Fashion | Conscious Living | Travel | Interiors
Raised by two ambitious and loving parents, my journey as a young adult began with a gap year at the age of 18. Having battled dyslexia throughout school and working hard to secure straight As and A*s in my GCSEs and A-Levels, I needed a break from academia before starting university and my dream was always to travel. So began my biggest adventure to date: a four-month visit to Taveuni, Fiji, where I lived as a local, teaching at a small island school. Leaving my pampered home life to share living quarters with rats, cockroaches and lizards was quite a culture shock! No sign of an en-suite; just an outdoor cold tap for a shower and my washing machine was a bucket! Nothing was going to faze me, though. This was an experience I had dreamt of since my early teens, and despite – or even because of – all the challenges I faced there, I spent a very happy four months on the island.
At school I learnt that you can do anything if you work hard enough. In Fiji my values expanded; the trip made me realise that anything can be achieved as long as you believe in what you are doing and are determined.
You learn so much about yourself whilst travelling. Of course, experiencing new places is a wonderful adventure, but for me, seeing the world is not just about visiting cities, beaches and breathtaking landscapes, but how these experiences enrich you as a person. Meeting locals, discovering your senses and giving yourself time to reflect on the world and all its beauty, away from what can sometimes be a very hectic daily life.
Since my trip to Fiji, I have travelled to many more incredible countries, including Brazil, Africa, New Zealand, America, Japan, Thailand, Bali, the Cook Islands, Australia, France, Italy, Croatia… the list goes on, and I intend to continue enriching my life and creativity via these expeditions.
I had a love of fashion from an early age and, by my early teens, had also developed an entrepreneurial flair by making handbags for a local boutique. As my confidence as a seamstress grew, I went on to create many outfits and designed and produced a very special creation for my own 21st birthday party. Fashion is a way for me to release my creativity freely. My choices may not always appeal to the masses but that’s what style is all about – creating your own unique identity that is recognisable. For me, clothes need to look effortless and, most importantly, make you feel good wearing them.
Fashion can be all-consuming and it is easy to crave the latest must-have pieces, with just a short-term return. But if you only buy quality items to enhance your wardrobe, beautiful clothes will surround you for years to come.
In 2008, Beaumont Organic was born from my love of fashion and a lack of organic and ethical contemporary clothing in the market. I knew from a young age that I had my own voice and that I wanted it to be heard in the wider world. Beaumont Organic became that voice; it allowed me to combine my creativity and business sense in an authentic way, because I created a product I believed in, that I knew inside out and was passionate about. The company started with 8 organic cotton ecru T-shirts and just me, running about designing, selling, buying, marketing… you name it, I did it. I have certainly encountered challenges as an entrepreneur and, believe me, you need to be resilient, headstrong and focused but now I sit back and am so proud of where Beaumont Organic has arrived today. We are now selling in 12 countries, with a team of staff in Manchester, a flag ship concept store in Manchester and an online store with a database of over 65,000 customers who resonate with and support our vision.
Looking back, my journey towards conscious living started well before my conscious mind fully understood what my subconscious naturally gravitated to! Small choices from my youth now make me smile and think, ‘well, I have always been this way.’ For example, natural fibres have always been a huge part of my wardrobe; even before launching Beaumont Organic I owned linen when the only other person wearing it was my grandma! Brown paper is always my go-to gift-wrapping – I wrap everything in it from children’s birthday presents to wedding gifts. And I have always eaten a clean diet of very little dairy or meat.
I now approach living in a much more conscious way by choosing to shop locally for groceries, ethically for clothes, organically for skincare, and, when in doubt about a product, I ask questions.
Property & Interiors
Whilst studying at university, I spent many spare hours gaining an understanding of the property market. Looking online for derelict houses that I could restore, re-fill with life and then re-market became a regular hobby. I found excitement in re-designing the floor plans and planning the interiors. On leaving university, my now-husband and I bought a house divided into bedsits in our favourite Manchester village. With meticulous planning, we renovated the property into a four-bedroom home with lower ground floor cinema room and an office for me and my growing Beaumont team. The project – largely executed by ourselves – took two years to finish, three years to enjoy and one day to sell! Our next and current property was once three flats set within a Victorian linked semi. Our vision for this house was far more adventurous than the last; a large extension would comprise a kitchen on the ground floor, and a dressing room with en-suite on the first floor. In contrast to our first home, this was to be light and bright, and a large glass back wall was key to achieving this, plus white floors throughout … Open plan living is essential to our current lifestyle. With most of my friends now married, and many with young children, I wanted to be able to host everyone with ease. My style of renovation reflects my conscious lifestyle with many of our special purchases coming from reclamation yards, including our staircase and large fireplace. Items that were not reclaimed were sourced locally, and we worked with marvellous carpenters to create our dream kitchen, which was lovingly made in Yorkshire and painted with Little Greene paints. In fact, all our paint throughout the rest of the house was water-based Farrow & Ball, a brand I have admired for many years for its amazing longevity and appeal to every age group.
And finally, interiors. In my honest opinion, balance is really the secret to a perfect interior. If you can create a perfectly balanced room, you will create a beautiful space. Whether that balance is down to the colours, furniture, wallpaper, flooring, texture, fabrics, lighting, natural light, plants…. they all add up to the perfect room if used in the right proportions.
And, that’s it, you have reached the end of my story so far…
Please drop me a line – I would love to hear from you. xxx