Interview with Olivia Crighton founder of Glasshouse Salon

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Exclusive interview with Mother Muse

Olivia Crighton

Mother Muse Interview

What is the full name and age of your child?

Sadie Jean Chapman

2 years old

Is there a meaning behind why you picked the name Sadie? What other names were on your baby name list (boy and girl)?

I kept my surname when I got married so there was some deliberation as to who’s last name Sadie should take but in the end we kept just my husbands to keep it short and sweet. The name Jean comes from my side of the family from my Grandmother on both my parent’s side’s.

One of my closest friends is named Sadie. I had never heard the name before I met her and she is a very special person in my life. Every name that was on our list was associated with someone I knew or reminded me of people that I liked and that left an impression on me. We knew we were having a girl but I did love the name Alfie along with Mabel, Layla, Eddie, Mia, and Marly or Marlow – I was clearly into names beginning with the letter M!

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Tell us about yourself and what you do?

Alongside being a mother to Sadie, I’m the founder and director of Glasshouse Salon in Hackney, East London. I moved to London from New Zealand around 10 years ago and it was at this time I made the decision that I didn’t want to work with chemicals anymore. I was inspired to launching Glasshouse Salon in 2013 and I’m proud to say we were one of the first salons to offer a holistically more natural and organic approach to haircare; offering professional results whilst caring for the long-term health of the hair, our bodies and the environment. We now also run an online shop stocking a selection of our favourite natural and organic beauty products from brands such as RMS and Ilia, alongside our very own Glasshouse Hair, Hand & Body Wash which we launched this year. I spend my time focusing on the business development of Glasshouse, training my wonderful team and collaborating with like-minded individuals and brands.

I am also studying to become a qualified naturopathic practitioner. Having experienced various health complications in the past, I have become increasingly passionate about the healing power of food and I wanted to be educated in order to help myself, my family and potentially others in the future.

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Wellness and sustainability was a big part of your lifestyle before you became a mom, has the arrival of your daughter changed that in any way?

I think it has only amplified it. I don’t just have myself to take care of anymore and it’s my responsibility to ensure there’s a healthy planet earth here for Sadie and the next generations to come. I also don’t want her to suffer any of the preventable health issues that I have had myself. Wellbeing and sustainability are both very important to me as a mother and a human being.

What advice would you give to moms wanting to incorporate sustainability into everyday life?

It can be very challenging to ‘do our bit’ but I am so grateful for all the incredible brands, knowledge and tools available to us these days. Choosing to use washable or biodegradable nappies is a great start and it also helps minimise harmful chemicals that might otherwise come into contact with babies’ skin. Here in the UK, about 8 millions disposable nappies are thrown away each day and they can take hundreds of years to degrade. Conditions such as eczema are so prevalent these days (and on the increase), which is why I try and always use more gentle detergent, cleaning and laundry products and skin and body care.

I think the fact that children grow out of their clothing so quickly can feel like an environmental challenge. I am personally working on buying fewer good quality pieces from sustainable brands and I hope to be able to pass them down to friends and family when we are finished with them.

I’ve been mindful of my health and wellbeing from a holistic perspective right from the very beginning and being pregnant with Sadie. I wanted to try and have the healthiest pregnancy as possible and I also opted for a home birth, in order to minimise medical intervention. For me, the most calm, comfortable and safe environment was at home and this is where I wanted to be during birth. It was a very empowering experience for me.

Has the relationship with your body changed since carrying your daughter?

Absolutely. I used to have so many insecurities. Now I am just in awe of the female body and what it can do. I thank my body all the time for carrying and birthing my beautiful daughter.

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Describe the word woman in your own words?

These days a woman doesn’t have to be defined by her family or her appearance. I think of women more in terms of ‘female energy’ – we’re every bit as powerful and strong as we are gentle and loving. Women are incredible humans with the capacity to give in the most beautifully expressive way.

In a past interview, you mentioned that Sadie taught you about “emotional expression”. Can you tell our readers a little more about that?

I was quite taken with the concept of attachment parenting when I was pregnant but realized relatively quickly that using all my energy trying to keep Sadie ‘happy’ was having a counteractive effect. At 6 weeks Sadie became colic (unexplained crying for more than 3 hours at a time in an otherwise healthy baby) and though I thought I was trying to make her happy, it was suppressing her natural instinct to express her emotions, which is so important for growth and development. I realised that we can get so uncomfortable with crying and expressing emotion in society (not just when it comes to children) and Sadie has taught me to be more at ease with it and embrace it.

What is the one thing you do every morning that puts you on the right track to have a good day?

Without fail I always have a bath or shower. I love the ritual of cleansing with water and starting each day fresh and clean again in both a metaphorical and physical sense.

What is your favourite self care routine?

Whilst I run a beauty business and am fond of gentle and natural beauty routines, for me first and foremost self care revolves around good diet and proper rest. I have a celery juice first thing in the morning before I do anything else and try to maintain healthy eating throughout the rest of the day with lots of raw fresh fruit and vegetables. When I don’t eat well I can get thrown off balance and can easily get unwell and rundown. I have also found with becoming a mother that I need to occasionally have a night off catching up with friends, away from the responsibility of being a business woman or a mother in a family unit. This is becoming more and more obvious to me as a way of maintaining good balance and self care of late.

Who is your Mother Muse?

All the mothers who are out there doing what they do everyday being heroes in their own little way. Thank you for being you.

Lastly, Can you give a quote about Mother Muse coffee books?

Mother Muse is one of the only publications I’ve come across that portrays motherhood in a way that I can relate to. It’s inclusive, real and celebrates the beauty found in each stage of becoming a mother.

Mother Muse Olivia Crighton, Interview by Laïla B. Potvin designer of Harly Jae
Photographed by Jessica MacCormick

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