In October of last year, I was contacted by Kate Shapland, former beauty columnist for The Telegraph and co-founder of MyShowcase – a personal beauty shopping service, offering products that have been primarily developed by female entrepreneurs. As they were looking to expand their product range to include a select number health and wellbeing brands, they approached me in the hope that they could include my Just For Tummies range in their line-up. From the outset, it has been my vision to raise awareness around the importance of digestive health, and how taking certain supplements can bring relief (and in many cases, eliminate) the symptoms of many disorders of the gut, such as IBS, bloating, constipation and many other functional bowel diseases so the opportunity to bring my range to the MyShowcase arena was one I was happy to take up.
Since MyShowcase sell their brands through a team of well-trained independent Stylists at private showcases in homes and offices, as well as via their website, my first task was to attend brand training sessions to educate the Stylists about the Tummies range. I gave presentations in London and Birmingham, explaining at each event to the audience of Stylists what the products were, and the conditions and symptoms they could recommend them for. I also had the chance to meet many of the Stylists. They are very beauty-focused but really want to help their clients who suffer with digestive and gut problems. Many of the Stylists have become members of my closed Facebook group ‘Tummy Talk’ so they can ask questions about their clients’ symptoms, and learn from the wide network of natural health practitioners we have in the group sharing their wisdom.
Since the Tummies products have become part of the MyShowcase portfolio of health and wellbeing brands, we’ve received a great deal of very positive feedback. Some of the Stylists have started to take the products themselves because they suffer with IBS. When I saw one of them in person recently, she said, “Linda you have saved my life. I had IBS for 15 years but your products have cured it.” She takes the Live Bacteria probiotics and the plant-based Digestive Enzymes.
At the beginning of September, I attended the MyShowcase annual conference, also known as ‘Showtime’ at The Belfry in Birmingham. The purpose of the event was to celebrate the launch of the Autumn/Winter brochure, so there was a distinctly ‘festive’ feel to the surroundings – you’ll notice an odd Christmas tree in the photos! The Stylists give talks, and there’s also an awards ceremony, but mostly it’s about having the opportunity to make connections – the Stylists can meet the people behind the brands, and the brand owners, like me, get to look ‘behind the scenes’ if you like.
We had a stand in a room with all the other brands and we were able to promote the 30-day ‘starter’ Perfect Balance Kit as well and my Live Bacteria probiotics, plant-based Digestive Enzymes, Garlic, and Omega 3 capsules. There was so much good energy in the room, and it was a pleasure to be on the receiving end of so much enthusiasm for my products.
The MyShowcase Stylists are all gorgeous women. They range from 25 to 75 in age, and are beautiful and glamorous, making the best of their assets. I really respect them for that. MyShowcase is all about empowering women, enabling them to earn their own money, whilst still looking after children, or taking care of elderly relatives. They work hard, and they play hard too! We witnessed the latter at the cocktail party in the evening.
Kevin and I met both founders of MyShowcase – Kate Shapland and Nancy Cruickshank, and their lovely husbands. The whole event ran so smoothly, and culminated in dancing the night away to a fantastic live band and disco. I was wearing my beloved Kurt Geiger 6-inch diamante sandals, which probably wasn’t the ideal choice of footwear for dancing but I love to dance so a 6-inch heel isn’t going to stop me, and the sore feet and knees the following day were well worth it.
Not only was it an incredibly enjoyable weekend for Kevin and me, but it was also an important part of continuing to build an ongoing relationship with MyShowcase. The key to the success of the Stylists comes in large part to them knowing their clients intimately and truly understanding their needs; in the same way, it’s important for me to spend time with the Stylists so that they can gain a better understanding of my products and my vision, and witness first-hand the ‘customer first’ mentality that is has been ingrained in me since the very beginning of my career.
What better way to do this than on the dance floor?