Isolation Insights: Q&A with Vivien Leung from Verdant Alchemy

Isolation Insights: Q&A with Vivien Leung from Verdant Alchemy

Isolation Insights: Q&A with Vivien Leung from Verdant Alchemy

Founded in London by Vivien Leung in 2018, Verdant Alchemy is a modern natural and vegan bath and body brand crafted in South East London.

Couverture: What was the concept behind Verdant Alchemy when you first started the brand?
Vivien Leung: The concept was simple; I wanted to redefine wellness and help people thrive in modern life through the power of rest and bath time. By focusing on efficacy and self-care, Verdant Alchemy unlocks the power of minerals and botanicals to create restorative experiences for modern needs- because modern life is stressful.

C: How does your background influence the current running of Verdant Alchemy?
VL: I have a part advertising/ part wellness background which influences the way I run and evolve Verdant Alchemy. I co-own a wellness space in South London that focuses on pain management, where I am lucky enough to work with and learn from some incredible experts. So, it is important that I bring that knowledge to the business. My 10 year strategic advertising experience also brings me a lot of joy and helps me create an impactful brand rooted in audience insights and design.

C: What do you love about London?
VL: I am a born and bred Londoner and it is my favourite place on the planet. I love how much green space there is, how vibrant and diverse all the streets are and how we have the best food and drink establishments in the world.

C: Which are your favourite areas and spots in London?
VL: I love Soho and just getting lost there- the memories from my youth are still strong, getting the night bus home was always a very long adventure. Nowadays visiting all the incredible restaurants and discovering new small boutiques in the area still delights me. I live in South London, and love Dulwich and Peckham.

C: Looking forward, what is next in the pipeline we can get excited about for Verdant Alchemy?
VL: We have some incredible products being developed rooted in therapeutic scent and hydration. I hope we can still launch in September- watch this space.

C: How are you maintaining a positive headspace throughout everything going on?
VL: Only putting your energy into things you CAN control is super important in maintaining positivity. Switching off the news and disengaging with the news cycle, having baths, staying grateful and cooking is keeping me sane.

C: What is your go-to outfit to work in around the house?
VL: Always a white shirt and some form of relaxed tapered trousers. Smart casual comfort is key.

C: What are you listening to whilst working through the lockdown?
VL: BBC Radio 6 is my go to- Lauren Lavernes morning show gives me life, I am obsessed with her. In the afternoon I listen to very chilled soul music such as Celeste.

C: More time at home means more cooking - which recipes have you been trying out?
VL: Obviously, the banana bread, although that was my favourites even before the lock down. I also love anything middle eastern, so I am using the Ottolenghi cookbooks a lot- he also has loads of free recipes on the Guardian website.

C: What tv / films have you been enjoying whilst at home?
VL: We used to watch a lot of terrestrial TV, meaning you are watching a whole lot of nothing bar quiz and panel shows. But I finally got Netflix last week, so now we are watching old school happy shows like Arrested Development. My husband is very excited to begin the Michael Jordan documentary that just landed.

C: How have things changed in your local area since the lockdown came into place?
VL: There is a real community feel and everyone is trying to help others in need which is great. The street is very loud every Thursday at 8pm for ClapForTheCarers which gets me quite emotional every time. On the streets, it is a lot quieter and generally everything seems slower. Which isn't a bad thing.