Now and then you come across a brand that makes you do a double take; whether they offer a unique service, go the extra mile to help customers, give back to a worthy cause or are headed up by an inspirational founder.
We caught up with our Boudavida founder, Anabel Sexton to pick her brains about which brands are currently inspiring her and why.
1. The Free From Fairy – My daughter Gaby is gluten intolerant, and since realising this we have been on a journey of discovery to find recipes that work for her but also give her delicious options. It’s not always easy! I came across The Free From Fairy blog along the way, and loved what Vicki Montague has created. A biochemist, nutritional therapist, blogger and mum of two, Vicki’s daughter ‘Roo’ was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease at the age of three. Since the diagnosis, Vicki has become a champion of simple, quick recipes and tips so that everyone can enjoy delicious, nutritious food. She has even mixed biochemistry and baking masterfully to create a unique gluten-free flour blend. We tried it as a family over Christmas and it was fantastic!
2. The Owl and the Apothecary – Aptly self-named, ‘the wild and wonderful workshop’, The Owl and The Apothecary puts together the most wonderful personalised gift boxes of goodies like candles, creams, ‘wishes’ and moonstones; all designed to inspire and create positive change. I loved the ethos of founder, Katy Theakston, who is inspired by her ‘love of the wild, wellbeing and magic…’ All the gifts are rooted in a wellbeing, a healthy body and mind. I bought a couple of their Elemental star sign boxes for friends and family and it created such a love for the brand. I’m just hoping now that someone will buy one for me! (Note to husband – my birthday is in July).
3. The Cambridge Satchel Company – the power of one idea over a cup of tea! In 2008, with a budget of £600, Julie and her mother Freda were thinking of business ideas to help pay schools fees for Julie’s children. A love for her old school satchel, a recognised gap in the market and the brave leap to test the waters – soon the satchels that were originally intended for students were in every colour (I bought a bright pink one for my daughter Gaby) and being picked up by celebrities, fashionistas and bloggers all around the world. And it’s been a whirlwind from then on; the first store in Covent Garden, a drop in from Prince William and a Google TV advert. It’s a story most people will know, but it never ceases to inspire me. From one idea to an international phenomenon. And I love that it brings a timeless, much-loved item back to the forefront of fashion.
4. activbod - there’s lots of luxurious shower gels, scrubs and pamper treatments out there but it was only when I came across activbod, that I recognised how much better a range developed by skin and sport experts could make you feel post-activity, regardless of whether it’s a gym workout, a hockey match or a yoga session. These people know first-hand what your body needs to recover and we’re all about supporting women’s sport and helping to break down barriers to activity, so this is a body care range that is talking our language.
5. The Juice Collective – created from a mutual passion to strike a balance between hectic, fun, busy lives and the ever growing need to slow down…. I read that statement when I first came across The Juice Collective and I instantly felt like they were talking directly to me. I’m a person who loves to be busy, is always on the go and leaping from one thing to the next, but a little reminder now and then to slow down and refresh – thank you! I was inspired by their mission, their beautiful imagery and their engaging social channels. The juices are raw, organic and unpasteurised with absolutely nothing added. And in case you’re wondering, my fave is the ‘Red 01’ – a mix of beetroot, carrot, apple and lemon, perfect to kick-start my morning or mellow my busy afternoon.