Almost 30 years ago, Brigit Blair founded Linden Leaves in search of solutions and products for two of her children who suffered severe eczema and allergies.
Daughter Juliet Blair was, according to her, "weirdly spared" from struggling with skin issues but she's well aware of how challenging it can be and how great it is to help alleviate such allergies for other people.
Also, weirdly enough, Juliet is the only child who decided to join the family business and recently, in September 2022, took over the reins as CEO of Linden Leaves.
We talk to Juliet about her new role and plans for the beloved brand.
What does it mean to be a female CEO of a company in this day and age?
I feel really fortunate to live in a time and place where gender is becoming less and less relevant and a leader’s vision, compass and leadership style are more of the conversation.
I believe diversity and dissenting voices within a team, plus asking the hard questions, are what drive real success. I also believe in a collaborative and coaching approach to leadership — supporting your team with the framework, tools, and permission to do great things for the business and not just ‘being the boss’.
What's the best thing about working in a business your mum started?
I didn’t always feel this way but after living in Europe for 7 years, I began to understand what a privilege it is to be able to work in a family business. It’s something special to be taking on the framework of what my mother has built so successfully over the past 27 years and have the opportunity to grow this from there.
Any tips on how to achieve work-life balance?
I’m maybe the worst person to ask as I tend to get pretty swept up in work and even took my computer to the hospital to ‘finish emails’ when I was in labour!
I guess if you enjoy what you do and love the challenge, it’s easier to feel ‘balanced’ about things even when some days are not really all that balanced! But it’s definitely important to create spaces for downtime and relaxation for myself. Without that, I struggle to be ‘on’ for work and to be there for my children and husband, and wider circle of friends and family too.
Sleep is critical for me to function well and I find something as simple as doing stretches or yoga in the mornings, and a hot bath or shower in the evening, can really help to relax and de-tune my brain to get good sleep.
I am fortunate to be able to work flexible hours and my work day usually consists of a very early slot so I can spend time with the family around breakfast and getting school-ready.
Where do you get your inspiration for new products from?
Often from what we are looking for ourselves across the team, and from our customers, who come and ask if we would make something they need in particular. It’s great that our customers have so much trust in us, that they would come to us and ask, rather than looking elsewhere!
What are your favourite products?
I use our natural and organic facial skincare products every day and really don’t know what I would do without them! I also love the Absolute Dreams Body Oil (which was in each of MyTreat's December 2022 box!), and all our hand creams. I’m also really excited about our new Shimmer Oil.
Each of our May 2023 Mental Health box contains a Caramel Spice Midi Diffuser, sure to uplift your mood and soothe your mind.. Subscribe today: