Jennifer Meredith talks to Liz Warom, one half of luxury lifestyle brand, Temple Spa about Suffolk, skincare and summers in the Med
After creating and managing global cosmetics brand, Virgin Vie, with the backing of Sir Richard Branson, Liz Warom and her husband and business partner, Mark, took a gap year in the Mediterranean where they were inspired to create Temple Spa. This is a brand which focuses on personal health and wellbeing through the ethos of adopting a spa lifestyle wherever you are.
Liz and Mark were influenced by the coveted Mediterranean lifestyle, particularly the fresh-food diet and relaxed culture – a world away from the busy and stressful lives that most of us seem to lead here in Britain. Having lost three parents between them virtually within the same year, alongside the mounting exhaustion from working on previous projects, the couple received much needed healing and restoration whilst holidaying in the area. They renewed their wedding vows in Cyprus, the perfect backdrop for the start of a new chapter in their lives, and had an epiphany moment when they both decided that it was time to launch their own brand.
As Liz explains, ‘although Temple Spa is a totally British business, it was conceived and inspired by the Med.’ The vast majority of their products are manufactured in Suffolk, and elsewhere in the UK. Temple Spa strips skincare back to the basics, using natural botanical actives that have a long history of healthy results. Essential oils and reduced chemicals ensure that the products are beneficial to the skin in the long term and don’t just provide great aromas and textures.
It’s clear that this brand is ideal for anyone seeking a timeout from a demanding lifestyle; each product boasts specific benefits for different skin types and issues. Liz states that Temple Spa ‘seeks to be an inclusive brand, in that we want as many people, be they male or female, to feel comfortable and familiar with our products.’ They don’t have an ‘ideal’ client, but they aim to appeal to anyone who enjoys looking after their health and wellbeing, and who loves looking their best.
Temple Spa’s bestseller is their Skin Truffle. Officially dubbed ‘happiness in a jar’, this award-winning face cream features diamond powder, black truffle, gold and cocoa butter, visibly illuminating the skin from the first application. Liz describes this product as a ‘skin rejuvenation moisturiser to use every day or on special occasions.’ Skin Truffle is one of Liz’s favourite products, however she also enjoys using Repose, ‘an exquisite aromatherapy resting cream that gives you a good night’s sleep in a jar,’ and In The Beginning, which she says is ‘the mother of all cleansers.’
Having recently entered into an exciting collaboration with The Swan at Lavenham’s latest addition to the spa industry, Weavers’ House Spa, Liz opens up about her connection with the Suffolk county: ‘I’m a Suffolk girl, and I’ve wanted to open a spa here ever since we launched. Everyone from the county knows of The Swan; I’ve been coming to the hotel ever since I was a little girl! When we heard about Weavers’ House, we said that we just had to be in that spa, so we pitched for it. We won the opportunity not just to supply our products and treatments, but also to be retained spa consultants.’
Liz’s family still lives in Suffolk, as do some of Temple Spa’s manufacturers, so she and Mark often visit the county. When asked how Suffolk life compares to a Mediterranean lifestyle, Liz replies, ‘life in the Med is, of course, a fantasy, since we’re only ever there on vacations. The climate and outdoor living is hugely appealing to our psyches, but when you’ve got Suffolk in your roots, you don’t ever forget it.’ She recommends a stay at The Swan for its outstanding restaurant but also loves Long Melford, where she was born and brought up, and adores Aldeburgh and Southwold as ‘they haven’t really changed in 50 years, and make me feel nostalgic.’ Liz maintains that ‘Suffolk is the country’s best kept secret,’ and tells all her foreign friends and contacts to visit the county!
Liz’s life is now a contrasted mix of busy and relaxed days. When she and Mark launched Temple Spa, they did everything themselves, working almost 24/7 to push their brand to the forefront of the luxury spa product industry. Today, however, they lead a hard-working team who support them as much as possible. On being a leader, Liz says, ‘you have to create the vision, and “see” what others can’t.
There’s always pressure, but we love it! We’re very blessed to have wonderful friends and family. We try our best to have a good work-life balance.’ Liz is best described as a go-getter, and one of her greatest challenges is to switch off: ‘I’m always thinking and scheming. But I do love to play the piano, entertain friends and work on projects for our very old house. Mark and I love to cook, and we go to a fab church in Brighton, where we’re part of a wonderful friendship group. My faith and my amazing relationship with my business and life partner keep me grounded.’
So, what can we expect from Temple Spa in the near future? Liz reveals that the business will be launching an exciting new product, taking on some new spa projects, and a super secret venture that she states could be ‘one of the highlights of my life!’
Visit Temple Spa at www.templespa.com