The Meeting Place

Gill Meets Geraldine Howard


What was the inspiration that drove you to launch Aromatherapy Associates?

Seeing the incredible results that essential oils had both on the quality of the skin and on the way people felt. I was at the London College of Fashion and had the fortune of being introduced to Micheline Arcier, a former pupil of pioneer, Marguerite Maury. I went on to work alongside Micheline and almost immediately my passion was born!

I continued to see, month after month, the really quite remarkable results our clients were having from treatments and use of oils at home and – with young energy and abounding excitement – I was desperate to tell the world just how incredible they were! I met Sue (Beechey) when I worked with Micheline and we went on to set up a small treatment centre in Fulham, giving treatments and blending oils for clients (including many famous faces). Demand was so high that we had a huge waiting list for treatments and an enormous demand for oils – Aromatherapy Associates was born! To this day, I am still just as excited about what essential oils can do and am on a continuous mission to get the message out there.

Aside from essential oils, what is your passion?

Keeping fit – I am a huge fan of swimming. Not only does it keep me fit, but it’s good for my mind, too. Oh and my guilty passion is a nice bar of Green & Blacks chocolate! Read More…

Gill Meets Zita West


With a roll call of A-list clients including Kate Winslet, Stella McCartney, Jemma Kidd, Cate Blanchett, Anne-Marie Duff and Sophie Wessex, who all visited during their pregnancies, leading fertility and pregnancy expert Zita West is the go to guru on the subject. As a practicing midwife, acupuncturist and nutritional advisor, Zita has a loyal and sophisticated following amongst women looking for alternative treatments and practical support during one of the most exciting and daunting times of their lives.

What is your passion?

I think my work is my passion, I find it very hard to get other interests, which is actually my New Year’s resolution! My work moulds who I am and I have many wonderful clients and great friends in the industry. I live and breathe fertility and pregnancy every day.

What is your life philosophy?

I try to apply the same philosophy to my life as the ‘pearls of wisdom’ I give out to my clients; I think the hardest thing for anyone is getting a balance and staying on middle ground. In my professional life I balance technology, science and medicine with holistic practices, and personally I believe in moderation: balancing the things that we know are good for us with the things that make us happy and relaxed.
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Gill Meets John Frieda & Gail Federici


Color Wow is the latest creation from internationally acclaimed hairstylist John Frieda and industry-renowned products innovator Gail Federici. John and Gail, co-founders of John’s original professional hair care company, have now gone on to form Federici Brands and ‘Root Cover Up’ is the first product to launch from the brand. As we launch this new and amazing innovation created for colour treated hair, I meet John Frieda & Gail Federici.


You sold the product brand ‘John Frieda’ ten years ago, so what have you been doing since that time?

John: Raising my family, seeking and investing in smart ventures and advising/consulting business colleagues, including the company that bought John Frieda Professional HairCare Inc.

Gail: I’ve spent some years in the music industry, which is going through turbulent change, but I’m always seeking niche opportunities, especially in the beauty and fashion industries. That’s what Federici Brands, the parent company of Color Wow, is all about.

What is your passion?

John: Gail and I founded HairRaising, an international initiative to support top children’s hospitals, like Great Ormond Street Hospital, through the salon and hair care industries.

Gail: Education and equal rights for women, especially in emerging cultures. History, politics and travel. Supporting Boston Children’s Hospital and their world-renowned clinics and specialists.

What is your life philosophy?

John: To put your heart and soul into whatever you do – the small things as well as the big things. Never compromise on quality. Do the best you can, but then let go of the outcome and trust that whatever happens is meant to be. And most importantly – never contradict Gail!

Gail: Think for yourself. Trust your gut and intelligence. Never stop learning. And never stop giving back. Read More…

Gill Meets Kinvara Balfour


Kinvara Balfour is a writer, advisor and trendhawk, and is regarded as a leading authority on what’s hot (and what’s not) in the world of fashion, beauty and popular culture.

Having worked on publications including Telegraph Magazine, Vogue, she acts as a consultant and young advocate to companies around the world. Kinvara is currently developing a fashion-based TV series in USA. She is an ambassador for Phylia de M.

How did you discover Phylia de M.?

I met the founder, Kazu Namise, through our mutual – and wonderful – friend, Mia Fenwick, when I first moved to LA five years ago. It was friendship, respect and connection at first sight.

Why did you decide to become a Brand Ambassador for Phylia de M. and what does this role entail?

When Kazu asked me to be an ambassador for the brand, I was thrilled. I am happy to be able to spread the Phylia de M. word wherever I go, and that’s not out of duty, but genuine enthusiasm and passion for the brand because it works. Like everyone, I’ve tried a gamut of products in the past and this is the only one I have found that has made a visible difference to my health (and, consequently, my happiness). Now I want to share it with as many people as I can because I believe it will change their lives just a little bit, too. Read More…

Gill Meets Natascha McElhone


Gill meets HealGel

HealGel was founded and created by five of the UK’s leading plastic surgeons, including your late husband, Martin Kelly. What was the inspiration behind HealGel?
Martin, along with the other surgeons wanted to find a formula that would heal scars even more effectively than the products that were already on the market.

Tragically, Martin passed away before the potential of HealGel was fully realized in the public domain. How important is it for you to carry his legacy?
Nothing would make me happier than to see all his hard work come to fruition even if it is posthumously…

What is your life philosophy?
I’ll steal Martin’s “Work hard, expect nothing, celebrate!”

What is the philosophy behind the brand?
That there is no substitute for hard work and commitment to excellence, the importance of passing on specialist knowledge to customers as it is developed and an ability to change and improve regularly. The scientific approach, combining up-to-the-minute research with the highest quality ingredients brings serious value to a market filled with empty promises. Read More…

Gill Meets Bryan Johns of Innovative Skincare


Bryan Johns serves as co-founder, President and CEO of Science of Skincare and Innovative Skincare and currently also serves on the President’s Council for the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

After serving as the Director of Skincare for the Kronos Group, one of the world’s premier anti-ageing research and development facilities, you co-founded Innovative Skincare with Alec Call. What was the inspiration?

When we founded Innovative Skincare in 2002, we were inspired to create products that would simply help improve people’s lives. We have never been a company that is “bottom line” driven; rather we measure the successes we find in helping to positively impact humanity.

Coming from a scientific background and as one of the founding members of The Kronos Institute, it was imperative that I familiarize myself with the cosmetic and cosmeceutical industry as it existed. In order to assess product performance standards and ethics, we reverse-engineered hundreds of skincare products on the market to measure the levels of “claimed” levels of active ingredients. We discovered that only a very small percentage of skincare products we tested actually contained what they claimed.
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