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Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. Being open to meeting new people, experiences and opportunities is something our founder Amanda feels strongly about.
We’ve been thinking a lot about inspirational women since last month’s piece about Frida Kahlo when Amanda visited the Making Herself Up exhibition at the V&A and became inspired by Frida’s story. In this piece, we take a look back at the impactful people and places that have inspired her over the past few months. We hope you’ll be captivated enough by her experiences to go and seek out these opportunities for yourselves.
Amanda was moved by a recent visit to Forest Row and already feels compelled to return. A cosy village in East Sussex with a nostalgic feel, Amanda says, “when I left, I felt like I’d had a big hug from the experience”. Not to be deceived by its historic-looking streets though, this is no village frozen in time. Instead, she states that “this is a place where people are caring for our wellbeing, oozing love and kindness with a sense of the future, not of the past”. On its quiet cobbled streets are three shops that particularly stuck out to Amanda as inspirational.
One The Square
With its sleek aesthetic favouring clean lines and a washed-out colour palette, One The Square is a minimalist’s haven. Selling an array of handmade crafts, textiles and ceramics from a range of skilful makers, there’s no wonder why Amanda felt inspired by the craftsmanship on-display here. But the owners are not content with keeping these talents to themselves, so they host weekly skills workshops in anything from sewing to pattern-making. Not only a place to admire the beautiful objects on offer, creativity hangs in the air at One The Square, breathing inspiration into every person who enters its doors.
Gaia Natural Health
An oasis among the cobblestone lane, Gaia Natural Health is a holistic clinic and apothecary offering a number of products and therapies derived from nature. Choose acupuncture or a Swedish massage from their long list of holistic treatments, or be recommended the perfect tincture for your ailment by the onsite apothecary. Never veering away from their goal of creating the best, most natural products, you’ll leave this store feeling restored, refreshed and thoroughly inspired!
Set-up in 2013 with the aim of creating a peaceful, beautiful space where customers could shop for clothing, beauty, and their home; the STIL Lifestyle shop in Forest Row certainly accomplishes these goals. With its serene setting, shopping here involves none of the loud, erratic stress of your everyday store. Select unique pieces from a number of hand-picked designers, with the reassurance that each item has been thoroughly checked to ensure it meets the highest standards of quality and sustainability. An experience as relaxing as our own salon treatments, you are guaranteed to walk out the doors thoroughly at-peace.
Alongside these captivating places, Amanda has recently found inspiration in passionate, dedicated women. Knowing herself how much commitment, drive and creativity goes into pursuing your passions, she loves meeting women driven by their own ambitions. Always open to meeting and learning from aspirational people, here are three women that Amanda wishes to celebrate the successes of.
Sally Carmichael: Find Serenity with Sacarmi
Sally founded Sacarmi to help others generate the inner energy needed to overcome the pressures of life and cope with everything it has to offer. An expert in Pilates, Shamanism, Kundalini Yoga and Gong Meditation to name a few, Sally certainly knows a thing or two about relaxation. After years of study, Sally now runs courses, classes and workshops from the Sacarmi Studios in Surrey, even spreading her message of serenity to getaway retreats in sunny Portugal and Australia. With such intent on sharing her techniques, there’s no wonder why we can’t all be inspired by Sally.
Carole Dowling: Personal Training with a Difference
In her vast experience as a personal trainer and nutritionist, Carole has come to learn that the focus of exercise should always be on enjoyment. Through her personal training service Enjoy Training, she believes that learning to have fun with movement and being active is the best way to kick-start positive change, towards a healthy and balanced life. And now that summer is drawing to an end, Carole has begun a course focusing on investing time and energy on making ourselves feel good in preparation for the coming winter blues. Its this focus upon fuelling your body in a positive way that we all should begin to live by.
Sarah and Sophie: Swap Counting Sheep for Beauty Sleep
If you’re looking for an inspirational story about two female entrepreneurs, then look no further than Sarah and Sophie of Done Counting Sheep. As former insomniacs, the pair were tired of relying upon the countless pills and medications that doctors prescribed, so they educated themselves to find their own, natural solutions. Turning their ailments into a positive business venture, the women now use their site to share advice with others on how to get to sleep naturally, as well as selling natural remedies that will have you drifting off peacefully.
Just like Amanda, we hope you’ve been inspired by the amazing stories that these people and places hold. Looking for even more inspiration from Amanda and our other stylists? Our blog is a great place to start.