My name is Jennifer and I am proud to be the founder of The Lavender House. For those of you that follow me on instagram or Facebook you will already have some idea of the person behind the brand. By starting a blog it will allow me to expand on some of the topics I touch on in social media. Normally what happens is that just as I get going, I run out of space! You can expect a range of themes from me, drawing on my knowledge of gardening, natural sustainable living, travel, books, art, community, family and a fair few stories no doubt.
I would also be interested in what you would like to know more about too. I am pretty much happy to talk about most things as I have realised if you can talk about it, it can be managed.
I am 42 years old, married and have three wonderful children that pop up every now and then in my photos. I have been a vegetarian since childhood, I enjoy working out and am attempting to learn to play the piano. We live in a tiny village in Bedfordshire where we have a menagerie of animals to keep us busy, and make us go outside no matter what the weather. The house is old and it’s a project, our fourth and last! I love art, books, travel, gardening, house renovating, playing around with styling clothes, our home, the garden and all this from an environmentally friendly view point of sustainability and longevity.
From the girl who grew up saying she would never marry, only wanted the city life and most certainly would never entertain having a dog, (let alone two), there have been some major life turn arounds! I remember one weekend about a year after being married, a university friend came to stay. As soon as my husband left the room she shifted closer to me and in an exaggerated wine fuelled whisper asked “Are you ok?”. I think she honestly thought I was being held against my own will, that she needed to rescue me and return me to my old life. All she had to do was get passed the dog, the husband and the 3month old baby attached to my right breast!
For nearly twenty years I had a job that took me all over this incredible planet. I was cabin crew for one of the largest airlines in the world. I got to know the world like most people know their local area and truly felt part of a one world community. When I was at home I was Mum, when I was away I was Crew. I filled every moment of every trip exploring, having adventures and going local. I learnt how to travel well, minimising the footprint I left behind, being respectful of cultures, but inquisitive at the same time and always finding ways to give something back, not just take from the communities you visit. The uniform was a bit like a superpower as it opened so many doors, you were trusted immediately throughout the world.
Most people view the plane journey as the simple means of getting them from A to B, but while on the plane life in all its forms happen, from beginning to end and everything in between. Whether you were sat “down the back” or up in first I have had the privilege to meet so many wonderful human beings, most just wanting to be listened to and I have kept their stories close.
As our family continued to grow I reduced my contract, so eventually I was flying for 3 weeks and was at home for 6 weeks. Once all the children were of school age it seemed the right time to re-evaluate our family set up and invest time in something I was passionate about, and which sat comfortably with my views on life, wellbeing and the environment. My Father sadly passed away in December 2016. I am going to sound like a cliche here, but it makes you stop and think. Who am I? Where am I going? What am I doing? When I stood up and read at his funeral all I could see was a church full of people all wanting to say goodbye to a fine man. It makes you want to be someone worth saying goodbye to. It also makes you check in on yourself and see how you are doing.
It was from here that The Lavender House grew, and it bridged the years since leaving university, where I had studied Art and Drama, to allow me to re-discover my creative side and to become engaged with it on a practical level. I also realised my head was packed full of ideas influenced by my travels. I had witnessed, first hand and on a global level, the harmful side effects that come from communities who no longer connect with nature, and therefore no longer live in harmony with it. Once I had acknowledged this, the natural progression was to start my own business where I could draw on what I had learnt and was passionate about. It would need to incorporate my love for gardening, natural living and appreciation of art, allowing a freedom to create whilst still being on time for the school run! It was also fundamental that the work allowed me to engage within my local community, as well as an ever growing online one. This all came together in The Lavender House. It’s a business that is inclusive to everyone, which I hope can inspire people to live a more natural lifestyle. And on top of all of that, it is also sociable, because I am definitely an individual who loves a good chat!
Fast forward to August 2020, after the Coronavirus pandemic hit and aviation came to a halt, resulting in redundancy. It felt like the world had suddenly stopped spinning and my wings had been clipped. I’m not going to lie, the transition from the flying world to one where my feet are now firmly on the ground has been a lot to get used to. Thank goodness for my family and The Lavender House. My energy went in to the business and in to the lavender. I can personally vouch for the restorative powers of plants and flowers. Both in the calming effect of surrounding myself with nature and in the literal sense of my hands being in the soil, grounding me. Through planting my new lavender garden it rooted me to one place, to my home and business, helping me connect and permanently commit me in ways I had never done before. In this new world I am known by my name not the six digit number that was applied to me during my flying years. I have no uniform to hide behind, no approved hair style or make up to apply. This is me and I am here to be seen, to be present everyday without disappearing every six weeks.
Looking ahead, I am excited for the future of the business and how it develops now that my time and energy is 100% focused on bringing all that it has to offer to the world. The business has evolved organically with a constant positive ethos, one which I am proud to see has continued through such a turbulent year. So here is to a whole new set of adventures and experiences, this time I am not going it alone though, I have all of you for company!
I hope you enjoy my blogs, until the next time.