The Progress 1000: London’s most influential people 2019 – Health & Education: Health & Wellness
Gill Sinclair Co-founder of online wellness retailer Victoria Health
A global beauty magpie for her innate ability to discover the best in wellness and beauty from across the globe, Sinclair was one of the first to get online with her wellness and beauty e-tailer Victoria Health. Co-founded in 1999 with pharmacist Shabir Daya, Victoria Health has a huge online community with a monthly newsletter reaching over 350k fans and this autumn sees the unveiling of a new section, VH Living.
It has been a whirlwind month since I officially joined the VH inner sanctum and I still can’t get over it. One of the reasons this new role is so special to me is because Victoria Health saved my life and not figuratively, I mean that literally. Gill, Shabir and the dearly missed Sally Brampton helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life and their collective help, knowledge and support changed me in so many ways. Without them I wouldn’t have a blog, wouldn’t be as passionate about skincare and certainly wouldn’t be here writing this. I know many of you will have only just discovered me through the articles I’ve written on here or from my blog or Instagram, but I have been here with you as a fellow VH Addict for years, and today I want to share my journey with you.
We have all heard the cliché adage regarding health, wellness and skin, how it’s all connected and that you can’t have one without the other, but for me that was never true. For most of my life I existed in the realm of “generally” – generally good health, generally good skin and generally active (but not really), all while eating whatever I wanted and generally looking very well. Read More…
‘A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness’ – Elsa Schiaparelli
A couple of years ago, I released a section on our site called VH Eats, and as we are entering an ‘entertaining season’, I am re-publishing some of the recipes that we shared at that time. Some of them came from you and some of them are my personal favourites.
Below is an abridged version of what I wrote at the time and today the fascination still holds. I recently made dinner for 50 people, with a friend, and we had the best fun; it was a throwback to my pre-VH days and there is nothing greater than sharing, as I so often write in the newsletter. For sure, I could still entertain 50 people and buy it all in, but it isn’t the same. Read More…
Early bathing costumes had more to do with modesty than with looks or function and although Victorian women wore bathing costumes at the beach, a woman could not certainly swim in one comfortably. The swimsuit as a fashionable garment that provides enough freedom of movement to be worn in the water is a 20th century conception.
Ten thousand year old Neolithic pictographs depict humans in poses as if they are swimming. Ancient Babylonian and Assyrian wall art suggests swimming, as does an ancient Egyptian clay tablet. Written references to swimming in ancient times occur in Gilgamesh, the Iliad and the Odyssey and The Bible mentions swimming several times. Ancient Rome offered public bath houses for hygienic purposes, but the practice died out after the fall of Rome.
The Middle Ages saw a time when the Church set stringent dress codes that demanded modesty and Europeans shied away from water, however by the late 1600’s, health enthusiasts came to believe that immersion into mineral baths and natural springs was therapeutic. Read More…
When was Soapsmith founded and what was your first ever product?
Soapsmith was founded in 2010 but did not start selling until 2012 when we launched in Harrods. We wanted to get the products and the scents absolutely right before launching. Our first product was (not surprisingly) handmade cold process soap made with Shea butter, Cocoa butter, other natural oils such as Olive and Coconut oil. It is soap made the way it was made hundreds of years ago – I love the old artisan way of doing things. The problem is this traditional cold process method produces heat as part of its natural chemical reaction, so it took us ages to come up with scents which stayed strong and true and were not burnt off in the process. With us, the quality and lastability of the scent is something we will never compromise.
What is your background?
Corporate events and Chocolate Fountains. I’ve done events for the likes of Clarins, FCUK, the BBC. Read More…
When was In Fiore founded and what was your first ever product?
In Fiore was founded in 1999. Our first ever product was the body balm. I started blending oils and perfecting our trademark formulation in the mid 90’s. When I finally felt I had arrived at that “this is it” moment I decided it was time to launch my creations. There was nothing like our balms on the market at that time and they quickly developed a cult following.
What is your background?
I delved into oils and blending at a young age. My mother worked for a company in Los Angeles that imported French cosmetics so our cabinets were always brimming with perfumes, tonics, creams, and potions. I was enamored with scent and naturally curious so I started playing with all the textures and applications, re-blending, and making an all-out mess of things. This set the tone, and for the better part of 30 years I’ve been studying various healing modalities including aromatherapy, doctrine of signatures, Ayurveda, homeopathy, flower essences, anthroposophical science, plant alchemy, and energy medicine. Read More…