Gail Bryden is an Edinburgh-based aromatherapist who has created a feel good range called JustBe Botanicals. Here she tells us more about her approach to health and well-beingâ€¦
Whatâ€™s your connection to the Lothians?
After graduating from Stirling University, I moved through to Edinburgh with a group of friends. Through my career Iâ€™ve lived and worked in Newcastle, Maidstone, London and Dublin, although I would frequently return to Edinburgh. I bought a house here just over 15 years ago and it feels like my home, second only to my home town of Dumfries.
Have you childhood memory of Edinburgh?
â€˜Climbingâ€™ Arthurs Seat with my parents and sister when I must have been about 10/12. When I look at the snap of me and my sister at the top, I can almost remember the effort!
Have you a favourite place to visit locally?
Thereâ€™s so many â€“ although I do still enjoy all the green spaces that Edinburgh has to offer. The Meadows, Princes Street Gardens and the canal are so close by and I enjoy heading out for a walk or on my bike to get some fresh air and see whatâ€™s going on.
The Lothians are a great source of inspiration and thereâ€™s always something going on. Edinburgh has become the city of Festivals. I particularly enjoy August when the world arrives and we have the biggest cultural event on our doorstep.
Are you a â€˜gloomy-fog-over-the-castleâ€™Â or a â€˜summer-on-Princes Street-gardensâ€™ type?
100% summer on Princes Street â€“ I love when the sunâ€™s shining, it really boosts the spirits.
How would you introduce us to your career/life/passion?
My passion in life is being happy and encouraging others to be happy. As an aromatherapist, Iâ€™m interested in how our sense of smell affects how we feel and about 10 year ago I had a complete life change. Having been affected by stress, and to regain my own health, I retrained in a series of therapies including holistic massage, Mind Detox, Bach Flower remedies.
It was whilst working on a retreat explaining to a client that I found it hard to find a massage oil that I enjoyed working with, she asked: Â â€˜why donâ€™t you make your own?â€™ Recognising that the clients wanted to â€˜just beâ€™, the inspiration JustBe was born. The first 4 blends were JustBe Happy, Loved, Energised and Sweet. Six years on and JustBe Happy remains the most popular.
My feel good range JustBe Botanicals has been designed to balance the emotions and enhance a sense of wellbeing. It has developed to include something for each of the senses and includes an album of music, organic herbal teas and aromatherapy chocolates!
Whatâ€™s your greatest achievement so far â€“ personally or professionally?
Personally finding a role that I enjoy and living a life that I love. Receiving awards for JustBe (14 to date) also feels like a great achievement.
This yearâ€™s been a bit of a whirlwind. It started with meeting one of my personal heroes Joe Wick aka The Body Coach when he was in Edinburgh signing his 1st Lean in 15 books. Joe loves my JustBe Loved chocolate â€œitâ€™s my favourite, the best Iâ€™ve ever tastedâ€, so it felt fitting to give him a JustBe Loved award for his contribution to health and well-being. House & Garden magazine approached me to ask if I would partner with them for their April subscription offer â€“ the Hydrating Serum & Treatment Oil was the chosen give away. I entered the Virgin Media #VOOM pitchathon competition with the opportunity to pitch to Richard Branson and made it to the final 20 in June â€“ which was an amazing experience. And delighted to be one of this yearâ€™s Small Business 100. Small Business Saturday is on the 5th of December and is a UK wide campaign to encourage us all to shop local.
And when youâ€™re not working?Â
Keeping fit, which helps balance out the eating, drinking and socialising that I also enjoy.