The blog was Vanderohe.com and I created it as a professional-led forum where I could open the doors onto brands and pros in the industry without any of the bias that comes with paid advertising and marketing. Everyone I spoke to was so willing to share so much of their experience and expertise that over the 4 years that I was doing it, I unwittingly amassed a detailed knowledge and understanding of the beauty industry. I was also testing products constantly and this, alongside everything I was learning, allowed me to really understand what constitutes an effective beauty product.
It has the power to change how someone feels about themselves; it can give someone confidence and make them happy. It can even save a relationship. And I've only really understood this since I launched Vanderohe and received countless messages from customers precisely along these lines.
I didn't expect even half the recognition and support we've received, especially during the first year in 2017 when we only had No.1 Nourishing Face Serum and yet it won 6 awards and was featured in every leading publication in the UK. However, I did (and do) feel confident always that if someone just tries the product, they will fall in love with it and will see an immediate improvement in their skin. I just didn't expect the product to reach that testing phase with editors who have mountains of samples on their desks!
I had seen their (hard) work firsthand and my husband and I had contributed to their reefscaping programme many years prior and seen how it had flourished. I didn't want to just cherry-pick a load of charities that meant nothing to me personally as it wouldn't provide the drive I feel from working towards donating to a cause I really truly care about.
Because they saved my skin and healed it when no other cream or ointment could.
No.1 Nourishing Face Serum. I can't imagine living without it now.
I had already started switching to organic products because of my first pregnancy and breastfeeding, but the intolerances I suddenly developed in Singapore (when my first son was roughly 6 months old) certainly helped to cement that switch. I think that regardless of whether people have skin issues or not, we have been programmed into not reading a cosmetic label and that's where the problem lies. With all the fast-food products, pollution etc out there these days, I think that everyone needs anti-inflammatory ingredients, whether they're actively looking for them or not.
I'm 100% involved in every Vanderohe product. I create the formula from start to finish and hand blend every single product myself. The thought of entrusting that process to someone else, or a lab, makes me feel very uneasy as I cannot imagine anyone - or any machine - to be as strict and precise as I am with the process. I was pregnant with my second child when I created the formula for No.1 Nourishing Face Serum and I had an extremely strong sense of smell. I had chosen 10 or so of the most anti-inflammatory plant oils and started blending them by following my nose. I arrived at the final formula because the scent was so incredible. I simply followed my instinct, based upon my research and I still believe Mother Nature somehow led me to the formula my body needed to be able to heal.
Yes, we have lots of exciting things in the pipeline.
Lara was my very best friend when I was a kid. I had lost touch with her and hadn't seen her for about 10-15 years when I formulated my first product, but by chance, I stumbled across her Instagram page and saw that she was a botanical artist (!), so I picked up the phone and explained what I was after. I couldn't imagine more perfect designs for my products.
It's extremely difficult! I'm constantly exhausted, but I thrive off adrenaline (and caffeine!) and it seems to get me through ok. I absolutely love my kids and I hate being without them even for a second...and I love my job passionately, so when I feel really run down I just have to remind myself of both those things and then I feel grateful to be ABLE to juggle them alongside each other, as I know loads of mums would love to be able to work alongside raising their kids.
J Brands, American Vintage white tees and The Row cashmere. On repeat! I have some beautiful pieces in my wardrobe that never see the light of day...when I finally don't have food and muddy wellies being thrown at me, I might finally be able to wear them!
My red Hermès Birkin bag.
The River Cafe. Always.