5 Minutes With: Lush Co-founder Rowena BirdBy Kate Rooney
Lush recently opened their largest store in the world. The three floor flagship hub is located on Oxford Street and is home to over 200 exclusive products. Escaping the chaos of one of London’s busiest shopping districts could now land you directly into the Lush Spa, located within store. Finally, a true Lush haven has been created to exist in real life.
As well as catching up with Lush’s Co-Founder Rowena Bird, we bring you our edit of the top 10 Lush products that belong in our bathroom cabinets for every tub-time emergency.
Dream Time Bath Melt | Eau Roma Water Facial Toner | Sex Bomb Bath Bomb | Each Peach Massage Bar | Creamy Candy Bubble Bar | Dream Wash Shower Smoothie | Ultra Bland Cleanser | Enchanted Eye Cream | Sultana Of Soap | Amandopondo Bubble Bar
What does an average day being a Lush founder look like for you?
I usually start the day around 7.30am with a Skype call to either Australia or Japan, to catch them at the end of their day before they head home. I normally do this about two or three days a week. I then head to the office and meet with Mark, Mo and Helen (Mark and Mo Constantine OBE and Helen Ambrosen, Lush Co-founders and Product Inventors), we then sit down together and decide on a plan for the rest of the day.
If it’s not a creativity day, I usually have at least one meeting booked. If it’s a creativity day, I spend it with the other Lush founders discussing ideas and creating new and exciting products.
If it’s an information day, I am usually very busy running in and out of different meetings and looking at various other parts of the business that I’m involved with. I also like to check the Lush staff room Facebook page everyday to see what’s going on. The afternoons and evenings are then spent answering emails, reading information and making myself aware of what is going on.
Top five favourite Lush products?
Lush product names are famed for being fun, playful yet one hundred percent relevant. What does the naming process involve?
There isn’t really a process; we normally come across the names by accident. Most of the time they just come to us when we are out and about or sitting around a table together. We like names that make us laugh or that resonate with the inspiration behind the product. We like the product names to be new and exciting, we don’t like names that sounds similar to someone else’s. Mo is often the person that comes up with the names.
They can be inspired by anything from the stimulus behind the product itself to music and poetry. We are actually working on some products inspired by cartoons. Sometimes product names are a play on our names or the ingredients used within the products, Ro’s Argan body conditioner is a great example of this.
If you could only use one Lush product for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ultrabland cleanser, it does everything! It’s a fabulous makeup remover, moisturiser, it’s great for sore dry areas, you can tame your hair with it and even add sugar to it to create a beautiful scrub. It has a lovely gentle base that lends itself to everything. Ultrabland is extremely versatile.
Do you translate such green, eco values into your personal life?
Yes, I always carry a fold-up bag when I go out, I never use plastic bags. I also use green energy at home and grow some of my own fruit and vegetables. I am also very energy efficient and always make sure I turn the lights off when I leave the room. I do all the little things that everyone can do, it all adds up.
What limitations do you come across when working with all natural ingredients and products?
We don’t really come across any limitations, it’s just like cooking, if you don’t like coriander, are you limited to what you can cook? No.
We faced certain challenges when creating our hair gelly and sun care, both of these product ranges presented us with challenges that we worked our way through. Using natural, fresh ingredients doesn’t create problems; it’s just a different way of thinking. We’ve always made products this way, so it’s not a problem.