Costa Rica


Our adventure traveller and face-your-fears ambassador, Penny Lee Brown, finally faced her fears of the sea in gloriously relaxing Costa Rica. After many failed attempts at surfing in storm-battered Blighty, all it really took was one onsetting panic attack, a group of caring souls with good vibes, and a micro-dose of Pura Vida to get her up and smiling.  

Micro-dosing Pura Vida Helped Me Surf, by Penny Lee Brown.

Firstly, “Pura vida” is a Costa Rican saying that encapsulates the essence of a simple, positive, and care free life, literally translated to “pure life” or “simple life,” it embodies a philosophy of embracing joy, gratitude, and optimism.

A couple of years ago, lacking some of the above during a time when life felt like a series of one-day chapters, I wrote an article titled ‘Feel The Fear, Do The Things.’

In that piece, I delved into the importance of facing our fears head-on. However, one fear continued to elude my conquering… the fear of the sea. Not just sharks and faceless sea monsters, I’m referring to the overwhelming sensation of losing control, being battered by waves, and struggling for breath amid the chaos of the surf.

Feel The Fear, Do The Things

Reflecting on the way I’m able to vividly describe the fear, it’s no wonder I hesitated. Those daunting images flew around and around in my mind whenever I thought about trying again.

My fear of the sea doesn’t extend to messing around in the waves, swimming a fair bit out, but enough that if something were to graze my leg I could quickly swim, screaming, back to shore (unless the monster eats me, of course).

Well… if you’ve got this far, dear reader, I sense you’re invested in finding out if I did it or not.

So, here’s the great news, I eventually confronted that fear!

It wasn’t easy. Salty tears were shed into saltier sea, on the beach, and onto the shoulders of the beautiful empathetic souls that were with me, with an impending panic attack lurking. Already struggling to breathe I didn’t think I could. But, I did it!

Costa Rica deserves the credit, specifically the renowned Santa Teresa Beach. The tranquil ambiance of our address for the week, Nantipa- A Tico Beach Experience, and the infectious energy from my surf instructor, Pablo (legend) played pivotal roles in this triumphant moment.

Nestled on the captivating Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa emerges as the ultimate haven for wave enthusiasts, drawing surf aficionados from around the world. Maintaining a sweet little hippy vibe, this Pacific gem caters to both novices and seasoned pros, offering pristine sandy stretches at Playa Santa Teresa and Playa Carmen, ideal canvases for whatever your surf day looks like.

For the laid back maestros, the nearby breaks of Mal País and Mar Azul are your playgrounds, offering challenging waves that dance to their own mesmerising rhythm. Amidst the rhythmic crashes, Santa Teresa encapsulates the spirit of Pura Vida living, where every swell is the start of a good story, and every ride becomes a sun-soaked adventure.

If you’re going to do it, my advice would be to make sure your instructor knows you’re scared. Tell them what you’re scared of and they’ll make you feel at ease. Actually, I’m not even sure if all instructors would, but I wholeheartedly recommend that if you’re on a trip to Costa Rica in 2024, put your trust in the instructors organised by Nantipa.

In fact, go ahead and just book your stay at Nantipa to live the dream for a few days. The villas and bungalows are nothing short of stunning, providing a private oasis with stylish decor that seamlessly blends with the natural surroundings. It felt like living in a Pinterest board, complete with dreamy sunsets and the soothing melody of waves just outside the window.

Nantipa’s beachfront, a sandy strip right outside your door, invites you to relax on the beds with a book, test the cocktails (purely for research purposes, of course), or stroll along the shoreline looking beautiful. The beachfront service is impeccable, allowing you to chill in a hammock and soak in the Pura Vida vibes.

After a day of surfing, horse-riding, shopping, or pretending-not-to-be-scared-of-the-sea-for-a-casual-swim, Nantipa offers the ultimate Costa Rican beach luxury with the guilt-free environmentally friendly ethos.

And yes, my dreams came true when I stood up on that surfboard! After tears, panic, and a stern pep talk, I did it. At the wave’s end, I jumped off, threw my arms into the air, and screamed with a mix of laughter and tears—finally conquering that lingering fear.

Just like my tears, the fear was but a drop in the ocean compared to the pride and joy I felt (still feel) for doing that.

Thank you, Nantipa, you absolute babe.

Hotel Nantipa (prices approx, conversion rate as of Jan ’24)

  • Nanku Suite – from £312 per night including breakfast
  • Manti Bungalow – from £355 per night including breakfast
  • Ninta Beachfront Bungalow – from £411 per night including breakfast
  • 3-bedroom Beachfront Villa – from £1,263 per night 

If you don’t do an IG story of the whole thing, did you even go on holiday?

Technology is as much a part of our downtime these days as it is our working life, with the pressure to show everyone just how much fun we’re having 24/7.

The pressure to get the perfect Aperol boomerang can, eventually, get too much. Everyone needs a break – and what better way to do it than to go on a proper digital detox?

But don’t go thinking that binning your phone can only be done at some remote hippy enclave which you wouldn’t want to snap anyway.

These days, digital detoxes take place in luxury hotels and retreats with enough comfort to make you forget all about your group WhatsApp.

1. Argoed Barns, Wales

Bunker down in one of a trio of luxury semi and self-catering accommodation in the heart of the Brecon Beacons.

Argoed Barns is three miles from Brecon and just under three hours away from London, so you can get away from the thick of it without going too far.

You’ll be too busy taking in all the breathtaking scenery to be fussed about Facebook. After a day out in the hills, sink into a glorious hot tub with views to die for – complete with a handy ledge for your wine glass. If you’ve got the energy, nip down the road for dinner at local foodie haven, Felin Fach Griffin. Just don’t be tempted to log onto the WiFi!

Choose to stay in a self-catering boutique cottage, a B&B Shepherd’s Hut or a self-catering luxury Geodome.

Prices start at £230 based on two nights in the Shepherd’s Hut (children and pets aren’t allowed). Kids and pets are welcome to stay in the Byre or Geodome (it’s an extra £15 for animals).


2. Chiva-Som Hua Hin, Thailand

Wellness and luxury go hand in hand – and nowhere makes that case better than at Chiva-Som Hua Hin.

Unwind with its unique blend of ancient health practices and innovative holistic therapies chosen for you by your own Health and Wellness Advisor and tailor-made to your needs.

Maybe you’re trying to de-stress, get fit or perhaps you just want to become more mindful; whatever your goal, you can work on it here. Located in Hua Hin, in the Southern province of Prachuap Kriri Khan, the resort is surrounded by caves, palaces and temples – as well as glorious ocean views and beaches.

Relax in the knowledge that Chiva-Som is big on sustainability and that everything you eat is coming from the on-sight organic garden.

From £308 pp per night (

3. Yobaba Lounge, France

‘Switch off our phones. Lay down your schedules. Let go of your daily routine.’ That’s the mantra at Yobaba Lounge so you best believe that this is a no-Instagram zone.

Set in the middle of a medieval village at the foothills of the Pyrenees, Yobaba has been hosting vegan wellness retreats since 2013. When retreats aren’t in session, they offer a three-night stay in their digital-free space for anyone in need of a break.

Every day, guests are invited to experience Noble SIlence – short periods of quiet in which people can investigate their ‘true nature’ and reconnect with their surroundings. Formal retreats require silence from 8.30pm to noon the next day but anyone coming for a self-retreat is asked to simply stay silent from the moment they wake up until breakfast at 10am.

Retreat places start at £875 pp sharing a double room or from £1,250 alone in a large double room for 4 nights, including all food and drink and three meditations a day.

£80pp for a room outside of retreat season.


4. Ulpotha, Sri Lanka

Situated in the heart of Sri Lanka, Ulpotha is luxuriously posh while being totally off-grid. Guests stay in one of 11 huts which are all built using traditional materials and boast huge beds covered in voluminous mosquito nets.

There’s no electricity and life ‘is lived by the rhythm of the day’ – with rooms and paths lit by lamps and lanterns. It’s romance is enhanced by being located at the foot of the Galgiriyawa mountain, bordered by lotus-ringed lakes and emerald green paddy fields.

Go for the yoga, stay for the R ‘n’ R with the onsite ayurveda experiences. Choose from a host of dreamy treatments that last from three to 28 days with names like ‘Happiness’, ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Redemption’.

Prices start at around £1,325 per person (, for seven nights including all food and snacks, two yoga classes a day, guided forest walks, excursions, bikes, laundry, and one massage a week.

5. El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Costa Rica

As the name might suggest, this Costa Rica paradise is all about slowing down and getting rid of unnecessary noise. It touts itself being one of the most secluded and tranquil hotels in the country with torch-lit forest dinners and an extensive array of spa treatments.

There’s no phone signal, WiFi or TV in the sustainable eco-lodge but with views across 500 acres of jungle, you won’t be short of things to stare in awe at.

If you do need extra stimulation, they offer a tonne of activities, including ziplining, coffee-tasting, hot springs, hikes, and cookery classes.

For a digital detox, stay in a suite in the lodge rather than in a villa (which does have WiFI), and enjoy a private viewing deck with a heating jet pool, coffeemaker, and local organic products.

Suites from $420 per night for two adults, including breakfast and daily Mystic Hike.


Ibiza regulars are a very rare breed of cool. In a place where a little bit of insider knowledge goes a very long way, you need to know you’re being taken care of. OD Talamanca is a hit with both regulars and locals, so you know they’re doing something right. We checked in to check out the OD Sky Bar opening party to find out exactly what…

On first glances, the building looks more like a modern art museum than a hotel, but through the lobby (which actually does regularly house art exhibitions), the space opens out onto a dazzling deck with split-level pools and a bar serving Champagne.

Upstairs, all of the rooms make the most of the stunning views across the bay, but if you can, try and get one on the fifth floor to make the most of it. Each room comes luxury as standard, yet geared towards a different kind of stay. If you’re down for a steamy romantic getaway, some suites have large double bathtubs right there in the room. Obviously not ideal if you’re sharing with your Gran, in which case the Deluxe Rooms offer more privacy.

The show stopper is the rooftop Duplex Suites which come with their own private terrace and rooftop pool. If you were looking for an excuse to have a party – this is it. The rooftop OD Sky Bar plays host to live music every Friday for sundowners during the busy summer season and they really do know how to get the party started with the epic views to match.

Many wouldn’t associate the high octane beats of Ibiza with a self drive car (for obvious reasons), but tackling the chill side of the island means you need to get around. Upgrade your room and it comes with access to a Smart Car.

That said, if you’d prefer to swap your car keys for some whiskeys, the hotel is totally walkable from Ibiza Town. It overlooks the stunning Talamanca Bay, where you can catch some of the best sunsets over the med, without the hordes of sunburned revellers.


Dalt Vila

One thing that’s often overlooked about Ibiza is its outstanding heritage. Ibiza Town, or as the locals call it – Dalt Vila (which literally means Upper Town) – is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with history spanning over 2,500 years. If you’re more KISStory than history, the town is regularly home to music festivals and parades, and has some of the best clubs you’ll find anywhere in the world.

Sa Punta

For a mix of vibes and views, Sa Punta fine dining restaurant sits at the furthest point of Talamanca Bay. During the day, the restaurant is alive with a chill atmosphere for white wine and classy lunches, but after sunset, DJs give the terrace that achingly cool relaxed party atmosphere.

Beso Beach Club

Speaking of which, Beso Beach Club is the epitome of the Ibiza Dream. Hidden out of the way in between sand dunes, the rustic club, with its palm clad roof and powdery white sand floors is an escape to one of Ibiza’s most loved exclusive beaches.

Hostal La Torre

Cap Negret is a private destination in Ibiza. For some, it’s casual countryside – for us, it’s the kind of place Victoria Beckham would live. Hostal la Torre has become famous for its sensational sunset views, and as commonplace as this has become in Ibiza, this one really took our breath away.

Blowout Ibiza

If you’re going to follow our advice and take to some of Ibiza’s most exclusive hangouts, you’re going to need to look the part. Blowout Ibiza is a salon-come-island-haven for any beauty need. They partner with some of the best brands in the world to ensure your hair, makeup and beauty needs are taken care of.

Standard room rates at OD Talamanca range from 270€ (approx. £233) to 420€ (approx. £362) per night, depending on the time of booking. Rates include wifi, breakfast and soft drinks in the minibar (first refill), service charges and VAT. For room upgrade and Smart car access, rates start from 310€ (approx. £300) per night.

@ODTalamanca / @ODHotels

One of the greatest joys that #TeamCoco get out of interviewing great business women is the motivation that you don’t have to have it all planned out and that following your interests and getting your hustle on can get you to amazing – and unexpected – places.

Today’s interviewee Alwynne Gwilt started out listening in to police scanners for scoops at a national newspaper in Toronto and is currently a brand ambassador for Balvenie whisky based in London. Along the way she shifted her aversion to whisky from the spirit that gave her terrible hangovers from drinking on the beach at uni (!) to a love of the beautiful, nuanced and exciting spirit she knows it is today….

HOC: Hey Alwynne! We especially love speaking with businesswomen with interesting and varied backgrounds and yours certainly is – what brought you to the UK from Canada?

Alwynne: So my background is very different to what I do today… I started working in broadcast journalism in my home country of Canada when I was 16 and then went off to study broadcast journalist. I had the full intention to sticking around the journalism industry for the rest of my career and started working for national newspapers in Toronto and then moved to the UK in 2007 with the intention of staying for just a year. I’d moved over on a freelance contract and, at that time, being paid in Canadian dollars but living in London wasn’t the smartest way to do business!

I promptly got a job in financial journalism which is not my background at all. I ended up at an Insurance Magazine just before the crash and it was crazy and lavish – it was like ‘let’s go to Paris for lunch!’ very strange and such a different journalism world to Canada where that’s DEFINITELY not allowed…

HOC: Sounds pretty crazy! And where does the whisky come in?

Alwynne: Long story short, in this insurance company, I ended up going along to a whisky tasting in Soho as so many people in the financial world drink whisky. I was very anti-whisky and thought it was this horrible, disgusting liquid and I really didn’t want anything to do with it.

At this event I was totally blown away! It’s so great to look back and remember that moment when I was really taken aback – it doesn’t happen that often in life! I left the tasting and decided I wanted to get a bottle and it kind of went from there with friends buying me interesting whiskies for my birthday, I really got into it.

A couple of years later, I decided I’d had it with the investment world and decided to go freelance. I remember going to a food blogging workshop, and this was back in 2011 when nobody really had a clue what a blog was. I didn’t want to become a blogger – I was a journalist! – but when I got chatting to a food editor at The Guardian he recommended that that I needed to start a blog, so that I could start pitching articles about whisky. So I started a test blog called ‘Gwilty Pleasures’ – a riff on my surname – all about food, drink and travel just to try it out. I took a break from work and headed to Costa Rica for a few months and while I was there I formalised this idea I’d had in my head to blog specifically about whisky. When I came back, I started Miss Whisky ( and that’s really where it all kicked off!

HOC: Is the whisky industry the boys club I’d imagine that it is?

Alwynne: Not really! When I started my blog there weren’t any females writing specifically about whisky in the UK market but there have always been females involved in the creation of whisky. Industry people always ask me if it was intimidating getting involved as a younger female and do you know what, I always found the industry so welcoming. The only reason I ended up learning so much, so quickly was because I’d meet people at a show and when I followed up with them they said ‘yeh, sure why don’t you come and visit?’ . I never felt that I wasn’t part of the club and no-one wanted to talk to me. I think, from my journalism work, I have a brain that’s interested in so many things and I love to ask questions, I think that was appreciated!

HOC: Before we go any further – I have to admit – while I enjoy a whisky cocktail from time to time – I have no idea what is the difference between a whiskey with an ‘e’ – and one without!

Alwynne: I help you with that! With an E is generally Irish and American and pretty much everybody else doesn’t use an E and there’s various debates about why that came about. One story is that, back when Dublin used to produce more whisky than Scotland, they decided to put their stamp on the spirit and add an E – clearly marking which whiskey was the spirit of Dublin.

HOC: Ah that wasn’t as complicated as I thought! What’s happening in the whisky / whiskey industry at the moment and what should we look out for?

Alwynne: We’re seeing a proliferation of start ups, like we’ve seen in gin. Now when you go to a bar you see the gin list and have no idea where to begin – I don’t even bother trying to keep up with it! But the reality is that whisky takes a lot longer than gin so it’ll take a few years for things to really change.

There’s more and more whisky companies coming through which is interesting and we’re seeing lots more family owned businesses. There’s also some great things happening in world whiskies. Like a few years ago when people got really excited about Japanese whiskies, there are loads of places to look out for. Tasmania and Tawain and India and Africa…. it could easily get a bit overwhelming!

HOC: What a dream – combining travel and interesting whiskies! Where’s the most amazing place you’ve visited in the search for great whisky?

Alwynne: It’s funny but one of the first distilleries I visited was Balvenie in Speyside when the then brand ambassador brought some bloggers to see it! It was such a memorable visit, in the heartland of the Scottish whisky industry – there’s around 50 distilleries in that area. I really fell in love with Scotland through my blog when I’d pootle around the west coast to visit distilleries. I never got to drink anything on site though, as I was driving but I’d be taking my little bottles to get samples to drink in my hotel! Scotland reminds me of Canada, it’s very open and people are super friendly – really welcoming and the landscape is incredible.

The Mackmyra distillery in Sweden is so fascinating. It’s in the woods and is gravity fed which means that no energy is used. The whisky is matured in war time bunkers underground! You drive into the distillery and there’s all these signs almost warning you about a nuclear disaster. It a former bomb creating space and now they use it to store their whisky?! They’ve also got a female master distiller – Angela D’Orazio. They are really cool.

I’m dying to go to Tasmania, there are 8 distilleries there which you wouldn’t expect and it’s like a mini Scotland in the way the land sits – lots of mountains and water… There are so many beautiful stories. For the people who work at these places, this is their way of life and they don’t always realise the impact that their work has down the line, often on a far flung country. It’s fascinating when you think about all this spirit that has been maturing in warehouses goes all around the world and all the time and history and knowledge that goes into it. It’s really quite beautiful.

HOC: I always remember that Parks & Recreation episode where Ron gets to visit the remote Lagavulin distillery on the isle of Islay and gets super emotional…

Alwynne: YES! I was so excited when I saw that episode. I’m a big fan, I bought my other half a t-shirt that said ‘This is LITERALLY the best t-shirt’! Haha!

HOC: If someone fancied themselves a Ron Swanson (!) and wanted to try getting into whisky, what advice would you have for them? I’ve found it’s too often passed off as a ‘man’s drink’, whatever that means and it can seem intimidating for women?

Alwynne: So strange, I mean why is a certain flavour thought of as ‘manly’, whatever that means?! In fact, flavours are the key to finding a whisky you like. I got two of my best friends into whisky and I had it in my head that they’d only like the lighter ones as they’d never really tried whisky before. But, after some experimenting, it was the peaty, punchy ones they loved. They’d always prefer savoury food over sweet and loved smokey flavours – why wouldn’t that be the drinks they’d prefer as well? There’s so many ways to enjoy whisky – some great cocktails out there and some great options to try at home, which is becoming more popular.

HOC: Whisky can be seen as an expensive thing to get into, do you have any tips for House of Coco readers?

Alwynne: That can be true but there’s a lot of time and work that goes into whisky as opposed to other spirits and you’re not likely to get through a bottle too quickly! Generally, independent bottlers like That Boutique-y Whisky Company will be great value and really high quality – they release great bottles with really funky cartoony artwork. In all, there’s a growing trend to drink less but drink better and people are spending a bit more on spirits.

It’s always worth keeping an eye out at Christmas on places like Aldi! Every year, they bring out old whiskies insanely cheaply. Last year, for the first time, they’d bottled an old Irish whisky… I’m usually so late to the party on new releases but, for the first time ever, I read the article on the day this whisky became available. I discovered it was available online so snapped up two bottles I was dubious as it was so reasonable priced and it was so good. Two days later I came back home, after few cocktails, and bought two more bottles online before it sold out!

HOC: It must be so strange for you, looking back on your career and where you’ve got to…?

Alwynne: Definitely! I mean, I’ve now been a full-time employee of Balvenie for a year and a half and before that spent time working across the William Grant brands. I still have my blog, Miss Whisky, which is so important to me as it’s my roots!

It’s been a very different career path than I expected. My dad has been very happy, he’s got a lot of whisky over the years! One of the best things was when I did the opening tasting at the Victoria Whisky Festival in Canadawhich is right by where my Dad lives so he got to come along. It was one of those moments of thinking – ‘this is the most random thing!’ When I left home at 17 for journalism school, this is not where I thought I was going but it was so nice to almost bring it home….see, it all makes sense now! I totally knew what I was doing the whole time!

With that inspirational thought, we went off on a tangent about in-the-know bars in Seoul in South Korea and how Netflix could commission a series like ‘Nailed It’ based on making cocktails. But it would likely be a bit too messy!

To find out more about Alwynne’s work head to her blog

LEBON is a luxury oral care brand founded in 2015 by Stephanie, Art Historian and professional Photographer and Richard, Cosmetic Certified Dermatologist, both lovers of the sea and nature.

Whereas brushing your teeth is the first and last thing we do every day, Richard and Stephanie wanted to make a dent in the industry for an ethical and nature inspired toothpaste created specifically for those who value health and wellbeing. Their story is so inspiring so we spent some time with them to find out more…

Tell us about the journey that lead to the launch of LEBON

My Husband and I were in holiday in a small village on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. It was a rainy morning, all intense smells where floating in the air. We were at a point of our life where we wanted to create something together (apart from our two amazing children of course).

Richard’s background is cosmetic formulations, mine is art history and photography. Little by little, we found out that there was a huge lack in the oral care, where you could find either toothpastes with impeccable ingredients but not pleasant to use, or mass market toothpastes with formulas full of nasty ingredients. Brushing teeth is the first and last thing you do each day, it should even be 3 times per day after each meal, and despite that, it was lived as an obligation (tell the children to go brushing their teeth, we all know their reaction). With the inspiration of that beautiful, wild and intense nature surrounding us, it quickly became obvious that creating a toothpaste collection with natural flavours and clean formulation that will turn that daily routine into a real pleasure moment was the thing to do.

Looking back since your launch in 2015, is there anything that you would do differently?

That is a question we ask ourselves regularly…

Neither of us come from business or marketing background. We created LEBON with our own criteria, choosing only the very best for all our ingredients and suppliers, with an ethical approach. So, it may not be the best profitability strategy and we learned the hard way that creating a brand and making it viable without business-marketing skills and not overriding its principles and values was difficult. But we question ourselves and listen to our consumers which is, we believe, a very important point and we do not hesitate to evolve when it is necessary. Today LEBON wouldn’t be LEBON without this path covered during these 5 years.

Founded by a husband and wife duo, how do you separate home and work life?

So far, we don’t… This is definitely something we are working on. Our children are not that small (17 and 14) and even them, feel concerned with LEBON. Charline the oldest, is now sometimes coming on trade fairs, she loves it and is the perfect image of “Future is green”. However, we try to not talk about LEBON once we leave the office, but we are not very good at it.

You’re an ethical brand, why is this important to you?.

For us the question would rather be, how couldn’t it be? As I mentioned, we are always evolving and questioning ourselves, because we are totally aware that the way of consuming has to change. World is changing and our planet needs each one to make the difference, small actions made by everyone can make the whole difference. It is everyone’s ethical and ecological conscience that will move the world in the right direction, without waiting for governments or large multinationals reactions.

Talk us through the 9 different flavours of LEBON…

We are very proud to collaborate with one of the most established aroma & perfume suppliers from Grasse, a village in the south of France classified world heritage of UNESCO for its know-how in the production of perfumes. They loved the idea of LEBON toothpaste collection, “whose flavours fits your mood” and we are working with them since the very beginning, creating natural, exclusive and delicate flavours.

Cap Ferrat Moodis the first, the classic one. It awakens your senses and makes you feel strong, fresh and energized with its powerful mix of Mints inspired by the peninsula of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat in the French Riviera. That place used to be a dry roc before being planted and covered with a multitude of trees with fresh and powerful essences such as eucalyptus and pines. People love to go there to find some freshness during the summer heats.

Villa Noacarlina: Our second creation. Brings moment of calm with the fresh fusion of Mint rounded with a subtle hint of Cinnamon. With the well-known stress reducing benefits of Cinnamon and the inspiration of the wild beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Villa Noacarlina is a great flavor to add to your routine to help you feel grounded and calm. Also known to curb hunger craving, this Cinnamon infused toothpaste is a great post-lunch solution to stop snacking throughout the afternoon.

Une Piscine à Antibes: Much like the feeling of diving into a refreshing swimming pool on a hot summer’s day, Une Piscine à Antibes provides that instant cooling and relaxing feeling. Packed full of minty fresh flavors and a splash of Liquorice, this blend is great on the days you want a refreshing and intense moment.

Tropical Crush: This is one I also name “sun in a tube” for rainy days”. Bursting with juicy Pineapple and Rooibos, it will make you start any day in a positive mindset. It transports yourself somewhere tropical and makes you feel uplifted with the vibrantly sunny natural flavours.

Sweet Extravagance: Certainly, the one of the most sophisticated flavour. It is a real moment of self-kindness. Deliciously sweet and creamy, Sweet Extravagance perfectly blends Mint, Orange Blossom (known for its calming and balancing properties) with a hint of Rose (renowned for being uplifting and comforting) making it the ultimate gift of self-love.

Le White: The first of the natural whitening series. It is a tea inspired. A delicate balance of Green Tea and delicious Sweet Mint from Morocco, it is the perfect remedy to enjoying your cup of tea.

Back to Pampelonne: Mango and Mint mix which brings sunshine and joy to any day with the sweet exotic flavors and instantly transport yourself walking along Mediterranean sandy beaches. The explosive exotic Mango is blended with refreshing Mint to create the ultimate uplifting energy kick needed to start the day. An essential part during seasonal changes for anyone looking for a sunny moment.

Rhythm is Love: The uplifting powers of Ylang Ylang and the touch of Yuzu mix idea came after a trip in Asia. Known for its sensual and euphoric properties, the creamy Ylang Ylang helps to boost your spirits whilst the lightly acidulous touch of Yuzu makes it a well-balanced flavour and the perfect choice before bed to help you let go of your day.

Fearless freedom: We also call it the “Monday morning toothpaste”. A bold blend of juicy Black Currant and Fresh Mint that gives you an instant boost of strength and courage and helps you feel like anything is possible.

Are there any plans to extend your product range, if so, what will you add?

2020 is an important year in LEBON development. We still work on the evolution of the brand and we are very excited and proud of what will be launched in a few months. Be patient …

What quote do you like to read when you are lacking motivation?

“I had to make you uncomfortable, otherwise you never would have moved”. – Universe

For anyone wanting to start their own business, what advice would you offer?

Trust your instincts and never stop to move forward. Never considerate things for granted and be ready to evolve while always maintaining the integrity of your initial idea or product.

What are your plans for the business in 2020?

New products and a new commercial distribution strategy. By going more direct in our distribution, we are now able to decrease the public price of the whole collection without touching the quality of our products. We recognised that our price-point excluded some customers from repeat purchasing our product and this is something that we needed to overcome to benefit all our partners markets and consumers.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

Back to the roots… definitely Costa Rica.

Since we launched LEBON, we hadn’t time to go back there, where everything started, and it really misses us. Maybe soon …

Find out more and follow their journey…

If you ever find yourself headed to Costa Rica, then there is no better way to explore its Caribbean coastlines, rich cultures, and treelined rainforests than in a luxury villa. So, TeamCoco checked out all the absolutely stunning luxury Costa Rica Private villa on offer at Luxury Retreats, and picked out a few of our favourites — so you can travel to Central America in style. After all, who doesn’t want to relax by a gratuitous Infinity pool, (mojito in hand) after a long day of holiday-making?

Luxury Retreats is a full service luxury villa holiday rental service, dedicated to make your vital dreams come true.With over 3,000 destinations 5000 luxury villas, matched with impeccable service – Luxury Retreats create unforgettable vacation experiences that are just a cut above the rest.

Casa Ramon

Casa Ramon is a sprawling 6 bedroom and 11 bath villa which can accommodate up to 14 guests, just a stone’s throw away from the quaint town of Dominical, and just a quick walk to Playa Hermosa. A neutral colour palette of cream, tan, and earth tones make you feel like you are at one with nature, which is exactly how you should feel on a luxury holiday in Costa Rica.

Casa Ramon’s main appeal has to be its generous outdoor spaces. Everywhere throughout the villa’s massive expanse, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding jungles and even look out into the calming waters of the sea. The focal point of Casa Ramon’s’ outdoor space is the pool and unheated jetted tub, dotted around are covered seating areas and some super zen yoga spaces. For barbecue enthusiasts, there is also an outdoor kitchen and grill on site, as well as bar-style seating and dining table. The perfect way to spend a summer afternoon with your family, amidst the natural sceneries of Costa Rica. Every bedroom in Casa Ramon has a king sized bed and en-suite — so if you’re travelling with your family, there is no need to call dibs on the best room. At Casa Ramon – every room is the best room.

If you do venture out of Casa Ramon’s beautiful space, make your way to the beautiful sands of Playa Hermosa, or even to the Alegre One snorkelling school and explore the treasures of Costa Rica’s rich and colourful marine life. There’s never a shortage of things to discover in Costa Rica; but with a luxury home base like Casa Ramon – it would be very difficult to leave!

Villa Morabeza

Villa Morabeza is a sleek modernist beachfront marvel set right in front of Costa Rica’s stunning coastline.With the Tamarindo Beach and Langosta Beach literally just a minute away from your doorstep, you won’t find a better luxury beach hideaway anywhere else in Central America.

Villa Morabeza has sprawling open spaces which is made even more generous by the minimalist contemporary design. The villa’s colour palette is almost monochromatic; with earthy touches of natural textures and fabrics. Light touches of woven furnishings, wooden wash basins, and black mid-century modern design details all add that little extra something that make Villa Morabeza a design-lovers paradise in the sun. With eight generously sized en-suite bedrooms, Villa Morabeza can easily accommodate twenty guests. Perfect if you’re planning to take your next family holiday up a notch — or ten.

The kitchen is filled with all the modern appliances a luxury kitchen needs, and also includes a handsome wood dining table for twenty. Outside, there is an alfresco dining area, pool, sandy beach pad, yoga area — and more lounge spaces than you can count. Not to mention, the villa’s all-natural MistAway pest control system allows you to enjoy the outdoors without needing to worry about pesky mosquitos. If you are in the mood for exploring, Tamarindo Beach town is just a five minute walk away from Villa Morabeza’s beautiful gated community. Aside from the charming little bars, boutiques, and restaurants lining the street of this quaint seaside town, the nightlife is also something special. Who knows what trouble you can get into, on a night out Tamarindo, but no matter how many tequilas you get down you, at least you know you’ve gotstunning villa to come home to in the Villa Morabeza.

Sunset House

Designed by world-renowned San Diego based architect, Steve Adams, The Sunset House is the perfect balance of contemporary design and tropical style. Every corner of the Sunset House features a highly curated interior design concept by Mu Design, perfectly executed by Flor de Pacifico and Jeff Hutton. The villa complements the topiary of the surrounding jungle and is built using a combination of natural materials like stone and wood. Its open layout allows maximises the jungle views and its high ceilings allow for a gentle tropical breeze to cool you down amidst Central America’s tropical weather.

The Sunset House coins its name from its magnificent sunset views. The sprawling terrace is the perfect place to enjoy unforgettable views of the Guanacaste sunset, as well as views of the pristine white sand beaches and estuaries. Here, the indoor and outdoor spaces seem to blend seamlessly together. The villa’s open plan/open air design allows for maximum ocean views — with the main focal point being the thatched roof-pavilion. Inside, you will find a ten seater dining table, a fully equipped kitchen, and mid-century modern design accents that elevate the villa’s sleek but cosy contemporary design. The light-washed open spaces also invite the fresh open breezes; making for a truly relaxing and modern seaside escape.There are five en-suite bedrooms at the Sunset House, one with a private terrace and another with an al-fresco shower. Perfect for a luxury holiday that packs the punch in terms of both design and comfort.

Beth and Oonagh are the brains behind Bien Etre, a lifestyle brand that started in London but the Southern French Alps was the inspiration behind the brand’s visual identity and values. Over time the brand has evolved to help people lead better lives all over the world. With the launch of the brand timed just around the start of the pandemic, the initial plans to host retreats was put on the back burner as they were forced to rethink their strategy.

This duo were born to always win and of course between the two of them they were able to grow a successful brand despite the adversity they faced in the early days. Here, we spent some time with Beth and Oonagh to find out more…

Tell us about the journey that led you to launching your brand, Bien Etre?

Beth – One day in 2002, my dad suddenly collapsed. The company he worked for had just been bought out so he was regularly commuting to London and was studying for a diploma in marketing to keep up with the competition. He had a young family to provide for so losing his job wasn’t an option…and it all proved too much to handle. Later that day, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a chronic and incurable illness that would involve injecting 5 times a day and micromanaging his diet and lifestyle for the rest of his life. We didn’t know what all this meant, but my parents refused to let it define our lives, so in early 2003, they moved me and my little sister out to the Southern French Alps to pursue a stress-free lifestyle and give us a healthier upbringing. A move which would also inspire the birth of Bien Etre 16 years later.

Fast forward to 2019 where I was living in central London and working in a job that I hated. I lived for the weekend and my holidays, and I had developed a form of social anxiety that made public transport, shopping malls and meetings extremely uncomfortable. Then one day, I looked around and realised…I was heading down the same road as my dad and was really unhappy with where my life was headed. In that moment, I decided to take action. I started thinking about my dream job, talking to people, doing research. Finally, the idea came to me in a yoga class (by one of our now Directory members), I thought ‘why don’t I bring all these stressed-out Londoners to the Southern French Alps and show them what life could be like’. I registered the business two weeks later.

I had to deal with Covid only 6 months after launching, but with the help of my best friend and business partner, Oonagh English, we managed to build what is now, one of the world’s fastest growing wellness platforms that’s attracting the likes of the Tatler Address Book and is actively enhancing lives in over 33 countries…only 10 months after launching. Our mission is to make the world of well-being more accessible to people worldwide, bringing them the best quality information and support in order to help them make better decisions for their well-being and shape their best life. Wellness isn’t a luxury, it’s something that we’re all entitled to and should work on every day. It’s been one hell of a journey, but it’s still only just the beginning and I couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds for us.

Oonagh – I have suffered from anxiety and depression since childhood. This has lead me on a journey of inner reflection and self discovery. My own journey to finding physical and mental health lead me to discover how hard it can be to find the right education and support to fit your personal needs. When Beth, brought up the idea of creating Retreats that cater to all areas of life, I realised that this was the perfect way to create an environment for people to focus on personal development. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, we were forced to cancel our retreats but we still wanted to provide a supportive environment and a way for like minded people to come together and support one another. This inspired us to create The Circle and the rest is history.

You’ve had to pivot from your original plans due to the pandemic, what has been your biggest learning curve since then?

Beth – Probably that the world is constantly changing and you need to work hard to keep up with it. It also makes it exciting though as it brings about new ideas on how we can use our brand to help people, professionals and companies all over the world. The Circle, for instance, has been a result of the pandemic and is now the centrepoint of our audience’s activity, bringing together wellness enthusiasts in over 33 countries. Change must be seen as an opportunity, not a barrier and that’s something that we pride ourselves on.

Oonagh – The value of being flexible and being able to adapt. Before the pandemic, I would assume so many things about the future and based my plans on them. For example, that we would be able to run retreats how we had planned. Having to face the uncertainty of the world has helped us to create a model that caters to our community members while also honoring the uncertainty in the world at the moment.

How do you want your people to feel when working with you?

Beth – We want them to feel safe, supported and empowered. We take immense pride in our people as the brand is nothing without them and ‘you’re only as good as the people who work for you’. Our employees are regularly given raises and promotions (if they prove themselves of course) and normally get at least 50% off our retreats. We’re working to become one of the top companies to work for in the UK – we love working with passionate, motivated people and love to heavily reward them.

Talk us through your wheel of life and what this concept is…

Beth – We’ve looked at all the wellness models out there and have boiled them down to what we believe are the 6 key dimensions that make up our well-being, we call it the ‘Bien Etre model’. The dimensions are your mental and physical health (the two which we all know about), but also your social, spiritual, occupational and environmental. They’re all interconnected, meaning that they all affect each other and therefore they should all be worked on simultaneously if possible. A brief description of each dimension can be found on this page. And here’s a great article that sums up why they’re all so important.

The last 18 months have been testing for many, what advice would you offer to anyone trying to find joy in every day?

Beth – It might seem cliché, but the fact that we’re all still here, living a life in the 21st century is such a gift. Certainly, most people reading House of Coco have things to be grateful for, whether it’s a loving family or relationship, a good job, a working pair of arms and legs or simply the fact that we’re not in Afghanistan right now! There are so many joys that can be found in the everyday, you just need to look and appreciate what you have, and if you can’t find any, go out and make some!

Oonagh – I would also add that some days are simply not joyful. Sometimes just honoring how we feel can be the best thing. Allowing the grief, sadness and fear to be there and processing it so that we can move on. If our mind is full of anxiety, it doesn’t allow a lot of space for joy. Sometimes we can feel a lot of pressure to “be joyful” and “grateful” despite the trauma we might be going through. Being honest with ourselves can be the best way to move through it. If you feel stuck I would recommend finding an expert to support you through this whether that be a therapist, coach or health psychologist. At Bien Etre, many of our consultants offer free initial consultations, you can find out more about our experts and connect with them here: The Directory — Bien Etre (

Looking back since launching your business, is there anything you would do different?

Beth – I’d maybe try to be more structured in our approach and business plan, but I’m not giving myself a hard time about it as we’ve had to evolve so quickly due to Covid and it’s definitely paid off. The key is to know your audience as much as you can and evolve with them over time.

Oonagh: Great question and a difficult one to answer. If we had known that there would be a pandemic and in person businesses would be essentially shut down. We would have primarily focused on growing the online community first. One of the biggest lessons we have learned over the last 18 months was to prepare for every eventuality.

Tell us more about what inspires you…

Beth – My dad – he’s a world-class mountaineer with Type 1 Diabetes – the perfect example of someone who has made his passion into his work by founding AlpBase: a holiday letting company in the Alps, and Action4Diabetes: Asia’s most successful charity for children with Diabetes. He loves every second of his life and prides himself on never experiencing ‘Monday morning blues’. He’s the one that taught me to ‘never give up’ and that ‘I can always do more than I think I can’.

Oonagh – For me, anyone who chooses growth over giving up inspires me. Sometimes the hardest thing can be to get out of bed in the morning and keep going. Sometimes simply surviving the day is the biggest accomplishment. The sky inspires me. It’s so vast and feels infinite. Whenever I feel trapped, I look at the sky.

If you could describe your brand in three words, what would they be?

Trustworthy – Inclusive – Inspirational

What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to launch their own wellness business?

Beth – A lot of people come to me and ask for advice about becoming a life/health coach. I always give them the same advice: make sure you have a solid personal brand and a good personal story to back it up. Then find your niche and make sure it’s only composed of your favourite type of person – people that you’re seriously passionate about helping. This can take time to figure out so try working with lots of different types of people to figure out who you prefer working with. Then…JUST START! So many people just hang around waiting for the ‘right moment’ to start their business. When the idea to start a business came to me in a yoga class one day, I didn’t wait around and registered the business two weeks later.

Oonagh – My advice, don’t give up at the first hurdle or indeed the 10th. Most people don’t succeed on their first try. I have failed so many times. Those experiences have helped shape my success.

Talk us through an average day in your life…

Beth – I try to make time for all dimensions of my well-being every day, so an average workday will look like this:

07:20 – I get up, make my herbs (prescribed by well-being Guru and Chinese Medicinal Herbalist, Nona Taylor from our Directory – and coincidentally Oonagh’s mum), and do at least 20mn of stretching and yoga to wake my body up. I also try to do a bit of meditation or just simply sitting and thinking of all the things that I’m grateful for. I don’t generally have breakfast (unless I’m doing a big physical activity that day such as surfing or skiing) as I’m never hungry in the mornings (which works well for intermittent fasting). Sometimes I might get peckish and have something on toast mid-morning.

08:00 – I catch up on emails for the first half hour and then work solidly through to about 13:00 – 13:30 with 10mn breaks at 1h intervals. This is because our brains are much more active and productive in the mornings, making it the best time to concentrate and get a load of work done. Apparently we can’t concentrate more than 3-4 hours a day and aren’t able to be productive for more than 6 hours a day, so I’ve built my whole schedule around this – and it definitely works for me!

13:00 – I make a healthy lunch and then go for a 30-45mn walk to digest and get some fresh air – I’ll generally listen to music or a podcast during this time. If I’m in an exotic location I’ll go skiing/surfing or do something fun in the afternoon. Otherwise I’ll come back from my walk, make a green tea, do some reading and then workout for about 30mn (I alternate my workouts based on the 8 types of physical fitness and try to incorporate all of them as much as possible.). I sometimes have a nice relaxing bath with lots of home-made salts and essential oils (as I’m also an Aromatherapist). Sometimes I get creative and make some homemade sprays, skin oils and other beauty products with my essential oils – it’s a small hobby of mine.

I then do another hour or so of work somewhere between 17:00 and 19:00 (as that’s when your brain’s concentration starts to go back up) and ensure that I’ve done everything I needed to do and catch up on emails.

19:00 – I’ll make myself a nice healthy dinner and then watch some netflix. I’ll go to bed around 22:30 and am very strict with this as I really need my 8 hours!

I’ve tried so many routines and this one works for me, but might not work for other people. The key is to try different things until you find the perfect routine. And don’t be influenced by all that 5am lot – what works for them might not work for you (I’ve tried it and definitely couldn’t keep it up!).

Oonagh – Honestly, I used to put so much pressure on myself to create a routine and be a certain way. Over the years I tried so many different things. What I find works for me now is to plan my day around my energy and inspiration. As an entrepreneur, my daily tasks will vary hugely depending on what projects I am working on at the moment. I love meditation and I always find some time in my day for my practice. I also make sure I do something for my mental health. This might be going for an energising walk in nature, talking to my coach or spending some time in my bed listening to my favourite audiobook, Harry Potter. I have learned over time what my energy fillers and what my energy drainers are and I balance those out throughout the day.

How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?

Quite a lot – we rely heavily on Instagram (as that’s where most of our consumers are) to paint the right image of our brand and values and have been through 8 different social media managers before finding the right person.

You’re very well traveled but which place really has your heart?

Beth – This is a difficult question as I’ve lived in three different countries (England, France and Netherlands). I feel both ‘at home’ in England and France, but what I’ve also uncovered along the way, is that my heart and home simply lie within myself – and this is very important when travelling. I’ve been working on myself and my self-love throughout my twenties as I used to get anxious about travelling far from home without my friends and family due to a lack of self confidence. But I’ve finally come to the realization that I am my own home and I can feel centred, at peace and at home wherever I am in the world because I believe in myself and am 100% comfortable in my own skin. It’s taken years to get to this place, but I’m so glad that I made the effort as it’s really paid off.

Oonagh: I would say my home land, Ireland. In particular West Cork. It’s rugged, wild and so nourishing. I love the fresh air, the smell of salt. The sound of the waves crashing against the rocks. To me it’s home.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

Beth – Costa Rica – for the surfing, landscapes and biodiversity, and also where Oonagh and I are going for the whole month of May and we can’t wait!

What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?

I remind myself of everything that I’ve already accomplished and then I tell myself to “never give up”, and that “you can always do more than you think you can”.

Oonagh – “We are what we think, all that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world” Buddha

What’s next for you and the brand?

Beth – We can’t wait to get our retreats back up and running and are planning some Alpine retreats for our members next September! However, we’re also working on creating our own custom-made app, that will deliver even more value, support and information in an even more accessible way. Next year is going to be a very important year for us. We have so much in the pipeline and can’t wait to start helping even more people around the world.

What does self care mean to you?

Beth – This seems to be a confusing topic, and people generally associate it with physical self care (such as working out or taking a relaxing bath), but to me (and the message that we’re trying to get out there), is that it means taking care of each of the 6 dimensions of our well-being: physical, mental, spiritual, occupational, environmental and social. Only when we look after all dimensions simultaneously, do we achieve overall well-being, creating feelings of euphoria and fulfilment.

Oonagh -Self care is taking a good hard look at your life and figuring out why you are wound up in the first place. Why do you feel you need to “getaway” from your life for the weekend? Are there some things that you can change or is there an area you can get support in? Self care is getting enough sleep so that you’re not constantly exhausted. It’s eating delicious, nutritious food on a regular basis and making sure you’re drinking enough fluids. It’s doing things that allow you to maintain a baseline state of peace and relaxation.

Where can people find out more?

On our website at or – where they can request to join the Circle for free and join our member-only retreats.

Here at House of Coco we spend a lot of time speaking to women from around the world that share their journey with us, including the highs and lows, on how they got to where they are today. Often, it involves overcoming adversity, listening to their gut and believing in themselves and that is definitely true for Jennifer Jane Young.

Jennifer Jane Young is an Intuitive Business and Leadership Advisor and United Nations Consultant. She facilitates growth, flow, and transformation for heart-centered, impact-driven entrepreneurs and businesses. She thrives in helping entrepreneurs define what most aligns with their intuition, identify their personal roadblocks, and take intentional action steps toward their most fulfilled life. Jennifer has a knack for finding clients’ hidden potential and discovering ample opportunities for their next level of expansion. Through deep, purposeful listening, she creates a safe space for entrepreneurs to share their deepest yearnings, fears, and struggles; ultimately helping them reconnect to their inner wisdom.

Inspired? You haven’t heard anything yet. Here, Jennifer tells us more…

Tell us about the journey that led you to becoming an intuitive business and leadership adviser?

I spent most of my younger years struggling to find my place in the world and suffering from anxiety. There just never seemed to be any box that I felt good in, until I realized I didn’t need to live in a pre-constructed box.

I found my flow, deeper levels of joy and more sustainable success when I started listening to the nudges my intuition was giving me. This began by leaving my career in Early Childhood Education and launching into entrepreneurship as a Yoga Teacher without a plan but with a deep inner knowing that this next step was right for me.

After several years of teaching yoga I noticed that I was more excited to be in front of my computer working ON my business than being on my yoga mat teaching so I once again honoured the nudge. This led me to the work I do today, supporting entrepreneurs.

The journey was not always smooth. Intuition is rarely logical or practical therefore it has been a process of learning to trust myself and the guidance of my intuition. Each time I did, I experienced more flow, joy and expansion.

Along the way I have been a business coach, a high level executer, a business/team/operations manager and today I have alchemised all of these experiences into potent business and leadership advising. I’m also now a United Nations Consultant!

Entrepreneurship has given me the freedom and creative outlet that my soul was so deeply yearning for and I am passionate about mentoring and guiding others in getting unstuck, accessing more expansion, joy and success on their own unique journey via the channel of their intuition.

When we are aligned with what is in highest and best for us, we can create impact and experience deep fulfillment.

I wake up every morning to nurture the potential in each human being that comes along my path.

Who is your ideal client?

I work with entrepreneurs, leaders, creatives and change-makers craving to experience more flow and look beyond their conditioned rigid, limited way of living and leading. Who are curious to look below the surface of what they know and into the possibilities of what’s available to them in order to get unstuck.

Leaders who want to integrate intuitive leadership into their business culture and nurture the unique potential of their team and communities.

Most importantly, those who value growth and transformation and are willing to get uncomfortable to experience the next level of expansion.

I work with solo entrepreneurs, impact driven leaders and organizations that value right brain thinking and personal growth.

How do you want your clients to feel after working with you?

  • Clear and inspired about their next step forward
  • Excited about the possibility and potential available to them
  • Calm, confident and ready to take the next intuitive leap
  • Hopeful for what is yet to unfold
  • Able relax and trust in the support of something much bigger than themselves
  • Curious to dive deep below the surface of what they know and into the expansive possibilities of what is really available to them
  • Ready to own and commit to taking the actions that will allow them to experience transformation
  • Inspired to lead and live intuitively AND able to understand that both intuition (right brain) and practicality (left brain) can co-create beautifully together

Looking back since launching your business, is there anything you would do different?

I actually believe that our past is perfect, no matter what choices we made or how we dealt with things. All of it purposefully happened to initiate our growth and lead us to the life we came here to live. I wouldn’t change anything because I wouldn’t have the life I am living now.

I do sometimes wish I would have been more patient and taken less urgent action because I essentially made myself suffer for no reason. I now know that it was all unfolding perfectly.

Tell us more about what inspires you…

Simple living is what inspires me the most. I am at my happiest in moments where I can be with myself and enjoying the very simple things that nourish me, like sitting by a fire, cuddling with my dogs, sipping tea or coffee, watching the birds from my back porch, reading my books.

My work also deeply inspires me but mostly when I let the flow of it be intuitive. When I just do what my gut is telling me to do in the moment or what excites me the most I am at my most creative and get the biggest insights and ideas.

Finally, growth and transformation are big topics of inspiration for me. I’m passionate about exploring what more is possible for myself and others. I’m a total bookworm and am constantly reading (2-3) books simultaneously to expand what I know. I love alchemising all of my experiences, wisdom and knowledge into powerful teachings to help others.

If you could describe your brand in three words, what would they be?

Empowering. Nurturing. Inspirational

What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to become an adviser or coach?

To be the unique blend of who they are and bring THAT to the table when they are coaching or advising. Whether you do a certification or train to do this work or not is not that important from my perspective. What’s most important is that you bring your full self, intuition and experiences to the table.

Follow your flow. Don’t box yourself into how you think you should coach or try to fit into any kind of standards that don’t feel good to you. Coaching can be a very powerful, organic and intuitive process and in order to be that, we need the most authentic, potent version of you.

Remember that you are not responsible for the results of your clients. This understanding has been so important for me in recent years and releasing that expectation has allowed me to become a better coach. We are not here to fix people. We are here to guide, mentor, offer invitations into higher perspectives and possibilities for growth, clarity and expansion.

Talk us through an average day in your life…

It is so simple.

  • I wake up naturally around 6:30am
  • Feed the doggies
  • Sit by my fireplace (in winter and autumn) or back yard (summer and spring) with my hot water and lemon. I sit quietly, contemplate, meditate and DO NOT touch my phone for about 20 mins.
  • Then I have either a cup of Dandy Blend, Coffee or Cacao (depending on what my body is craving) and sip that for about 45-60 mins while reading, checking in on social, catching up on my Whatsapp or text messages. I have a lot of friends and business buddies all over the world so many of them text me when I’m sleeping. I love the gift of waking up to their messages.
  • Then breakfast, shower and morning walk with my dogs.
  • 15-20 minute workout every 2 days.
  • Then I settle into some focused work from about 10am to 3pm depending on how I’m feeling. Most days from my home office but sometimes I pop over to my local coffee shop and work a bit from there.
  • In the afternoons I try to do something nourishing for myself like reading my books, cooking, sitting outside and I often end the day with a bath.
  • Usually I’ll have dinner while watching my “in the moment” series on Netflix (currently Good Girls)
  • Then I settle into bed with my book and drift off to sleep (I’m always reading a business or personal growth book in the mornings and a fiction or memoir at night)
  • On weekends I just wake up and wander through my day, following my intuitive nudges and I generally spend time with family and friends. I’m a Cancerian so I love being home with family and friends.

How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?

It has had a really important role because I teach very much through my life experiences; sharing wisdom, insights and real life, raw examples that people can relate to.

So many people on social media have been following me for over a decade, since I was a Yoga Teacher. Many have shared the transformations they have experienced from insights and inspirations and lessons I share.

I’m also a natural connector and want to know my people and community intimately. Social media is a way for me to sustain long term relationships with my community so that we are going through a journey of growth and transformation together. I have met so many wonderful people via social media. Many who have had a huge impact on my success.

You’re very well traveled but which place really has your heart?

México! I lived in Mexico for 4 years and it has become a second home for me. I always knew intuitively that a chapter of my life would take place there and it happened in 2016. The biggest transformation and breakthrough of my life happened in Mexico so there is a deep, emotional tie for me with this country. I still have friends and family and plan to one day have a second home there.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

This question is so hard for me. I am the kind of person who goes to the restaurant and can’t decide what I want to eat because I’m scared of missing out on something else I could have enjoyed! I have traveled a lot so far in my life. Intuitively I feel like England, Costa Rica or California.

What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?

“Man plans and God laughs.”

It helps me chill out, stop trying to micromanage my life and trust in divine timing.

What’s next for you and the brand?

More aligned work. I have been diving deep into Human Design lately and discovered that as a Generator I am meant to do only what excites me or what feels like a full body yes. This is what I’m intentionally stepping into personally. My team is incredible at helping me be more in my Sacred Flow. To “stay in my lane” as I like to say.

For my brand there are two exciting things. I am getting a rebrand done for AND I’m working on my next project “The School of Intuitive Leadership”

What does self care mean to you?

Slowing down. As soon as I slow down I feel healthier and happier. I do less of everything and more of what feels aligned. When I slow down I can actually hear my intuition therefore I make choices that are good for me. I say yes to the right things and no to the wrong things. I set healthy boundaries. I listen to my body. Slowing down is also when I can heal which is essential to self care for me.

Where can people find out more?

On my website: and they can download free Masterclass “Find Your Flow”:

Explore my podcast “Finding Your Flow”:

On social media to connect:





Archana is a breath of fresh air and the creator and founder of Mandala Creations, a brand where her passion for personal growth shines through. A girl after our own heart, she believes that the best way to uplift humanity is by uplifting ourselves first and raising our own consciousness and her brand Mandala Creations is all about providing those positive reminders.

We spent some time with her to find out more. Be warned, it’s impossible not to be inspired by Archana..

Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand Mandala Creations…

Back in 2012, when my son was 2 years old, I went through a pretty low period. During that time, he would stick stickers everywhere around the house, including bathrooms! I would remove those stickers pretty much everyday and one day as I was removing a sticker, I just stopped and smiled. I smiled at his little joys. And that moment I became aware of my own thoughts and that I wasn’t happy being in that state of mind.

I decided then that I would leave those stickers and they would serve as a positive reminder. Every time I would see them, I would change my thoughts to more positive ones and it truly did help me get through that time.

Gemstones have also been something that I’ve always been attracted to as they naturally promote good energy. I would carry various gemstones with me and loved learning about their properties.

Thus, Mandala Creations began with the goal to remind others to be more aware of their thoughts and that they have the power to change them.

Uplifting others is something you like to do, why is this important to you?

Because we are at a time where we all need to be uplifted. And the best way to uplift others is by uplifting yourself first. Our energy has a huge impact on others whether we see it or not. So by being in an elevated state helps not only you but others as well as it creates a ripple effect. And that’s what I want people to remember about themselves through my products.

I love that personal growth is something you focus on. What tips would you offer someone who wants to grow on a personal level?

Our mind is so powerful, and just as important it is to learn new tools, it’s also important to unlearn our old programming.

Start by being aware of your own thoughts and behaviours. Most of our thoughts are on auto-pilot and we think and do out of habit. We don’t even realize it as it’s become a routine. But once you have that awareness, you can begin to implement changes.

Changes don’t need to be so drastic either. Start small. Once I became more aware of my thoughts, I would try to replace them with more positive ones. Affirmations are wonderful as well but they won’t work unless you feel it and believe it to be true.

What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned this year?

The biggest lessons I’ve learned are to live more authentically and doing things that are aligned with me and not out of fear of judgement. Being a people pleaser, it’s hard for me to let go of that fear. But I’m slowly learning and realizing that everyone has their own fears and insecurities. We’re all in this journey together and some might take a different path and that’s ok. Not everyone is supposed to fit in the same box, we all have different talents and gifts. But if we do things out of societal expectations, we’re not truly happy and fulfilled and suppress our inner powers.

If you were to describe your brand in three words, what would they be?

Inspirational, intentional, meaningful

What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur?

Just start. Don’t worry about being perfect. You can always perfect it after. If it’s something that brings you joy and fulfils you, then it will all just fall into place.

I’m still learning a lot being on this journey, and just being open to whatever comes my way.

Talk us through an average day in your life…

My morning routine is practicing mindfulness, gentle exercise and meditation. Then start the day by getting some work done. It ranges from creating new products, photographing, editing, creating content and fulfilling orders.

This past year has been different having my son at home. But it has been nice because I got to spend some extra time with him. We try and go for walks and bike rides and have some serious conversations about Minecraft! Evening is our family time and we play games or watch a movie.

How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?

A big part, and it’s allowed me to connect with so many wonderful people and I will always be grateful to that. But it can get overwhelming too. It’s so easy to compare yourself with other brands and feel that you’re not doing enough. But at the same time, there is lots of inspiration too.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

Costa Rica! I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve said I want to go to Costa Rica. I secretly want to move there, grow my own food, be surrounded by nature and drink chai all day long!

What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?

I have too many! But love this one by Dr. Joe Dispenza

“If you want a new outcome, you will have to break the habit of being yourself, and reinvent a new self.”

What’s next for you and the brand?

I’m currently working on a children’s collection which my son has also been helping me. Really excited to launch this collection as it’s something that I feel passionate about. As a child I grew up with very low self-esteem and I wish I knew the things I know now back then. I believe personal growth is so important for kids because these are tools that they can use to help them navigate into adulthood. My hope is that this collection will help them remember their own powers and use them.

What does self care mean to you?

Self care means listening to your body. It means resting when you’re tired or saying no to things that don’t align with you and not feeling guilty about it. You cannot give when you’re empty so fill yourself up however you need to.

Where can people find out more?

You can find me on Instagram @mandalacreationsto and my website

Ben and Alice, founders of RiSE Coffee Box definitely rose to the calling of all coffee fans across the UK when they started a coffee subscription box business. Read on to find out more about this inspirational couple that have gone from strength to strength during adverse times.

Tell us about the journey that led you to launch your brand RiSE Coffee Box…

We were in lockdown sitting on our doorstep taking in the sunshine, talking about how much we were going to miss coffee culture. We also noticed how many delivery vans there were and began contemplating what a business would look like after 2020.

We knew there were coffee companies already delivering coffee, but they didn’t offer the variety, excitement or customer experience were looking for. We felt that there was a real opportunity to offer something different.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?

Definitely adjusting to life post lockdown and what that has meant for our business growth, it’s been a rollercoaster! What we’ve learnt is that headlines and seasonality can really affect growth and you have to try and plan for that no matter how difficult.

If you were to describe your business mantra in three words, what would they be?

Taste. Discover. Subscribe.

What advice would you offer anyone interested in venturing into the world of coffee subscriptions?

Don’t be put off by the competition, there are a growing number of subscription businesses and certainly in the world of coffee there are now a few! But if you believe in your product then just go for it. We know at RiSE that our coffee and wine offerings are totally different to what others provide and we’ll always strive to delight our customers.

Talk us through an average business day in your life…

Emails, partnership meetings, event planning, packing and delivering local boxes, speaking to suppliers, creating and posting content, reviewing targets and planning for the future…

Business can be an upward struggle at times, what do you do to stay positive?

We’re lucky because we have each other, if one of us is feeling a little flat the other one boosts them up and vice versa. We also just think of the customers that tell us that they absolutely love our business and wouldn’t go anywhere else; that is really motivating.

What is your go to quote when lacking motivation?

One time a subscriber said to us that we are the only subscription box they have ever stuck with for over a year and that they’d tried every other subscription out there (Hello Fresh, Abel & Cole, Pact etc) and we were thrilled! That helps us to know we are really doing something right.

How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?

To drive awareness initially it definitely has played a role. We love how engaged our brand following is and how interested they are in not only our coffee and wine boxes but also our life! Most of them prefer our posts about our dog, Molly! She drives the most engagement for sure…

How do you want people to feel when they first order from your online store?

When the first box arrives we want people to feel like it’s a gift, handpicked, curated and packed just for them. We want them to have that sense of anticipation and excitement when it arrives.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

Pre COVID we had hoped to travel South America for 3 months and visit various coffee farms. Sadly that is on hold so for now we will be settling for Greek Island hopping, including Paros, Ios, Naxos and Santorini. Costa Rica is another place we can’t wait to get to, it has sea, nature, jungle, great food, everything!

What’s next for you and your brand?

We recently launched RiSE English Wine which is an wine version of the coffee box, showcasing the best of English wine that you can’t find anywhere else. We are soon to be at Taste Festival in November and then we know from last year that Christmas will be crazy busy! We have big dreams to become a food and drink marketplace showcasing the best of the UK’s independent brands so watch this space.

Where can people find out more about RiSE Coffee Box?

You can head to our website at RiSE Coffee Box and our Instagram accounts @risecoffeebox @riseenglishwine. We also have just launched our wine website, RiSE English Wine so please check it out!