I wasn't always as "healthy" as I am today. My teen years were wild and fun, but cut short when I became a mum just before my 22nd birthday (undoubtedly the best thing that ever happened to me).
I hated school life and although I was smart, I didn't feel that I ever fitted in (ironically, now I encourage "fitting out" over "fitting in", if only I could tell my 14 year old self that story now)! I left school at 16 with excellent GCSE grades, but instead of continuing my education I headed to Vidal Sasson on Sloane Street to begin a hairdressing apprenticeship. I was desperate to make my mark on the world!
Although hairdressing was fun and expressed my creativity, it was short-lived. After one year I went to work for a small solicitors office in Bloomsbury Square where I taught myself to touch type (a very valuable skill). A year later I landed a job in the finance department at a larger firm of solicitors. I worked my way up whilst enjoying the nightlife in Covent Garden. A few years later I moved on to work for an even larger firm in the City doing client accounting which is where my career took a break and I had a baby!
After six months of motherhood, I was keen to get back out there (I was also desperate for a lunch break and a few days where I wasn't covered in baby vomit)! I took a part-time job in an estate agency in Beckenham negotiating the sales of beautiful properties.
Three year later I returned to full-time work as a consultant in Telecoms Recruitment, managing a team of forty staff mainly based in Africa.
I had my second child aged 30 and one year later we all moved to France for my husband's job.
Up to this point there were no particular factors leading me towards a career in health and wellness! I ate fairly well, exercised regularly; I was happy and content with my life and had no health issues.
At 31 years old everything changed!
Two months into the move my son stopped eating and became a self-proclaimed junk food veggie, eating a diet consisting of just 5 white items: bread, pasta, milk, yoghurt and cereal! I took him to the doctors in France and England who told me that as long as my son was eating plenty of dairy foods he would be fine! I knew enough about nutrition to know this wasn't right!
After a few months of stress, one day my son randomly drank an entire apple, carrot and ginger juice (the ginger was through the roof fiery)! This became my eureka moment. I immediately bought a juicer, books on nutrition and juicing, a Vitamix and signed up for my first online nutritional course. I started to develop recipes that were healthy and incorporated all the nutrients my son needed, disguised in a smoothie or snack. Based on personal consumption of some key superfoods, I had a little prior awareness of the industry, and I soon set about increasing this knowledge and began adding superfoods into food and drinks for the entire family.
Inspired by this revelation, my new knowledge and the delicious recipes I was creating, I started running nutritional workshops in our Monaco apartment. I started out with small groups, but news of my new venture quickly spread and the groups became large very quickly. Superfoods weren't readily available in Monaco, so it made sense to supply some of my favourites. Very soon, I was stocking over forty different products,
My little business was thriving and I was ambitious to grow it further, however I continued to suffer from a long list of health complaints that had started when we moved and were neglected while I settled our family in a new country, entertained guests and moved house on a regular basis!
From my studies and the books I was reading I knew it was possible to heal myself with food, so I began experimenting with various diets: gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, vegan etc. They didn't suit my body and I ended up feeling much worse. I inevitably suffered an Adrenal Fatigue burnout in January 2014.
Even through the worst periods of health, I continued with my workshops as I believed each workshop was teaching me something new. Little did I know where this would eventually lead!
Six months into my diagnosis I enrolled in the Integrative Institute of Nutrition to become a Health Coach. I didn't have an end goal, but I knew I had so much to learn about how to integrate health in a way that it effectively becomes part of life. I had seen a huge number of specialists, healers and alternative therapists who were knowledgeable, but the recommendations were far too removed from what was achievable in my life, and often left me feeling like a failure. I knew then that I needed to find my own path to healing and recovery.
My career took another amazing turn when I was given the opportunity to work with The Monaco Restaurant Group putting my ideas and healthy recipes on the menus of the restaurants within the group. I created concepts, wrote recipes, trained chefs and waiters, designed menus and sourced the products. I also began working with Fairmont Monte Carlo and various other companies and clubs in the area.
My passion and love for education took me to a certification in Eating Psychology. This deepened my knowledge and understanding of the mind-body nutritional connection and indeed has healed my own relationship with food and myself. Both further education and self-development continue to be a big part of my life and keep me on my healing journey.
So where do the blends fit in? Life is already full enough!
The idea of the blends had been forming at the back of mind for a few years and was inspired by the hundreds of women passing through my workshops. I soon noticed a familiar pattern with the enquiries about the superfoods often leading to similar personal issues regarding: skin, anti-ageing, energy, weight loss and detox. However, these women were also often overwhelmed with the healthy choices available and put off by time-consuming healthy cooking and smoothie making.
The more women I spoke to, the more my idea took root in my mind and convinced me that such blends were indeed required by many and there was a gap in the market for something spectacular. (I AM Superman was thrown in at the end as requested by my husband who said that guys want/need something too!)
The idea became reality when my close friend and scientist Dr Sara Palmer Hussey PhD offered to help with the formulation. We worked on the specific areas of concern to combine superfoods and adaptogens working efficiently together to maximise beneficial results. The formulating took a few attempts and there were times we were disgusted by the taste and had to go back to the drawing board! The process was invigorating and exciting.
Initial market research and testing within Europe was so promising that only minor tweaking to the original recipes was required. The reported achieved results far exceeded my wildest expectations and I soon noticed how quickly and efficiently the blends worked on a physical, emotional and mental level.
At this stage I had no idea about "branding" and went with the flow of my intuition. I wanted the blends to represent the most important person in the consumer's life – themselves.
I believe that when we are functioning from a good place, are in a good mood, feel energised and manage stress effectively then everyone around us will benefit which raises the collective vibration of inspired health and wellbeing. The name of each blend represents this – "I AM" are the most important words, for what comes after shapes your reality. I wanted the consumer to see and really feel themself in their health goals, and I felt that the words "I AM" simply represent that. The packaging design and colours were also inspired from my intuition. I wanted a design that looked attractive sitting on the kitchen counter and that visually jumped out when you open the pantry door.
So there you have it! This is my story from start to the present day. There is no master plan or fancy projections, it's just me, my inspiration, my passion, a fab team of amazing women who help me behind the scenes and of course YOU for showing up and supporting me. I am sincerely grateful to YOU – thank you and I hope that you enjoy the rest of the journey… it is only just beginning!