Inspired by her travels and her passion for healthy living, Jo Wood has built up a much lauded range of organic beauty products
Article by Lauren Naylor
Veteran rock chick Jo Wood now turned organic devotee, is often recognised as the glamorous ex-wife of Ronnie Wood. But 62-year-old Jo is much more interested in championing all things healthy living and raising awareness of her award-winning certified organic products . After a serious health scare in 1991, Jo eschewed her rock ‘n’ roll past for one of organic living. Shortly after, in 2005, Jo Wood Organics was born.
Grandmother of ten, and mother of four, Jo is keen to educate her family and beyond about healthy living. Inspired by her exotic travels, her luxurious range of certified organic products are kind to the skin and great for the planet. The range has won many awards, including being Highly Commended in the Marie Claire Prix d’Excellence de la Beaute Awards. Recently introducing her new collection into London institution Fortnum & Mason, we were keen to catch up on Jo’s organic lifestyle over a cup of coffee at the crack of dawn…
What did you set out to achieve when you started the range back in 2005?
I wanted to achieve better choice for women, an organic choice. We have all these inorganic products on the shelves full of chemicals and nasty parabens pushed on us through TV, media and marketing. I wanted to make organic and cool, high-end beauty products that are great for the skin and feed the skin with nourishing oils. I also wanted an accessible organic brand that anyone could enjoy (N.B: the body oil is £39).
You were a model back in the day, so you must have tried out many products. Were there any tips you’ve taken on throughout life?
Yes I have and still try out loads of products – only these days they are natural and organic! My mum always said to me: “never go to sleep with your make up on”. I’ve stuck religiously to that.
Do any of your children give you input on your brand?
My daughter helps test my products, and although my kids aren’t involved business-wise, they do love it when I give them products! However, my son Tyrone runs Project 0, which is all about cleaning up the oceans, so he’s working hard to protect the planet.
We hear you love to cook, and presumably you eat organic as well?
I have eaten organic food for over 20 years and at home I only have organic food. I don’t have dairy or red meat (a little chicken sometimes). My home-made specialities are prawn curry, vegetable curry and roast chicken. I make a mean chicken burger and I always use seasonal produce. I love to be kind to the planet, I always buy organic, therefore I’m helping the farmers as this creates a demand.
Someone once told me if everyone bought organic apples each week it would change the demand from inorganic to organic. I recycle and only use natural cleaning products, and organic bath and beauty products (there are no chemicals down my drain!) Fashion wise, I love vintage and fair –trade and always look to buy intelligently to last. Anything that will help out the planet long-term I am passionate about. I try to encourage my entire family to eat the same way, although my eldest son will always drink coke…!
How do you decide the base of your fragrances and who helps your create your masterpieces?
My brother gave me a book one day called the fragrance pharmacy, and I began mixing oils and giving to friends. Now I work with Colette Hayden, who is a respected formulator.
Why did you decide on just the two fragrancies?
The two fragrances are the original two I first did with Colette, only now they have been updated. ‘Amka’ means to wake, ‘Usiku’ means night. Both are Swahili words. Amka is an uplifting fragrance, while Usiku is a more relaxing cosy, calming fragrance. There are six products in total; candles, body oil and fragrance in both scents.
(N.B: Beauty ed Lauren’s favourite is AMKA, which has a heart of Iranian rose otto, Egyptian jasmine and bright fresh top notes of neroli and bergamot. Green mandarin and sweet orange add a fresh, vibrant layer, and the whole combination is grounded in a soft, spicy base of cedar wood.)
You must be very excited to be exclusively in Fortnum & Mason, is there a reason you choose here; does it hold any special memories for you?
I am thrilled to be in F&M, it’s such a beautiful store and an English tradition and it was my first choice this time out. I was so happy when they said yes to me.
What’s one notable ingredient that seems to crop up in most of your scents and why?
In both fragrances we use water derived from organic oranges, as regular water is not organic. I have eaten organic since 1991, when I had a health scare and believe it’s so important to put organic ingredients on our skin (as well as inside our bodies) – what goes on your skin goes straight into the blood stream.
What’s the most important thing in your life?
Aside from my family, my health.
There’s no doubt you look absolutely incredible, do you have any products you swear by?
What makes you happy & how do you relax?
Being around my family and the ones I love makes me happy. Feeling healthy makes me feel good so then I’m at my happiest. To relax I love to go boxing as this is time for myself, and I adore cooking.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Green & Blacks chocolate!
Do you think you’d ever venture into an organic makeup range?
I would love to do a make-up line and tackle children’s products next, because of my grandchildren.
What’s been your biggest break so far?
I haven’t had my big break yet…
What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?
I would love my brand to be a success and to change the way women think about what they put on their skin. Love yourself and your planet – be organic!
Enquiries: Jo Wood Organics/ www.jowoodorganics.com