Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be
Kick off your weekend in style with television and radio personality, journalist, and teen ambassador Gemma Cairney as she opens up to writer, illustrator, and performer Laura Dockrill about how magic and messed up life can be. Join these two fabulous women for a lively, honest and open discussion about all the big, bad and beautiful things that growing up is all about: from mental health to families to first love, and everything in between.
Cairney is an important advocate for young people. Her life experiences and her personal insight from her time as Radio 1’s resident agony aunt on The Surgery mean she is perfectly placed to offer hope and a huge comforting cuddle to young people (and the people that love them) and to help deal with questions about life or dealing with hard times. She is a multi-award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer and general polymath, known for her irreverent approach, insatiable appetite for telling stories and her sparkling imagination. She is artist in residence at The Southbank Centre and is on the committee for Women Of The World Festival.
Dockrill is a writer/illustrator and author of the Darcy Burdock books and Mistakes in the Background, Ugly Shy Girl, and Echoes. She was named one of the top ten literary talents by The Times and one of the top 20 faces to watch by Elle magazine. Dockrill is a graduate of the BRIT School of performing Arts and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Camp Bestival, Latitude, and Bookslam festivals.
What is not to love? Read this to see what I mean:
“I’m a nurturing & supportive nutritionist, life coach, speaker & best selling author, focusing on the needs of black women. I’m the founder of Teaching Our Own – The Black Homeschooling Fair & Amun University – An online training school with exclusively black expert teachers.
I’m the editor of The Naturally You Magazine & founder of The Naturally You Day.
I run healthy eating, raw food, personal development and natural health & wellness talks & workshops for private and public organisations, including Luton Council, The Lake Foundation, Black History Studies, Natural November, The House Of Saint Barnabas & Alternatives in London.
I’ve spoken at over 30 community events over the past 5 years, helping people of all ages to realise just how powerful a healthy diet and lifestyle is, when it comes to create a balanced productive disease free life”.
“Every day, I think about how I can improve or contribute to the world and make life more exciting, enjoyable and fulfilling—not only for myself but for the women and girls around me.”
Since around the age of 4, Jamelia Donaldson has had a thing about hair. “I’d braid my own hair and my friends’ hair,” she explains. “In fact, you could say it was my first ‘business’; I’d get paid to do hair for my mum’s friends and their daughters after school.” It was an interest that never went away and over time Jamelia became particularly interested in finding the best natural techniques and products for styling curly hair like hers.
While studying for her Business and International Relations degree at Aston University, Jamelia spent time working in Beijing and New York before returning to London to take up a role in financial services. But on her travels, Jamelia had noticed something. There was a wealth of great curly and Afro hair products out there—they just weren’t easily available in the UK. “I was determined to tackle the issue,” say Jamelia. “I wanted to help girls discover and experiment with European and American curly hair care brands that they wouldn’t find in their local salon or high street beauty store.”
Hair care by post
The idea for a monthly hair care subscription box was born, with the intention of giving young curly-haired girls everything they needed to care for their hair and experiment with new products and styling techniques. But it wasn’t just about the hair, though. Jamelia wanted little girls to feel celebrated, represented and special. It worked and since the first boxes were shipped in November 2015, the Treasure Tress range has already expanded to include monthly subscription boxes for teens and women, too.
The early days brought some inevitable challenges—and opportunities to learn. “For example, I had a really clear idea of how I wanted the box to look and the size it would be,” says Jamelia. “But soon after launching we were approached by an amazing brand that wanted us to feature their products in our boxes. Obviously we jumped at the opportunity! But once the products arrived, we realised they were way too big for the boxes. With days to go before shipping we had to completely re-design the boxes to accommodate the products.”
Another challenge was Treasure Tress’ unexpectedly quick growth in popularity overseas. Having anticipated selling only in the UK for the first few months, Jamelia woke up one day to orders from America and Europe. But there was a snag. “Because the website was set up to sell to the UK, they’d been charged UK postage—which doesn’t even come close to the price of international shipping.” Undeterred, Jamelia honoured the orders despite making a loss on them and made sure that the website and shipping processes were updated immediately to reflect her new, international audience.
Connecting to the world
So how did Jamelia achieve this sudden global reach, seemingly overnight? “I can only say I underestimated the power of connectivity, social media and hashtags!” she laughs. Instagram was Treasure Tress’ primary social media platform when it launched, and the brand has been right at home there ever since. Particularly popular are the unboxing videos that feature the Treasure Tress team revealing each new selection of subscription box goodies.
Jamelia calls Instagram “a fundamental part of our DNA” and says that she owes much of her business growth to the exposure and customer engagement that it has enabled. “I’m still astonished that I’ve been able to reach women in the Middle East, Europe and America so quickly,” she admits.
Reflecting on her first year of business, Jamelia has never felt more motivated. She was recently selected to take part in Future Girl Corp, a 12-hour business bootcamp organised by beauty industry pioneer Sharmadean Reid, where 100 up-and-coming female entrepreneurs came together to learn from, and inspire, each other. Still riding on the energy of the event experience, Jamelia is excited about what’s to come. “I’m a firm believer in finding your purpose, in adding something to the world. To me, that means creating and putting in place the products and services that women like me need—or will need in the future.”
Learn more about Jamelia Donaldson and Treasure Tress:
Quintessential is Britain’s biggest conversation, celebrating women of colour – curated and hosted by award-winning Journalist & Broadcaster, Marverine Cole.
Quintessential is a series of monthly podcasts, offering inspiration and positivity. Revealing intriguing stories and unique perspectives from a wealth of incredible women, from all walks of life.
Work-life balance, health and well-being, business and entrepreneurship, fashion and beauty will all appear along our journey, as well as questions from you, my listener and a chance to win an outstanding prize.
You’ll hear a rich mix of studio guests and on-location interviews, featuring personalities you might recognise, and others you might not. Yet they’ll all deliver the same experience to your willing ears: motivation.
Marverine’s worked for many of Britain’s most watched and listened to broadcasters. She’s at home in any given situation – be it in a live & unscripted environment, or with scripted production, direction and autocue. Reporting on location or in a studio – Marverine’s done it all in the last 20 years of her career in the media. As a journalist, she’s appeared as a Presenter and Reporter covering News and Current Affairs, Social History and Culture, as well as Celebrity and Lifestyle stories. She’s produced her own radio bulletins & speech programmes, she’s produced BBC local radio programmes & network documentaries, handling on-air talent with ease. Marverine’s also managed teams of radio & video journalists to produce bulletins and on-screen news features. She’s more than comfortable in all genres, across all platforms.
Join the OYA team for a weekend mini-festival together at Oxon Hoath, a beautifully exclusive 73 acre estate
located just 45 minutes southeast of London. The retreat will include yoga, mindfulness, movement,
interactive talks on health & wellbeing, vegan meals, as well as free time to explore the area, rest, read, and
Holistic Journaling Workshop with Jackee Holder
Holistic Journaling is an invitation to bring your whole self to your journaling writing. Starting inwards,
using images, collaging and colours, writing prompts and writing extracts this is a dee dive into the sensual
and sacred self through a practice of conscious presence. Learn how to best use journaling and therapeutic
writing for illumination and divine introspection.
Workshop Who am I and where am I at? with Ratna Cordukes
Let us take a journey, simple in delivery yet profound in its content in discovering “Who am I” at a physical,
mental and spiritual level! Add time and goals to this mix and discover the world of wisdom in the sister
sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga. Understanding our time here and the objectives of our life together with the
knowledge of who we are makes for a life of purpose and service which is truly empowering!
Kemetic Yoga taught by Amani Eke
Egyptian yoga originates from Ancient Kemet, now known as Egypt. It is a restorative system which has
unique postures and principles. It combines physical movement, deep breathing and meditation to help
achieve balance, peace, order and discipline which is known as Maat.
Retreat package includes all movement & meditation sessions, accommodations, meals, and workshops.
Massage and Reiki treatments paid separately. Register using this link!
Informed by broad research that encompasses critical theory, composition, literature, and historical sources, WALES BONNER explores a distinctive notion of luxury via a hybrid of European and African approaches. Grace Wales Bonner graduated from Central St. Martins in 2014. The following year Wales Bonner was awarded ‘Emerging Menswear Designer’ at the British Fashion Awards, and shortly after that in 2016 she received the LVMH Young Designer Prize. Obtaining wide recognition, Wales Bonner has presented at the Serpentine Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, whilst also lecturing at Parsons in New York. Wales Bonner international stockists include Dover Street Market, Selfridges, 10 Corso Como, and Joyce.