I first met Katie a few years ago when we worked together in media. She would always walk past my desk with ridiculously healthy and delicious-looking delights in her Tupperware tubs that made me wonder why I was always eating a Mars Bar. I then ended up chatting to her one day over lunch about the fact that I was going to join a gym for the VERY FIRST TIME (big moment in life) and she told me that she taught spinning at the gym next to our work on lunchtimes.
I found this immensely impressive. Especially because I would usually spend my lunch break idly eating some sort of chicken sandwich and half-heartedly scrolling through Facebook. So I strapped on my shiny new trainers and gave it a go. It was amazing. The fact that Katie was so determined to get in a lunchtime workout herself that she did the entire class rather than just stand at the front and shout 'one more turn' was incredible. Plus this gave me no excuse not to go because she would drag me by my ear down there for all subsequent classes.
Katie has gone on to become a qualified Bikram yoga teacher AND start up not one but TWO businesses ... Oh, and she also gave birth to a scrumptious baby boy last year too. I am exhausted just thinking about that ... But in her very few and far between moments of her free time she was kind enough to tackle the Mac&Moore Q&A.
Tell us about Imperfectly Pure?
IP is my other baby!! Unknowingly conceived at almost the exactly tame time as my baby boy Rex. Imperfectly Pure is a wellness service, with the guiding principle of helping busy women lead a healthier more balanced life, closer to nature, without suggesting they need to be a slave to diets and extremes. A focus on mind, body and spirit through health, nutrition, exercise, natural remedies, positivity, mindfulness and meditation – in an accessible way.
The philosophy is:
80% Natural + 20% Naughty = 100% Balanced Wellness
It’s about keeping that little devil on your shoulder happy so he doesn’t grow louder, and celebrating that it's our imperfections that make us who we are. No one is perfect but we all have a pure heart if we strip everything back and look inward. That's kind of where the name came from. I also wanted something really accessible as I felt that lots of the social media girls put across an image that was really unattainable and unsustainable for us normal gals, focusing just on fitness or nutrition whereas IP is about Wellness and a much gentler approach. By focusing on the 6 limbs of Wellness I aim to show that small things can have a big impact on your life and the way you feel. You don’t need to be fit, healthy or well to join Imperfectly Pure, you DO need to want to try new things that will make positive changes to your wellbeing. I use my website and social media regularly to post, blogs, Vlogs and also offer 1-2-1 consultations and individualised programs.
What made you decide to take the plunge?
I had been thinking about IP for a long time but then two things happened. First I went to a lecture/group meeting of like-minded peeps run by Escape the City and something they said really resonated "don't wait to start until your idea is perfect" it never will be and you can change it along the way!
We then went on holiday to Mallorca and happened to stay in a hotel run by this amazing couple - I was beavering away with my notebook on IP launch ideas and one day Alex and Susan asked me what I was up to. I babbled away and it turned out they had also been inspired by Escape the City to leave their tough city jobs and set up their hotel! They gave me a load of encouragement and also bounced ideas around with Ross and I for cycling/yoga retreats we could run at their place. It was so so invigorating and really made me so excited that as soon as I got home I started planning my launch program for IP "Welcome to Wellness"
Where did the decision to expand further with Face Föda come from?
I was studying Naturopathic Nutrition evenings after work at the college of naturopathic medicine and noticed they also offered a natural skincare course. I jumped at the chance to sign up as had been wanting to learn more for a while seeing as I had been faffing around with oils at home making my own skincare. Whilst on the course I thought to myself "I don't know of an organic, affordable skincare brand that offers bespoke products" something I was interested in, so I thought that I should create one! I then did a lot of work researching ingredients and trialling with some willing friends , I also did some focus groups on name ideas, and eventually Face Föda was born.
Do you have any advice or top tips for busy people to keep themselves happy and healthy?
Yes!! I have loads!!! Most importantly it's to tick off the basics before you start worrying about the latest health product or fad. For me this is:
Eat well, as nature intended it; stay well hydrated with water; breathe deep; move your body ; and sleep!
I also am a huge advocate of meditation. People often get scared when I start talking about meditation but its nothing to be scared of. It is, in fact, an amazingly powerful tool that is there for everyone. Anyone can learn to meditate. You can start simply enough by sitting still, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath - try to really relax your shoulders down away from your ears and let go of any tension. Be aware that your brain will have thoughts, it's its job to think after all! But know that you can always return to your thoughts. Whilst you meditate try to let thoughts pass through you. Simply focus on your breath, in and out of your nose, or you can use a mantra, which is a word or phrase that is important to you and really concentrate on that. The best thing is you don't need to dedicate hours to it each day. Research has shown that with just ten minutes per day the brain starts changing the way It reacts and responds to stressful situations in as little as two weeks! For beginners I recommend the Headspace app - it is fantastic and really guides you through the basics.
How on earth do you juggle a full-time job, being a new mummy, Imperfectly Pure, Face Foda AND yoga teaching?
Hmmmm, well I'm on maternity leave at the moment and am finding that I have so much less time! When I was pregnant and in my day job I used to fill up every spare second with IP, FF and teaching yoga and spinning, and it didn't matter that I was completely exhausted because I didn't have a little baby to look after- now my time is so limited . But I'm so passionate about what I do that I am often gagging to work! I'm teaching this weekend and am really looking forward to it, when I teach now, or do some Face Föda or IP I feel a real sense of achievement and take huge pride in my work. It is really important to me that I don't let all the hard work I have built up over the last two years fall away whilst I am raising Rex. It is hard, because I often feel hugely guilty if I am teaching and not with him, but I think that is the one thing most mums struggle with - guilt!! all the time!! haha
What’s the grand plan/big idea?
Well…moving to the seaside to set up a yoga studio, make more Face Föda and run IP Wellness retreats.... WATCH THIS SPACE as very soon I will have some news.
What’s your proudest moment so far?
Well, personally it is giving birth to my baby boy.
Professionally? It's so hard to pick one moment. I feel pride every time i hear from a student after class that they feel amazing, or from someone saying that IP has helped them to feel more positive and cope with life, from wellness clients that their lives are more balanced and happier, or that my Face Föda has helped their teenage daughters acne, or baby's eczema. All I want to do is help in any small way that I can.
Where do you get your inspiration from? (person, place, action)
It's all around me! Every single moment of every single day! It might be in the words of a song I hear, of a poem I read, of the way I feel after my yoga practice, from friends and family. In particular at the moment from my baby boy Rex. He is so totally unaffected and pure and innocent , he inspires me to be the best person I can be every day. For him I want to help as many people around me to feel good because that will only have a positive halo affect on the people around those people, and this I think is how we can all start to heal the world in our own small way.
What’s your favourite quote to live/work by?
OMG I have so many!!!!! Can I have two?!
"Have Courage and always be Kind" - good old Cinderella
"Am I crazy" she asked "sometimes I feel I am"
"Maybe" he said "but don't worry about it. You need to be a little bit crazy. Crazy is the price you pay for having an imagination. It's your superpower. Tapping into the dream. It's a good thing, not a bad thing" Ruth Ozek
You can find Imperfectly Pure here:
Facebook (with some great VLOGS)