Busy, busy being creative..!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Do What You Love - Interview no.5 - Libby Lane

Interview number five in a series of ten - meeting Bristol people who 'Do What They Love!' 

Libby Lane - Holistic Massage Therapist and co-owner of natural beauty brand Faith & Betty

Today I’d like you to meet Libby Lane – a website designer turned holistic massage therapist and co-owner of a natural beauty company. Libby’s passion and love for what she does is infectious and just goes to show how a change of career can mean finding who you really are and a whole new way of life!

The super lovely Libby Lane at Clifton Relaxation Centre.  ©Lydia Samuel Photography  

Name: Libby Lane
Age: 38
Business: Libby Lane Holistic Massage and Faith & Betty (I can’t choose, I love them both)
Location: Bristol
Website: Holistic Massage - www.libbylane.co.uk 
                  Faith & Betty website is a work in progress but will be ready soon

What do you do? 

I am a Holistic Massage practitioner and co-owner of herbal soap and body care company Faith & Betty.

As a practitioner I work with my own clients in a lovely, wooden treatment room in a garden in Whitehall/Greenbank and at the Relaxation Centre and also the Wellspring Complementary Health Clinic. I also work with charities, with healthcare organisations and in the community. Each day is different and each day I thank my lucky stars.

At Faith & Betty we make herbal soaps, lip balms, bath products and body products from totally natural ingredients. Many of our ingredients are sourced ethically, for example our Shea butter is from a fair-trade women’s project and all our soaps are organic. The beeswax in our lip balms is from bees we know!

How long have you been running your business for?

"looking back, I was at a crossroads in my life" ©Lydia Samuel Photography.
Holistic Massage – 5 years
Faith & Betty – 6 months!

What do you love most about it? 

I work with so many wonderful people and because the benefits of healing touch are so powerful and so good for us. I used to be a web developer but when I studied massage I found me. That’s why I love it so much.  

My life through my work is always evolving, there is always something new to learn from someone or something.
Faith & Betty works well on so many levels. It’s a company based on a friendship, trust, a mutual love for all things natural and blending delicious, natural ingredients to make beautiful things is just a glorious thing to do. It is also very important for us to provide a refreshing and natural alternative to chemical based body products.

How did you get there?

When I completed my Holistic Massage Diploma with the Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork in 2008 I was testing the waters of a new and exciting and totally different way of life. I had been working in new media for 10 years, and a few months earlier given birth to my first child and I guess, looking back, I was at a crossroads in my life.

Although I started to practice massage as soon as I had completed the course, I was still juggling the work of a whirly, techno web developer and the gorgeous, new, transformational work of a massage therapist. I wanted to leave the web world behind yet life seemed to be making me ease out of it gradually and naturally.

I am now committed to my life of massage and now, also to the fabulous Faith & Betty!

Five years since I graduated from BCMB, having had two more children, knocked web design on the head (except for my own!) I feel unleashed like I have never felt before. To experience life five years on from the juncture I was at in 2008 is unbelievably refreshing. The energy I have for life, for massage, for my children and for the future, is abundant and great!

As for Faith & Betty, it is a project which evolved organically between a friend, Faith Morton and I. It’s as if we always knew we were going to create something together from early in our friendship. We met three years ago. The name Faith & Betty was born before this project, so that’s testament to our plans and dreams before any plan or dream took shape! 

As soon as we started brainstorming ideas for soaps and lip balms we knew that we had something worth sharing with everybody else. A fine collaboration between artistic friends and my Photoshop skills produced a fantastic logo in superfast time, in time for our first market. This is where the story starts… we are excited for the future!

"Live life, love yourself and be kind to other people" says Libby ©Lydia Samuel Photography  
What was the biggest challenge you faced so far setting up as a holistic massage therapist?

I’m a mum to my three gorgeous children, Willow aged five, Freddie aged two and Gilby aged one and wife to my super supportive husband, so it’s been finding the piece of my life that belongs to me so I could learn massage in the first place. And then to continue carving out that time so that I can see clients and build my business.

What’s been the highlight so far?

Personally, it’s been really going for it after having my third child. Finding myself again as an individual and actually finding who I really am! And then on the other side it’s about helping all the different people I see – every treatment is different and is specific to each persons needs. Massage helps on an emotional as well as a physical level – so everyone gets something different from it. And that’s really special to me.

What’s the best piece of advice you've been given?

Many pieces resonate with me.
Live life, love yourself and be kind to other people, smile often, do things which make you happy, take control of your life, focus and be amazed at the results and never, ever stop learning.

"I've discovered that I’m braver
and stronger than I thought I was"
 ©Lydia Samuel Photography  
What have you learnt about yourself as a result of setting up your business?

To be more grounded, to be closer to who I am and to let go of what doesn't suit me anymore. That’s been quite a shift for me. I've also discovered that I’m braver and stronger than I thought I was.

Can you tell me about any clients in particular that you've helped?

Yes, two really stand out actually. I've helped a lady who went through a very traumatic emotional issue – I don’t need to know what it is to be able to help  – but working the body helped her to release a lot of stored up emotion and I could see she looked physically different after our session. Like a weight had been lifted. It showed in her face as well as how she moved. That was incredible.

And a gentleman who’s suffered chronic back pain ever since sustaining an injury as the result of an accident. He’s had an operation and although I don’t think his pain will ever go away, regular massage teamed with his positive outlook has really helped him lead a fuller life. I feel very grateful that I’m now able to help people in this way.

If others want to do this I’d say...

Indulge in the gorgeousness of bodywork, it makes you glow and others around you too.

What’s next?

I’d love to learn Thai yoga massage. I like floor work and am really interested in musculoskeletal problems so learning that form of massage really excites me. There is always more to learn, this is my life now and always will be.  I’ll continue with my holistic massage too of course and would like to be even more involved with working in the community.  

I currently work with a carers charity, where I give massages to carers on their days off – they have a lot going on in their lives and having a slice of time to themselves really helps them to deal with their current situation – whatever that may be.

I also spend time at an old peoples home in Redfield – that specialises in dementia. That really involves massaging the patients hands and talking to them . Touch is so powerful that each person I've worked with there does seem to respond to the touch and they become more aware of their surrounds. I would like to do more work like this alongside seeing my private clients. I feel  It’s important for people to feel listened to.

For Faith and Betty, we've got a whole host of ideas for new products that we want to work on.  Hand creams in particular - my uncle keeps bees and recently gave me some lovely bees wax - so watch this space!

I want to carve a path for myself to show my children that we can do what we love. I would love to hear them say “my mummy does something she loves”. If that happens I will be a very happy woman.

Libby and I at the end of the interview sharing the message
'Do what YOU Love!'
  ©Lydia Samuel Photography

Want to contact Libby?

You can book an appointment with Libby by visiting her website:

http://www.libbylane.co.uk or calling 07956 208613

or via the Clifton Relaxation Centre – http://www.relaxationcentre.co.uk/

and Libby will be giving chair massages at The Love Food festival at Paintworks on the 28 October

And as part of Faith and Betty – will be at The Magpies & I vintage Christmas fairs on 1st and 8th December.

 What is The 'Do What You Love' Project..?

After printing this message on my bags I thought - ooh I'd love to find ten local Bristol business people who do what they love, interview them about what they do, why they love it and how they've got there and also 'model' one of my bags / cushions.  

I really wanted to work with a local photographer - so approached Lydia Samuel via Outset to see if she would be interested in collaborating with me. She was! Perfect!

So a call-out was created, posted on facebook and twitter and people started applying! Over thirty people applied, and it was really difficult to choose ten. I spent my time going through each application and selected the ten as I felt their passion really shone through. 

Everyone who applied will be featured though in some way as I think it's important to celebrate everyone who is doing something they love!

These interviews and photographs are the results.

I hope you enjoy reading this series of interviews, and that it will inspire you in some way to pursue your dreams and ‘Do what you Love!’  (that is if you aren’t doing that already! - if you are - do let me know by leaving a comment about what you do and why you love it!). 

Want your own 'Do What You Love' bag or cushion? 

They are currently on sale at the Pop-up Shop FABRIC in The Galleries, Bristol until the end of October, or email me directly bagsofloveforbristol@gmail.com. And why not come and say hello on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bags-of-Love-for-Bristol/444261982265482 

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