WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

sustainable style

Just The Essentials

Essentials, Lifestyle, Monthly Essentials, Natural Living, Style, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment
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This was an impulse blog post and I have to be quick bc I’m about to go for dinner, but I’ve recently met and / or come across some amazing sustainable basic’s brands and wanted to compile them all in a little directory in one place, mainly for you but also kind of for me. Look no further for your summer essentials, beachy basics and general everyday necessities (from socks, panties and hosiery to tees and tanks) that are both good for you and good for the planet.

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Sezane

I adore Sezane for well-made wardrobe staples, but also for adding some unique pieces to my existing wardrobe. They have really unique prints and cuts, and everything is of such high quality. I’m currently loving this tee, these trousers, this dress, these shorts which I’ve been wearing all summer, this tee and this strap top. I’ve also been using this coin purse for foreign currency whilst abroad, to keep any extra change separate from my home currency.

Organic Basics

I’ve recently been stripping back my lingerie and hosiery selection, and whenever I buy new pieces, I love to buy from Organic Basics or other ethical, sustainable brands using more wholesome materials and practices. I love Organic Basics’s eco-certified products which are made using materials including cotton, Tencel, Silvertech (recycled nylon and elastin) and recycled materials, and are made only in certified factories that also care about their impact on the planet. My favourite pieces are these, these, these, this, this, this, this, these, this, these, this and this. Also check out guys, here.

* Use this code to receive a 10% discount on all orders: DCOPPOBC1

Swedish Stockings

I’ve always loved little ankle socks to dress up or down and add character to a plain outfit. Swedish Stockings are doing amazing things and are real change makers in the fashion industry, focussing on hosiery and other essentials and creating them with recycled materials. “Both nylon and elastane are oil products and release a lot of harmful gases during production. Being one of the biggest fashion consumables (and being often worn only once and disposed off as soon as they snag or ladder), the hosiery production process needs to be better and smarter. With our Innovations product line, we show that you need no virgin resources whatsoever. We use recycled elastane from pre-consumer waste; meaning waste from virgin elastane production”.

I love these, these, these, these and these. These are also Q fun.

Theo + George

I recently discovered Theo + George

“We believe in the ease of buying less and choosing well. We started Theo + George to help people get more from life with less, by providing timeless solutions that can be either dressed up or dressed down and that makes Everyday Effortless. We believe in transparency and sustainable manufacturing practices. Our team has travelled the world to find the best manufacturing partners. We’ve chosen our partners with exceptional care. Each one maintains the highest ethical and sustainable production standards”.

I am currently living in this, this and this, and waiting for Autumn to need this.

Ozma

I adore this independent, female owned brand for their effortless, Cali-style essentials. They focus on sustainably sourced, natural textiles that celebrate the beauty of irregularities in colour and fibre. An integral part of our process and appeal, they believe that variation is beauty. Inspired by vintage originals they love, their effortless silhouettes take form through these high quality natural textiles, to shape a refined collection made for anywhere. OZMA is ethically produced in California.

I’m wearing this 100% silk noil tank with wide leg white jeans (like these) and high wasted denim shorts as an easy, effortless, go-to daytime outfit, both in the city and on holiday. Also eyeing up this.

Sollilas Sandals

Living in these right now, made in a family-run factory in Menorca that employs traditional craftsman and creatives to make each pair. Not much about the materials are sustainable but I like buying from small brands like this, who also do plenty of good work behind the scenes.

People Tree

A pioneer in sustainable Fair Trade fashion, People Tree create products made to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish. Collections feature materials such as organic cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell and responsible wool, and are made using traditional artisan skills such as hand weaving, hand knitting, hand embroidery and hand block printing. “We are committed to changing the way clothes are made, from farm to factory. This starts with the materials we choose, from the soil the cotton is grown in to the processes of washing the garments, we adhere to certifications such as GOTS to protect the farmers, their environment and their communities. Our collections bring a sense of luxury to sustainable fashion through the innovation of new fabrics such as; organic cotton brushed velvet, TENCEL™Lyocell silky party wear and structured organic cotton denim”.

Find our more here, and take a look at my new favourite top, jeans, dress, leotard and earrings and more earrings.

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By Far Shoes

I adore By Far, and having worked in concept pop-up stores with them, I loved getting to know the brand from early on. Their premium products are made with love and an appreciation for the finest materials, outstanding quality and comfort. Everything is made in Bulgaria in small batches.

I adore these, these, these, this and this. And pretty much all the rest of it.

Danielle Foster Bags

Beautiful crossbody bags and handbags, designed and made in London, supporting local businesses and suppliers. I have just added this to my trusty bag collection.

Veja

I love Veja and everything they stand for, but haven’t gotten around to purchasing a pair yet since I’m currently living in sandals. They make environmentally friendly sneakers, using raw materials sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture and without chemicals or polluting processes. When Autumn arrives, I’m going to invest in these or these.

If you like these brands and products, check out Paloma Wool, Reformation, Faithfull the Brand, Nanushka and American Vintage (those should keep you busy for now, if not find more on my instagram).


* My edit of sustainable swimwear brands and products is coming separately, very, very soon. Also, an entire post on eco-underwear. Watch this space, and please leave comments below if you have any requests for other future edits or posts.

Spring Summer Wishlist & Style Inspo

Essentials, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Monthly Essentials, Style, Summer, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment

Whilst I don’t advocate buying new or more things, I like to take inspiration from current trends which then helps inform my shopping experiences in second hand shops, vintage stores and markets. Below you’ll find an edit of things I’m currently loving, either physically by making a few key investments, or from afar and for inspiration only.

I am so passionate about shopping responsibly and really want to encourage people to do the same. If you won’t use or wear an item more than 30 times, don’t buy it. We need to veer away from the disposability of the fast-fashion industry. Buy things that will last, and don’t fall into the traps of ‘seasons’ or ‘trends’ when buying for yourself. Take inspiration from these things, but don’t feel you have to buy all the new trends, because that basically means compulsive shopping and theres better ways to spend your time (and money). Instead, buy inter-seasonal pieces, things that you can edit and alter throughout the year by styling them differently. Invest in sustainable key pieces like your basics, your underwear and the essentials you wear most days, and then put a limit on how many new pieces you buy if there is something you really love and want.

I’ve included a selection of high street brands below but, mostly, you’ll find ethical, sustainable, second-hand and vintage brands. I hope these inspire your summer wardrobe with beachwear, holiday essentials, summer wedding guest options and more.

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The Best Eco-Friendly, Ethical & Independent Activewear Brands and Their Best Pieces

Essentials, Lifestyle, Movement, Natural Living, Style, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment
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Since embarking on my journey of living a more eco-friendly life, I have come across so, so many incredible brands doing amazing and conscientious things. I could go on and on about them all, and I will, but in this instance, let’s talk about activewear.

This was a natural progression for me since initially developing my awareness of health and wellness through fitness. In fact, fitness is where it all started for me, since, as a model, this was something I became growingly aware of and interested in in order to stay fit and in shape. Then, as my interests expanded and spread across different industries, including food, mindfulness, beauty and environmental issues, I began to seriously question the fashion industry and its ethics. And since my daytime wardrobe is predominantly activewear-based these days, I felt super inspired to apply all that I’ve learnt about the fashion industry and sustainable style to my activewear sourcing.

So, or you’re hitting the gym hard in the quest to earn your Thanksgiving and Christmas binges, I think these activewear brands have something for you. Or, if you welcome this time of year as one to hibernate completely, excusing yourself from any extra activity that isn’t absolutely necessary, the pieces these brands create have extra stretch and are super soft and flexible, so are ideal, exercise or not.

Girlfriend collective

Girlfriend activewear is easily one of my favourites, for their simple yet functional designs, and such a vast array of unique block colours. I love their Lite range, made with Econyl - which contains recycled plastics retrieved from the ocean. Their opinion: “Old fishing nets look better on you than they do at the bottom of the ocean”.

Pama

Combining eco friendly fabrics and sustainable practices with fashion to create chic, high-performance activewear, Pama were one of the first environmentally mindful activewear brands I ever came across. I adore that their products are made from natural materials like bamboo and charcoal, and they are so beautiful and wearable. I practically live in their chakra shorts during the summer.

Vyayama

Vyayama is another of my first and favourite discoveries in natural activewear. They use only natural fibers which are OEKOTEX® certified, sourced sustainably and made ethically. Their designs are super unique, and whilst some of their prints are lively, they are incredibly wearable and chic unlike a lot of bright and over the top patterns rife in activewear these days! It’s all so comfortable and I live in this even when I’m not working out!

Peak and Flow

Peak and Flow’s mantra goes something like this: “For us, sustainability isn't just about the selection of better materials and where we create the product, it's also about creating clothing that is built to last, cross-functional and reduces how much you need in your wardrobe. We work tirelessly to make every stage of the product lifecycle better for the planet”. I like supporting companies whose values align with my own, and I also like these, which are made from recycled ocean plastics, recycled industry waste and recycled plastic bottles.

Sports Philosophy

Sports Philosophy’s products are made with carefully sourced materials that are breathable, sweat-wicking, UV-protective and piling-resistant. Everything is ethically done, and they even have their own charity which fights child labour within the fashion industry. Find out more here.

Silou

This independent brand from London offers super chic, body-enhancing designs, all of which are ‘mindfully manufactured’. This new bralette is a fave.

Phat Buddha

Based in NY, Phat Buddha make flattering collections for all body shapes, so you don’t have to be a super slender yogi in order to pull off their designs. Their crops are super cute, and these V-neck leggings are insanely flattering for any body shape. They use organic materials, most of which are completely and safely biodegradable.

Adrenna

Adrenna was born from the desire to pursue a more intelligent and environmentally conscious way of producing and enjoying activewear, without having to sacrifice style, function or quality. Adrenna are passionate about tackling mass-production, so they only produce what and when is needed. Their activewear also minimises impact on the environment, since they produce in small batches, source locally and work as much as possible to zero-waste production. What’s more, Adrenna offer made-to-order services, and, using the finest technical eco-fabrics from Italy, allows you to customise certain features of your activewear.
This sports bra, which comes in several colours, is such a flattering and functional shape.

Allbirds

Allbirds are one of my favourite shoe brands, and they are doing incredible things. Their shoes are made with technical and functional materials, and are 100% natural. You won’t find any cheap or synthetic materials, and these shoes, although slightly pricier than most, are build to last, and also to leave as little an impact on the planet once you’ve done with them. Made from wool, recycled bottles, castor bean oil, trees and sugarcane made into Sweetfoam soles. I live in these and these.

Milochie

A super sustainable company on many levels, Milochie products are made with 92% Tencel®, Miloflex® - whic is an incredibly sustainable material, made from wood-pulp which comes from sustainably harvested Beech trees that are turned into fabric using a super-efficient closed loop system, that re-uses 99% of its waste. The fibres of their products are also naturally anti-bacterial, sweat-wicking, and biodegradable. I love their patterned shorts.

Vaara

Vaara is by far one of the most beautiful activewear brands, and every pieces is insanely aesthetically pleasing. The designs are simple and chic, not too bright and totally wearable, even when you’re not heading to a workout. They’re the kind of leggings you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be caught wearing on a late night supermarket run for emergency snacks. Material-wise, they select the finest materials, caring for the detail and working with only the best manufacturers in the world to thoughtfully tailor each piece. I’d say functionality is more suited to yoga and pilates than high intensity workouts, and love this set and these shorts are perfect for the summer.

Varley

Varley’s designs performance driven, timeless, wearable pieces that you will come back to again and again. They differentiate themselves through innovation, product performance and quality, and whilst sustainability is not something they shout about, they use high-quality materials and produce in much smaller batches compared to activewear giants. I love their super elegant Walsh Bra and pretty much any of their leggings; all of which come in a vast array of colours and patterns.

Alternative Apparel

Eco-friendly, organic, recycled, Fair Labor Certified and Green Business Certified, Alternative Apparel have a variety of clothing, not specifically activewear, but you’ll find some loungewear and loose-fitting tees and leggings. Their garments are crafted with sustainable materials & processes, including organic & recycled materials, low-impact dyes & water-conserving washes, and all of their packaging is biodegradable.

Outdoor Voices

I love the ethos at Outdoor Voices of making working out fun. “We believe in going out and Doing Things. Moving our bodies and having fun. Let's let go of our expectations, rules, should’s and should nots. Let's have fun, be free, make discoveries, make friends, and make progress. Let's start #DoingThings together”. They use just four core materials and source textiles sustainably, including their sustainably-sourced merino wool and recycled polyester made from water bottles. They have a relatively small collection, producing in smaller batches than your usual high street stores.

Groceries Apparel

Made from 100% organic recycled materials, Groceries Apparel offer all kinds of items, from daywear to intimates. I love their bras and tees to throw over my core activewear pieces.

Sharehope

Sharehope are doing so, so many great things, and too many for me to list here. Find out about them here and check out their do-good leggings.

Evveervital

A beautiful range of athleisure apparel made with innovative materials that are ethically sourced and responsibly manufactured, without sacrificing style, quality and performance. Take a look at this, this, this and this.

Reformation

I adore everything Reformation, especially this statement: “Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2”. Everything they create is super ethical and sustainably done, their own-brand made in small batches and their site also supporting other small brands doing things they approve of. Check out their activewear picks here.

Free People

Just about everything.

Riley Studio

I love Riley Studio’s loungey collection, and wear the hoodies everytime I go running, or to get me from a to be; or more specifically from home to class. Through extensive research and development we aim to source fabrics that have been created from waste materials or from natural fabrics that are biodegradable. Sustainability is at the core of our philosophy and we are working towards becoming part of a circular economy by choosing fabrics such as ECONYL®, which is infinitely recyclable. In an attempt to also alleviate the plastic waste crisis across the globe, we use fabrics such as rPET, which is made from PET packaging and industrial waste.

Threads 4 Thought

Threads for Though use sustainable materials and create products that leave an innately smaller impact on our environment, support in-need communities, and assist in changing the narrative of ethical standards within the fashion industry. Their ‘Reactive’ collection uses recycled plastics, and their other collections are all just as virtuous.

Boody

Boody use OEKO-TEX certified bamboo to make their beautiful basics, and buying from them you can rest assured that you’re supporting fair wage production and positive work ethics. Their products are all vegan and they even use eco-friendly packaging. I love their underwear, their leggings and this cami body. Find out more here.

Pact

“We believe in crafting clothing differently: Sustainable materials, kindness towards humans and the softest clothing you’ll want on every layer”. Pact’s products are organic and fair trade and are made without toxic chemicals, and steer well clear of sweatshop/child labor. Sounds like the kind of brand we need more of, right? Browse here.

Shift to Nature

“At Shift to Nature we set about sourcing high quality products that are made carefully from certified organic textiles, responsibly to those who make it, and with consideration to our customers. We source beautiful clothes and bed linen from both Australia, Europe and India”. Shop not just activewear, but a variety of wardrobe basics and essentials like underwear, here.

Carrot Banana Peach

Carrot Banana Peach is an organic plant based clothing brand, created almost twenty years ago and inspired during a trip to the rainforests of Malaysia. The collections they carry include bamboo yoga clothing, banana fitness clothes, soybean retreat wear and Aloe Vera clothing and accessories. So clever!

Live The Process

I love anything Live The Process do, especially this: “Live The Process is ethically made in America by women who are dedicated to creating your high quality product. Our high standards of care for this creative process come from our dream to make the world a better place. From the cutting of our luxurious fabrics to the packaging that your items are shipped in, we make sure every step of our process is helping achieve our goal of reducing environmental impact and embracing American labor.” Every piece they make is so effortlessly beautiful yet functional; just take a look at this, this, these and these and then try not to buy everything else on the site.

Assist Your Workouts

I use these in every single workout I do at home.

These are complete game changers and take your home workout to new levels.

Cardio that’s actually fun.

Intensify your workout with one of these or these.

Not just for pilates, these and these are amazing for all kinds of ab, thigh and glute reps.

To go with you everywhere and to avoid excessive plastic bottle consumption.

One of my favourite post-workout snacks: in this flavour, this flavour, this flavour and this flavour.

Experiment with pre-workout supplements or drinks, for endurance and stamina.

Try adding these and / or these to your daily routines, which are known to assist in fat burning and muscle repair.

Well Being & Other Items ~ The Good Store ~ Now Live

Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Sustainability, Style, Home + Interiorsdanielle coppermanComment
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Those of you subscribed to my newsletter will have already heard about the newest section of the website - the second hand store! I’m super excited for this as I get so many questions (and offers!) over instagram when I post about my charity or vintage store finds. And now, I want to make as many of the things I find available for you guys. I don’t need anymore stuff, but I always find so many amazing things that I know so many people would find a purpose for.

So many of my friends and some people over Instagram complain that they just never find anything good when trawling through charity shops or navigating the overwhelming and never-ending rails of a vintage store. I, on the other hand, adore it and grew up doing it, so, although I don’t always find things, I often do. You have to have a pretty imaginative approach, at times, as you have to find things that match your style or that you could work into your style. Sometimes, you might have to alter or customise things too, which, quite frankly, no one has time for (I guiltily have so many items that I’ve never gotten around to altering which is such a shame but is also just life). But I think the key is to have an open approach and not to go in there with too much expectation. If you have something in mind that you want to find, the chances are you wont find it. But if you treat the experience as more of an exploratory occasion, you never know what you mind end up discovering. More often than not, you don’t need what you find, but it’s nice to purchase something that is unique and not the same as everything else on the high street, which, by the way, you also don’t need.

The Good Store is something of a side project, in all honesty, and won’t be something that gets updated daily or even weekly. It will be updated depending on authentic sourcing (that is - whenever I or others discover new items) and whenever I or others find the time to photograph and upload the listings. If you have any particular requests for items you would like to find in the store or things you are particularly into or looking for, please leave a comment below.

This store place is an effort to slow down the rate of modern consumption and to provide high quality, pre-loved items that can find new owners / homes and purposes. In this way, by buying from The Good Store, you will be recycling and reusing, instead of buying new and adding to the economical and environmental strains, consequential of our highly demanding, consumerist society.

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+ If you have high-quality items that you no longer want or need, and you would like to sell them via The Good Store, email us via the form below with full details and we will endeavour to have them listed on the site. We will determine a selling price and you will receive a % of profits if they sell.

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Inside My Apartment & My Sustainable Wardrobe ~ With What's Your Legacy

Beauty, Business Stories, Essentials, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Natural Living, Style, Sustainability, Video, Commisionsdanielle copperman1 Comment

Last month, I welcomed What’s Your Legacy into my apartment and let them nose around my room and delve into my wardrobe in search of the most ethical and sustainable pieces and to discover the stories behind them. We talked about my business, my book, my lifestyle and much more, and I showed them my favourite eco-friendly / second hand / vintage items, from jackets and dresses to bags and other accessories.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

In Interview with Pam Pam London (ft. Arthur Apparel & Cara Guthrie Ceramics)

Interviewdanielle coppermanComment
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Tell us about what you’re making for us today? 
Mmmm, it's one of my favourite drinks to make all year round; a healthy take on the classic hot chocolate. Come rain or shine, I'll make either a hot or chilled version of this energising drink made with powerful, functional, all-natural ingredients. You can make it in several ways, the foundations being a plant-based milk, raw chocolate or raw cacao powder, a little coconut or olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a selection of superfood powders, herbs, spices or tonic herbs (such as maca, ashwagandha, he shou wu, beetroot powder or something more familiar like cinnamon or ginger). Today we had some shop bought vegan chocolate, so we simply melted it down with some coconut milk and added olive oil, he shou wu and a pinch of salt. You could also add tahini or a nut butter to thicken. Today we enjoyed our hot, but you could also pour over or blend with ice for a chilled version.  

Where did this recipe come from and what inspired it? 
I guess it's inspired by the traditional hot chocolate, but it’s also something I’ve been making for myself for years. When I started eating really healthy and changed a lot of areas of my diet, I was super happy to discover cacao powder and raw chocolate as an alternative to one of my favourite sweet treats. I think somewhere along the way whilst experimenting with tonics and drinks that I would pack with all kinds of powders and herbal ingredients, I discovered using cacao resulted in something that tasted just like the hot chocolate or chocolate milkshakes from my childhood. Cacao is incredibly energising and I often turn to it instead of coffee for a more balanced and nutrient dense caffeine hit. I just love how powerful it is, and so I tend to enjoy a cacao-based drink like this once a week. It’s so easy to make, so delicious and has so many health benefits, from enhanced energy levels and cleansed skin, to elevated moods and improved concentration.  

What are you reading right now? 
Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. It sounds super woo-woo, but it's basically written by an intuitive healer, and discusses all kinds of approaches to spirituality, exploring religions, ancient teachings and traditions from several cultures, and energy. It’s fascinating. I am super into energy work and healing and believe everything here on earth and beyond is made up of the same energy. We communicate on an energetic level and we give off and absorb energy from other people, nature, situations, feelings and thoughts. I'm currently learning about correlations between illness and energy, and how this manifests physically in the body; it's blowing my mind. 

‘Well Being’ is the title of your first book where you talk about connecting the mind, body and soul, through holistic practices, where did this idea come from? 
This was genuinely such a natural progression of my own life experiences, daily rituals and wellbeing routines. I was approached to write a book a few years ago based on recipes from my blog, but I had to put this on pause whilst I set up my business Qnola. During this time, I travelled a lot, wrote a lot, learnt a lot and studying and trained in alternative therapies, which too my focus away from jus food and really expanded my knowledge or the human body and mind, spirituality, energy and overall wellbeing is about much more than just a healthy diet and consistency fitness. I just really wanted to share everything I had learnt and all the things that worked for me. With my business in full swing, I wasn't regularly able to update my blog or event my Instagram and I also think both online and social media are so crowded with information and content. a book felt like a much more special project and I really wanted to create something people could keep for a long time and dip in and out of at different stages of their lives; something that wouldn't get read once or scanned, and then forgotten about. It is more of a manual to support readers to live more positively, openly, calmly and healthy, long-term. 

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What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? 
Lie in bed for a few moments and adjust to being awake. I think about my day ahead and my schedule and just take a moment to breathe and stretch before getting out of bed. If I'm in the habit of it (it comes and goes), I will meditate for 20 minutes, but if I'm out of the flow which happens quite often, I will down 1-2 glasses of water, tongue scrape and cleanse my face, make a hot drink (herbal tea or a tonic) and start getting ready for whatever the day holds. Usually I'll do a morning workout or yoga before settling down to work, going to the office or heading to meetings, castings or shoots.  

How do you like to wind down after a stressful day? 
It depends how stressful the day has been and how affected I feel. I tend to absorb stress and hold onto it which manifests physically in my chest, shoulders, neck and/or stomach. If I'm super stressed, ill do yoga or go to the gym or for a run and listen to my music really loud to block out any thoughts. Using exercise to relax has made such a difference to my life, as I no longer feel like its a chore to keep in shape physically, but also a necessity for mental clarity. Other times, I will make time to see a friend, or speak on FaceTime to my parents or my boyfriend who lives in Sweden. This is always so calming. The power of people and connection is so underrated. Support, understanding and input from another persons point of view always helps to calm me down, ground me and bring me back to a more rational, open and accepting frame of mind. Then, there's always watching a series or an old movie if I really just want to switch off from work and fully surrender. Works like a charm.  

Do you think you will write another book, and what will it be about? 
I would love to write another book, and I already have some ideas. I'd love to share more about the recipes and rituals of other cultures, as I think in the western world our idea of living well and feeling healthy is so short minded. I have also been working on a smaller booklet / zine called Well Being & Other Stories. Its sort of an extension of my website, covering recipes, rituals and interviews from inspiring people from all over the world. I would love to do a few more of those, and also continue to create content for my website.  

You’re entirely self-driven and self-taught from seeing first hand how a poor diet can affect your health. Is there anything you would like to learn more about? 
Ah, there is SO much. I am one of those people who has this weird kind of hunger for life. I love meeting new people and I am so interested in other peoples lives and how people live, and although I never really loved school , I love to be constantly learning; there’s a difference now though in that I am interested in so many things that I genuinely want to explore more, unlike at school when I didn't feel engaged with most of the topics I was more or less forced into studying. I recently trained in holistic massage, and this made me relay want to learn more about aromatherapy and other energy and massage work and alternative therapies. Reiki has always interested me but I'm not quite ready for that yet. I would also love to study herbalism. and I'd love to spend time doing short courses in the future too; I never even did a business course when I started my business, so there are some basic things I think it could be worth knowing! And I'd love to learn something more hands on and creative, like textiles and pattern making or sewing, and screen-printing. I come from a pretty creative family so there is a strong artistic DIY streak in me.  

Could you tell us about a favourite ancient recipe or practice that you’d swear by? 
I love qigong and do-in, some techniques i picked up whilst studying Shiatsu. They are really energising movements and stretches aimed to work the meridians of the body, to release tension and enhance energy and movement within the body.  

You first lived in Stoke Newington when you moved to London, and the Qnola offices are based in Haggerston. Where is your favourite place to visit in East London? 
I love East London, its got such a nice village-y vibe and as a small town girl growing up in the countryside outside Bath, i love anywhere with a small, local feel. It’s hard to choose a favourite place but i love the canal, and i love my local park Clissold. An ideal weekend would be spent browsing the stores along Stoke Newington Church Street, and chilling in the park with friends.  

We recently read in an interview that you love to travel, what is the best place you’ve been to? And what made it so special for you? 
I love to travel, and it seriously soothes the soul. One of my most memorable trips was a few years ago with my best friend. We spent some time in Cuba and then travelled around Central America. I was super stressed before going, and the entire trip was so eye opening and inspiring. One thing I love most about travelling is the people you meet along the way. we met people who lived with so little, but who were amongst the happiest and most content people I’ve ever met. That was really grounding. I love travelling too as it really brings people together. Unless you're staying the best hotels and eating at the best restaurants, its like people are almost equals. No one knows quite where they are or what they're going to discover. No one has many belongings with them. And everyone is exploring and discovering new things usually on a budget. It is just really like getting back to basics and being present and that’s why I’m so addicted to it. There is always so much to see and learn from other cultures and countries; the experiences are literally endless.  

As a business woman, what’s the best advice that you’ve received and what advice would you give? 
I have received so much good advice from fellow female entrepreneurs, and also from my friends and family. I think a support system is the most crucial thing when starting your own thing. You need supportive people who get what you're doing, give you advice and won't be pissed if you can't make time for them as much as usual, but who will always be there for you regardless when the going gets tough. My mum always says 'stay in your own day' which really helps to ground me and to stay present, especially when I’m comparing my business to much bigger businesses, for example. She also said quite early on, when I was super stressed, 'it's just granola. No ones gonna die if they don't get their granola'. It sounds brutal, but this kind of mild tough love was just what I needed. When you have your own business, you get so caught up in your own little hustle, that it seems like the be all and end all. Any little thing that goes wrong seems like the end of the world and its especially hard if you are the only person who can sort it. But, remembering that its really so small insignificant in the wide scheme of things is really important keeping grounded, keeping it real, and not letting things get to you too much.   

We read in an interview that you began packaging Qnola from your kitchen and sending them out via post, How has the expansion of your business developed in the production line? And the structure of your business as a whole. 
Yes, it’s true. I used to spend my evenings and weekends off work baking and packaging Qnola in my kitchen until the early hours. My flatmates and family thought i was crazy. From there, I moved into a commercial kitchen when I started selling to stockists, just for space and storage and also to meet specific regulations. I continued to make it here by hand alone for a year or so before hiring my first employee. Since then, we have expanded and outsourced production to a local factory; where everything is still made by hand in small batches. We have a really great relationship with our manufacturers too, and are always working to improve the products and come up with new recipes. The structure of the business is pretty stream lined now, finally. But it takes a while to get there. I think I definitely learnt the hard way, and in future if I were ever to start something new, I think I would be much more prepared, and would probably seek to work with a manufacturer from the get go. But I wouldn't change any part of the process. The struggles have made all the successes so much more meaningful!  

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