It was fantastic to be at the Natural and Organic Products Expo again, another chance to catch up with brands who have entered the Platinum Awards, (or are thinking of entering), catching up with brands I’ve known forever, some were featured in Imperfectly Natural Woman which was a number One best seller 17 years ago!

In addition to presenting their beauty awards I got to interview the one and only Mary Portas, a true icon in the world of retail and beyond. Affectionately known as the ‘Queen of shops,’ Mary has revolutionized the retail landscape with her innovative strategies, bold vision, and unwavering passion for excellence.

I shared the story of when we first met at Steve Wright in the afternoon,, I admired her amazing pendant, ‘Tatty Divine’ She said…’Let me write down the designers name’…Then she looked at me, and said ..’just have it!’ I wore that pendant for years, and of course often told the story of the kindest person ever….I warned her to be careful as I was eyeing up her suit!!

Mary was inspirational, a key strand of her work is ‘Beautiful business’ and we discussed how we can bring back joy and create the kind of change we need. We discussed the importance of the High Street and how we can make the shopping experience great again, Mary has said – The landscape is changing of course, there will be less retail,… but better,

She shared her passion (and mine) for collaboration and community, and the idea of making second hand not just affordable – but sexy I love the natural health and wellbeing industry, and with my Platinum awards now in its ninth year, its brilliant to see some of these natural, organic and sustainable brands thriving, and new ones popping up. There has to be a way or raising consciousness to eschew the ‘Greenwashing’ and focus on the true holistic picture.  When I asked her about the natural health world Mary said:

“I think we need to look at health in a much more inclusive way. When I look at, a high street health store, I think, well, they still feel like a health food store. You know, it’s not as joyous as I would want. I really do think they could do something more upbeat’

Upbeat is good!  Lets bring back more Beautiful Business into health and wellbeing.

Talking joy, it was fabulous to bump into The Happy Pear, who were my guests on the Alcohol Free Life podcast

happy pear

If you have a natural brand, product or service, enter the Janey Loves Platinum Awards, and we’d love your nominations  too.