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5 Life Lessons With ELEMIS London Co-Founder Noella Gabriel

As luxury British skincare brand, ELEMIS, finally makes it's way to our shores, we peek inside the work brain of it's multi-talented co-founder, Noella Gabriel.


  • Passion and interest in what you do is important

I am inspired as much now by the beauty industry as I was then. And I am constantly inspired by how the skin works. The skin mirrors our inner, emotional life and our lifestyle choices; when there is calm and balance, it shows. You always believed that the breath is key to this and I still do now; breathing fully and deeply supports each individual skin cell to function optimally and sends a message to the nervous system, which helps stabilise every process in the body. For me, singing and swimming have always been important to my wellbeing. Not just because I enjoy them, but because they help me focus on my breath. Simply noticing the rhythm of your breath is core to skin health and wellness.


  • Learning takes place at every step of the way

If I was starting out again today, I wouldn’t change a thing. Back then, I was young, hungry, passionate and wanted to learn everything about skin health and wellbeing. However, when you are young and taking your first steps in business, you won’t know how to manage people – this is something that can only come with time and experience. As the saying goes, “I wish I knew then what I know now”. It’s all a learning curve and management skills grow with you and the role. It doesn’t matter how many books you read; you need to be doing it (the job) to get better at it.


  • Determination to succeed even in times of adversities

Your toughest challenge will be losing your parents at an early age. It will be such a key event that it will mould who you become. Because of this, from a young age, I had a very different outlook on life and a great appreciation of the skills I’d been given. My parents gave me the most wonderful grounding for my future, and I overcame this sad chapter exactly because they instilled a determination in me – I had to pick myself up and dust myself down because nobody was going to do it for me.


  • Take a step out of your comfort zone

If you’re not taking yourself out of your comfort zone, then it just becomes a job and a means to live. A lot of people think, “I’m good at this, so this is what I’ll do,” but for me, it’s about doing the thing I’m not good at so I can learn. I am not afraid to say that I don’t get it yet. A few years ago I asked a very savvy digital employee to mentor me an hour a day and teach me about the digital world. I like things to make me feel uncomfortable — if an idea only speaks to me, we have a problem. There are a lot of people who are scared of that, but you’ve got to take risks because they’re energising. If that terrifies you, go one step back and think of it as improving, not as a risk. It’s the learning that keeps the fire in the belly.


  • It’s okay to make mistakes

My last piece of advice to you is that it’s okay to make mistakes. You are enough. In the past, I had a very tall yard stick. I’ve learnt not to beat myself up over little mistakes – learn from them and realise that you don’t know it all! My motto is to keep learning and listening. Really listen; don’t have the answer ready before the other person has stopped talking. Listen and then act.