This week, we talk to a truly inspirational Beautiful Woman, Tracey Woodward. Frankly, her life deserves a whole book rather than a short blog, but we’re thrilled to catch up with her during her busy schedule. This amazing lady went from being unable to read and write until she was 14 to Chief Executive of the luxury brand Aromatherapy Associates.
Mum of two, Ava now 17 and Josh 27, lives in Dulwich and despite leaving school at 15 herself, her children’s education and upbringing was paramount. “My mother was 18 when she had me, and we had very little”, Tracey tells us, “I was always interested in beauty, and started working at a chemist”.
It’s clear that her sheer grit and determination, coupled with a love of the world of beauty is the basis for Tracey’s extremely successful career. “I worked for brands including Estee Lauder, Donna Karan Beauty, Aveda, Urban Retreat at Harrods and Harvey Nicholls and Marks and Spencer”. A very impressive list, but what makes Tracey so endearing is that she clearly has never forgotten her roots. Her staff’s welfare is extremely important as well as her customers. When we caught up with Tracey she was in Paris about to give a talk to the spa industry. “I want those hard working girls who are so busy making everyone else feel and look good, sometimes in places with no daylight, to know I’ve got their backs”.
Tracey’s outlook on life is refreshing; she believes “it’s easy to look beautiful, but feeling beautiful comes from the radiance of self-care”. Her own self-care includes eating healthily, meditation, exercise including charity walks and embracing natural health. This is why she is the perfect ambassador for Aromatherapy Associates, whose gorgeous therapeutic-grade products were founded by Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechey in 1985. We didn’t need convincing as to the benefits of essential oils nor the high quality of Aromatherapy Associates beautiful oils, but we did ask Tracey what her favourites were, “Equalibrium is a wonderful women’s oil, and I love Inner-Strength Face Oil and Bath and Show Oil!” “ I also wouldn’t be without our body brush which is without a doub,t the best you can buy”.
Tracey’s passion for life should be bottled too, although she annually visits a retreat in Germany, Buchinger Wilhelmi – and due to the loss of her brother last year, she changed things up a bit. “I couldn’t face contemplating what had happened in such peaceful surroundings, so instead I booked my daughter and I for Beyonce dance lessons with Anthony Kay!” In her work life she also believes in embracing change and welcomes Millennials into her workforce as she loves their sense of self. “Only the organizations that place a focus on unity, inclusivity, accuracy and empathy will thrive”.
We asked Tracey our 5 Beautiful Women’s questions and would like to thank her for this interview.
1. What’s the best thing about getting older?
Wisdom and the ability to worry less about what people think of you. When you’ve said over and over again to your children what other people think of you is their business, it makes life easier to manage. You also see the value of self-care taking care of yourself. At 52, it’s my biggest return in investment! All quotes that inspire is the sum of another persons life, they’re great advice, and sound bites to another person life.
2. Who is your female inspiration and why?
Luckily for me, I have so many women that inspire me for so many reasons. Sarah Brown for her charity work at Their World. Our VPs at Aromatherapy Associates for their level headed approach to business, Tanya Rose for her business acumen and her ability to build an amazing brand within travel, Kim Winser for her style and Grace, my EA Daisy who’s been with me for 13 years for putting up with me.
3. What’s your top tip for growing old gracefully, perhaps one beauty tip?
Body and Face Brushing.. a good nights sleep, and doing what makes you happy, healthy eating.. stretch! Everybody should listen to Baz Lurmans always wear sunscreen, he says don’t be wreckless with other people’s hearts and don’t let them be reckless with yours everyone should listen to it! And of course always wear sunscreen.
4. What would your younger self say to you now?
How did you do that, get here!! Often lying in bed at 52, thinking about my life to date which has gone in flash I thank all those amazing women and men that helped me go from a hungry scared child, to being well rounded, grounded and enjoying success on many levels. I am truly grateful.
5. What are your dreams for your future?
To continue to be healthy and happy, see my children achieve all they desire. I keep a Cosmic Shopping List have kept personal goals ever since I could read at write at almost 14.