The Meeting Place

Gill meets Julius Eulberg


When was Julisis founded and what was your first ever product?

Julisis was founded in 2002 and we launched in 2003, so it is our 10th anniversary this year. Gold Elexir Day and Silver Elexir Night were the first products and they were designed to deeply bind moisture in skin, prolonging a youthful, healthy appearance.

What is your background? Read More…

Gill Meets Kirsten Carriol


Since we launched Lanolips in the UK in 2010, the brand has won many awards; what has been your proudest moment?

There were two moments that really stand out – winning the UK CEW Award for Best New Brand and Best New Skincare Treatment product in 2011 was an amazing moment, it felt really like a moment of relief after seven years of hard work. I was jumping on my trampoline at midnight in Sydney!

The other proudest moment was the very first email I received from a happy customer in my country, Australia. Someone that my products had helped, when nothing else could.

Creating and launching a brand is notoriously difficult, what lessons have your learnt along the way?

Where do I start ? Seriously there are just so many. I have learnt to listen to people with experience, choose great people to have around me, make decisions more carefully, trust less, but most of all you must have such a passion for your product and love for it, because when the going gets tough (and it always does) it is the passion and love for it that pulls you through. Corny I know, but the amount of work that goes into things, you simply couldn’t do it otherwise. Read More…

Gill Meets Sarah Chapman


What is your background?

I have always been fascinated with beauty and was lucky enough to discover this as soon as I left school. One of my first jobs was working as agency staff in the Harrods beauty room whilst I was studying. My beauty education involved aromatherapy, make up artistry, beauty therapy, hairdressing and cosmetic science leading to my work in the skincare business for two very different brands: one was Parisian aromatherapy-based, and the other was a cutting-edge clinical range.

You are an award-winning aesthetician; what set you on this path?

My experience managing beauty clinics followed by working with different skincare brands taught me a huge amount, I was lucky to work alongside a plastic surgeon and his innovative clinical skincare range when the beauty world was still focusing on essential oils. This was my greatest progressive time and it was during this that I chose to go back to college and study cosmetic science. My skin care clinic evolved when I started looking after some of my friend’s clients when she emigrated abroad. I was already obsessed with skincare and working in television as a beauty expert but my client base grew so quickly and treatments took priority. My clinic evolved as I expanded by training other facialists to cope with the demand. I have always been passionate about the products I use in treatments and I continually attend advanced skincare courses and research machines, techniques and treatments so that my facials are the best and most advanced they can be. Working with brands and directly with skin, my ideas naturally developed and I couldn’t resist following the dream with my clients. My understanding of formulations developed and I believe this combination of science, hands on practice and sales experience has helped in the development of my skincare business. Read More…

Gill Meets Sophie Benge


What is your background?

I’m a journalist by trade doing the route from local newspaper to glossy magazine editor for Elle Decoration in Hong Kong. Interiors still excite me almost as much as products and practices that make us feel well. I thank my years in Asia for taking me into the world of beauty and healing, which is such a rich part of culture there: a potent garden pharmacy, spiritual people, age-old natural therapies and the beauty secrets of Javanese princesses (lots of yogurt and turmeric on the skin!) inspired my book ‘The Tropical Spa’ nearly 15 years ago. I’ve never looked back.

What is your passion?

Professionally I get very excited to discover new and unsung products and practices, people and places that inspire wellbeing. This happened for me again last month when I visited the rose valley in Bulgaria at harvest time. I’m now even more passionate about rose after picking petals at dawn, tossing them into sacks and stirring them in vats as part of the steam distillation process. Nature and technology combined to produce the most precious oil of all. It takes 3500 kg of petals to produce just 1 kg of oil. It all starts here and ends up – down the line – in Chanel No 5. That’s a ‘wow’ experience for me. Read More…

Gill Meets Elena Herdieckerhoff


What was the inspiration behind SELEXIR Peace Balm?

SELEXIR of Switzerland is the result of a personal journey towards healthy and peaceful skin. In my early twenties, I suddenly developed an extreme dry skin condition which made my skin flaky, red, swollen and itchy on my face, neck and arms. I felt disheartened when, after trying so many different creams and treatments, still nothing worked for my skin. So I decided to take my skin health into my own hands and began to investigate the soothing benefits of natural ingredients and mixing them together in my own make-shift bathroom laboratory.

After a couple of years of experimentation, I had a breakthrough: a balm that I had developed using 21 natural ingredients had an amazing effect on my skin. Finally I had my skin back! The news of my results spread like wildfire amongst my friends and relatives, many of who asked for my balm to help care for their own skin troubles; after all, they could see my results for themselves. It was difficult to produce the balm on a scale beyond my personal use, so I joined hands with my close friend Mirella, who had a background in cosmetics, and we set up our company in Switzerland – and our skincare brand SELEXIR was born.

What is special about the SELEXIR Peace Balm?

The SELEXIR Peace Balm contains 21 natural ingredients, which is unusually high by cosmetic industry standards, because it was not formulated by me with the end goal in mind to create a brand, but simply to help myself with my own extreme dry skin issues. When my founding partner Mirella and I professionalised the formula to meet the regulatory standards, our Swiss laboratory was amazed when they heard that we wanted to retain all of the original ingredients and at these high potencies. They probably thought we were crazy because it makes the production a very costly affair, but to us, retaining the efficacy and quality was the main motivation, so we decided to cut no corners! The two stars of our SELEXIR Peace Balm are Blackcurrant seed-oil and Blackseed-oil- which together provide instant serenity to extremely dry, itchy, puffy, red and sensitive skin as well as mild to moderate eczema. Read More…

Gill Meets Margaret Dabbs


What was the inspiration that drove you to launch Margaret Dabbs, London?

I was working as a Podiatrist in my own Clinic in Central London and I felt the need to treat feet the way I wanted mine to be treated. I wanted them to feel good, but also to look good, and I set about creating treatments that did just that! It really wasn’t anything conscious or pre-meditated and was just an organic development. The response was unbelievable as I got busier and busier all from word of mouth and then people started writing about their experience; it was quite surreal.

Who would you say has been a big influence on your life and why?

My father was a big influence in my life. Growing up I was one of four children and we always believed we could achieve whatever we wanted to achieve. I remember I was 13 when the first London Marathon took place and I remember telling him that one day I would run it. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t achieve that. The trouble is I didn’t stop at one!

What is your life philosophy?

You get out of life what you put in. I truly believe you will get back what you give, and in my view this is for all aspects of life and not just to be applied in business. Read More…