green with purple and red details printed onto pure silk satin. With the same marble print on both sides, fully lined in cotton, silk piping, concealed zip and a plump feather insert no detail has been overlooked. Price £125 (including feather insert) www.penelopehope.com
Who are we? Well, we're a creative community for artisans and small business owners, whatever stage of the journey. Once you're inside, or on our website, we encourage: learnings to be shared, inspiration to be sewn and encouragement to be at the heart. But, most importantly, our aim is to bring colour to a world of grey..together! Everything we've created has been dreamt up by a small business and designed exclusively to inspire and advise. Don't worry, though, if the thought of running your own ship doesn't work rock your boat - we still hope to raise a smile! When you buy from a small business, you're buying more than just an object: you're purchasing hundreds of hours of failure, you're investing in days, weeks and months of creative frustaration, mixed with seamlessly with the same quantity of the pure joy of creating. You're never buying just a thing - you're buying a .. , a piece of heart, a part of a soul and a moment of someone's life.
spec ial feature
Interview with Holly Tucker words by Karolina Barnes, photography provided by Holly & Co
Best known as the co-founder of Not On The High Street, which she set up with Sophie Cornish from her kitchen table in April 2006, Holly Tucker has successfully made her name as one of the most-respected entrepreneurs in the UK. Always a champion of small business, Holly is now on a mission to support independent enterprises and small business owners, believing that changes need to be made on a grassroots level. Her new venture Holly & Co is an all-compassing destination and a home for artisans which aims to demystify business, connect like-minded creatives across the world, and shine a light on small creative enterprises. Holly also acts as a mentor, offering "first aid for business", sharing her knowledge on a more personal basis and supporting individuals on their journey. I sat down with Holly at the Holly & Co headquarters to discuss her true calling in life and her #campaignshopsmall. What has led you to founding Holly & Co? I've been working with, and supporting, small business owners for 15 years through Not On The High Street (and now Holly & Co). Creating a community of supportive lifestyle businesses was always at the core of what we do. Over the years I have realised that my true calling is being "the cheerleader of small business". My mission is to help other people through business. Whoever you are, wherever you are, if you have a small business, and you want to launch it, Not On The High Street is a brilliant platform for you and Holly & Co is your virtual cheerleader.
spec ial feature
What is the mission of Holly & Co? Our mission is to help all dreamers, dabblers and doers, and redefine business. "Small is the new big". Small business is not the underdog, it's the heart of our local communities and our future. We want to get rid of the imposer syndrome and change the language of business - to eliminate the jargon and take the BS out of business. We want to encourage doing business differently. We're here to help businesses to define what success means to them, in terms of balancing work, family life and profits. What is your vision and plans for Holly & Co? With a future that will eventually be run by computers and robots, millions of people will soon be out of work. One thing that computers and robots cannot replace is creativity and original thinking. More and more family businesses will be created in future as a result and so our vision is to educate those businesses - providing them with knowledge, support and having someone who cares by their side.
spec ial feature
But that's not all. One of our plans is also to create an entrepreneur school for the next generation. Since our children will be the ones living in the more entrepreneurial future, we want to teach them skills, equipping them with knowledge to build businesses with strong roots. Last November you launched the #campaignshopsmall campaign. What is it about? The #campaignshopsmall is about raising an awareness for how our pound can cast a vote on the sort of world we want to live in. If we want to have a butcher or florist on our high street for the next generation, we need to wake up and realise that we have the power to support them. We need small businesses to bring joy to our lives. To help us "give" with more thought, to help us eat with consideration and to be at the centre of our local community. If we work together and make a conscious effort about how we shop, it could change lives. And so the #campaignshopsmall is always going to be there. It's one of those campaigns that will never end. What are your 3 top tips for small business owners?
Remember it's about the quality of customer over quantity. Understand who your customer is and how best you can serve them.
You will find yourself making difficult decisions. When you're not sure which way to go, listen to your gut instinct, it's your internal compass that will never let you down.
Ask yourself the big question at the very start; what sort of business do you want to build? One to sell, one to retire into, for family to take over or to pay for the holidays? Ultimately, the answers to this question will decide what sort of business you build. You will be surprised by the fact that lots of people never ask themselves the big question.
To find great products or to get involved in SHOP SMALL campaign, use the #campaignshopsmall hashtag.
ART â€œRepresenting nature through serenity and calm.â€?
art Âˇ artist j our ne y
From an interior designer to an artist interview by Karolina Barnes, photography provided by Joanna Maitland-Hudson
When I first set my eyes on Joanna's work, I immediately felt excitement and calmness. both coming together. Excitement from the fact that I found someone who I can connect to through her use of colour and sophistication, and calmness I got as my interpretation from the art piece I was looking at. Joanna Maitland-Hudson is a Hastings-based multimedia artist who specialises in fusing luxurious elements such as gold and silver leaf and other metal finishes with emblems of natural beauty, such as flora and fauna. She delights the viewer of her art with the appreciation of delicate details found in nature.
art · artist j our ne y
When did you realise you have a passion for art? What has been your journey so far? I think I’ve always had a passion for art, I can remember being good at drawing from the very beginning of school and I remember winning art competitions and prizes during primary school. By secondary school I had also developed an interest in Interior Design and was quite torn as to which direction to go in. I went on to study art and photography at college after which I struggled to find a degree course which resonated with me. I had been doing various decorating projects through my late teens teaching myself specialist decorative techniques like faux marbling, hand painted panels and floors and stencilling so rather than do a degree I went straight on to do a full refurbishment project on a flat in South East London. It was very successful and I stuck with residential refurbishments for some time. I had started doing paintings to dress the properties I was selling so the painting practice grew out of the property one. Then I did one property project ending in 2002 that was a bit of a financial disaster. I bought a property at auction which turned into a money pit, I lost most of the equity I had accrued, and at this point decided to start afresh as an artist. It took a lot longer to find my feet than I had expected and I started out trying all sorts of genres from sea and landscapes to equestrian art and everything in between. We love how you capture nature and sophistication in your artwork. How important is colour and style to your work? Beautiful images of nature have always been a draw for me. My style of painting has developed quite naturally, I have tried to paint in different, looser styles but always come back around to quite a polished photorealist style of representing nature. I just feel the need to take an image to its furthest point of conclusion even though I love the work of more impressionistic and abstract artists I can’t help refining and adding detail to my own! Colour is very important to me, again I have tried to paint in more muted tones but I find it difficult to suppress my love of certain colours. Turquoises, pinks and oranges always seem to creep through but not much red. Reds and purples just don’t appeal to me much unless it’s an accent colour. I would never do a red or purple background for example. I think it’s to do with creating a feeling of serenity and calm which those colours don’t (for me anyway). I think our response to colour can be quite a personal and emotional one. What would you say is the main influence on your work? In terms of style, I would say that Chinese and Japanese art is the biggest influence on my work. The compositions, the subjects, the reverence for nature, the materials and use of gold leaf definitely inspire me. In regard to the subject, nature is my biggest influence.
When I look at beautiful flowers and birds they just move me and I want to try my best to recreate them and convey the beauty and feeling of peace they give me. Have you got any mentors or other artists that you look up to or have been inspired by? For sure! Well, as Iâ€™ve already mentioned the whole genre of Eastern art is a constant inspiration. I especially like Hokusai though. The decorative work of Klimt and his use of gold also has always been a favourite. Contemporary artists whose work I am blown away by include Brad Kunkle and Alexandra Gallagher (on the cover of ESTILA Vol 2.). I recently did an art swap with Alexandra and I was ridiculously excited to acquire a piece of her work and also flattered that she is a fan of my work too.
art · artist j our ne y
Artists such as Katie G Whipple are awe-inspiring in their attention to detail and naturalistic approach to flowers. I am also very happy about the current love for Chinoiserie in Interior Design and aside from the big companies of de Gournay and Fromental, I particularly love the work of interiors artist Diane Hill (interview featured in ESTILA Vol 3). I would very much love to combine my love of art and interiors and do a range of wallpapers and fabrics. I am currently in the middle of refurbishing our home and I will be doing a monochrome Chinese mural in our bedroom which I’m very excited about. A large component of your work is private commissions. Who are your clients and what has been the most interesting or unusual commission request you have done so far? Most of my commissions are for private homes and each one has an element that is of personal significance to the client, which I love. Whether it’s the number of birds in a tree representing the members of a family or a symbol or particular bird attached to a place or memory they all have a meaning. For example in ‘Bee Eaters on Grey and Gold’, the bee eater birds were a colourful and joyful symbol to commemorate the client’s mother who had passed away. We also referenced Middle Eastern geometry because the client had spent a lot of time in Morocco. Another one titled ‘Three Red Crowned Cranes’ was one of my favourite commissions for a lovely lady who had meticulously designed every element of her stunning home. It was to go in her art deco style dining room and she had very carefully researched the symbolism of the different components that made up the three panels particularly the pines and cranes. In Japanese art interestingly the meaning for both images is a long life, good fortune and fidelity in marriage. The two sparrows in the pine tree represent her and her husband which is very romantic. And the two dragonflies also reference the many dragonflies they get in their own garden. One commission request that made me laugh was for a woman who by her own confession was notoriously bad at picking gifts for her partner. The previous year’s gift of a paper shredder had not gone down well so she commissioned a portrait of her cat for his Christmas present but I really felt that it was for her rather than him. She was delighted with the portrait but I never got to find out what his reaction to the present was, I imagine it may have been a slightly bemused one?! I do hope it was better received than the paper shredder though!
Jacket: Natta Silk dress: Pretty Little Thing
art Âˇ c ov er stor y
Connecting fashion with photography interview by Karolina Barnes
While visiting Pure London last year, I came across a beautiful image on the wall. Initially, I thought it was a piece of art, merging fashion and photography together but I learnt that Jasmine de Silva, the creator of that piece, is actually a photographer and creative director who specialises in working with creatives and brands. Most of her work features bold, vibrant colour palettes. She uses colours through lighting, set design and garment styling, creating very unique photography art. Jasmine also explores manipulation of nature by using technology, drawing inspiration from sci-fi, music videos and TV programmes. This unique approach encourages the viewer to stop and take a second look and explore her photography in more detail.
Top: River Island | Skirt: Vintage
art · c ov er stor y
When did you realise you have a passion for photography? I’ve always had an interest in fashion. At the age of 12, I attended my first fashion show in my home city of Bath. I instantly felt emotionally swept up in the atmosphere that was created by the pieces of art the models were wearing. The energy at a Runway show is so captivating. Around the age of 15, I took a trip with my GCSE Art class to Birmingham and took hundreds of photos of the architecture, interested in the shapes that were being created. After this trip, my art teacher introduced me to the A-level Photography teacher at school and that was the start of my life as a photographer. I immediately decided I wanted to merge fashion and photography together. It has taken a while to determine my own particular style, and I feel as though I’m always trying to figure this out. I studied and worked in the fashion industry in Milan for a few years after school and then moved to London to study at London College of Fashion when I was 22, where I am studying again now for my MA. LCF provided me with space and knowledge that I needed, to understand that there are no limits to what you can create in fashion photography and that it should be personal to you. Now the MA is teaching me something completely different about my work so I’m very excited to see how it evolves over the next year. How would you describe your style in life and your work? I’m generally quite a chilled out person. Despite the fact that photoshoots can be a whirlwind I always try to remain calm, no matter what might go wrong – e.g the backdrop for this photoshoot in ESTILA actually arrived as a New York skyline. We had to quickly reorganise for the correct backdrop to arrive. A few years ago I could have freaked out if this happened, but instead, we laughed and got it sorted. Fashion and the creation of photography should be enjoyable and fun, so I try to create this atmosphere on every shoot. If people are stressed they don’t have a good memory of the shoot, and in turn, you probably won’t be very happy with the outcome. I try and apply this way of thinking in day-to-day life. It’s definitely important to plan and prepare so you feel confident going into each shoot, even though I always think I’m going to mess up every time! How important are colour, texture and pattern in your work? A couple of years ago the use of colour became quite prevalent within my photography concepts. I remember the first project when I started to work with colours in my lighting and continued to do this for various projects. I have since moved onto using these similar colour palettes within the set (whether on a big or small scale) and within the garments selection, as I occasionally style my own photoshoots, and work very closely with the stylists so we’re on the same page.
art Âˇ c ov er stor y
art Âˇ c ov er stor y
Bra: Myleene Klass Trousers: Natta Jacket: Vintage stylist's own
art Âˇ c ov er stor y
Top: River Island | Skirt: Vintage
art · c ov er stor y
I am always drawn to pinks, blues and purples. These colours are aesthetically pleasing to the human eye and you can always create different moods with them, dependent on the lighting, so they can look pretty and slightly unusual. You have a unique way of creating your work. Can you describe the process? Thank you! When I studied at LCF I started to look at anything and everything for inspiration. It was then that I realised looking at fashion photography blocked my inspiration rather than feeding it because I didn’t want to be too over-influenced by the fashion photographers who were already out in the world. The themes I started to become obsessed with included the manipulation of nature by technology. This led me to start working with odd poses to make the models look almost broken, in the hope that viewers of the images would need to take a second look, almost to try and figure out where is that arm or leg coming from? I think my most successful photo shoots are when I have sketched out each image prior to shooting, in order to create a concise storyline. This year I would like to branch out with my research to further develop the ideas that I’m interested in. Where do you find inspiration? Have you got someone you look up to or a mentor? Over the past few years, my main aesthetic influences have come from film and TV series, often in the sci-fi genre. There have been key influences for the way I pose models, like Hans Bellmers Dolls and the choreography in Fever Rays music video – When I grow up. I watched this about 50 times in one day the first time I saw it. I’m also in love with the choreographed series of movements in the TV series The O.A. I’m currently working on my first project with an amazing choreographer so hopefully, this will be released soon! Over the past year, I have been lucky enough to assist one of my favourite fashion photographers and set designers, Elena Rendina. It has been amazing learning from her as I help with the set design and it’s great to focus on the details of photoshoots when you’re not the photographer, to be able to learn from all of the aspects that make a photoshoot successful. CREDITS: Photographer and Set: Jasmine De Silva @jasmine_desilva Stylist: Ayisha Onuorah @ayishaayishaa Hair: Chris Grimley @chrisgrimley1 Makeup: Shona Adele White @shonaxadele Photo Assistants: Sara Gomez & Becky Davidson Stylist Assistant: Emma Wormley
FASHION “Sustainable luxury with a purpose.”
fashion · designer stor y
From corporate to a fashion label with Bozena Jankowska
What has been your journey so far?
By not being afraid to take a risk and following my two passions – sustainability and fashion. After a 25-year career in sustainability including a 16-year stint in sustainable finance, I reached a point where I felt I needed a new challenge and bring to life something I’ve been thinking of doing for some time. It was scary, as I was leaving an industry which I knew intimately and entering an industry where I knew I would be starting from ground zero. The only constant I had that straddled the two words, was my intimate knowledge of sustainability. As with any new venture the key was to do as much research, outreach and networking as I could to build the knowledge and contacts I knew would be key to setting up a new luxury fashion brand. Attending seminar’s, fashion fairs, textile fairs and asking lots of questions along the way (and not worrying if they were basic or not) took up much of my time and it still does to this day as I have found you never stop learning when running your own business!
The second key component to getting started is not being afraid to make mistakes – which I’ve made plenty of on my journey so far! The key thing to remember is that these are valuable mistakes which allow you to learn, grow and become a smarter business owner! Building relationships is also key whether it be with the textile mills your source from, the manufacturers you partner with for production or different experts you decide to pull in to give you the insights you cannot get yourself elsewhere to take you to the next stage of the business. There is certainly a lot to think about, the level of detail that is necessary to start any business is intense and which I didn’t fully appreciate but it certainly focuses the mind! What is your mission with your brand? I’ve always felt strongly about sustainability because I’ve always had the ability to stand back from a situation and see the bigger picture about the implications of our actions on the environment and society. Given where we are today and the multitude of environmental and social challenges we face we really haven’t done a great job being stewards of our planet for future generations. I believe that information and awareness can change behaviours if channelled in the right way and there are some powerful platforms out there that can help with that.
fashion · designer stor y Finance (my previous world) is one and fashion is another – albeit both are very different. Fashion has global reach and influence, it can tap into people’s imaginations and impact how they consume. With my label, I want to channel that by using fashion as a platform to talk about sustainability, give fashion a purpose beyond simple aesthetics, and give back to causes that champion sustainability issues. However, I know that it is not my only mission. I equally want to offer my customers beautiful collections which they fall in love in, are excited about and love to wear because they make them feel amazing, beautiful, empowered and confident (all in the knowledge that they are also doing their small bit for sustainability!) How important is sustainability in fashion, to you and your brand? Sustainability is at the heart of my label. It provides the design inspiration for each collection – since each of my collections tells a story about a critical environmental or social issue that requires our attention. For my Season One ‘Ode to the Bee’ debut collection, the inspiration is the humble honeybee. Bees have been facing many challenges including loss of habitat, use of pesticides, climate change and disease so populations have been decreasing, yet the honey bee is key to the security of our global food supply. One in three mouthfuls of food we eat is the result of the pollination work being done by bees. They are the unsung heroes and I felt strongly that their story should be told through my collection. I have also partnered with a non-governmental organisation Buglife to bring the issue to life and give back via each purchase made from the collection to the work they are doing with bee conservation. I’m focusing on reducing the environmental footprint of my own operations but aiming to source where possible sustainable fabrics for my collections and work with textile mills that have as a minimum, high environmental standard. I have made every effort to ensure that my packaging is from sustainable sources and which can be either reused or recycled. Each item from the collection is made to order which not only ensures that each garment is made to a high-quality standard but equally is only being made because someone wants to it, resulting in less use of resources and waste. What are your tips for embracing living and buying more consciously? Investing in high-quality pieces that you believe will stand the test of time and will give you the versatility you are looking for from your wardrobe. Think about bridging new and old together with styling new wardrobe pieces with vintage ones and having fun with different styling ideas! You will be amazed how many different looks you could pull together with just a few timeless and beautiful pieces if you put your mind to it!
fashion Âˇ brand stor y
Going back to roots with Dream's Code
words by Karolina Barnes, photography provided by Angeline Balayn
Sometimes unexpected accidents lead to an amazing creativity spark. This is what happend to Youmeng Liu, the founder and creative director of Dreams' Code, a British luxury accessory brand that combines vegetable tanned leather and handmade embroideries from The Yunnan region of China. Here she shares her story of Dream's Code and her mission for keeping traditional craftsmanship alive while bringing awareness to endangered cultures. How did you get to where you are now? I was born in Southwest of China, Kunming City. There are many different minorities living in my hometown. They are making multiple amazing crafts there. So I was inspired by the fabulous folk culture and travelled to many different cities (like Dali and Lijiang) to learn the craftsmanship. Then after I graduated from Jiangnan University in east China of BA Womenswear Design. I came to London and studied at UAL. Once I finished my MA course, I choose to stay in London and set up my brand. I really like the British culture. What has led you the idea of marrying embroidery with modern leather bag designs? When I studied at London College of Fashion. One day I placed one of my embroidery pieces on the leather and it looked gorgeous. After that, I decided to marry both craftsmanships in really creative ways. I also think that nowadays less young people are willing to learn the traditional craftsmanship. They often go to the big cities because they think they would earn more money there and there is no one left to continue the tradition. So I wanted to bring awareness about our endangered culture and hopefully save it from vanishing. Now we are working with many craftswomen in the Yunnan and pay them how they deserve to be paid. I believe that if we continue our work with them then we would be able to develop the culture and keep the tradition alive.
fashion Âˇ designer
fashion · brand stor y
How important are sustainability and the eco-friendly aspect of your products to your brand? As soon as I set up the brand, I wanted it to be eco-friendly. It is very important for us to do our best for the environment. We are having many problems of our environment because of too many factories using poisonous chemicals in this world. I think it’s our responsibility to reduce the pollution and protect our environment. So that’s why we are using mainly vegetable tanned leather to make the bags and trying to influence our customers to be aware of what they buy. What did you find most challenging when setting up Dream’s Code? Dream’s Code is a really new kind of brand compared to many famous brands. It’s really challenging for us to develop the public awareness. Whether it is about the use of vegetable tanned leather or about the traditional handmade embroidery, it’s very difficult to make people understand that what they buy is not just a label but a chance for them to build a better future for the environment, for a culture that is slowly dying but also for them. Our bags are made to last and the vegetable tanned leather turned out to be even more beautiful once it has been worn and contains absolutely no harmful chemical for the human being. Who is your customer and how do you find them? Our customers are often between 20 to 40 years old. They like fashion but they have their own sense of style and like exceptional pieces, they can’t find everywhere. Our bags are very eye-catching and I guess it’s how they find us. We try also to collaborate as much as possible with bloggers, influencers and stylists to show that you can follow the trend and still make a change. Where do you see Dream’s Code in five years time? We hope to expand the brand, be part of more retail shops, maybe open a shop or two in the UK to start and also extend a lot more the handmade embroidery tradition. We would love if more young people were rediscovering this amazing culture and started learning about it. We will also continue to sell online and improve our website so our customers can personalise their bag and get more options to decide how they want it to be.
fashion Âˇ insight stor y
Learning from the other side words and photography by Flavia Young
Brazil is a country synonymous with beauty, beautiful nature and beautiful people, so it has always baffled me that its incredible fashion industry has never really flourished outside of its own cocoon. Of course part of the reason is that in terms of leading trends, the hubs of high fashion are all located in the northern hemisphere - it is where all new fashions are traditionally first seen. The southern hemisphere's hot fashion hubs of Brazil, Australia and South Africa have largely been disadvantaged by their geographical location and have often lagged behind due to the opposite seasons they live in. Meaning that their fashion for the upcoming seasons is usually a mix of what has already been seen on the leading runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris and a minor touch of local flair.
fashion Âˇ insight stor y
However, with globalisation happening at neck-breaking speed, this set of rules is fast changing - one just has to look at the tremendous success Australian labels like Zimmermann, I love Mr. Mittens etc... have encountered in the US and Europe of late. But when it comes to Brazilian fashion, Europe is still a territory in its infancy. Apart from the Brazilian trio of luxe swimwear designers Vix, Andrea Degreas and Lenny Niemeyer's foolproof success, Brazilian streetwear is largely undiscovered.
fashion Âˇ insight stor y
And what a tremendous loss that is to us fashion lovers in Europe...because when it comes to designing clothes to make a woman look good, Brazilian labels are right up there with the Dolce Gabbanas of life. Feminine, sexy looks are at the forefront of what they do. An interesting fact is that the two largest fashion hubs in Brazil: Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, sit practically on opposite sides of the scale when it comes to personal style, impeccably high end and the epitome of effortless chic, respectively. As an avid believer of the "less is more" culture and of course a biased Rio native, I find its "devil may care" attitude to fashion just totally irresistible.
fashion Âˇ insight stor y
On a recent trip home, I took some time to extend on an idea to bring Rio's incredible laissez-faire to the spotlight in London, so you know where to shop when next heading to Brazil for a "caipirinha" or two...and if that is not on the horizon for you, check farfetch. com, as they work in partnership with many Brazilian boutiques and designers to export their wares worldwide.
Order back issues Would you like to order back issues of ESTILA? You can do so in our ESTILA shop. Go to estila.co/shop
VOLUME 6 - EVOLUTION
VOLUME 5 - DAYDREAMER
VOLUME 4 - MISS TROPICAL
Interviews with: Holly Tucker, Jasmine de Silva,
Interviews with: Abigail Ahern, Muck N Brass,
Interviews with: Julie Kouamo, Peggy Wolf,
Joanna Maitland-Hudson, Bozena Jankowska, Neom
Onome Otite, Vetiver, Meramaya, Box'd Fresh
Dolce Roopa, Caroline Hirons, Celso Fadelli
VOLUME 3 - THE BLOSSOM GIRL
VOLUME 2 - THE COLOUR EXPLOSION
VOLUME 1 - STYLE TALES
Interviews with: Diana Hill, Georgie St Clair,
Interviews with: Sophie Thompson, Aiveen Daly,
Interviews with: Matthew Williamson, Nicola Taylor,
Deborah Campbell, Karen Radley, Oskia
Sarah Bond, Grace Fodor,
Kim Winser OBE, Grace Bonney
ESTILA NEWSLETTER If you would like to receive ESTILA newsletter, you can sign up by filling in your email address at estila.co/ empower-me. We try to end out our newsletter every month. estila.co/empower-me estila 68
BEAUTY “Beauty is about how we look and how we feel.”
be auty · business stor y
The Story of SEAMS words by Karen J. Gerrard, product photography by Nicola McCullough
Whilst taking part in a Millinery Course at The London College of Fashion my hands got cut, burnt sore and dry, I was going to bed at night with antiseptic cream on my hands but couldn’t use a hand cream as it stung! I couldn’t find a beauty cream that would moisturise and heal my sore, dry pin pricked hands but didn’t transfer grease onto fabrics, so two weeks later in April 2012 I created SEAMS Hand Cream. It was called SEAMS as I was sewing a seam when the idea came into my head. Over the next year together with the help of a pharmacist, I formulated SEAMS the best possible hand cream that helps mend, moisturise, soften, soothe and protect skin, strengthen nails, and one that absorbs quickly – non greasy. The scent was very important to me, it had to be light and calming. I especially have kept all manufacturing in the UK to support our industry and to be able to build face-to-face relationships with whom we work with. Initially, SEAMS was used by seamstresses and couturiers in their ateliers, and at London Fashion Week, then make-up artists and wardrobe started using it backstage in Film and TV. I received many requests for handbag size tubes, at this point I manufactured on a larger scale and set up the website, and it has grown from there. My biggest challenge was learning a new business, I come from the fashion industry so the principles are the same but the product completely different. I have met some wonderful people along the way who have helped me, many of whom I still work with today. I’ve always been obsessed with hands and skin so I am enjoying every minute of SEAMS.
be auty Âˇ business stor y
SEAMS is the "practical made beautiful". We have taken a true need for hand care and have made a beautiful product that works. We also understand how busy everyone is in their lives and so all our products are non-greasy, you can take just a minute to calm and enjoy the moment as it absorbs quickly then carry on with whatever you are doing without leaving an oily residue. SEAMS is also packed full of the best natural ingredients: Shea Butter, Macadamia Oil, Rosehip Oil, Vitamin E, Beta Glucan, Fragonia Oil, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Swiss Graden Cress, Pro-Vitamin B5 and Glycerine. We find that our customers are using SEAMS not just on their hands but wherever they have dry skin. I think comfort and wellbeing are important for everyone, beauty is about not just how we look but also how we feel, skin is the largest organ in our body and plays an important part in our barrier and immune systems. If the top layer of skin becomes dry and broken then the skin's natural barrier is weakened and becomes irritated, sore and uncomfortable. Itâ€™s very important to keep hands moisturised and soft and to keep the elasticity in our skin because when we touch, we can feel more with moisturised skin. SEAMS signature scent helps to calm emotions, and all of this gives us a sense of comfort and wellbeing. After all, our hands are our biggest tools for everything we want to do.
beauty Âˇ inter vie w
Interview with Nicola Elliott from NEOM Organics interview and product photography by Nicola McCullough
Ex magazine editor and busy mum, Nicola Elliott, is founder of Neom Organics, a luxury home fragrance, skincare and wellbeing brand, with therapeutic benefits to calm, de-stress or energise. 100% natural and made with organic essential oils, our favourites include the Happiness Scented Candle with mimosa, neroli & lemon and Perfect Night's Sleep Facial Oil. We caught up with Nicola to discuss business positivity and how to unwind at the end of a hectic day. We'd love to know what inspired your pursuit of wellbeing, ultimately evolving in Neom Organics? I was working as a journalist in London and my life was pretty crazy, working 60 hour weeks. I travelled a lot, was partying at the weekends and I was totally burnt out at the age of 26! I really noticed my own wellbeing, and that of my close friends, was being affected by the stress and demands of modern day busy life - and the worst offenders were poor sleep, stress, low energy and mood swings. This kick-started my own wellbeing journey; I trained as an aromatherapist and nutritionist and from there, together with my business partner, launched Neom Organics in 2005.
beauty · inter vie w
Tell us about the first product you developed for Neom. Candles! It was at a time when beauty shopping meant me having to choose between products that were either organic but not luxury or particularly nice-smelling, and ones that looked lovely, felt luxury, but were full of harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrance. So we wanted to create a range of candles that were both purposeful and luxury. The first blend I ever developed was Tranquillity for my sister who was really suffering with sleep at the time. What was your biggest challenge when setting up Neom? Creating organic and natural products is really quite difficult, not to mention expensive - you can’t be sure if a particular plant or ingredient is going to have a good harvest or not. It’s not like working with chemical mixes where you just press a button and you can churn out as many as you like. So many people told us we’d never be able to create 100% natural candles but we did it! All businesses face challenges but you really do have to stay focused and positive and remember why you started your journey. Your product range has grown significantly in recent years to include skincare and perfume; how did you decide which products to develop? We really listen to what our customers want. Also, I am the Neom customer - I'm a busy mum of 2 who just don't have time to do yoga for 2 hours on a beach each morning to improve my wellbeing (if only!). So I understand the need for a shower to work twice as hard to give me a burst of energy at 6 am, for a bath to relax me twice as deeply, for a candle to create a calming hub for all the family. These insights allow me to develop our product range to be as purposeful as it can be for the customer. Neom has blossomed since its inception in 2005. What's the most significant business lesson you've learned to date? Invest in the best team you can possibly get.
beauty Âˇ inter vie w
beauty · inter vie w
What do you think sets Neom apart from other organic brands? It’s our true therapeutic benefits to relive stress, aid sleep, boost your energy or lift your mood. We use only the purest possible essential oils with no harsh preservatives and only natural and organic ingredients. All of this combined with easy to follow wellbeing advice for our customers; we talk Small Steps Big Difference, the 80/20 rule always - no preaching! Which must-have Neom products do you personally use the most? My evening routine is my favourite part of the day, so our Perfect Night’s Sleep range. We’ve just added two amazing new products to the collection; a 100% natural Face Oil and a Cleansing Balm (available in April). I remove my make-up with the Balm, apply the Face Oil, jump into a hot bath filled with our Sleep Bath Drops and then spritz my pillow with the Pillow Mist, read for 10 minutes and I’m asleep as soon my head hits the pillow. Which would you gift your best friend? I’ve converted all my friends to the Perfect Night Sleep Face Oil already; they’re obsessed! What's the highlight of your working day? I am Creative Director so I have final sign off on anything creative that leaves the office, whether that’s online, in-store, or for press events. So creative meetings are my favourite!
For more information about Neom Organics products, please visit www.neomorganics.com For latest updates follow on Instagram & Twitter: @neomorganics
TRAVEL “The healing powers of travels.”
trav el · business
Interview with Lauren MacDonald interview and photography provided by Faith Russell
Tell us about yourself – what brought you to Sen Wellness Sanctuary? I first became aware of Sen Wellness at the beginning of 2016, not long after I’d been diagnosed with stage IV cancer. I’d recently left my job as a doctor in Brighton and I’d just started having treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. In the meantime, I’d thrown myself into researching all I could about my disease and what I could do alongside conventional treatment to help my body fight the tumours. It quickly became clear that I needed to reduce my stress levels, support my immune system and reduce the inflammation in my body. The holistic approach I took involved starting a regular yoga and meditation practice, exercising regularly, massage and acupuncture therapies, switching to a plant-based diet and doing everything I could to support my gut microbiome. I began blogging about my journey and through my blog I connected with Sam, the founder of Sen Wellness. I had several sessions with Sam during that year and we stayed in touch throughout my treatment. A few months after finding out I’d had a complete response to immunotherapy I made the decision to travel to India to complete my yoga teacher training. Practising yoga throughout my treatment had helped me to stay mindful, calm and grounded when my life felt totally out of control. Immersing myself in the training for a month enabled me to further my knowledge about the mind-body connection, deepen my yoga practice and ultimately, start to trust my body again. It was always in the back of my mind to visit the Sanctuary at some point as it sounded like the ideal setting to learn more about Ayurveda and kundalini and, ultimately, continue on my healing journey.
trav el Âˇ business
trav el · business How was your experience at the Sanctuary? From the moment the huge wooden gates swung open revealing the inner haven of the Sanctuary, I knew this experience was going to be much more transformative than I could ever have imagined. It’s almost impossible to translate the magic of the Sanctuary through photos or written words – it’s one of those places that simply needs to be experienced to be believed. A typical day involves being woken up just before sunrise with a cumin and cardamon tea, sunrise kundalini yoga on the beach, the most colourful breakfast and then a day of Ayurvedic treatments, reading, laughing, walking, swimming and more yoga and delicious, nutritious food. There are also visits to nearby temples and local markets and once a week one of the monks from a nearby temple leads a very special meditation, followed by a deeply relaxing gong bath. It was honestly magical! In the month I was there I heard incredible stories, made new friends from across the globe and felt a deep connection with everyone I met. The staff also play a significant part in your retreat experience as they always great you with a huge smile and make you feel at home from the moment you arrive. I left the Sanctuary feeling stronger, healthier, happier and more energised than I’d felt in years.
trav el Âˇ business
trav el · business
How would you say the Sen Wellness program benefits translate to a busy London lifestyle? The Sen Wellness experience doesn’t just stop the moment you leave the Sanctuary. I’m still in contact with different guests from the retreat and it’s amazing how many people have kept up a daily meditation practice as a result of their inspiring teaching. I also know guests who’ve quit their jobs, taken sabbaticals, improved their diet, reduced their alcohol intake and taken up yoga – all as a result of their visit to the Sanctuary. The skills you learn are things you can integrate into everyday life to help you to better cope with the stresses and strains of modern living. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a crowded tube or a deserted beach, when you close your eyes and journey inwards you can still connect with the experience and find moments of peace and calm.
For more information about Sen Wellness Sanctuary please visit www.senwellnesssanctuary.com. For latest updates from Lauren, please visit www.laurencara.com
fo od Âˇ business stor y
Five minutes with Dorothy Barrick words and photography by Dorothy Barrick
HOW I GOT HERE: I started Dotscookin on arrival in London almost 4 years ago. After having worked in fashion for over 20 years, I was ready for something new. I left home at 16 to model and have been throwing dinner parties ever since, and obsessively cooking from every cookbook I own. We spent a year on the southwest coast of France before moving here (while it rained almost every day) and I catered a couple jobs for my partner who is a photographer. I also took a few courses in raw food cooking. At the same time, my partner who has Ankylosing Sponilitis was told to stay away from gluten so I spent days tinkering with alternative gluten-free flours and coming up with new ideas and recipes. When we arrived in London, I started catering larger parties for 50 people and over but quickly realised that with a small child, the weekday/late night hours were not going to work. I then met my friend Stephanie Ridley and we started Fig & Bloom, which we still run corporate workshops through, but Dotscookin is now my main focus. MY MISSION: I want to show how people can have fun with their food again, to inspire them in finding the tastiest, prettiest produce and raw materials. My focus has shifted recently though and sustainability has become a huge theme for me personally and I would love to teach and inspire people to shift their way of thinking, and living to a much lower waste/less plastic, more local lifestyle. I believe if we are excited and interested in where our food comes from, so will our children and future generations! MY ADVANTAGE: I am 10 years older and wiser? Ha! Letâ€™s see, I am self-taught and have spent hours, years and unlimited time in the kitchen making so many mistakes.
food Âˇ business stor y
I have failed a lot (and triumphed) so therefore learned so much and have no boundaries in the kitchen. I also have an eye for colour, print and my fashion background is a big influence so I try to bring that into my food design. WORKSHOPS: I have been teaching classes on vegan and vegetarian cooking at Le Creuset in Muswell Hill recently. I am not a vegan or a vegetarian but I love eating and cooking both, I think we are all looking to reduce our meat consumption and our food bills. I like to eat sustainably sourced grass-fed meat and farm chicken, but it is not cheap so I love to have veggie days or even weeks. I also have an upcoming supper club with the very inspiring Nati Morris who runs an amazing eco-conscious cafĂŠ in Crouch End (www.natiscafe.co.uk). We will be giving a talk and demo on all of our combined tips on how to live more sustainably and create less waste in our daily lives. It is at the end of March 2018. (Tickets are available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sustainability-supperclub-tickets). FUTURE PLANS: I am pulling together a new website right now and will have a place to put all my recipes, ideas and photos. A clear, concise idea of what I actually offer including recipe development, food photography, and product development, cooking classes both private and in groups. My foray into product development has been one of my favourite. I have helped create recipes such as low-fat vegan pizza crust, raw food crisps, and a lovely low sugar vegan chocolate truffle that I am very exited about. I would love to work with brands on developing more products, as problem-solving in the kitchen is my forte. This is what I truly love. This year I am trying to focus and narrow down a bit what I offer as it is so easy to go in so many different directions. The big dream really would be to run a healthy cooking school (my model being the NY Natural Gourmet Institute) and to also give back and be able to offer that one day to kids for free. MY RECIPE: The following page features a Mexican Slow Cooked Tempeh recipe which I cooked and served in wraps every weekend for 6 months at the Ally Pally farmers market. Kids love it as well, I still come back to it as it is super versatile and delicious. Make a big batch and freeze, if you like. Roll up in tortillas, top with cheese & pop in the oven for an enchilada-style meal.
food · rec ipe
Mexican Slow Cooked Tempeh (GF, DF, VG)
READY IN 30 MIN
Serves 4 METHOD 1. Mexican Slow Cooked Tempeh: Chop all of your ingredients add to the slow cooker with the tempeh and chipotle paste and turn on low for 2 hours. If you like the veggies firmer add them towards the end (the last 30 min). I often just blend the sundried tomato and olives in the blender instead of chopping (the less chopping the better!) 2. If you do not have a slow cooker you can cook in the oven in exactly the same way using a heavy casserole dish with a lid instead – cook at 160°C for 2 hours following the same steps as above or simmer on low on the stovetop for an hour. Just make sure to mix it a couple of times on all methods. 3. Feel free to adapt this further by adding other ingredients. I’ve also made it with green beans and chopped kale. It has turned out equally delicious, a real opportunity to pump it up with all kinds of vegetables. 4. Brocauli Fried ‘Rice’: Grate the onion and sauté it in the oil for a few minutes with the cumin and sea salt. Add the grated broccoli and cauliflower to the pan and sauté a further few minutes but don’t overcook you want it to stay light & fluffy. This really only takes 2 or 3 minutes.
1 tbsp chipotle paste 1 packet (200g) tempeh, cut into small cubes
Mexican Slow Cooked Tempeh
1 brown onion, grated
2 large tomatoes, blended or chopped (in the winter I
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
used 400 gr chopped tomatoes in a tin)
1 tsp cumin
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 head of broccoli, grated
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 head of cauliflower, grated
1 carrot, chopped into cubes
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 courgette, chopped into cubes
Sea salt to taste
5. Chimichurri Sauce: Place everything in a blender and pulse until well combined but still slightly chunky. If you do not have a blender just chop everything as finely as you can or smash it all in a pestle and mortar.
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70g green olives, roughly chopped 70g sundried tomatoes (in oil), finely chopped
½ brown onion, finely chopped
1 large handful coriander & parsley
1 tbsp chipotle paste
1 tbsp capers
1 packet (200g) tempeh, cut into small cubes
2 garlic cloves ½ tsp Himalayan rock salt
Brocauli Fried ‘Rice’
Zest and juice of 1estila lemon
½ brown onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
business · mindset
BUSINESS: Snapshot of your life written by Sarah Jones
PART 5. “It's you that matters.” “You are special and there is a reason you are on this earth. No matter what your situation is, there is something you can do today to move toward your true self.” One of the biggest struggles in my day-to-day life is managing my priorities. And by that, I mean I take stuff wayyyy too seriously. Car bill due? I’m thinking about it all day. Carpet to vacuum? Also on my mental to-do list. Some people think that keeping these kinds of daily priorities in your mind is an act of mature responsibility. I know I used to. But, more recently, I’ve been made aware of just how limiting that kind of prioritisation can be. Not just to your mental health and your happiness, but it can limit the happiness of important people in your life. If you spend all your time prioritising your responsibilities, you’re likely ignoring some things that are very important to your life. Like your family, your friends, your “you” time, etc. The best way to determine if you’ve got your priorities straight is to take some time now and again to re-evaluate them. Below are a few ways that you can start. Spend as much time as you can doing something you love to do. Often, we push away our own needs in favour of the needs of our loved ones, such as aging parents, or our children. While this is a noble practice, we cannot neglect our own bliss in the process. Make it a practice to do something that fuels you as much as you can. Surround yourself with people who want to be happy. This might sound like a strange request, but it’s important if you want to be happy, the fastest way is to hang around with people who are happy. In other words, it’s time to distance yourself from emotional vampires. Certainly, you can’t do that 100% of the time, especially if the toxic individuals are your co-workers or relatives, but you can minimise the impact they have on you by minimising your contact with them. Replace them with people who genuinely care about you and want you to lead a fulfilled life. Set some personal goals that will get you closer to where you want to be. Do you feel as if time is your enemy rather than your friend? Take control of the time you have by setting and accomplishing personal goals. Remember to divide your personal goals into doable “baby steps” and mark off each one you accomplish. If you have setbacks, don’t let them kill your dreams. They’re just tiny bumps in the long road. Stay in the moment whenever you can. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Live each day by being fully in the moment. Resist the urge to be on “auto-pilot” throughout your life, and you’ll find yourself feeling happier.
business · mindset Start to forgive yourself and others. It’s hard to be in a happy place when you’re angry or holding on to guilt, frustration, and other negative emotions. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being in touch with your feelings, there’s a time and a place to set them free and let them go. If you’re holding grudges, you’re actually hurting yourself more than anyone else. Get in charge of your health. Have you allowed your weight or nutritional wellness to get out of control? Happy people are in charge of their health as much as they can be. While this doesn’t mean you have to become a health guru, you probably can start eating better and enjoying a few exercises. Over time, you’ll feel powerful because you’ll know that you can govern your health. Learn how to delegate. Your happiness could be as close as asking someone else to help you. Too often, people take on tasks and simply add them to their responsibilities. Eventually, they become slaves to those responsibilities and may start to feel disgruntled. This gets in the way of being satisfied. By delegating some of the tasks to others, the load is lightened and the room is made for cheerfulness. Look at setbacks as opportunities to grow. Setbacks in life happen. It’s how we deal with them that sets us apart. If you have something happen that sets you back, use it as a chance to slow down and objectively evaluate what’s going on in your life. Often, it can be a useful sign that something’s amiss and can be altered for the better. Focus on what’s important to you. Are you living someone else’s life? You may be if most of your decisions aren’t geared toward what’s really important to you. Take a few days and consider what you hold most dear in life. Are your actions helping you get closer to what’s important? Or are they moving you away? By aligning your actions with what you really want, you’ll find a truer sense of happiness and purpose. Have you ever had a clear sign of who you really are and then totally ignored it? Maybe it required too much change or taking a big risk. Maybe you were scared to have to convince a loved one how much you needed this. And so you rationalised that “it wasn’t the right time.” Convinced yourself to “be sensible and put it off for a while. My journey has had many different direction and I have defiantly weathered the hard times, but I would not have changed this journey, difficult as it was in some ways, even if I had the chance, because it taught me, through trial and lots of errors, how to become real. Everyone’s journey is unique. And so this is in no way a generic prescription. Cherish those special friendships. I had (and still have) friends who knew and loved me unconditionally. This is truly invaluable. Make and keep good friends and be honest with them. They can be your moral compass during stormy times. Don’t hate those who stumble; we all do sometimes. We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. If you can, forgive and allow compassion for your relationships. It makes the ride more beautiful.
business · mindset Take responsibility for your own life. This is the beginning of self-esteem. Although stuff happens, ultimately you are responsible for your actions. When we deeply and utterly understand that to be true, life takes on a whole new meaning. Whatever has happened until the past moment is gone. This present moment is again yours. And you have the power to do whatever you want with it. Have a big vision and keep your goals aligned with your vision. Make sure to know what kind of person you want to be and what kind of job/life you would like to lead. Then shape your short-term goals so it is moving you in that direction (or at least not away from it). Remember that death makes life real. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Death can come at any moment, to any of us. We don’t have forever to be who we are. In fact, we owe it to ourselves, and those we love, to be truly alive and authentic in each moment. It is the only legacy we can be proud to leave behind. Don’t worry too much about making mistakes. It is better to have tried and failed than to not have tried at all. Think and analyse your decisions carefully, but once you feel reasonably sure you have made a good choice, just trust yourself. Be bold and go forth into the wilderness. Whatever happens, you will have gained an experience from it that only the courageous can boast of. Know your strengths. You are unique. There is only one you in this entire universe. No one has exactly your strange and magical mix of genes and experience. Learn what makes you tick. And keep building on that. You will make wonderful things happen. Be kind to yourself. We all mess up once in a while. When it happens and you finally catch on, drop your ego, admit your mistake fully, and make amends. Learn from it so you don’t repeat that same lesson again. Then forgive yourself and move on. Life is hard and we are not made to be perfect. Be in the moment. This present moment is alive and full of potential. Learning to be mindful has helped me tremendously by keeping me in my life, as it happens. Whether you are playing, sleeping, working, lazing, watching TV, or hanging out with someone you love, give your awareness to it 100%. I highly recommend a daily mindfulness practice. It has changed the way I relate to life. Don’t forget to laugh. It has got me through many a sticky situation. And, created hours of pure fun. Include as much good humour in your day as legally possible. And that’s the doctor’s order.
ABOUT SARAH Sarah Jones is the UK’s leading holistic lifestyle expert. Her clients include Lorraine Kelly and Anthea Turner among many others. Her motto is: “What consumes your mind controls your life.” For more information, please visit the official website at sarahjonesuk.com. Follow Sarah on estila Instagram @sarahjonesuk
THE EDITORâ€™S BLACK BOOK At ESTILA, we are passionate about highlighting small, independent British lifestyle, interiors and fashion brands, and useful contacts. I spend hours and hours visiting shows, pop-ups, boutiques, events, and scrolling through Instagram, to find inspiring and unique talent, creativity and innovation. BLACK BOOK is my personal go-to shopping resource when I need to find something I don't want anybody else to be seen wearing. No more "I've got that cushion or jumper, too!" Let's embrace our style!! Karolina xx
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