UP CLOSE & PERSONAL -with Hellen Ward
Best business advice?
Adapt or Die. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
If not in the hair and beauty industry?
Either a media lawyer or journalist. I love a battle. I love an opinion. If I was good enough, a yoga instructor or professional tarot card reader.
What's for you won't go by you (when you get what you want that's the universe's direction, when you don't get what you want that's the universe's protection).The universe has got your back - everything happens for a reason (even if you can't see it at the time).
Thoughts become things. You can manifest things if you visualise them enough to raise your vibration and feel them into being, turning them into reality.
Brands to die for?
Zadig & Voltaire. Baash. Pyrus. Rixo. Chanel (sunglasses, jewellery, shoes, jackets ... and bags, when I can afford it). For jeans, Frame, Mother or Paige.
My villa in Ibiza when there are no teenagers partying there, I love the winter there more than the summer.
Most inspirational people?
I am most inspired by creative people; Bowie, Coco Chanel (what a life she had...) Prince.
Worst character traits?
Impatience (why wait until tomorrow when you can do it now?). My straight-talking approach. I'm normally the bad cop. Planning and hating surprises (I have to read the last page of a novel first, or Google the ending of a film). I hate not knowing the outcome of something - I really have to practice meditation to try and be more mindful.
Best character traits?
Foresight. Intuition (a blessing and a curse). I hope people would say kindness and empathy. I'd like to think my sense of humour. Diligence - I always do what I say I'm going to do. Integrity - I'm fiercely protective and loyal. I'm also quite fearless.
Yoga mats. Designer labels. Sunglasses. Dents in my cars (should have been a panel beater - would have saved me a fortune). Make-up. Shoes (heels only). Jewellery. Handbags. Rock and pop prints (I'm running out of walls). Music autobiographies. Sets of Tarot cards and crystals.
People would never know but...
I'm into anything spiritual. I am claircogniant. I can read tarot cards and runes. I study numerology and astrology and go to The College of Psychic Studies in London.
Bowie, Radiohead, Prince, Jeff Buckley (he only made one album), Stone Roses, The Doors and of course Duran Duran (who come into the salon and turn me into a swooning idiot even now, particularly John Taylor).
Desert Island Discs?
Lady Grinning Soul (Bowie, Aladdin Sane), Waterfall (Stone Roses), Lover You Should Have Come Over (Jeff Buckley), Five Years (Bowie, Ziggy Stardust), Wild Is the Wind (Bowie, Station to Station), The Wild Ones (Suede), Creep (Radiohead) plus my current all time favourite The Beautiful Ones (Prince)- and a Roget's Thesaurus as my book, Chanel Lip Gloss as my luxury item.
As I couldn't possibly just pick one Bowie ... The Stone Roses - I've listened to it almost every day since it came out in 1989 (sad, I know).
My week is very structured. Mondays is my day off unless I'm doing any consultancy or education. On Wednesdays I work on my Azulara brand - it could be visiting my workshop in Hatton Garden or retailing it in pop-up's; I love selling. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays I'm at the salon in my office. Saturdays and Sundays is time with my children if they're around (rare). Regardless, I wake up at 6.30 am - have to have a pot of tea in bed - then meditate for 20 minutes. Then I'm straight on my yoga mat for 30 minutes (on a work day, an hour or longer if its a day off). I either walk or cycle to work so I'm invariably in my yoga kit. I meditate in the afternoon for 20 minutes - it's pretty life-changing. Then after work it's G&T, snacking on almonds while I'm cooking dinner and if I'm not going out, bath, candles and bed.
Chelsea FC, especially watching them at Stamford Bridge ( I live walking distance from the ground). Chanel lip gloss. Diamonds. Aquamarines. Narciso Rodriguez, Tiffany or Chanel Cristalle perfume. Beautiful song lyrics. Looking over to Dalt Vila from my roof terrace in Ibiza late at night and stargazing. Yoga. Re-bounding. Compiling a great playlist for any occasion. Hand written letters. Bowie. Salted almonds. Cherries. Hazlenuts. Beautiful fabrics like silk or cashmere, especially if it's hand tie-dyed. Shopping at Trilogy in Sloane Square.
Taxation for bricks and mortar businesses not being the same as online retailers. Spaniards trying to drive around roundabouts. Fancy dress parties. Surprises. Frogs or toads (I have randiaphobia). The internet. Apple (I think they are guilty of planned obsolescence. I hate that my children make me have an i-phone just so they can get my upgrade). Any big companies that hide off-shore and don’t contribute to the economy (I tell my children to go into the loo on purpose in Starbucks and if questioned to say "I'll buy a coffee when you start paying corporation tax"). Business rates. Landlords. People who can’t spell or punctuate properly. Sugar. Junk food. Flaky people who procrastinate (I'm a do-er not a talker). Bad manners. People that don't hold their knife and fork properly. Bullshitters. Liars. School fees. People that let you ask them loads of questions but never ask you a question back. Shouting (unless it’s appropriate, for instance at the football, then it’s OK if you can stomach the language). Festival toilets. My car. Companies that want your business but don't bother to get back to you. People that earn their money from working in our sector in related businesses but don't support us when it matters. Working by committee - not easy for any decision maker - it's like the Judean People's Front/People's Front of Judea when they get caught trying to overthrow the Romans...
If calories didn't exist?
I'd scoff Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips endlessly, eat paella on Talamanca beach every day when I'm in Ibiza, always have profiteroles for pudding and polish off numerous bars of Cadbury's Whole Nut or Peppermint Aero (from the fridge). I'd actually eat my crispy roast potatoes (instead of just cooking them for everyone else). I'd drink even more Bombay Sapphire & Slimline tonic or ice cold French Sauvignon Blanc with soda.
Life's too short not to..?
Wear high heels. Buy orchids. Put your make up on even when you don't feel like it (you never know who you might meet). Say yes to an invitation. See a band live. Say no sometimes. Embrace your spirituality; listen to your soul. Remember that happiness is a choice. Procrastinate - there's paralysis in the analysis.
Most precious possessions?
Cards and letters from people I love. My Bowie prints. My jewellery.
Dream dinner party guests?
Bowie, Prince, Coco Chanel, Oscar Wilde, Churchill, Liam Gallagher (and Noel just to make it really entertaining), Morrissey, Jim Morrison (my ultimate pin-up boy), JFK, Marc Bolan, Jeff Buckley (dream eye-candy) and Princess Diana.
Michael Sheen, Robert Downey Jr, Natasha McElhone.
Karaoke song of choice?
Creep (Radiohead), I'm Still Waiting (Diana Ross) followed by If I Can't Have You (Yvonne Elliman - from Saturday Night Fever). Cover your ears...
Afterlife, Stath Lets Flats, any episode of Taskmaster with James Acaster in.
Best place for a night out?
In London; the pub - The Sloaney Pony (White Horse, Parsons Green) then dinner at Aragon House (Parsons Green), Brook House (Eel Brook Common), The Fox & Pheasant (James Blunt's pub by Stamford Bridge), The Bluebird or Ziani (Chelsea), The Wolseley or The Caprice following by hitting the dance floor in Annabel's. In Ibiza, walking down from the villa on a hot summer's night to dinner at Sa Punta, followed by drinks at Destino then dancing at Pacha (of course...) and afterwards staggering home barefoot along Talamanca beach in the moonlight/sunrise.
3 words to describe you?
Mercurial, compassionate, entrepreneurial...(typical Gemini).
The Damned United, Atonement, On Chesil Beach, Saturday Night Fever, Trainspotting, Sense and Sensibility, Goodfellas, Purple Rain.
Getting my work/life balance right is my top priority - spending a few days working from home and tending my vegetable patch in my cottage on Hayling Island and one week in every 6 in Ibiza to get out of London is key now my nest is empty.