With the long, shimmering summer days starting to unfurl and the mercury starts to rise, the Club celebrated it summer soiree in late August. The evening, one of the Clubs signature events, hosted on the rooftop bar at Jin Bo Law in London with undisturbed skyline views of the city was the perfect opportunity to enjoy a few drinks, connect and engage with new and existing members in a relaxed environment.

 

 

Photographs by Glenn Foster for Foundxrs Club

As sustainability, green space and healthy city-living top the global agenda, Milan has become Italy’s most popular city among international buyers. Foundxrs Club gets an exclusive tour of Porta Nuova, a contemporary new district in the heart of Italy’s capital of fashion, style, and business, with sustainability and wellbeing at its heart.

 

Porta Nuova is the largest integrated regeneration project in Europe and a celebrated example of sustainable urban design. Developed by real estate company COIMA, the new neighbourhood is composed of a diversity of attractive residential buildings, including urban villas, courtyard buildings, town houses, and the emerald in the crown, the Bosco Verticale towers, popularly known as Milan’s vertical forest.

 

 

Bosco Verticale—the epitome of green living

Taking centre stage in the Porta Nuova district is the multi award-winning Bosco Verticale. The epitome of green living stands on the edge of the Milan’s third largest park BAM - Biblioteca degli Alberi di Milano, translated as library of trees­.

One of the most renowned symbols of green urban development in the world, the first ‘vertical forest’ concept by Stefano Boeri Architetti pioneers a unique approach to urban living – connecting people and buildings with nature, bringing essential greenery and biodiversity into increasingly dense cities, and reducing their environmental impact.

 

 

The ‘green icon’ comprises of 111 apartments across two buildings, 18 and 26 storeys respectively. They are fully enveloped and embraced by a self-sustaining living exterior featuring over 15,000 plants and 90 different species of trees, shrubs, and floral vegetation… the equivalent of a three-hectare forest!

Bosco Verticale’s fresh and innovative identity has deservedly won numerous international awards, including the International Highrise Award, 2014, Best Tall Building Europe, and Best Tall Building Worldwide, 2015.

 

 

The Bosco Verticale Penthouse

Nestled within the world-famous exterior of Bosco Verticale towers sits one of the largest, highest, and most exclusive properties in Milan.

Occupying the entire 26th floor of Stefano Boeri’s masterpiece, on the edge of the city’s newest park and botanical garden, the 493sqm (5,307sqft) property features a quadruple aspect for 360-degree views of the entire city, across the famous spires of the Duomo di Milano cathedral right out to the Italian Alps.

The penthouse feature bespoke interiors created through a collaboration between global interior and architectural designer, Dara Huang of Design Haus Liberty, and the quintessential Italian designer, COIMA Image.

Stepping outside, six tree-lined terraces act as private gardens in the sky. The terraces provide a magical variety of outdoor spaces on all four facades of the building, each enveloped in the fragrant trees, shrubs and plants that clad the landmark building.

 

 

Porta Nuova District

The pedestrian-centric neighbourhood is set around one of the largest open public parks and botanical gardens in the city. It comprises over 500 trees in 22 ‘circular forests’, vegetable gardens, a picturesque, flowered lawn, and some 135,000 plants, along with specially designed spaces to play, relax and exercise.

Now over 10 years into the regeneration, Porta Nuova is home to 30 business headquarters, attracting more than 65 brands of retail and restaurants and some 10 million visitors every year. It is a major economic hub, leading in the worlds of fashion, technology, and finance, with companies including Google, IBM, Alexander McQueen, Versace, Samsung and Amazon.

 

 

Reaching Porta Nuova

Super connected on all levels, Porta Nuova is served by four stations providing a host of underground and train routes, across Milan and further afield. They offer high-speed services to cities including Paris, Rome and Turin. Two international airports are within quick and easy reach - Linate around a 20-minute drive and Malpensa 45 minutes by car, with services to over 200 destinations combined.

 

 

About COIMA

Founded in Italy in 1974, developer and manager of Porta Nuova, COIMA has built an international reputation for its commitment to sustainable urban development, with a focus on creating spaces for people to live, and positive environments for wellness, socialization, and community engagement. It is a leading platform in the investment, development, and management of real estate assets on behalf of international and domestic institutional investors.

 

 

residenzeportanuova.com/en

 

An effective website can help your company reach more people. Nitesh Bhundia, member of the Club and founder and creative director of Rutland Webdesigner shares his top tips for businesses to improve their online presence.

Known as a ‘fixer of things’, Nitesh set up Rutland Webdesigner to assist businesses to make the most out of being visible online, create real engagement which converts to paying customers. “I’m passionate to work with people who are keen to get things done,” says Nitesh. “We are all intravenously connected to the internet. For businesses, it’s essential that what makes you stand out, what is genuinely unique about your product or service is translated in first few seconds on your web page. The true measurement of the work we do is to improve your bottom line and your brand awareness in the market.”

 

 

  1. Correct titles and meta-descriptions. The first thing that make an immediate impact on your website. These are what’s read when you see the listing on Google. Eighty percent of websites have these badly optimised, and only 5% of websites have every page well considered. By making that change, you will instantly see an uplift in your search engine ranking.

 

  1. Add a featured image to that meta content. It’s a proven fact that we buy with our eyes, so people tend to pick the link that has the picture. Without this, people can’t visualise your product without having to click the actual link. And as we know, people are fickle with how they choose, so don’t risk reducing the click-through rate.

 

  1. Video testimonials. If you have a product or service, your brand ambassadors – those who are happy with what you’ve done – should be ready to give you a short video on how you helped them solve their problem and explain what the solution was. A video doesn’t need to be over edited, complicated, or costly. It can be a simple landscape video recorded on your phone! Once you do that, your conversion rates for either click-throughs to forms, contacts via email, or sale of product will go up.

 

  1. Optimise your Google My Business listing. You’ll buy products from anywhere, but you’ll want services that are local. When looking for a service-based provider, Google’s first job is to show you a map which shows all the pins around you. That area of funnelling for a new client is starting to be more powerful than selling them something on the website. Having a highly optimised, highly visible listing on Google My Business will immediately increase the number of people that contact you from finding your service online. Click here to see a video tutorial, step by step guide on how to improve your Google My Business listing.

 

 

  1. Calculate the lifetime customer value of your client then attribute 10% of the profit to calculate your cost per acquisition. This is the how much you should be spending when getting your ideal clients. A clever way to work out what business owners should be spending, and what they should get for it is to work out your lifetime customer’s worth, then the net of that lifetime customer, then take 10%...and you have a figure.

 

  1. Social media. There are so many people making so much noise that to be heard is very difficult and, in my opinion, a waste of time and money. But if you’re going to do social media, be sincere, honest, and truthful and share your failures as much as your wins. That authenticity will set you apart from your competition. Remember that every platform is different—the message you put on one platform should not be the same on the other so make sure the message you share is appropriate for that channel.

 

  1. The future of search is voice-based question and answer. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and Google has 70% ‘questions’ compared to key word search. So, as people are most likely to ask a question into Google or YouTube, your content should be the answer to those questions. To help with that, write your content in spoken rather than written English because the algorithm bots want to tell you an answer that sounds like a human talking to you. The more common the language, and the more colloquialisms you add, the more the algorithms of the search engines think it should be a voice-search snippet. A great site that allows 3 free searches a day is Answerthepublic.com. It helps to understand the top searched questions.

 

  1. Offer something for free that is of value to your visitor—whether that’s an online quote calculator, a download sheet, or a work plan, give them a free tool and make it easy for them to download, and simply ask for an email. It’s tried and tested and works.

 

 

What has your digital presence done for you to make you proud and happy with where it is? If you are interested in finding out more about maximising your web presence or require any assistance, follow Nitesh, Rutland Webdesigner on LinkedIn, or drop him a line on 07841 374 889.

rutlandwebdesigner.co.uk

Whether you want to upgrade your workspace or create flexible, multipurpose rooms in your home, emphasis on our living and working space as sanctuaries is here to stay.

With years of projects and experience under their belts, we asked industry experts from the Foundxrs Club what they anticipate will make a splash in 2023.

 

Ozge Lancaster, Director/CEO, OS Designs

 

 

Will homes be multifunctional? Absolutely. Corona made a huge difference. People are still choosing to work and spend a lot more time out of their homes. Homes are now head offices, schools, and are largely a reflection of our personalities. Coming home should be a soft landing, not turbulent, so a multifunctional home reflects what we require in order to feel happy, calm, safe and quite literally at home.

Areas people will spend the most money on will…depend on the lifestyle and floorplan of the property! Some may say kitchen, some the living room, and it could even be an entrance hallway. From appliances to durable cabinets and good functionality, it is easy to spend more and is difficult to cut costs. It is one of the areas that will incur the most damage so require good quality and durable materials and appliances that will last a long time.

Colours of the year…although pastel colours are on the rise, it really depends on the area of the project. Light has an important play, so the colour will vary if it is a basement project, a big house with a conservatory, or a penthouse with a lot of windows.

What do people no longer want? More and more people are taking away their cinema rooms. Particularly after Covid, people want multifunctional spaces – a place to work, a place for the kids to play, or a place to read a book.

The biggest waste of money is…feature walls and accent colours. They are old-fashioned, horrible, and out of date. It is important to be harmonious throughout a house, a colour story that exudes the personality of the client. A feature wall or a few random stand-out colours cut through and interrupt the language throughout the property.

 

Osdesigns.co.uk

 

 

Louise Rea, Creative Director, Matthews Rea International Interior Design

 

 

Trends for 2023 will… continue with the wellness at home theme, translated through natural materials – wood, cotton, wool, clay. Interiors are all about a creating a calm, organic environment. Having said that, we are told we will see a trend for a bit of a 70’s revival, with a mix of colours, prints, and shapes!

Will homes continue to embrace multifunctionality…Absolutely, many people are still working from home, and their spaces need to be flexible. However, we are not being asked for fully open-plan anymore, rather the opportunity to shut areas off for privacy and zoning.

Areas people will spend the most will be…the kitchen remains the big spend, so the pantry and additional storage are a must have. Games rooms, bars, or a space for the family to play and relax is also very important. Rather than a cinema room, clients want a cosy fun space where a family can watch TV, play games, be together. As self-care remains a strong theme, spa areas and treatment rooms give clients the opportunity to switch off and truly relax.

Colours that will dominate… a natural palette is key. We have moved away from taupes and greys, and are using more earthy tones – creams and ivory as a base, with nature brought in…rust, green, teal, olive, soft pinks.

People are now looking for…an overall more relaxed look. The formal dining room rarely gets used! We are moving away from generic schemes…people want to show their personality as they are continually spending more time in their homes.

The biggest waste of money is? For a new-build or large refurbishment, not appointing the right team, and not getting a QS involved. It saves so much money in the long run. Getting an interior designer on board at an early stage is imperative, avoiding costly issues throughout the length of a project and ensuring a great result.

Matthewsrea.com

 

 

Natasha Gupta, Founder, Blue Feather Designs

 

 

Trends for 2023 are…no trend is the trend! Recent events have helped people embrace their quirks and individuality more than ever, so trends will become more and more eclectic.

How do commercial spaces embrace a sense of multifunctionality? People have new ways of working and socialising and crave excitement, adventure, but also convenience. Multiple purpose space will have more longevity as it will appeal to more people at different parts of the circadian rhythm. For example, coffee shops being co-working spaces, then switching into a bar in the evening! The change has already started, and in order for business to remain successful it will be important to think outside the box in terms of what they can offer the ever more discerning clientele.

Colours or influences that will dominate? Sustainability is still on the rise, so biophilic design will continue to dominate spaces, both in interiors and in urban design. Expect lots of greens teamed with soothing shades of pastel or invigorating pops of neon.

People will no longer want…to come into an office that feels mechanical so will seek more interesting working environments. As the landscape changes, corporates will change too!

The best investment is…a professional team of designers for branding, web, and interiors! It is something you don’t always understand you need till you get it, then you wonder how you survived without!

Your favourite project so far? All of them! Every project has been a fantastic experience where I have been lucky to have worked with clients that appreciate the process and have trusted my vision. So many of them have become friends and I am truly grateful to be doing a job that doesn’t feel like a job!

Bluefeatherdesigns.co.uk

 

 

Shona Patel, Founder, SP3 London

 

 

What’s do you foresee will be the trends for 2023? We see the industry focusing more on the ethical and sustainable design. Whether it’s the use of materials or integration of the latest technologies, can help reducing the carbon footprint and improve the quality of life.

Do you think homes will continue to embrace a sense of multifunctionality? Definitely. Since the pandemic, many people have been spending a lot more time at home, especially working from home has become a new way of working life that many of us have adopted and are continuing even after. We started to pay more attention on how the space will be used and if it can be used in a different way, or in addition of.

Which areas of the home would you envisage people will spend the most? Due to spending more time at home, having an outdoor space or combining the indoor and outdoor living has been popular.

What colours or influences will dominate? I appreciate the complex mix of patterns and colours. At the same time, I like the challenge of creating a neutral scheme with different textures.

What do you think people will no longer want? I would say a bidet, or a built-in coffee machine.

The biggest waste of money is…artwork that doesn’t hold its value.

Your favourite project so far is…Barca, a full turnkey solution of a beautiful 3-bedroom apartment in Knightsbridge. Loved the client, the design, the FF&E and the artwork!

 

Sp3london.com

 

Kay Gowrinath is the Founder and Managing Director of Xquisite Productions. Fuelled by immense creativity and attention to detail, the business has grown from a one-man unit modifying cars, to an award-winning full-service design and production company. Kay tells Nima Suchak about his journey from tinkering in his parents’ garage, to designing and producing the highest quality experiences for global marketing agencies and brands.

The master maker’s journey began around 20 years ago. The film Fast and Furious was all the rage, and Kay started tinkering about, building and modifying his own car in his parent’s garage. His talent shone through, and Kay quickly became known on the car scene for his builds and had queues of people wanting work done on their cars.

 

Realising he had a business on his hands, Kay sought out a small workshop, employed an assistant, and was soon breaking new ground winning awards for his work on clients’ cars. “I started small but rose to the top of the industry very quickly. Our reputation just grew, and our work was getting featured all around the world. At international shows, people would come to see the cars that we had brought.”

 

It was the outlandish nature of Kay’s work that awarded him an almost celebrity status and built a cult following. His work was featured in over 50 magazines globally, even attracting the attention of TV producers. He was a finalist in the selection process for Pimp my Ride and was eventually seen in shows such as YouTube’s Fast, Furious & Funny and E4’s Carjackers.

“It was a very competitive industry and we inspired clients with the confidence that we were a stable, high-quality business.” But though the modified car industry was big and exciting, it just wasn’t lucrative enough.

Kay says that at one point, cashflow was ‘dreadful’ and they were at rock bottom and close to folding when a phone call changed everything. A creative agency was looking for a high value job for Coca-Cola to build two vehicles for the 2012 London Olympics torch relay campaign.

 

“That was the lifeline for us, and it was huge for our portfolio. It dawned on me that this was to be the direction for our business.”

 

With the goal firmly in his mind, and the Coca-Cola project in pride of place on their portfolio, Kay actively sought out sales in experiential production through creative agencies, working for some of the biggest umbrella groups. They started creating articulated lorries, immersive experiences, exhibition stands, and new product launches for brands such as Blue E-cigarettes, Green & Blacks, Google, Cadbury’s, Coca-Cola, and more.

 

“The floodgates were wide open. We got big clients, and lots of work. The reason we stood out was because of our experience in building cars. Our skillset meant everything we produced was outstanding in quality…setting a new standard in event production.

“My days consisted of relentless pitching, pricing and on many occasions being down in the workshop constructing the builds.  I am often in the trenches with the team in a cut-throat industry.  It was not uncommon to work 17-hour days, seven days a week.  Whilst all my friends were out partying and enjoying their 30’s, I spent mine creating Xquisite and getting it to be the powerhouse that it is today.  To be honest, I relish the opportunity for growth and the challenges that we face really drive our creative flare.

 

“We had uprooted the image of an event production company and looked at the industry with fresh eyes. What set us apart was not only could we do every element of production in house, but crucially how brands were managed. Agency clients were and are comfortable to bring brands to us because we are immersive and give confidence. Yes, we produce the work, but we’re more than that. We’re part creative agency, part production, and we do everything in-house. That’s our USP.”

 

In 2019 Kay decided to grow the business more aggressively. He employed some key people and invested heavily into bigger premises, acquiring a new 35,000 sq ft site. Then in 2020, covid struck, and all work was lost. “Everything was cancelled,” says Kay. “I had to rapidly revisit the strategic direction of the business and pivot us accordingly.”

While the upscaling was successful, the entire events and hospitality industry has been severely impacted. There were rumblings of tiny projects for the retail industry, but Kay had to furlough most of the team. Critically, they remained operative as a business, stepping in to do project prototypes for the retail industry and supporting care packages to staff in Nightingale Hospitals.

 

Kay recognised his company’s role in supporting brands during the pandemic. He began to actively connect with clients to work out a diversity of ways Xquisite can get products into consumer’s hands. It was a genius move, and Xquisite led on several exciting breakthroughs, including a cocktail sampling campaign for The Ned, London, and a Pan-European experiential truck to showcase barbecues for retail giants, all whilst navigating the challenges that COVID-19 and Brexit had posed. The team were able to successfully pioneer Covid compliant experiential activity during the height of the outbreaks.

 

Being able to offer full services in-house that ranged from conceptual designs through to production, campaign management and even storage and sustainable disposal, served Xquisite well, and this year looks the best yet.

“We’ve really cemented our strength and have gained a reputation for thinking outside the box,” says Kay. “But there’s much more to do. We’re looking to add a digital and a strategic arm, and expand globally, in LA, Dubai and Monaco.

 

“I’m very ambitious, driven, and want to build an organisation that is notorious for not only how good it is, but also for the people in it. Over the pandemic, I’ve realised there is more to life than work. Yes, there are tight deadlines and lots of pressure in this industry, but our company morale is different because everyone loves being part of it.  I give people free reign to do what they do.

 

“My aim is that every person in this organisation feels as invested as I am.  I had a real perspective shift – from focusing on the clients and if they’re happy – to the team. I realised that if they are happy, my clients are happy. I had the realisation that the most important thing was the staff, otherwise it’s just a large site with computers and machinery.  It’s the incredible team we have here that makes the magic work at Xquisite.

xquisitepr.com

Photographs by Jai Shah

When a road accident changed Sheena Pirbhai’s life forever, she used her experience of trauma to drive better brain health and mental health treatment into the future

 

Sheena Pirbhai had the world in the palm of her hand. She had just graduated from the University of Cambridge and was looking forward to starting a new job in the banking sector when it was all cut short abruptly.

 

The young graduate was cycling in her university city when a lorry ploughed into her. “I remember it all so clearly. I thought I was going to die.” Sheena remained conscious throughout the near-death experience, suffering intense pain and trauma which was to stay with her for many years.

 

There was an initial three months in hospital, followed by many more gruelling months of surgery. “Doctors had to remove the tissue and skin on the right side of my body where the lorry wheel had stopped on me.

 

“I couldn’t walk for months. I had knee surgery twice, and after each surgery I had to re-learn everything. There were times I just lost hope of ever walking again.”

 

A year after the incident, Sheena took up the job offer in banking which had been deferred while she recovered from the accident.  But her underlying Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), coupled with a very stressful job, became hard to manage. “I couldn’t cope. I went to see the bosses and they said I should take a holiday. That holiday turned into extended medical leave, and I just never returned.”

 

Sheena started investing in treatment for PTSD, and was particularly drawn to EMDR therapy, Neurofeedback and psychiatry. She credits her doctor, Dr Michael Bott, for changing her life. “He taught me how to see life in the way I see it now – how to rationalise and process everything that I’ve been through. And he did it in a way that was completely in tune with who I am.”

 

As part of her recovery journey, Sheena spent time in India where she built a hugely successful company structuring finance for Indian film and television. “It gave me that last piece of the puzzle of complete independence, self-sufficiency, and responsibility for myself, for my decisions.”

 

She returned to London ten years later, ready to look at how she could use her trauma to help others, focussing on mental health from the perspective of the digital landscape.

 

“From my experience, a lot of solutions focused on cognitive function which involves logic and reasoning. But I knew from my own recovery, one of the key aspects was the treatment for the ‘emotional’ part of the brain which is not governed by logic and reasoning. When your nervous system is impacted by stress or anxiety, it impacts your ability to control that part of your brain for it to behave in a regulated manner.”

Sheena had been treated with EMDR and neurofeedback to deal with the emotional regulation part of her brain, but neurofeedback – though a very powerful treatment – was not widely available in the UK.

 

“I was lucky that I was able to receive treatment from some of the leading mental health professionals in the world…doctors and therapists at the top of their field.  But I strongly believe that any form of treatment, even in its basic form, should not be limited to those who can afford it.  Mental health is still a taboo subject, and even though we are getting better at talking about it in public forums, there are still so many people who are suffering in silence, unable to access treatment or afford the right treatment, particularly when it comes to PTSD.”

 

Reconnected with Dr. Bott, they came up with the idea that Neurofeedback could be incredibly effective if digitised and offered to anyone through their smartphone. Sheena reached out for a CTO, Dan Stevens, and they spent a year building a prototype for an app, and in 2019 tested it with a group of Dr. Bott’s patients, yielding incredible results. Stress Point Health had finally developed the technology to deliver digitised Neurofeedback.

 

Through their beta testing phase, Stress Point offered the app free to 450 users throughout the pandemic and saw meaningful improvement. “People were getting reduction in anxiety, reducing symptoms of stress, PTSD, which really gave us the confidence to take it forward.”

 

The full version of the app, SPHERE, was launched in 2021. Stress Point Health is currently working with clinicians, charities, corporates and organisations who want to improve mental health on a bigger scale.  Sheena also works with individuals who want 121 guided sessions to work on their mental health or improve high level performance.

 

“We’re talking about giving people the best chance of success for long term. We have to start bringing together digital solutions in the same way that people would if they were given a treatment plan by their doctor like I was. We need to use digital therapies to make genuine meaningful improvement in the mental health pandemic that we are facing. And how brilliant that we can do that cost effectively, at home, with no waiting lists.

 

“For 20 years or so, I really struggled with the ‘why’. But I genuinely feel Stress Point Health was what I was destined to do. This is my life’s work. I had to go through that to be this person in the world. It started with the view that if I help one person it’s still worth it. but as that grew, and we were helping more and more people, it all suddenly made sense.

 

“The priority mission for us is for everyone achieve good mental health, but also for people to understand that there is a whole eco system that you need to work within to achieve long term brain health.”

 

stresspointhealth.com

Interview by Nima Suchak

Photographs by Rory B. Gullan

 

The Club hosted an intimate evening with Forbes-featured life coach Simon Alexander Ong in May. Members enjoyed a fireside Q&A with one of the country's best motivational speakers, thoughtfully quizzed by none other than Club founder Kalpesh Patel. Hosted by Berkeley Group at Chelsea Creek, the evening was an inspiring opportunity to hear stories from Simon’s life and receive a personally signed copy of his debut book 'ENERGIZE'.

 

Photographs by Glenn Foster

Club member and founder of Dance to Inspire, Angelique Parvez danced her way out of the pain and fear of cancer, to empower other women.

 

The mother, university lecturer, trained dancer and fitness instructor launched her business formerly known as D-Style Dance, in 2012, a Bollywood dance and fitness company in East London. At the end of 2019, just weeks before the country was placed in full lockdown Angelique was diagnosed with breast cancer. The battle spurred her to re-evaluate her life and use the experience to help other women.

 

Before being diagnosed with cancer, Angelique was overworked and stretched. The former management consultant was juggling freelance work, lecturing, raising children, all while running her business and dealing with difficult relationships and inevitably, the pressure took its toll.

 

“We accept stress as part of life, but we really shouldn’t,” says Angelique. “As women, we tend to run ourselves to the ground and often put ourselves last. We do not make time to relax, meditate, pray, and to keep fit and do something we enjoy. It is critical we do these things as part of our daily routine.

 

“I was mentally, physically, and emotionally stressed and when your mental health is not at its best, it becomes a brewing storm which leads to disease. We’re so used to running on a hamster wheel, being ‘busy’ that it affects our hormones, makes us more stressed, and eventually we’re hit with something else.”

 

Feeling anxious, and generally unwell, Angelique knew something was wrong. She noticed pain in her chest and eventually discovered a lump. She sought medical help and wasn’t prepared to hear the news that she had early-stage breast cancer. Angelique was shocked and in full blown anxiety for a few days, till she eventually pulled on her internal strength and started to coach herself.

 

“I started talking to myself and trying to justify the situation,” she says. “I reminded myself that we are all going to have to die one day, and I’ve been fortunate to be given a new lease of life. I told myself to calm down because it could be so much worse.”

 

Angelique turned her attention to helping herself. She looked into meditation and visualisation, and turned to her faith, petitioning God to help her through the trauma. “The more I delved, the more I learnt and realised how much I hadn’t done for myself.  I had neglected to look after my mental health and had just continued to allow things that were not right for me.”

 

Angelique had to undergo a commanding tirade of scans, operations, radiotherapy, and hormone treatments, suffering terrible side effects at each stage. Yet, without revealing her cancer to the world, she continued teaching dance and fitness.

 

“Having the business was a big distraction. I hadn’t told my customers about my health issues, so was in full work mode managing the best I could with my situation.”

 

Just weeks later, Coronavirus gripped the world, and the country went into lockdown. Being confined to home served to assist Angelique’s recovery journey. “I could finally relax. I had my family around, I didn’t need to do school runs, and there were no physical classes.” Angelique decided to set up her dance studio at home and started to deliver her classes virtually. This is when she realised how vital it was for women to find support in each other.

“Lockdown had hit, and my clients were starting to panic—it was a scary, unpredictable time. People were struggling. I knew they were scared, but I had just been there. I realised I could make things better for them by keeping classes going and providing regularity. Dance and fitness could provide physical and mental wellbeing for women. And on top of that, it was a portal for us to talk, discuss what was going on, and just be together, albeit virtually. Yes, I helped them cope with what they were dealing with, but actually, it was them who were helping me cope. I had found a purpose which helped me focus on something outside my pain.”

The doctors were amazed at how quickly Angelique was healing due to her healthy and active lifestyle, which encouraged Angelique to eventually go public and share her cancer journey on a Facebook post. “I couldn’t be inauthentic. I am a fitness instructor, and my aim is to help others to be healthier. I was going through a huge health scare, so how could I keep that under wraps?

“It’s so important to talk. I didn’t know any women of my age who had been through the cancer journey because people – especially Asian women – tend to keep things quiet. That creates a massive problem for someone like me who didn’t know who to turn to. I wanted to get rid of the taboo of this illness, and even if I could help just one person, I would be happy.”

 

Angelique decided to reincarnate her dance business into the newly launched Dance to Inspire – a healthy living program aimed to help women live a happier, healthier life through dance, nutrition coaching, and good mental health practices. Dance, she believes, is the best form of exercise for mind and body health, and the proof lies in her team of coaches… Angelique’s own students help other women with their body and mind transformation. The programme teaches mental health techniques, nutrition, eating healthy, exercise, hydration to help women look and feel better, calmer, and happier. The classes are delivered virtually on Zoom, with meetings on the phone so anyone can join in globally.

“My experience has taught me that as women, we need to look after ourselves and put ourselves first, not last. When you are well only you can support your family and others. If you do, you’re stronger, happier, and 100% more productive.”

 

Dancetoinspire.co.uk

Photographs by Rory B Gullan

 

A brand new development in the heart of Chiswick, represents a rare opportunity to live in one of the capital’s most sought-after neighbourhoods.

The mix of 137 apartments, penthouses and townhouses, alongside thoughtfully designed landscaping, Chiswick Green by renowned boutique developer Great Marlborough Estates brings together a charming village-like location with the cosmopolitan lifestyle of central London.

Tucked behind Chiswick High Road, the leafy Zone 3 neighbourhood boasts beautiful green surroundings. Alongside Turnham Green, which borders the new homes at Chiswick Green, several of London’s most prestigious parks are close by – including Chiswick House & Gardens, Kew Gardens and the globally-renowned Richmond Park. The River Thames and its extensive paths are also close by for riverside walks.

Chiswick itself is home to a bustling high street with a strong community and an eclectic mix of boutique shops and everyday necessities, as well as a thriving cultural and foodie scene – from the Michelin-starred La Trompette to exclusive members’ club High Road House, part of the Soho House Group. The area has also seen an influx of new independent names in recent years, from the eco-friendly Chiswick Cinema to British-Afghan BBQ brand, Cue Point, located in Chiswick Pavilion.

Great Marlborough Estates has brought together some of the most prestigious names in the industry to bring the development to life, with architecture by the award-winning Assael and interiors by renowned designers Millier. Chiswick Green seamlessly blends within the existing townscape, drawing inspiration from the red-brick buildings and greenery of Chiswick High Road, yet with its own distinctive, contemporary twist.

Creating a beautifully-designed community of modern homes, the range of one, two and three-bedroom apartments – which sit across three buildings – with the majority benefitting from private balconies with river, park and city views. With interiors inspired by the development’s natural surroundings, spacious apartment layouts have been carefully crafted to ensure flexible living spaces fit for modern living.

In addition, an exclusive collection of six penthouses provide far-reaching, uninterrupted views across the capital. Meanwhile, tucked away behind the high street, a terrace of just four generous three-storey townhouses will provide the very best of luxury family living.

Whether travelling by foot, bike, car or train, residents enjoy excellent transport connections. Chiswick Park Station is just a three-minute walk, providing access to Victoria in 24 minutes, and Bond Street and King’s Cross in under 40 minutes, while Overground services from nearby Gunnersbury Station put residents in Richmond in around 15 minutes. London Waterloo can also be reached in just 25 minutes via mainline services from Chiswick Station. In addition, Crossrail services from nearby Ealing Broadway – set to open in May 2023 – will further boost connectivity for local residents and put Heathrow Airport within a 15-minute journey.

Perfect for families, Chiswick is renowned for its near-unrivalled educational facilities, with a range of both highly regarded state schools and independent schools within close proximity.

“Chiswick Green is set to bring a different offering to the neighbourhood with its mix of distinctive design and architecture, impressive local lifestyle offering and landscaped setting,” says Grant Lipton, Director, Great Marlborough Estates.

 

Prices at Chiswick Green start from £580,000
chiswickgreen.co.uk
020 8017 1947

 

The Glenturret is celebrating an exceptional year, boasting 31 international award wins, success at a ground-breaking Sotheby’s auction, collaborating with the country’s most renowned hotel, Gleneagles, and becoming the world’s first distillery to receive a Michelin star just seven months launching The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant. Managing Director John Laurie speaks to Nima Suchak about his role in blending tradition with the future for a new generation of whisky lovers.

 

 

Describe about how the philosophy of The Glenturret connects to you?
My journey into whisky comes from a love and passion for the product, and what it means for the nation that I am proud to be part of. I went to a whisky show at 25 and fell in love with the branding, the stories and connection to Scotland that the whisky industry has quite uniquely. It wasn’t a commodity to me, it was always something more special than that. The Glenturret is the oldest distillery and still the only handmade whisky in Scotland, yet, there is a real sense of humility here…we call it the warmest of Scottish welcomes. And while we are super premium luxury, our humility and honesty are key components. That locks me into the brand and keeps me here because it’s great to be part of something that is Scotland’s oldest, that is delivering the traditional methods of whisky-making, while being really humble and honest.

 

How does the brand balance heritage, tradition, and the future?
You need to understand what parts of your heritage are actually the key parts of your identity and what makes your brand special. The quality of whisky that’s made by Glenturret is non-negotiable. The way we go about making it is non-negotiable. Where we embrace the future is in the way that we communicate with the consumer. If you want to continue and grow it’s really important that you adapt to the world that you’re living in and that has to be negotiable. As much as I believe the product should never change, your presence in the world and how you communicate your presence in the world has to always change.

 

You were named one of the ‘50 most influential people in British luxury’ in the ‘rainmaker’ category of Walpole’s Power List. How are you going to make the most of the recognition and influence that this brings?
What that meant for me was the arrival of Scottish single malt onto the luxury stage. In Scotland in particular, we are guilty of not having confidence in our strengths so it’s about our industry getting onto that stage in an incredible and confident way. It shows that the whisky industry has arrived in the luxury consumer goods world, and is here to stay.

 

The Glenturret is one of the fastest developing brands in the sector by value and volume since the acquisition by Lalique Group and entrepreneur Hansjörg Wyss. What makes this relationship work so well?
Lalique has a huge depth of understanding of the luxury market and what it means to be a true luxury consumer good. Where we are similar is their protection of the history and heritage of the Lalique brand and the protection of Rene Lalique’s history and heritage to ensure that he is very present in the modern brand. What resonated with me was how they managed to modernise and bring a product into this world without whitewashing its history, and they’ve done that here again with us. The Glenturret was very small when it was bought, and while we have grown very fast, we remain a boutique distillery.

 

 

The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant is the first distillery in the world to have a Michelin star—and just seven months after opening. Was this always in the game plan?
The concept of neighbourhood vineyard restaurants really interested us and we thought it would be great to be the first to have a fine dining restaurant within a distillery setting. Our mission was to create a world class restaurant that really helped a new set of consumers understand the terroir of our area. Globally-renowned Head Chef Mark Donald spent his first couple of months with our production team, championing the Scottish produce foraged in the local terroir, fusing playful flavours reflective of his global experience. The entire team at The Glenturret have worked incredibly hard to get the business to where it is now and we have been very successful with awards, winning gold medals and the coveted Distiller of the Year. But that only means something to you if you are aware of what those things mean within the industry. Whereas Michelin is universally recognised and gave us the wider recognition for the hard work that the whole team have done—whisky and restaurant combined.

 

What has been the most challenging aspect for you in relaunching the brand? How did you overcome these challenges?
When the business was part of Edrington, it was part of a large, corporate entity. And the culture and systems of work that exist in a large corporate entity are very different from a small agile operation. So, taking the business on a journey to becoming a standalone distiller within Scotland that has a really ambitious target of a super-premium product required a new set of skills, a new energy, a new pace. Therefore, the biggest challenge for my leadership was to find that skill, pace, and culture without moving too far from our humility and tradition.

 

 

How has Brexit impacted the brand, and its new international appeal?
As a business, it has been a very difficult challenge. Lots of different markets require different paperwork, administration, and labelling which has created an administration burden on the business and caused us a lot of strain. The challenge, though, has been to ensure that the consumer doesn’t see that challenge. The consumer should get The Glenturret that they love and paid for, and should get it the way they expected. The challenge for us is not to let any of those frustrations apparent to the consumer.

 

Where do you see the brand in the next five years?
I’ve always had the vision that The Glenturret will become that special occasion drink. It’s going to be the one you reach for at special event, or you want to share a special dram with that special person on that special occasion. We’re on that journey. We’re very much becoming that brand for people.

 

What is your choice of drink to relax?
I genuinely love whisky and the industry so my drink of choice is The Glenturret Triple Wood. It’s super smooth and super easy to drink.

 

theglenturret.com