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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Alice by Temperley’s 1st Birthday

Alice Temperley celebrates her diffusion line's 1st birthday in Kensal Green with a little help from some celebrity friends…

Written by Ester Kneen

Akamuti-replenishing rose facial oil
Akamuti by Jenny Lloyd
Akamuti by Jenny Lloyd.

I first became enamoured with Akamuti skincare products when I discovered the brand in 2008 and subsequently interviewed them for the last print issue of Amelia’s Magazine. A family run business in Wales that creates gorgeous organic fairtrade products – what’s not to like? Time to find out what founder Lindsey Hedges is up to these days…

Why did you decide to set up business?
Akamuti grew out of my passion for plants! I’ve always been interested in their role in tree medicine, no rx herbalism and aromatherapy so it feels very natural to work with all these wonderful ingredients. Akamuti began in 2003 when I was only 20 years old and keen to start my own business. I think that being home schooled from the age of 10 instilled in me a very independent outlook on life and this streak has grown with me! The business started off in a really small way, mixing up tiny amounts of creams and balms from raw ingredients – always using only the best natural ingredients that we could source. Then I would set off to the local health shops with my little box and try to sell them. It was really exciting to get a positive response and this spurred me on to set up a website so that people could order online. From these humble beginnings the business slowly but surely began to grow. Nowadays the whole family are involved in the business, with five of us working together. Our combined enthusiasm for a holistic way of living, eating and healing keeps our creativity focused, ensuring that our products reflect our ethics.

Why is being part of a family business so satisfying?
It’s good to work together because you have people you know that you can rely on in a crisis. We understand each better than anyone else and thankfully we all seem to rub along nicely so we make a good team.

Akamuti skincare by Karina Yarv
Lindsey Hedges, founder of Akamuti. Illustration by Karina Yarv.

How did you train yourself to make skincare products?
When I was 17 I did a herbal medicine course that taught me how to make balms and macerated oils, which was great fun to do in the kitchen. I loved drying herbs, hanging them from the airer so that they made a mess on the floor. I experimented, researched and got my hands dirty until I found a recipe that I was happy with. I’ve also worked in aromatherapy for many years so I know my ingredients inside out.

How is your organic vegetable garden, and do you grow any of your own ingredients?
I really love gardens and I’ve been trying my best to grow veg for years. This year I managed to coax some lovely potatoes out of the ground as well as salads, tomatoes and a million cucumbers. Sadly, my onions and garlic didn’t even get chance to see the sunshine this year (slugs!) but I plant them every year because it feels wrong not too. We have plenty of space so it’s been a dream of mine to grow our own ingredients for a few years now… I just need to find the time. I’m hoping to plant a lavender and rose garden at some point so that I can make a small amount of my own rosewater. 
 
Can you describe the set up in Wales?
We work from our workshop in a beautiful valley in south west Wales overlooking the Brechfa Forest. We have a smallholding so it’s not only home to us but a few unruly animals as well. It’s a truly inspirational place to live, with nature literally on the doorstep and natural beauty around every corner. I love the peace and quiet here, it really nourishes the soul.   

Akamuti-by-Nina-Hunter
Akamuti by Nina Hunter.

When you have visitors where do you take them out?
I would take them to our little town of Llandeilo to shop for organic bread and homemade ice cream, then we would visit Carreg Cennen Castle, dramatically perched on a limestone outcrop. I’d make sure we visited the seaside where there are countless coves to choose from, so we might just do them all. And to finish, we would end up in our local pub which has the best beer garden in the world.

What are the benefits of being in Wales, and the pitfalls?
I love the wild side of Wales most. It’s great to nip out the door and within minutes be in a forest, a meadow, or on a mountain. I love the trees and fields, the castles, the coastline, the views out to the Brecon Beacons, the stunning drive through the Towy Valley. There is a strong craft community here, we have several community run shops, and there is a lot of great food and farm produce about too. The pitfalls… what pitfalls!?
 
lindsey_akamuti_darren fletcher
Lindsey Hedges by Darren Fletcher.

Been anywhere else lately?
I’ve just got back from southern Snowdonia where I stayed at the foot of Cadair Idris. There is a beautiful lake there which I love. It is very cool and quiet – you could be anywhere in the world. I’ve also recently discovered the New Forest – I particularly like all the animals wandering freely through the villages.

How do you source your fairtrade organic ingredients?
Thankfully the internet makes this very easy. We find new suppliers quite quickly and many come by word of mouth. A lot of the time I stumble across people doing amazing things which I note down for the future.

What is the first thing you do when you want to invent a new product?
I make myself a coffee, find a comfy spot, get my notebook out and start writing. I think of what I want to achieve with the product and what I would like to go in it and then I start putting them together. I also brainstorm with everyone else. A bit like planning a garden, the best part is picking the plants! 

What exciting new products are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a flower based perfume at the moment, so I’m playing around with sandalwood, rose, jasmine and a number of other oils to get the best combination. I’ve decided to keep the perfume as an oil, much like the ancient Attar perfumes, which were based on sandalwood oil. I am a big fan of eastern aromatherapy and I like the way the scents make me drift away to the ancient lands of Persia or Anatolia in my mind.  

What is your favourite ingredient to work with and why?
I’ve got a few favourites but I’ll try and narrow them down. My first love is definitely Rose Otto oil – it works so well for many physical and emotional problems, as well as smelling beautiful. I also love working with Neroli essential oil because it is so uplifting. If an oil could have the quality of kindness then this is the one. 

Why should people buy your products?
Because they are good for the skin and the soul! They are made with 100% natural ingredients from start to finish without any additional rubbish, and we try our best to harness all of the natural goodness of trees, plants and flowers in each product so that our customers get the very best we can make. Our products are people and planet friendly, and they are affordable too.
 
What do you expect to top your Christmas bestsellers list this year?
At the moment, our Replenishing Rose Face Cream is selling very quickly so we are making lots of it to try to keep up with demand. Over the winter the skin tends to dry out much more (I know mine has!) so your skin will really appreciate a good, rich moisturiser to put back all the goodness which the cold weather takes out of it. Replenishing Rose Face Cream is a welcome treat for tired, hungry skin because it is very rich and softening, combining nourishing raspberry, precious pomegranate and rosehip oils with luxurious Rose Otto oil. I expect all our face creams and exotic butters to be the bestsellers over Christmas because they make lovely, unusual presents that are totally natural and ethical.

***************************

I recently chanced upon a bottle of Kalahari Watermelon Body Oil that had been kicking around in the back of my bathroom, and let me tell you it is a glorious treat after a brief interlude of using a cheap Superdrug moisturiser. It smells utterly heavenly and soaks in really well, leaving a delicate waft of essential oils in its wake. You too can shop with Akamuti on their website and at independent retailers across the country.
Akamuti by Jenny Lloyd
Akamuti by Jenny Lloyd.

I first became enamoured with Akamuti skincare products when I discovered the brand in 2008 and subsequently interviewed them for the last print issue of Amelia’s Magazine. A family run business in Wales that creates gorgeous organic fairtrade products – what’s not to like? Time to find out what founder Lindsey Hedges is up to these days…

Why did you decide to set up business?
Akamuti grew out of my passion for plants! I’ve always been interested in their role in tree medicine, more about herbalism and aromatherapy so it feels very natural to work with all these wonderful ingredients. Akamuti began in 2003 when I was only 20 years old and keen to start my own business. I think that being home schooled from the age of 10 instilled in me a very independent outlook on life and this streak has grown with me! The business started off in a really small way, search mixing up tiny amounts of creams and balms from raw ingredients – always using only the best natural ingredients that we could source. Then I would set off to the local health shops with my little box and try to sell them. It was really exciting to get a positive response and this spurred me on to set up a website so that people could order online. From these humble beginnings the business slowly but surely began to grow. Nowadays the whole family are involved in the business, with five of us working together. Our combined enthusiasm for a holistic way of living, eating and healing keeps our creativity focused, ensuring that our products reflect our ethics.

Akamuti skincare by Karina Yarv
Lindsey Hedges, founder of Akamuti. Illustration by Karina Yarv.

Why is being part of a family business so satisfying?
It’s good to work together because you have people you know that you can rely on in a crisis. We understand each better than anyone else and thankfully we all seem to rub along nicely so we make a good team.

How did you train yourself to make skincare products?
When I was 17 I did a herbal medicine course that taught me how to make balms and macerated oils, which was great fun to do in the kitchen. I loved drying herbs, hanging them from the airer so that they made a mess on the floor. I experimented, researched and got my hands dirty until I found a recipe that I was happy with. I’ve also worked in aromatherapy for many years so I know my ingredients inside out.

Akamuti-rose & marshmallow beauty mask
Akamuti’s Rose & Marshmallow beauty mask.

How is your organic vegetable garden, and do you grow any of your own ingredients?
I really love gardens and I’ve been trying my best to grow veg for years. This year I managed to coax some lovely potatoes out of the ground as well as salads, tomatoes and a million cucumbers. Sadly, my onions and garlic didn’t even get chance to see the sunshine this year (slugs!) but I plant them every year because it feels wrong not too. We have plenty of space so it’s been a dream of mine to grow our own ingredients for a few years now… I just need to find the time. I’m hoping to plant a lavender and rose garden at some point so that I can make a small amount of my own rosewater. 
 
Can you describe the set up in Wales?
We work from our workshop in a beautiful valley in south west Wales overlooking the Brechfa Forest. We have a smallholding so it’s not only home to us but a few unruly animals as well. It’s a truly inspirational place to live, with nature literally on the doorstep and natural beauty around every corner. I love the peace and quiet here, it really nourishes the soul.   

Akamuti-by-Nina-Hunter
Akamuti by Nina Hunter.

When you have visitors where do you take them out?
I would take them to our little town of Llandeilo to shop for organic bread and homemade ice cream, then we would visit Carreg Cennen Castle, dramatically perched on a limestone outcrop. I’d make sure we visited the seaside where there are countless coves to choose from, so we might just do them all. And to finish, we would end up in our local pub which has the best beer garden in the world.

What are the benefits of being in Wales, and the pitfalls?
I love the wild side of Wales most. It’s great to nip out the door and within minutes be in a forest, a meadow, or on a mountain. I love the trees and fields, the castles, the coastline, the views out to the Brecon Beacons, the stunning drive through the Towy Valley. There is a strong craft community here, we have several community run shops, and there is a lot of great food and farm produce about too. The pitfalls… what pitfalls!?
 
lindsey_akamuti_darren fletcher
Lindsey Hedges by Darren Fletcher.

Been anywhere else lately?
I’ve just got back from southern Snowdonia where I stayed at the foot of Cadair Idris. There is a beautiful lake there which I love. It is very cool and quiet – you could be anywhere in the world. I’ve also recently discovered the New Forest – I particularly like all the animals wandering freely through the villages.

How do you source your fairtrade organic ingredients?
Thankfully the internet makes this very easy. We find new suppliers quite quickly and many come by word of mouth. A lot of the time I stumble across people doing amazing things which I note down for the future.

What is the first thing you do when you want to invent a new product?
I make myself a coffee, find a comfy spot, get my notebook out and start writing. I think of what I want to achieve with the product and what I would like to go in it and then I start putting them together. I also brainstorm with everyone else. A bit like planning a garden, the best part is picking the plants! 

Akamuti-buttered rose & almond hand cream
Akamuti’s Buttered Rose & Almond Hand Cream.

What exciting new products are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a flower based perfume at the moment, so I’m playing around with sandalwood, rose, jasmine and a number of other oils to get the best combination. I’ve decided to keep the perfume as an oil, much like the ancient Attar perfumes, which were based on sandalwood oil. I am a big fan of eastern aromatherapy and I like the way the scents make me drift away to the ancient lands of Persia or Anatolia in my mind.  

What is your favourite ingredient to work with and why?
I’ve got a few favourites but I’ll try and narrow them down. My first love is definitely Rose Otto oil – it works so well for many physical and emotional problems, as well as smelling beautiful. I also love working with Neroli essential oil because it is so uplifting. If an oil could have the quality of kindness then this is the one. 

Why should people buy your products?
Because they are good for the skin and the soul! They are made with 100% natural ingredients from start to finish without any additional rubbish, and we try our best to harness all of the natural goodness of trees, plants and flowers in each product so that our customers get the very best we can make. Our products are people and planet friendly, and they are affordable too.
 
Akamuti-replenishing rose facial oil
Akamuti’s Replenishing Rose Facial Oil.

What do you expect to top your Christmas bestsellers list this year?
At the moment, our Replenishing Rose Face Cream is selling very quickly so we are making lots of it to try to keep up with demand. Over the winter the skin tends to dry out much more (I know mine has!) so your skin will really appreciate a good, rich moisturiser to put back all the goodness which the cold weather takes out of it. Replenishing Rose Face Cream is a welcome treat for tired, hungry skin because it is very rich and softening, combining nourishing raspberry, precious pomegranate and rosehip oils with luxurious Rose Otto oil. I expect all our face creams and exotic butters to be the bestsellers over Christmas because they make lovely, unusual presents that are totally natural and ethical.

***************************

I recently chanced upon a bottle of Kalahari Watermelon Body Oil that had been kicking around in the back of my bathroom, and let me tell you it is a glorious treat after a brief interlude of using a cheap Superdrug moisturiser. It smells utterly heavenly and soaks in really well, leaving a delicate waft of essential oils in its wake. You too can shop with Akamuti on their website and at independent retailers across the country.
Contacts:

For all Press, buy information pills Marketing, Advertising and General Enquiries: Amelia

Please only email me with personal requests, NOT listings or mailouts, which I will simply delete without looking at. I check all accounts so your press releases will be seen and answered if I am interested.

Please note that we only tend to list an event if we think we can also review it, so we’re really quite picky about what we devote our time to promoting.

Fashion editor: Matt Bramford

Art PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Music PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Earth PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Submissions:

If you would like to have something reviewed, write or illustrate for the website, then please contact the relevant email above, more details on this page.

Please note that if you don’t follow the guidelines then your email is likely to be ignored, as we get absolutely inundated with emails.
Contacts:

For all Press, this Marketing, page Advertising and General Enquiries of a PERSONAL NATURE: Amelia

Please only use the email above to contact me with personal requests, stuff NOT listings or mailouts, which I will simply delete without looking at. I check all accounts so your press releases will be seen and answered if I am interested.

Please note that we only tend to list an event if we think we can also review it, so we’re really quite picky about what we devote our time to promoting.

Fashion editor: Matt Bramford

Art PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Music PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Earth PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Submissions:

If you would like to have something reviewed, write or illustrate for the website, then please contact the relevant email above, more details on this page.

Please note that if you don’t follow the guidelines then your email is likely to be ignored, as we get absolutely inundated with emails.

All photographs by Ester Kneen

The Paradise pub in Kensal Green played host last week to the first birthday celebration of fashion label Alice by Temperley.
The ‘English Eccentric’ theme attracted a crowd of fabulously dressed guests who drank Chambord cocktails, page aptly named; ‘Blushing Alice’ and ‘Somerset Breeze’ and ate haute-English-cuisine canapés prepared by head chef Tim Payne, former executive chef on Marco Pierre White’s Hells Kitchen. Some dressed in top hats and coat tails, this whilst others sported symbols of Britishness like Union Jacks and tartans.

Designer, Alice Temperley wore head to toe leopard print including a foot high hat from the Spring/Summer collection.
The star-studded guest list included Daisy Lowe, Ellie Goulding, Nick Grimshaw and Edith Bowman who turned out to celebrate the brand’s recent success.

The sister brand of Temperley London, Alice by Temperley has “it’s own fresh and accessible aesthetic,” and it’s first ever ‘Cruise’ collection, launched this month will be stocked in all leading international stores. The brand also has plans for it’s own London flagship store for 2011.

Since its creation last year the brand has gone from strength to strength, gaining a number of fans such as Beyoncé and Jessica Biel, along the way. The Notting Hill based label encompasses Britishness, making clothes for the ‘London girl’. The brand’s accessibility and affordability will no doubt lead to further success and we’re likely to see the growth of the brand in years to come.

Happy Birthday Alice by Temperley!

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