INTERVIEW WITH SARAH KING OF BALANCED BODY WELLNESS

Petra : I am so happy to have met you on my journey for restoring my life balance. Can you please tell me what has inspired you to train as a qualified Holistic Massage Therapist, Reiki Practitioner, Certified Breath Coach & Certified Yoga Alliance Teacher ?

Sarah: As a child, I felt the call towards healing work but lost my direction as I went through the education system. I let my head guide me towards a career in Optics but after 18 years in the field,  could no longer ignore the call of my heart. I studied Anatomy & physiology as a base to start a massage course and was hypnotised by the innate wisdom of the human body.  I realised the power of looking after the body as a whole versus the ‘pill to fix an ill’ mindset of western healthcare.  The mind, body & emotions must all be considered and cared for optimum health. 

Petra: Who is Hatha Yoga suitable for and where can new clients find you ? I hear you also run yoga and foraging retreats. Please tell us more.

Sarah: In the West we have come to know Yoga as a movement/exercise practice but Yoga actually means Union and is more a state of being. Hatha Yoga is the movement/posture branch of Yoga and translates to ‘Sun- Moon’. Yoga sees every body as having feminine and masculine energy and Hatha is a practice of using these 2 equal but opposite energies to balance the body & achieve a state of union, connection & harmony.

A  typical Hatha class will involve some flowing sequences such as Sun Salutations and some asanas (postures)  that create strength and flexibility in the body & mind.

Petra: What is your favourite part of living in our cute town, Westgate-on-Sea? Are there any hidden gems you would recommend?

Sarah: I love the peaceful sandy beaches that are much quieter than our neighbouring Margate. We are blessed in the Summer months to witness the sunset over the sea which is spectacular and my favourite way to close my day.

Hidden gems- Staple Bakery. This artisan bakery is tucked away from the High St but literally behind my home so I get to wake up to the smell of baking bread in the morning!

Also the Town Hall Function room where I hold a weekly Yoga class, situated above The Carlton Cinema is a stunning room. The exterior architecture is so unique- Edwardian era Swiss Gothic Style. Many Westgate residents have never been inside until they come for a class and always admire the place.

Petra: I have attended one of your online seminars that you run with your sister who is also a Holistic Coach. You talked about investing in yourself. Please tell us more.

Sarah: We love having you in our seminars!
We are constantly investing in ourselves whether it’s consciously or not. This could  look like a take away at the weekend versus a cookery course where we learn the skills to eat healthy. Both have taken time & money but one decision might be a little more nourishing for our health & wellbeing!

When we choose to pay more attention to where our time, money ,energy & efforts go, we become aware of what is serving us and what isn’t and then start to move towards investing in more joyful & fulfilling pursuits. So much of our time can be wasted on negative thoughts or scrolling social media. 

It’s such a passion of mine to remind people to give themselves permission to spend their time & money in ways that make them feel good and help them to grow. We  all tell  ourselves we can’t afford to take the trip/sign up for the course/ treat ourselves to that massage and stop ourselves but then unconsciously spend the same money elsewhere. 

Petra: What does your usual day look like?

Sarah: I try to live cyclical so I tune into where I am at on my personal moon cycle ( menstrual cycle ) and adapt my day accordingly. But typically, I wake up around 6 am and drink a glass of spring water with pink salt and lemon or lime essential oil to hydrate and detox. I have also been tongue scraping the last couple of years to remove bacteria- the tongue is a powerful way to read the health of your body. My 2 rescue cats are desperate for breakfast by now so I will say hi to them and feed them raw food diet.

Next is Yoga practice- movement and pranayama. I may include some chanting or meditation if I have time. In the warmer months I’ll do this  on the beach and take a power walk to get my heart rate elevated.

I do intermittent fasting because it’s so good for resetting the body & focusing the mind and I break my fast late morning with a smoothie or cup of ceremonial grade cacao. Cacao is a superfood plant medicine that is nutritionally dense and full of essential fats which help to stop cravings for sugar, caffeine and carbs. When I  drink cacao in the morning I feel so much more present and in flow as it opens the heart chakra so you tune into gratitude and feel more positive. I love it’s effects so much that my sister and I started a company – The Holistic Health Collective, where we sell a cacao subscription and offer cacao ceremonies online. 

Workwise will vary season to season so I may be offering an in person 1:1 session of Yoga, massage or energy healing. I love face to face work but during the lockdown when this wasn’t possible, I  took my offerings online in a wellness membership. I’ll spend some time content creating, planning sessions or recording for The Holistic Health Circle.

I have my main meal at lunchtime so all my food is digested before bedtime which means I sleep very soundly indeed! I’ll make a plant based meal – I don’t label myself as vegan but I haven’t eaten meat for years and I avoid dairy.

At the moment I am studying, so I might spend some time reading or researching trauma & resilience informed  Yoga. 

My partner and I turn tech off at least an hour before bed so if I’m not holding space in a cacao ceremony or women’s circle,  I’ll wind down with a bath, beach walk or more Yoga! 

Connect with Sarah here

INTERVIEW WITH LUISA KEARNEY OF MINNIRELLA

Luisa, you are the editor of Minnirella. 

Please explain your job description as this is not a regular 9-5! What does a magazine editor and a fashion designer do?

I am the founder of Minnirella, which is a women’s fashion brand and we also have a quarterly magazine under the same name. As the editor-in-chief of our magazine and online content, my role involves approving content proposals from our feature editors, as well as holding meetings with potential clients and advertisers. I love my job because I get to speak to so many interesting people on a regular basis – whether it’s a brand we’re working with or an influential person we’re interviewing for a magazine feature.

Working on the Minnirella fashion brand is equally as fun but looks a little different. We’ve just signed off our very first full collection for Autumn/Winter 21. I’m responsible for coming up with new designs and deciding upon the materials we use in our collections. Once our designs are finalised and have created our dress patterns, we put together a tech pack and send it off to the factories we work with. They will then go ahead and make up the garments, ready for us to sell.

How did you get into running your own magazine and what has inspired you?

I’ve worked either as a blogger or magazine editor since 2010 and have written about many different topics over the years. In 2015, I set up Minnirella (originally known back then as “Online Personal Stylist”) and ran it as my full-time business on my own up until 2020. While some businesses really struggled during 2020, others were busier and flourishing more than ever. Admittedly, it came as a surprise to me how much my business grew during 2020 but at the same time, I felt exhausted by the summer. So, I decided that it was time to hire a team but I wasn’t sure how I’d do that as a blogger. My blog up until that point had always been quite personal and it didn’t feel right to hire writers to run my personal blog, which is why I turned back to my publishing roots and transformed the blog into a magazine with a team, each of whom have their own roles.

My goal was to create a magazine for women who want to consume all aspects of life in an aesthetically pleasing way. I’m pleased to say that it has paid off and the feedback I’ve received has been amazing! I still get to voice my own message and opinions in the editor’s letter of each issue and we now have a team of fantastic writers who each bring their own sparkle to every issue and article we publish!

Please tell me about your average day.

Although we have an office, I usually work from home. I wake up between 6am -7am to enjoy those quiet moments first thing in the morning, while savouring a cup of coffee. I then check my emails, take a shower, do my hair and makeup and then for breakfast I usually have tofu scramble while watching something positive and inspiring on Youtube. Minnie, my 7-year old Chihuahua, (and the inspiration behind my brand name) wakes up around 9-10am, which is when we go for our morning walk.

From mid-morning until the early afternoon, I focus on the main tasks I have to complete for the day. This might be meetings, interviews, or working on designs for our clothing line. I take a break around 2pm for lunch and then continue working until around 7pm. After lunch, I check through my emails and make plans for the next if needed. I like to leave my admin work until the afternoon so that I can use my mornings for any tasks that require creativity, productivity and imagination!

You always look radiant. What is your secret?

Coffee and a good concealer haha! Thank you! It has taken me a long time to achieve a more sensible work/life balance but I feel like I have that under control now. I still work hard and often work long hours but I always make sure that I get a good night’s sleep and that I start and end my working day on the same day, rather than working into the next morning like I often used to do. I’m also a huge advocate for the “wake up, dress up” attitude. For me personally, I am so much more productive when I’ve made the effort to do my hair and makeup in the morning. Whenever I skip my getting ready routine and tell myself: “it doesn’t matter what I look like, nobody is going to see me” that little thought can then turn into: “It doesn’t matter what I do today, nobody is going to see me!” We all have our little tricks to get us up and motivated in the mornings and I guess this is mine.

You are a hyphenate – congratulations on your launch of the Minnirella fashion brand. Tell me more!

Thank you! Minnirella is a luxury, zero waste fashion brand, offering timeless items, inspired by the best pieces from every style era. It has always been my dream to start my own fashion brand but the timing never felt right or I’d get stuck at certain obstacles and push the idea to one side. The years went by, 15 in fact, and I still couldn’t stop thinking about having my own clothing line, so I finally took the plunge and went ahead. It has been difficult but there have been many amazing moments during the journey so far. I started to get really serious about launching my clothing brand last autumn (October/November 2020) but the impact of the pandemic and then the Brexit custom issues imposed huge challenges for new businesses that were just getting started. I put the idea off “for a month from now” but then the months rolled on and I hadn’t done anything until this summer when I realised that if I didn’t do something, another year would have passed without taking action. This was quite a frightening realisation, so I got my head down, made a plan and launched my first official clothing collection at the beginning of November 2021.

I have designed all of the items myself – from the colour, texture, materials used, the way they hang, the length, the style, and so on. My vision was to combine modern day ethics with classic styles and luxury tailoring. I’m really pleased to say that we’ve achieved precisely that. All of our garments are ethically made in Europe by expert tailors and seamstresses, as well as in European factories.

Can you offer a career advice for anyone thinking of following your steps?

My biggest piece of advice would be to just go for it! It’s not new advice and I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times before but honestly, the biggest challenge is actually getting started! Another top tip is to put in the hours and discipline. Somebody once told me that if you put in the same 8/9 working hours into building your own business, you’re guaranteed to succeed. Consistency is key! 

Thank you for your time and sharing your tips on productivity!

Petra x

INTERVIEW WITH BULBUL HOODA OF VELLA WOMEN’S PLEASURE SERUM

Bulbul Hooda – The Brand Creator & Chief Marketing Officer at Vella

You have such an impressive 15-year experience building and growing award-winning brands for the likes of L’Oreal. What attracted you to Vella? 

After spending all this time at big beauty and CPG conglomerates, I was ready to take the next step in my career. Something that can keep me up at night. Vella was exactly that.

We are witnessing a sexual wellness boom, stemming from the convergence of beauty and wellness. Today, self-care has naturally extended beyond beauty and found an anchor in health, fitness and sexual wellness. It was intuitive for Vella to be positioned at the intersection of science and prestige beauty as a women-first, digitally native prestige beauty brand. What differentiates Vella from the other players is that we have a scientific breakthrough powering our product. That is every marketer’s dream come true.

What makes Vella different from the other female sexual wellness and arousal products on the market?

My top three would be:

1) Our research-based, clinical test backed discipline resulting in our proprietary nano-encapsulated CBD technology.

2) The target audience panning the entire spectrum of women at any age or life stage.

3)  Vella’s sophisticated branding that differentiates and elevates our proposition.


Please tell me your inspiration behind the choice of packaging and branding.

We spent a lot of time articulating the visual and verbal identity for Vella. It was critical to have provocative, straightforward imagery in order to normalize the conversation around female pleasure. We wanted to call it what it is. The balance between sophisticated beauty codes and finding the right packaging for precise dosing was most interesting. Likewise, we took our time to find our voice – relatable, informative but also always fun. Ultimately, it is pleasure that is our main proposition, and we aim to please in all aspects 🙂 

Which retailers will be stocking Vella in the UK and the USA?

We have already launched at Shen Beauty, Nordstrom, Cos Bar and Lemon Laine in the US, and some big news is around the corner on strategic retail partnerships during the summer. We are in talks with a few partners in the UK as well, stay tuned until we finalize those. 

What does your average work day at Vella looks like?

We are a lean and agile team, and we work remotely, which makes communicating at all times crucial. From setting up a company and bringing a brand to life in under 12 months was no easy feat. And we were also in parallel in the midst of our Seed II funding round (We have since raised $7MM). Let’s say, things tend to get a bit busy. 

Do you have any career advice for anyone looking to follow in your steps?

This is easier said than done but try to prepare a roadmap and set your career milestones. And of course, be flexible as sometimes things don’t stay on plan, but if you don’t know where you are going, you are sure to get lost.