Standing at our stall at the Mind, Body, Soul festival last year, I’d just had the most fabulous henna on my arm and turned to Mum and said, I’d really love to wear a bindi (anyone will tell you I’ve been fascinated and have loved Indian culture since I was tiny). At that exact moment, this hugely charismatic woman appeared in front of us beaming with a beautiful and infectious smile and of course, she was wearing a beautiful bindi. Mum and I both shrieked at the same time ‘we want a bindi, where can we get one from? To which this fascinating woman whipped two from her bag and placed them on us perfectly. ‘Hi, I’m Stella’; and from that moment we knew we were going to become friends. Stella, has recently launched Tribal Spirit, a really interesting concept, and we took some time to chat with her about her beautiful venture of tribal dance and her metallic tribal tattoos that we think are just perfect as an accessory to wear at a festival. We also have some excellent tips from her for the festival season in the UK this summer.
Can you recommend the best festivals in the UK for Yoga and Wellbeing?
There are so many fabulous festivals in the UK during the lead up to and in the summer months, but by far the best are Soul Circus and FloVibe, both focus on not just Yoga but also wellness, beauty, holistic treatments and wellbeing, with talks and workshops on many interesting yoga and wellbeing topics.
The Om Yoga shows in Glasgow, Manchester and London are also excellent shows to attend to really get to see the growth of the wellbeing and yoga industry, with some of the best Yoga instructors and practitioners in the country showcasing the myriad of classes available.
Top tips for experiencing your first Wellbeing Festival
If you are just visiting a festival for the day then take a few additional items of clothing in case it rains. The first Soul Circus it rained all day on and off for two whole days. I still loved being there and was pleased I took a few wraps and a light waterproof jacket.
Go with an open mind, try lots of different classes and workshops, get stuck in, participate and allow yourself to be face painted, Tribal marked, be covered in glitter and if you want to dress to impress wear bright colours and crazy outfits.
You have paid for a day or weekend ticket so immerse yourself into everything.
Take extra cash to buy the delicious food and drink offerings and there are always stalls that sell fabulous items of clothing, yoga and home accessories.
Why the Tribal Feather? What does it symbolise?
I always knew that I wanted to start my own little business and after attending a Yoga Teacher and Trance Dance Training with Shiva Rea in Malibu last year I came home with a fabulous idea and ready to plan a way forward to make my passion of Dance a reality.
I love to dance and love the outdoors so Tribal Spirit evolved. The name encompasses all things Tribal and the mission is to help people find their spirit in dance. My events are mostly outside, in a forest, beach, woodland, boho garden setting and people come to dance to a playlist of global music and live drums. There is no choreography, rather guidance to movement.
Once I had the name, I had to design a logo. The gold feather symbolises flight and freedom, the circles around the feather in my logo symbolise movement, circular and spiral movement. I encourage my tribe to 'Melt into Motion'.
I love metallic tattoos so I sourced a manufacturer with the feather and here we are.
Tips for keeping your gold tattoo looking gorgeous.
The tattoo will stay on your arm for at least two weeks (it may fade in between this period). Do not put oil based creams on it or it will rub off. You can shower, swim and exercise with them on, they will not go away.
I hope you will love wearing these beautiful Tribal Spirit Tattoos as much as I do. x
Grab your feather tattoo now
We’ve always been fans of natural remedies and since pregnancy and becoming Mamas we have worked hard to cut out chemicals from our daily routine, to shop consciously and to understand more about what we are putting on and inside our bodies. It’s been a real learning curve to discover how many 'trusted brands' that were part of our daily skincare routine included so many unnecessary and harmful ingredients. The marketing tricks in labels also can be misleading and confusing which doesn't help us (the consumer) to make choices. That’s why we love collaborating with other small businesses and we like to buy from those who can tell you exactly what’s inside the bottle.
Naturally, we took an interest in discovering more about Isla Apothecary. We first met Kate (founder of Isla Apothecary) at the Mind Body Soul exhibition last year, and we have kept in touch since. Kate started the business on her own after experimenting years ago with natural, raw ingredients and concocting simple recipes in the hope of soothing some persistent skin maladies. She told us about how she suffered with sensitive skin and got to the point where she just wanted to go back to basics and say ‘no’ to complicated regimens. Kate started using natural ingredients and essential oils in skincare and realised that self-care is an experience in itself and one that she doesn’t believe can be matched by synthetic alternatives. We can relate to this so much and the joy of discovering a simpler routine. To celebrate the launch of our collaboration combo (Jasmine sunset radiance body oil and our fabulous black and white hammam towel), we interviewed Kate to give you a ‘spotlight on the maker’ and some great tips to prepare you for summer.
Tell us about Jasmine sunset radiance body oil
When I started thinking about the business in 2014, I was in high experimentation mode and there was one oil in particular that I really wanted to create something with, and that was mastic. It’s been a personal favourite for years and an aroma that gets me every time. It’s so intensely unique and I wanted to share it. I blended it with another favourite, Jasmine, and this blend formed the base for what was to become Jasmine Sunset Radiance Body Oil. This product is also a little playful, and ideal for the summer months as it gives the skin a subtle colour boost from copper mica’s light reflecting particles, and lightly scents it with the smell of summer.
What tips do you have for using the Jasmine sunset radiance in the summer and what are your top tips for ensuring your skin stays hydrated and beautiful during the summer months
I would recommend using it after a day in the sun. Fresh out of the shower and after exfoliating, slather all over the body to receive the skin soothing properties of passionflower and marula oils and to add a little colour boost.
My top tips for taking care of our skin in the summer when temperatures are extreme or fluctuating is to a) drink lots of water (of course) b) exfoliate to eliminate flaky skin and encourage skin renewal and c) moisturise. The key is to maintain consistency. I have noticed how much more resilient my skin is since I started using natural products to exfoliate (there are three in the Isla Apothecary range) and plant oils to moisturise.
What medicinal plants do you grow at home? What are your most trusted natural remedies
The usual Rosemary and Lavender, and we have six beautiful olive trees (very Greek ha!) I literally use Rosemary for everything, and that may explain why it’s in a number of the products in the range. The medicinal, herbaceous oils are really the ones I love and repeatedly go to as they are just so adaptable, and aromatherapeutically pleasing to me. Other remedies include salt baths, especially Epsom salts for achey bones. And lately, I have been using a Passiflora tincture, and have been incorporating hydrosols widely – for the skin, hair, bath and mood.
Apart from the hammam towels, what's your favourite gift on Cotton and Pearl and why
Oooh this is a tough question! I love the fact you have a ‘Me Time’ section on the site by the way! Everything of which I love, especially the eye pillows! The gift of self-care, whether to yourself or from another is beautiful.
It's Mother's Day soon and I have been given the absolute pleasure of writing about a wonderful young mum and the creator of the most beautiful shoes, jewellery and now stationary, by Emmy London.
Emmy Scarterfield and I only met in the flesh very recently but my connection with her brand (and obsession with her shoes) is well over 8 years old. We've chosen to write about her as we had no idea that she not only designs and makes the most beautiful shoes but is also a mum to beautiful twin girls.
When she sent back her answers to our questions I was struck by the links and coincidences between her life and mine. Her family were tailors and she grew up listening to her mum sewing into the night. My Dad was a tailor and my mum a seamstress. I grew up around sewing and tailoring and now my sister's children see her at the machine sewing for our little business and making delights for her own children. We all also spent time in Somerset and are north Londoners with a love of Hampstead Heath and Highgate. I've loved getting to know more about the Emmy London and I hope you will too.
Emmy is such a beautiful name, how did your mother come to choose it?
Ah thank you! It’s a name that has grown on me for sure. When I was young I wished for a normal, run of the mill name! My great, great, great Grandfather, Charles Digby Harrod was the founder of Harrods in Knightsbridge, Emmy is a Harrod name.
How have you found developing your business alongside being a busy mum?
Working for yourself in my opinion is the best scenario to be a working mum if you can, you create your own pressure and priorities so you don’t have to justify to anyone why you choose to go to the school nativity over an important business meeting. Having that freedom suits me perfectly and although the lines of work and home are constantly merged, I do spend a good amount of time with my girls just doing mum stuff with them.
Who, or what influenced your style?
I’ve always really been quite classic, love navy and am addicted to cashmere. I guess my family have really influenced me, particularly my grandparents who were tailors - they had really high standards and loved immaculate coordination.
Did you always want to design shoes? How did you get started?
I have always been obsessed with shoes from an early age, I grew up in Somerset close to Clarks and right next door to Mulberry so leather goods and shoes were second nature. One of my earliest memories is from when I was about two, I put wooden building blocks in my socks to create high heels, I loved the clip cloppy sound they made. My passion was born right there and has never faded.
You are now designing jewellery and stationary too, did you ever think you would be doing that? How are you finding it?
I love both jewellery and stationary. I didn’t ever think I’d be lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be honest. It was very unexpected but am thoroughly enjoying expanding our offer and particularly the jewellery feels very much like a natural addition to the shoes and accessories.
Your wonderfully nostalgic style tells me a story, are there stories behind each piece you design? How does one of your designs start?
Each shoe style does tell a story, there are too many to go into detail but often starts with a place, feeling or experience. I have a shoe that started in my imagination as an umbrella, a whole collection inspired by a holiday we had in the Italian lakes and several details inspired from going through my granny’s attic.
What is the best thing about being a mum for you?
For me being a mum is everything, it didn’t come easily to me at all and there were dark times when I thought it wasn’t going to happen. It makes me whole and fulfilled to an extent that I knew nothing else would. My girls are by far my best creation ever.
Did you go through your mum's wardrobe as a little girl? What did you like most about it?
My mum was very model like, she made a lot of her own clothes. Once we were in bed I could often hear her machine going, it always amazed me how she could create these amazing dresses from our kitchen table and look so elegant in them.
What did you learn from your mum?
To cherish the simple things in life, nurturing good food, fresh air, swimming in the sea and time to think. Both my parents are not pushy at all, not driven by ambition or money in any way, so despite being proud of what I’ve created I know they’d be equally delighted with a great crop of carrots I’d grown from seed. It’s a great feeling not have that pressure to impress.
What do you want your girls to remember about growing up with you?
I hope they remember their childhood for the times we make stuff together, go for walks, chat in bed, make up songs and our camping holidays.
How do you spend Mother's Day?
Probably a walk on the Heath, then a Sunday roast at our local cozy pub in Highgate and treat myself to a large glass of Malbec.
What item from our Mother's Day edit would you most like to give or receive and why?
I would love to receive the Ivalo Water Carafe, I drink lots of water so I think this would look pretty chic on my desk.
Mums are a wonderful invention I told a young girl recently, they give you everything and want very little back.
Love to all you mums, have a wonderful Mother's Day.
Follow Emmy London on Instagram @emmyshoes
Shop Emmy London http://www.emmylondon.com/
Photo of Emmy Scarterfield and her girls, photo credit: Dickie Higgins
Photo of Emmy London shoes, photo credit: Claire Graham
Whatever you do today and in the future, be sure to be true to yourself and to love yourself. By teaching our children that we are all equal and that they are all equally important, irrespective of size, shape or intelligence, we are paving the way to more equality. So today on International Women’s Day I will cuddle my kids, get my son to help make the dinner and sit down with my daughter to do some maths. And I might even bake a cake while I get my old man to bake some bread. Have a great day y’all and remember to be you and stay quirky, happy and cool.
Building Bloqs was set up in 2012 as a not for profit studio space by a group of craftspeople who had grown increasingly frustrated at repeatedly being turfed out of good studio space. What they have created on this dilapidated Edmonton trading estate is a real breath of fresh air (something that's hard to come by in London on most days). By becoming a Building Bloqs member, craftspeople and makers can hire woodwork, metalwork, paint, CNC router, laser-cutting machine, and sewing studios on a pay as you go basis and the rate can be reduced if the area is needed for longer periods. Each studio area includes all the equipment needed for the specific activity and there are honesty shop type stores on site should you run out of glue, solder or thread. There's even an excellent café on site and members' work is promoted by Building Bloqs through events and social media.
When we visited we were given the grand tour by Al (one of the co-founders) and Andrew. They were so passionate about the project and told us about the community that they are helping to create. They also told us that they will be moving to new larger premises with better facilities in the next year as part of the wider redevelopment of the area. So, if you're a maker in need of studio space, check them out. Or if you are in the market for handmade innovative designs in a wide range of mediums, have a look at their directory. We're really excited about collaborating with the team to bring you new products really soon.
As a child, my mother would wash my hair in chamomile; it will keep the blonde she would say. My grandmother, I remember, when hugging her, would have this incredible fragrance of thyme and oregano; not perfume, but from brushing past the bushes on paths in a tiny village in days gone by.