Lola Lui is the co-founder of Lola’s Apothecary; a brand that believes in self-care and natural beauty and wellness. They describe themselves as adventurous entrepreneurs, Lola being a whimsical girl who found inspiration for a company so natural and organic in a big, busy city like London.
Each product is lovingly handmade,the Queen of Roses Bath Milk won the Natural Health International Beauty Awards 2016, and the effort and time that goes into creating and launching the company has more than paid off. We caught up with her to find out about what a recovering workaholic does in the countryside, how she switches off without worrying the world will fall apart, why she trusts her intuition about everything and her favorite beauty must-haves of the moment!
How are you finding country life now that you’ve left the hustle and bustle of London?
I absolutely love the air and space. I think I’ve come home. At this time of the year, Devon is in full bloom. Driving through the green tunnels – roads canopied by fresh greens and arching trees – illuminated by dappled sunlight through the leaves, never ceases to mesmerize me. I feel very blessed to cultivate a connection with nature by eating off the land as much as possible. Foraging for wild foods and making a meal with my finds is just magical. London still has its charms and I have a lot of friends in the city, but I find myself yearning for the embrace of Devon whenever I’m away.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no typical day in the life of a rose, I’m an entrepreneur! Routine doesn’t suit my personality, I could be formulating a new fragrance at 2am, or writing a newsletter at 10pm. I have however developed some non-negotiables to maintain my well-being. Must have daily snuggle session with my little beasts, which in my world equals meditation with soft and fluffy hot water bottles, for example. I’m in the creative cave birthing new ideas at the moment, so am trying to keep distractions (emails, meetings, etc.) to a minimum.
How do you balance work life with home life?
Well, I’m a recovering workaholic and had been known to work across 3 time zones since starting Lola’s Apothecary 2 years ago, until my health crumbled. Coming up with an elaborate living plan can easily become another chore, especially when life is already full.
I try to keep to the basics – what makes me feel nourished and in the flow? A hearty meal, making time to buy fresh produce that calls to me and then cooking it with love. Plenty of sleep, being mindful to stop working before I’m completely exhausted and allowing for some down time before bed to promote sounder rest. A daily self-care ritual when I cleanse and pamper myself with fragrant things not only helps me get in touch with my body but also clears my mind. Balance is an active lesson I’m still learning. Most of all I listen to my intuition, whether it urges me to go out or stay in because my body really does know best.
What are your favorite beauty products?
Ooh too many! I’m faithful to ByTerry Terrybly Mascara, which is a tinted serum that boosts lash growth and doesn’t clump my lashes. It also outlasts other mascaras as the rose wax in the formula prevents it from drying out.
I recently discovered KMS California CurlUp Control Creme. It’s just the perfect product to manage my long, fine hair effortlessly. My current can’t-live-without is actually my own beauty balm that I whipped up one night to soothe my sea ravaged skin. I receive so many compliments on my complexion since using it that nothing else will do now. Yes, we will spread the love and share the beauty balm with the world, stay tuned for launch date!
What is the best piece of work advice you ever received?
I’m deeply inspired by Danielle la Porte. Love the way she advocates self-love, compassion, and authenticity in the pursuit of success. Heart centred business! She recently took her whole team offline for a week and the only explanation she gave was “because so healthy”. This woman is a high priestess of our time.
How do you stay organized?
I make to-do lists on the laptop, in my journal, and sometimes email myself too. My business partner, Dominic, is amazing at planning. His analytical approach compliments my spontaneity and keeps us grounded.
If all else fails and I’m overwhelmed, I stop. Yes. Stop. Everything. Clarity comes in moments of stillness. I go rest my aching head for a while, counter my anxiety of not getting things done/letting people down with an internal announcement of “screw everything”. Dare to let the world fall apart in your absence, just like your ego tells you it would. Then come back with a calm mind, ready to resolve anything that fell apart, one by one. And be surprised by how many things waited meekly and did not fall apart after all.
What advice would you give to others looking to start their own business?
Go for something you are passionate about – it will keep your faith alive when the going gets tough. Something that you love more than the safety of a day job and regular income. One of the privileges of the global digital age is that you can easily start a business with next to nothing.
Don’t worry about lining up all your ducks, and don’t be fazed by the distance between now and that success goal post. Listen to yourself, let your inspiration guide you one small step at a time. Figure out your Why, the How, When and What will come to you right on time.