The Child Within
“Give me a child at 7 and I’ll show you the adult.” So goes the Jesuits saying. Look back at yourself and see if you have fundamentally changed since you were 7? If you closely examine your personality and character, assuming you’re older now, do you recognise your inner child?
There is no doubt that experiences change us, to some degree, on our path to adulthood. As I concluded in my final degree thesis at Teacher’s Training College in London, hereditary and environmental factors both play equally important roles in shaping our adult selves. But there’s little we can do with a child after they pass the age of 7. That’s only my personal opinion, based on years of observation.
I have a deeply thoughtful and intelligent son who monkies around with a great sense of humor, and a creative soul. He’s coming up to 40 now, but when I look at him I often still see that same little boy who’d come running out the school gates, eager to get his homework done and just as eager to play with his friends. He also used to love to cook. And now, decades and a degree at Oxford later, his enthusiasm, love of cooking and sense of play are being expressed in a successful Mac’n Cheese street food business and the occasional peaceful protest…
Getty Image picture of my son at the Hospo Demo taken from London’s Evening Standard paper on 19 October 2020 with official caption reading: “Good humor: the peaceful protest attracted hundreds from the industry.”
And what of my own inner child? At 7 years old I had my only doll (which spookily I still have; we’re both beyond our sixth decade but I’d say she is looking a little younger than me!) that I’d sit down on a little desk and make up sums for. I always wanted to teach children. Little wonder then that the first career I followed with focus and a sense of mission was that as a Primary School teacher. That career was the perfect channel for my love of children and their pure and creative way of thinking.
In the interest of brevity I’ll skip through my evolution and foray into the fashion business and get straight to my volunteering at Chelsea Physic Garden in the mid 1990’s. It was there, that I was bitten alive – serving as a five-star meal to biting bugs! And that’s where I embarked on another mission (perhaps more selfish this time) that I’m still pursuing, 24 years later…
Freedom to Play (without bites)
The biggest mission I have had during my time as Founder and Creative Director of Alfresco has been to develop products that keep the bugs from biting whilst being as natural as can be and gentle and calming on the skin. Of course, a big part of this aim, given my background, has been to give our little ones and even us not so little ones (as far as outer appearances go!) the freedom to play without itchy bites!
To come up with a modern, practical child friendly skin lotion that doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge (due to no preservatives), or that wont sink into the skin whilst being naturally derived is simply impossible. Yet, that doesn’t mean to say I’ve had to forfeit my core values and carelessly chuck in a load of chemicals to produce good working products.
Tune into part two of my blog, coming soon, where I’ll walk you through as clearly as possible, the beautiful, sustainable, natural essential oils in our Alfresco lotions and fragrances, which keep the bugs away from our children, grandchildren, babies and pregnant women.