LG: Tell us a bit about your journey to starting Onira. What were you doing before and what prompted you to get into the beauty industry ?
JP: I worked as a model for 12 years. It was amazing, I travelled a lot, learnt a lot and met some incredible people; but a few years ago, after the birth of my children, my perspective on health, wellbeing and beauty really changed. I became a lot more concerned about the future, being there for my children, and adopting a healthier way of living. For the first time, I truly opened my eyes to the impacts that my personal decisions and choices were having on my own body, and the earth as a whole.
On set, working as a model, beauty choices were often made for me and ten years ago it was almost impossible to find high-quality, natural products that looked good on camera. But since stopping modelling, becoming a mother, and learning about all of the toxins and chemicals that I was unknowingly putting into my body for so many years, I resolved to overhaul my entire lifestyle.
I changed my diet, my health and fitness routine, and beauty routine. The transition to natural, organic make-up and skincare was relatively easy, but I found it completely impossible to find a luxurious, high-impact haircare range. That was where the journey to starting Onira began.
LG: What do you enjoy most and least about running your own brand?
JP: I love the freedom, I’m my own boss. I love pretty much everything about running my own brand, actually. It is challenging at times though.
I wouldn’t say there’s anything I dislike. Education is a really big part of what we’re doing at Onira right now though; to have a business that is built around such a pioneering approach to haircare is hugely gratifying, but can also be incredibly difficult. Onira is not just a range of products, it’s a lifestyle. We’ve got a message to translate as much as we have products to sell. I think that is a blessing and a curse at the same time.
LG: Where do you see the Onira brand going?
JP: Right now, I think we’re exactly where we want to be. Onira has grown a lot over the last 10 months, since our launch, and I’m sure we will continue to do so, but being everywhere was never part of the plan. We want to stay true to our roots; Onira is chic, luxurious and bespoke. We will only ever be stocked by retailers that understand and compliment our values.
We’ve got an incredible list of retailers in the UK already, have recently launched in LA and are due to launch with Italy any time now. It’s a very exciting time for Onira. The end goal for us has always been to have our own Onira salon, though. And I’m certain that we’ll get there. One day.
LG: What are your staple products in your beauty cabinet?
JP: I love Tata Harper products – my beauty cabinet is slowly being taken over by bright green bottles. The Boosted Contour Serum is my absolute staple product. For make-up, I like RMS. I don’t wear a lot of make-up, but their Mascara and Living Luminizer Highlighter are always my go-to products when I feel like a need a little boost.
LG: You have friends visiting London, where are your recommended places to eat, shop, drink?
JP: Jusu Brothers in Westbourne Grove is my favourite restaurant, the kitchen closes at 4pm though, so you have to be sure to get there early. Other than that, I love the Chiltern Fire House in the evening for drinks and for shopping, Selfridges will always be my go-to.
LG: Where is on your travel list this year?
JP: I’ve just come back from St Barts which was amazing. We have a house there, so we try to make it out at least once a year – it’s such a beautiful island and I love the vibe there.
I’d also like to go back to Greece this year. I’m half Greek and it’s so important to me to go back there as often as possible, it’s where I feel really at home. Mykonos is my favourite of the Greek islands, it has the perfect balance of culture and relaxation. The views are absolutely breathtaking.
LG: If you were not doing what you are doing now, you would be a .....?
JP: I’d still be an Entrepreneur. If it wasn’t Onira, I think it would be something else. I’ve never been one to get complacent, I always strive for more.
Images Credit: Katherine Ormerod, Onira Organics, Chiltern Firehouse