My long term background very scientific, but that’s at least a hundred years ago when my post grad looked at how external influences impact health. There’s a whole combination of reasons why I changed and retrained as a therapist and started to create a natural skincare brand, but eventually my local hospital asked me to come in and create a skincare line for cancer patients. It’s unheard of but they asked me because there’s a lot of skin conditions associated with cancer and nobody was doing anything about it, which made me really cross. I worked with the patients and nurses, all of whom had ingredients criteria, and between us we came up with products that worked.
The treatment often causes sore, dry, itchy, flakey skin, chapped lips and nail conditions, so the products need to be natural and effective and there are of course some scientific rules as well.
No, the other thing that really incensed me was that beauty treatments were contraindicated. I developed courses to allow therapists to touch people being treated for cancer, how to adapt what they’re doing for patients and which treatments are appropriate. Ragdale Hall is one of the venues that’s opened up to it; we have models come in from Leicester Royal Infirmary and they are super excited to come.
When someone said ‘Jennifer you have changed my life’; that was the most memorable comment. This particular lady had taken up golf again after her breast cancer and radiation treatment and was struggling because her bras were too uncomfortable and she couldn’t play without her bra on. She tried our itchy skin oil (which is top of the list for patients) and within days she was back in her pre treatment bras.
We have hundreds of products but a retail range of 10 – five for face and five for body. We have evolved into knowing what our best and most popular products are, particularly lip balms because people suffer from dry lips when they’re being treated, which is something we don’t tend to think about. The important thing for me is that the products are simple, because it’s overwhelming to be diagnosed with cancer so you need something easy and simple.
There are loads of plans – plans are my problem! I want to offer more services, maybe more products and expand our retail range, but everything in good time.
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