Who: Lisa Smallpiece, co founder of Amly Botanicals. Along with her work partner Kerry Moore, Lisa is turning Amly Botanicals into the go-to luxury skincare range for those who like their beauty products nature-based. Lisa firmly believes in the petal-powered healing qualities of her heritage floral meadows at Hawthbush Farm in Sussex, where she grows many of the fragrant botanicals used in the collections and where she is also re-wilding the land with many of the original ancient species.
Before moving into beauty, Lisa was a practising artist, working in the arts and promoting writers and fine artists in the UK. We caught up with Lisa in Jigsaw’s Shop At Bluebird, where the brand is sold.
This smell is a particular favourite because when I worked with the alchemist for Amly Botanicals, I wanted him to create a scent that reminded me of when I walk through the wild flower meadow on the farm.
There’s a name for the smell of when the rain touches the ground and intermingles with the wild flowers – petrichor, it’s a very earthy and very uplifting floral scent. The word uplifting is really important because that’s what you want throughout the day to keep you upbeat and positive. We’ve added neroli, jasmine and rose otto essential oils to the mix as well as chamomile and linden blossom oils which were grown on the farm.
When we moved to Hawthbush farm ten years ago, we knew the previous owner had lived here for over 50 years and had not touched some of the land, so there were ancient wild flower meadows which were in pristine condition. When you think that we only have 3%* of our ancient wild flower meadows left now in the UK, that makes it pretty special.
We had Natural England down to come and look at the meadows and they were blown away by what they saw, so now we’re working with them to protect and expand the wild flower meadows we have. At the moment we’re regenerating the land that has previously been farmed for agricultural – mostly sweetcorn crop – by taking the seed heads harvested from the ancient wild flower meadow and laying them in plies over the ground to help it self seed. It’ll take a while, maybe ten years, to properly seed itself but eventually we will have wildflower meadows all over the farm.
When you walk through the meadows in the summer the energy is incredible, the sound, the smell, its a vital force that is incomparable. It’s a passion of mine to make sure our whole farm has that vital force and I’d love to help others to do the same.
I am a very visual person as well as having a deep interest in health and wellbeing. Natural beauty is a subtle combination of both. Skin health and emotional wellbeing, to my mind, can only be truly achieved by using high-quality natural products which do not have a negative effect on your whole system. Because of my background in the arts I could also see how much creativity there was in the packaging and storytelling of a brand, so it inspired me to create a beauty line that was packaged in an original and beautiful way, as well as being tactile and sustainable.
Fragrance is really important in my life. When we first found Hawthbush Farm it was like walking into somewhere I recognised. It was uncanny, the smell and scent of that home transported me right back to my granny’s farm in Ireland. Inhaling that smell did something on the spot to my brain. I knew not only that I wanted to live there, but that I’d also come home.
That the experience you get through scent can be transformed into beauty products if you do it with integrity and passion. You can transport people through scent to places and times in their lives that make them happy. To be able to access such a happy moment and escape to to it, to be a happier person, that’s really achievable with fragranced product.
I really believe fragrance has an affect on your body at a subconscious level inside. It’s an untapped energy that people should be using, if only they knew how powerful it can be.
The fragrances enhance the affects of the Amly skincare, I’ve no doubt about that. When you’re using our products, we advise people to drop it into the palm of their hand and then bring the palms to their face and just breath in, inhale deeply, to have a more intimate experience with the scent. Also the process of stopping and being quiet and ‘in the moment’, means that your scent ritual is helping to prep you positively for the day.
The Digital Detox Face Mist acts as a buffer or support system during the day, when you’re travelling or if you’re in front of a computer, the mist will inject lots of potent anti microbial essential oils into the atmosphere to protect you, they will also calm your system down and increase your concentration levels.
The Beauty Sleep Face Mist brings you full circle, by letting that mist envelope you, as well as by misting your pillow, the essential oils we’ve used, which include valerian, hops, rock rose, lavender and chamomile, will all help you not just sleep, but sleep very deeply. The lavender we used is not your typical lavender scent profile, it has a powdery sweet, earthy base that really grounds you and make you feel cosseted and looked after.
But it’s not all fabulous smelling on the farm, you can’t get away from the smell of wet dog fur when you come in the house so that brings me down to earth.
You can visit Hawthbush Farm, details here, to experience the meadows first hand and stay in the farm cottages, which are all for hire, ideal if you are needing some botanical recharging.