“It’s not about being good at something. It’s about being good to yourself.”
How did you first become introduced to ‘Wellness’?
My mother is a real homemaker. Growing up in the country in West Sussex, we had a very nurtured and idyllic childhood always with delicious wholesome homemade meals, fresh fruit from the garden and vegetables picked daily from the vegetable patch so wellness through food has always been part of my life.
This childhood also meant a lot of outside time and appreciating nature. However, it is only within the past 10 years, since having children that I have come to enjoy exercise for getting back into shape, and the mental clarity and embraced running. Getting through the school demons of ‘cross country’ I challenged myself to a half marathon and this then followed into a sprint triathlon for charity.
Mentally I only truly came to know the term ‘wellness’ in full since November 2016 when a dear friend invited me on a yoga retreat having recognised my burn out from a commuter work lifestyle in London.
Have you always been interested in lifestyle & wellness?
I’ve always thought I was living a healthy lifestyle, being positive, accepting all social invites, providing healthy home cooked meals for my family, eating salads for lunch, reading ‘health’ magazines, trying the new exercise craze so yes you could say I have always be interested in lifestyle and wellness. BUT there is being interested in it and realising what is it fully about and ‘doing’ a healthy lifestyle isn’t necessary ‘being’ healthy. So only in the last 9 months I have recognised lifestyle and wellness as a passion in my life and embraced it as a whole – mind, body and soul.
What are your essential wellness tips for those with little time (aka. All of us!)?
Get to bed by 10pm. Get enough sleep.
I use to live off 4-6 hours sleep a night. Thinking if I stayed up and finished my personal ’to do’ list or replied to one last email or watched ‘one more episode’ I was achieving more. But actually this just meant I was doing everything quickly and not thoroughly. Being well is conscious thinking and thinking with clarity and you can only achieve by having enough sleep.
What’s your self-care practice?
I do yoga 3-4 times a week. The mind body benefits of yoga are amazing.
Having worked in London and growing up I always got Sunday night blues. So, the biggest change I made since leaving corporate life behind me was to make Monday morning the complete opposite to what use to be. To practise yoga at 9.30am on a Monday morning, felt like a luxury but is a completely necessity for my own self care. I feel good that I’ve exercised but I get mental clarity on how to start my week best.
I also make sure I get outside everyday. I get up around 6am to walk for 30mins and listen to a podcast. Or I will run a couple of times a week.
I try to eliminate wheat and dairy in my diet and besides holidays and social occasions I avoid refined sugar where I can. This is something that I know makes me feel and function better.
I always start the day with a nice big cup of hot water and lemon for hydration.
Do you always stick to it?
I stick to the 80/20 rule. It’s about balance and if I’m doing it 80% of my week then I know I’m on track.
However holidays are hard and when you are outside of your ‘normal’ routine and environment. The key here is to get back on track when you can and not beat yourself up about it. It’s what works for me to make me feel my best.
Moving on now to discuss Ottilie… first off, what’s the meaning behind the beautiful name ‘Ottilie’?
Pronounced ‘ott-ill-eee’, Ottilie is a female name stemming from the German masculine name Otto. It means “prosperity” or “ little wealthy one.” When I heard it for the first time I thought it was beautiful, instantly I had a vision of a girl spinning around in a field of wild grass and running along a sandy beach. As Ottilie Wellness starts to become my third child I thought it would fit perfectly already having two girls.
As I looked into the meaning more it resonated so much with the ideals I wanted to promote in a lifestyle and wellness business. ‘Sensitive, creative and calming nature. Desiring harmony and refinement in her environment whilst having a deep inner desire to inspire others in a higher cause. Passionate.Intuitive.Romantic.Humanitarian.Generous and broadminded.’
Also, I believe there is no greater wealth than our health. When we loose our health we can no longer care for our childrne, nuture our relationships, go out with friends and all our hobbies seem to fade away. We have to make our health our top priority and respect our bodies and minds. It is invaluable to see the return on investment in looking after our health. Each small step we take to nuture our wellbeing is our greatest wealth. So therefore I strongly feel that we all need to take on the true mention of ‘Ottilie’ and become ‘little wealthy ones’ with our health.
Similarly to me, you used to work in the corporate world – how did you make the decision to leave and start up on your own?
As with most decisions the universe sends you signs as to what is the right at the right time.
After summer 2016 the company I was working for decided to make some changes and it became more challenging working for them and something I didn’t believe in. I had given my complete soul to the startup of this company at the sacrifice of my family and health and it wasn’t until I went on a yoga retreat in November 2016 over my birthday weekend that I realised I was mentally and physically exhausted and needed to make a change.
I needed to put myself first so I could look after those I cared about. I needed to make changes, so I took winter 2016 to just be still, read, learn, explore and get healthy both physically and mentally.
This certainly wasn’t an ideal time as my husband was out of work too but it was necessary. I needed to find out who I was without the corporate facade and learn to see again what I was passionate about.
With everything that is meant to be, Ottilie was established very organically. The day I realised I needed to start this as a new venture, a new company was very exciting, but most importantly it felt right because my ideas of the company fitted in with who I was, what I believed in and how I could do this around caring for my family.
“Once she stopped rushing through life. She was amazed how much more life she had time for.”
How long has Ottilie been going for, how did you develop the brand and what was your mission behind doing this?
Otiliie was established in Spring 2017. Spring was a perfect time to emerge with something new, something fresh and something that was natural.
Having worked in the design and branding industry for 25 years the brand development was very simple for me, it was something I could do myself, but most importantly it was something I could put my personality into. The visuals are very simple, classy and soft and I wanted to be able to create a brand which gave the consumer a ‘hug’ in it’s feel. It was approachable and something that could become a friend.
The overall mission behind Ottilie is self-care for a greater cause. Inspiring and empowering people to take care of the own health, wellbeing and mindset so they can help and nourish others.
“Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit.”
Was it a sudden lightbulb moment or has this brand been in the pipeline for years?
Ottilie developed organically from taking time out to be still, something I have never done. It emerged through listening to what lights me up, what I’m passionate about, what I’m interested in and was rooted in the love I began to have for yoga. In 6 months, I realised the life changing mind body benefits of yoga and wanted to share this with others.
“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”
What’s your favourite part of running Ottilie? Perhaps your favourite event to host?
Every part of running Ottilie is my favourite. This was the whole purpose of ‘working’ in something I love.
However, if I had to choose something, each event has a goodie bag and sourcing new, organic and natural products for these is wonderful. Be it food, home, beauty or lifestyle working with businesses with similar morals and values is inspiring.
I love to host the monthly Yoga Brunch, creating an atmosphere of self care and nurturing, given space to people who need more of that in their lives is so important. My ’thing’ is to make things beautiful, so finishing touches and attention to detail is what I perhaps do best, therefore at each event you will find fresh flowers, loving notes and inspiring books and products.
What’s your least favourite part?
That I don’t always have the time or resources to launch the ideas when I would like. Having a vision for the business is so exciting but also frustration as I am a doer, the girl with little patience. Therefore I have to keep reminding myself there is a perfect time for everything and it will happen when it is right.
“What’s meant to be will always find a way.”
“Be thankful for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.”
Aswell as hosting events, Ottilie has an online store. What is your No.1 favourite product that Ottilie sells?
Yes, its early days for huge plans in the online store, so watch this space but for now it has to be the Aphrodite Facial Oil by MOA. It is that perfect self care product to put on at the end of everyday – feels good and knowing it’s doing great.
How do you source your products?
Having worked in branding for my career I can recognise a great brand when I see one. The wonder that is the internet has helped me find some amazing and ethically based companies.
Recently Instagram has been inspiring and I’m currently sourcing many global products. My favourite however is travelling – there is industry everywhere and with the wellness revolution booming around the globe so many fantastic products are on the market. It’s an exciting time to be part of seeing what’s coming.
Who/what inspires you and has helped you on your creative journey?
This is a tough question as I gain so much inspiration from so many different areas of my life. I believe that if you have your eyes and your heart open you will find something creative in every situation.
A close friend of mine, who invited me on my first yoga retreat has certainly helped me on my creative journey of establishing Ottilie. She is the soul who constantly and gently reassures you ‘you can do it, you can do anything, and I believe in what you are doing’ everyone needs someone like this in their life.
The exciting part of starting Ottilie too has been the desire I have for self study and learning, something I haven’t really done much of since University. Again this is because I have found something that lights me up that gives me passion to learn.
I have come across some amazing people in the wellness industry, be it yoga Instructors, certified holistic nutritionists, clothing/beauty brand owners and life coaches all who I love to follow on podcasts, blogs and published books.
Rachel Brathen aka ‘Yoga Girl’, Joy McCarthy ‘Joyous Health’, Annie Clarke ‘Mind Body Bowl’ are to name a few.
Most importantly, I find inspiration from Ottilie customers who come to the events. Many are women and many with like-minded and wonderful souls.
Do you have any other creative talents?
I’m sure I do! As mentioned, my previous career was in design and branding and I occasionally still work as creative director for some clients producing their whole brand look and feel across all marketing material as well as their websites etc.
How do you nurture them?
I love a coffee table book. I love photography, I love quotes and I’m very partial to creating many a Spotify playlist to become a soundtrack to life. I love to travel and invest in quality time with my family and If I’m always doing something I love then I subconsciously nurture my talents through all these interests becoming more creative and more inspired.
“The deeper you go the more likely you’ll discover something of value.”
What does the future hold in store for Ottilie moving towards or into 2018? Where do you see the brand going and what are your future collaborations looking like?
I’m so lit up about where Ottilie is going over the next year.
I have recently taken the summer off with family in California, time out from my usual environment helps me look at the bigger picture from above, so ‘fresh off the press’ I can share plans for September onwards – which I think is the new, New Year!
You can expect to see an exciting collaboration with another local business based in Lindfield on a monthly basis. The first Ottilie Autumn Yoga Retreat at the beginning of November, Self-love workshop with special life coaching guest and the wonderful Yoga with Catherine which will be such a treat. Then a couple of retreats abroad in March and May 2018 with some Pilates and Pregnancy Yoga collaborations mixed in too. As well focusing on the website, wellness blog getting bigger and better and hopefully the launch of some Ottilie own branded products. Eeeeeekkk – it’s all too exciting… and breathe.
Finally… what advice would you give someone considering leaving their secure job for a more creative life?
‘If you don’t do it, you’ll never know.”
I strongly believe by doing what you love you will awaken the hearts of others, you will set goals that scare you and excite you all at the same time. Timing is never right but the universe will always have your back.
Follow Sam and her creative ventures on Facebook & Instagram @ottiliewellness
For Up coming events and online shop visit www.ottiliewellness.com
Thursday 14th September
Yoga Brunch 🍓
Sunday 1st October
Autumn Yoga & Afternoon Tea 🍵
Save The Date…
Thursday 19th October
Yoga Brunch 🍎
Saturday 21st October
Self Love workshop ❤️
Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th November 2017
‘Autumn Love’ Yoga Retreat 💚
Ottilie is a lifestyle and wellness brand, inspiring and empowering women and men to take charge of their health, wellbeing and mindset so they can help and nourish others. Ottilie host yoga brunches and retreats as well as post health tips and recipe ideas.