Alison Lawson is a mum, a pilates teacher, an entrepreneur and the owner of The Jamila! With Alison’s expertise leading the way, The Jamila is the GCC's only resource for all natural, organic beauty and wellbeing. Here, Alison discusses her ethos; her approach to wellness; and her thought process in deciding which products to showcase at The Jamila.
- How did you start your wellness journey?
I travelled extensively when I was 23. In India, I got extremely ill to the point where I was getting antibiotic shots. After that I went to live in Australia. I was sick all the time. I knew that it was related to my illness in India. I put on weight, my skin wasn’t great either, I just wasn’t myself. I returned to living in London, but still hadn’t regained my health. No doctor that I consulted could offer me any information at all, let alone help. Frustrated at the lack of answers, I went to a medical herbalist. I ended up with a list of things I should and shouldn’t eat and drink, tinctures to support me through the detox and various natural supplements. I healed myself! That was a huge moment of clarity for me, now I completely understand that my body was telling me to heal, and I believe that our bodies are always trying to cure us. We need to listen a bit more!
- As a busy mum and entrepreneur, what do you do for self care?
Pilates is my meditation. I come in to my studio, I drift away for one hour, even during the most stressful times of my life, I never let this go. I concentrate on my breath. I make these beautiful methodical movements, listen to positive music or podcasts,and pretty soon I’ve forgotten everything else. It’s magic! I also eat very well, I barely drink. I do exist on smoothies, and lots of juices when I’m busy. At our house, we’re pretty much vegan,too.
- How do you instill healthy habits within your family?
They always say you can’t tell your children what to do, you have to show them. So this is me showing them how to live a good life. I hope that when they go away from me, when they get ill they remember what I did for them. I’m certainly into regimes, and that’s what I’m trying to teach my 12 year old now. She’s dabbling with bits of makeup, natural stuff, but I’m saying to her - you need to take that off properly. I also make my kids exercise! They go to boxing to keep fit. My son loves football, my daughter is discovering that my pilates studio has benefits, and generally if there’s a tree to climb and they want to go climb it, go ahead. I want them to learn to climb a tree!
- What does your skincare routine look like?
For skincare, it’s always chopping and changing, because I’m always trialing new brands! I do stick to a core routine though; I double cleanse every night. I always use a mist - I love them - and I always use my Agent Nateur Vitamin C powder. I am also a massive fan of facial oils! In the morning, I cleanse, tone, and moisturize again. Always sunscreen! Josh Rosebrook has got a nutrient day cream with SPF 30 in it. It’s the most genius, beautiful, lightweight day cream, and it’s got sunscreen in it - what’s not to love about that?
- How do you decide which products to stock at The Jamila?
A lot of choices I make are based on what my family’s requirements are, such as sunscreen, deodorant, bug repellant. I don’t want to put chemicals on my children every day - I don’t know the effects of them, nobody does! If I need these products, the chances are that somebody else will. I do intensive research on products. I sit and read the ingredients, look at the official certifications, the packaging and the company. Then I start conversations with them. Often I’ll go to bed at night having sent messages to people all over the world. Because our products don’t have chemical preservatives, I have to import based on the seasons. I won’t buy anything in summer - I try to order either side of the heat.
- What do you wish people in the GCC knew about natural healthcare?
The cancer rates here are off the charts. General sickness is off the charts. You can buy antibiotics over the counter here - people are on first name terms with their prescriptions! We’ve come so far from what we were designed to be, living this completely artificial lifestyle. Vitamin D deficiency here is massive as well! No one’s saying you’ve got to go out for hours but get out for 10-15 minutes. Especially if you are covered, you’ve got to get your vitamin D. Not just at the doctor’s, getting an injection and giving him your money, or through vitamins. There’s a massive sun out there!
Use the things which are naturally around you; eat the colours of the rainbow - fill your shopping trolleys and meals with natural fruit and vegetables - that’s your medicine. Do some critical thinking of what you can do to heal yourself before outsourcing your health and turning to chemicals. They may give you a quick fix, but they only treat the symptom - and usually at the cost of added side effects!
Run by Alison, The Jamila is the GCC’s first and only fully natural and organic self care retailer. For more information on natural and organic self care, stay tuned to our blog, or pop into The Jamila and say hello!