Do you live or work in west London?
I live and work in West London. I use a home office for my coaching and board work and we have offices for 35 Thousand in Hammersmith.
What’s your favourite thing about the area?
I was only recently telling friends of ours (also Americans) how West London (Kensington initially and now Ravenscourt Park) has been the first area we have lived where we felt like we had a community. We have moved quite a bit and lived in 3 states in the US so it’s saying a lot about West London that it has been the spot to give us this experience. Our kids are both Uni age and we are thinking about where we will spend our time long term – we can’t imagine not having roots here.
Describe your perfect day and evening in west London… Any favourite haunts?
When the weather cooperates, I love to do a morning walk from my home in W12 to my prior neighbourhood (Stratford Village, W8) where I still do my dry cleaning at Debonair Dry Cleaners, get my weekly fruit and veg shopping at the Garden Basket, have an appointment with my osteopath at Sayer Clinic in Sunningdale Gardens, get my hair done with Henny herself at Henny’s, sort my nails and brows at Minx and enjoy amazing coffee and Italian sandwich from La Piccola deli.
Can I fit in a massage? If so I’ll head to Spa and Massage on Turnham Green Terrace in Chiswick and whilst I am out that way I’ll walk over to Chiswick Pets to stock up my pups on chew treats and have a pass-through Space NK because you never know what they might have that I “need.”
We love the Chiswick Playhouse (formerly Tabard Theatre) for an evening play.
Dinner is a no brainer for Texans living in West London, it has to be D Grande on Chiswick high road for THE BEST Tex Mex in London. Richard Burghart and his wife Ashley who are the owners are fellow Texans who have come to our Margarita, Chips & Queso rescue.
We are also regulars at The Oak W12 which has amazing wood-fired pizzas and seared tuna too.
You’re originally from Texas. What are the main differences you notice between the two places?
I once heard someone say the biggest difference between the UK and US is that “In the US 200 years is a long time and in the UK 200 miles is a long way” – this really resonates with me as a Texan. Texas is huge, very spread out and as such you drive everywhere. For context, driving East to West across Texas (without stops) will take 12 hours and south to north 13 hours! We would think nothing of a 4-hour drive on a Friday night to head from our parent’s house in Dallas to our ranch outside of Austin.
Texas gets a lot of sun and it gets truly scorching hot in the summer, with has epic storms, tornados and hurricanes on the coast as well. I miss the sun as people might expect, but even more than that, I miss thunderstorms. Going to sleep to the sound of heavy rain and thunder is unbelievably soothing to me.
One of my favourite things about living in London is the variety of people I meet and see on a daily basis. Literally from all over the world. I sometimes wonder whether I have ever met anyone who is actually from London. Many parts of Texas are completely culturally homogenous and you would be hard-pressed to create a circle of friends with a mix of nationalities.
You’re the founder of the brand new skincare brand 35 Thousand. What makes it different from other skincare brands?
A few things set us apart. We formulated all of our products, and our OTG-7 Complex, to be effective on highly stressed, sensitized skin and to deliver immediate as well as long term results. Specifically, we developed the range to be effective enough to combat the challenges that air travel throws at our skin because if it works up there, it will work anywhere. We used research from flight crews (our own study of 28 long haul flight attendants as well as previously published work from the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard University) to understand the specific environmental assaults on our skin. This provided us with a clear list of problems to solve and guided our ingredient selections.
We spent a lot of time thinking about how, and where, you would use the products. Every product we develop is designed to be used at home and away. We are tired of what I refer to as the “decanting Olympics” where you try to get your precious, beloved, expensive skincare into some sort of container that can travel only to have it spill later because the little bottle wasn’t fit for purpose. In my years of corporate and personal travel, I have always had to make the choice between travelling light/carry on but having to leave behind some of my favourite skincare OR being that high maintenance girl who checks a bag so I can take all of the products I love. Our products are all full size, travel-ready, and you can fit every one of our products PLUS your hairspray, foundation, contact solution etc into the clear travel bag without breaking a sweat. No more trade-offs.
We have been highly mindful of our choices in materials to minimise the impact on the environment. Our bottles are bioplastic, made with sugarcane. All of our paper goods are FSC certified meaning they are made with paper from forests that are managed in an environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial manner. All of our products are Leaping Bunny Certified (free from animal testing) because, well, we love animals. Our SPF is mineral only (19% zinc oxide) and reef safe.
What is the OTG-7 Complex?
The OTG-7 is our unique cocktail of 7 plant-based active ingredients designed to address the challenges faced by modern, stressed-out skin. The complex, which is infused into all 35 Thousand products, will:
- Boost the energy of skin – like a power reboot for your epidermis
- Shield skin from in-flight radiation and the blue light from screens
- Defend against bad bacteria and maintain the skin’s natural microbiome
- Calm inflamed, irritated or ‘I’m having a meltdown’ skin
- Counteract skin-disrupting spikes in cortisol
- Perk and plump flight-ravaged or plain exhausted skin
- Restore circadian rhythms disrupted by time zones/blue light/babies
If you were only allowed to use one skincare item for the rest of your life, what would it be?
SPF. Specifically, our All-In Day Serum. It has the broad-spectrum SPF 30, is super hydrating, gives all of the benefits from the OTG-7 complex and does a pretty miraculous job of blurring lines and imperfections.
Do you have any favourite in-clinic treatments?
Oh this is a hard choice. I would have said LED therapy but I recently got the Current Body home LED mask so I rely less on clinic visits for that now. Maybe micro-needling combined with a growth factor serum because I will never have a home needle roller that can get the results that a clinician can get with the use of numbing cream and more penetrating needles.
Sustainability is a big part of the 35 Thousand ethos. Has it taken a lot of extra work to find ways to integrate this?
Yes, it has. It took us 2 years to find a bioplastic bottle that wasn’t ugly, heavy or huge and could be produced with a pump and a spray top that I was really happy with. The spray pattern on a facial mist is a big deal to me – it has to be super fine and no random jets of mist hitting you in the eye or ruining your blowdry! Equally, it was challenging to find a supplier who could source high-quality bio TPU rather than PVC for our clear travel bags (which will be launched in the future to hold our full set). And our insistence on FSC certified paper has meant that we have had to source our initial orders from the UK because US paper suppliers are just not as far along in this regard.
Can you tell us a bit about 35 Thousand’s work in supporting young women at the start of their careers?
We are super passionate about our role in supporting the next generation of women setting out on their career climb. 10% of our profits will be contributed to this mission. Longer-term our plan is to build our own program whereby we will train experienced female leaders to be “big sister” mentors to young women who may not have had exposure to professional women in their upbringing. Our hope would be that our foundation would fund the mentor taking her mentee on a business trip to give that experience of seeing some of the world in a professional context. Nothing opens the mind, builds resilience and stretches dreams of an ambitious person quite like travel can.