10 Minutes With: Holistic Silk Creative Director, Joanna Weakley
Meet the Creative Director of Holistic Silk, Joanna Weakley, the woman helping you find time for yourself in an always ‘on’ world.
30 Second CV
Name: Joanna Weakley
Location: Boscastle, Cornwall
Current Title/Company: Creative Director, Holistic Silk
Educational Background: BA (Hons) Textile Design at Chelsea School of Art
The Real Deal
Brief overview of what you do:
Holistic Silk started out as a true yoga and relaxation brand, designed around a demand for luxury travel accessories which recognised the need for stress relief in today’s rapidly changing world. It has evolved into a beauty and wellbeing brand and, as the word ‘holistic’ suggests, we treat the whole, giving our customers products they rely on in busy and stressful environments. Obtaining quality sleep and real relaxation (and the ability to “switch off”) is even more of a goal for people today than when we first started in 2000. Our products are ethical and fair trade, and we employ highly skilled craftsmen to ensure the best quality for our customers.
Can you describe your job in 3-5 words?
Intense, creative, rewarding and challenging.
Do you have a weekday morning routine?
I get up as the sun rises and start with a hot lemon water and a walk around the garden, organising the day ahead in my mind. I then prepare breakfast and do the school run. After that I head straight to the office, where my first port of call is a staff meeting and checking my relentless inbox.
What does a typical day at your desk look like?
The beauty of this job is that every day is different, and I am not tied to my desk. As the products we produce are tactile a lot of my responsibilities are in selecting fabrics, approving designs and talking to suppliers. I also like to keep a personal touch with our wholesale customers and have meetings in stores.
What’s been the best moment of your career so far?
Making it work, from the first concept to product to a collection sold worldwide. A lot of my initial ideas were met with scepticism, but I knew it was the right thing to be doing. To now be known as the go to brand for aiding relaxation, and have my products stocked in the most recognised department stores, including Liberty, Harrods and Harvey Nichols, is a real coup.
Your job – the good, the bad, the ugly:
The good: Being my own boss, making all the decisions, and feeling that I am really contributing to people’s lives and offering a little solace in the fast paced world we now live in. I read every bit of feedback Holistic Silk receives and am truly touched by people’s positive words.
The bad and the ugly: Never really being able to switch off from Holistic Silk and the constant responsibility that running a business brings.
What would you say to your twenty year old self with the benefit of hindsight?
Believe in yourself and your values, do not be swayed by the herd, and don’t try to fit in where you don’t want to. Live in the moment and enjoy your adult youth as it is when you will feel the most free!
Who are your role models?
I’m inspired by artists and creatives in general. I once read that David Hockney has a self-written sign stuck at the end of his bed saying, “Get up and start work immediately”. What more can you say to a budding creative entrepreneur?
How do you relax and recharge?
Pilates, swimming, cliff walking and gardening.
What’s your favourite way to treat yourself?
I’d book myself (solo) into a spa for some ultimate me time, with no questions asked.
What social or political issues matter most to you?
The Holistic Silk brand never comprises on quality and, as a result, we are all (as a team) passionate and dedicated to making sure every person involved in the process is paid a fair wage and treated adequately. Half of our products are made in India so this is vitally important to us.
If you could have lunch with any woman in the world, who would it be (and what would you order)?
My first choice, always, would be my mum. She loves fish – sole in particular – so a great seafood restaurant would tick all the boxes. I’d order crab and prawns. Otherwise, Angela Merkel would come a close second.
Joanna Weakley is the Creative Director of Holistic Silk, a brand committed to creating innovative relaxation products which act as an antidote to the fast pace and daily stress of modern life.