The GT Interview - Lauren Armes, Welltodo
Posted on July 14 2015
Realising that life in London can be incredibly fast paced, and an ongoing cycle of retox/detox, founder Lauren Armes set out to connect the best of London’s wellness offerings with the city’s blossoming health and fitness community. The Welltodo life as a celebration of our individual ability to know and trust our own bodies and to nourish body and mind; with the ultimate aim of reaching our highest potential. Subscribe at www.welltodolondon.com for access to the latest on London's fitness and wellness scene.
What’s the idea behind the Welltodo brand and site?
Welltodo stems from the idea that you can lead a very rich and prosperous life by simply choosing to look after yourself. That looks different for everyone, but I think the common thread, in a city like London, is that we’re all looking for ways to slow down, breathe more deeply and be more in tune with our bodies. There are so many great ways to do that, through the food we eat, the way we move, workout and chill out - and I realised about a year ago, that there wasn’t one central place to find all of that information. So I created welltodolondon.com
When did you launch the site and how has the response been?
I started the website as a blog, in April 2014. About six months later I decided to relaunch it as an online publication because it was growing so quickly, and I wanted it to be less about my personal opinion and more about the facts. As a team of writers, we now cover the trends and exciting new developments that define British wellness culture.
Last month I launched The Welltodo Life Series, which is about bringing the wellness industry together in a much more focus way - for wellness entrepreneurs and health conscious startups. It’s about giving the business community, who are driving this beautiful beast, a voice and an opportunity to connect, learn and collaborate. It’s a really exciting time. Over the next six month, Welltodo London is really going to ramp up. We want to be the go-to source for everything health, fitness and wellness related.
Green juices are the new cocktails. What do you think is driving London’s increasing love affair with the LA healthy lifestyle?
There’s no doubt that a lot of the time, picking up a green juice or trying a fitness class, is driven by a desire to be on trend. However, because it feels so good - Londoners have very quickly realised that as a lifestyle, it just makes sense. It then becomes a kind of addiction, where you constantly want to be engaged in new and exciting ways to feel great and look great. Our readers see wellness as a way of life, not a cycle of retoxing and detoxing; there’s a new generation who take healthy living really quite seriously, which is why we don’t talk a lot about diets, and when we do talk (for example) about cleansing or detoxing - we’re talking to a group of people who take it very seriously and aren’t just looking for a hang-over cure. That’s not how we live.
What’s been the high point of your career so far?
I’m a big believe in the Steve Jobs theory that all the dots connect you to where you are. I’ve had a very varied background in business strategy for a number of global companies. The highs of that period were seeing what it’s like to run a successful multi-national and learning some key lessons in how to build a brilliant organisation from the ground up… but the highest point was kissing that all goodbye in order to start my own empire. In that sense, the high point was the day I started Welltodo.
How often do you work out / what’s your favourite way to stay in shape?
I try and workout about 3-4 times per week, but on days where I’m not doing a class or PT session, I make sure I have at least half an hour to just go for a brisk walk or a cycle. If things are really busy, it’s not uncommon for me to let it slip… I’m not perfect and I also have to prioritise my business sometimes. My favourite way to stay in shape is road cycling. Nothing compares to spending a few hours on a fresh Sunday morning in the country lanes and Surrey hills. Outside is free.
What’s your top beauty tip?
Keep it as natural as possible. I opt for natural skincare products, using diluted apple cider vinegar as a toner and rose water as a hydrating mist. I also think beauty starts on the inside, so staying refined sugar-free is my biggest tip for lovely, clear skin.
Where’s your favourite London hangout?
At the moment, I’m loving 26 Grains in Neals Yard. Alex and build a little porridge mecca and everything she creates tastes as good as it looks. For an incredible workout, I absolutely LOVE Elissa’s Metcore class at Form Studios in Notting Hill.
What 5 things could you not live without?!
Good question! On completley practical level, I couldn’t live without my family, fresh country air, a good winter coat, Lucas’ Pawaw Ointment, and my iPhone - in that order.