Joanna Weakley is an inspiring, grounded and all-round holistic hero – juggling her successful international brand, Holistic Silk with a busy family life.
Holistic Silk is proud to have enjoyed over 20 years in business, continually growing and developing in tune with our ever-changing world. Since its inception Joanna has focussed on creating a luxury lifestyle and wellbeing brand, offering products that not only look beautiful but actually work, attracting names such as Lisa Eldridge, Salma Hayek and Sienna Miller.
Being the youngest of four girls, Joanna grew up in a busy household and enjoyed a rich and diverse childhood, growing up mostly in the UK but also living in Portugal and Hong Kong. She often refers to this Eastern experience being an influence on her designs, sparking her passion for not only their patterns but their philosophies too.
With passion for art and design Joanna’s creativity led her to attending the Chelsea School of Art. After graduating with her BA in Textile Design she worked as a freelance textile designer and buyer at the first UK ‘Walk in Back Rub’ Shiatsu massage space in London. Moving into the wellbeing sector really inspired Joanna’s alternative therapy learning and experience and It was here that it became apparent to Joanna that the fast pace and stresses of modern life were taking its toll on our bodies.
Joanna witnessed the world becoming more and more stressed due to hours spent at desks along with constant airline commuting and during this time was sourcing eye pillows, not only as a yoga accessory but to help treat anxiety and insomnia as well. The choice was minimal with loud tie dye prints that were not to everyone’s taste but having used the product herself, Joanna was sold.
It was a move into the beauty world that was the real light bulb moment - running a buying department that specialized in natural and organic beauty products revealed a gap in the market. Realising there was a lack of beautiful, supportive products available to combat our overworked lifestyles, Joanna went on to combine the effectiveness of alternative health, Chinese medicine and of course good sleep – but made them truly beautiful too.
It was then in 1999 that Holistic Silk was born, first with lavender scented Silk Eye Pillows and the rest of the collection quickly followed, inspired by research into ancient and modern natural therapies along with valuable customer feedback. Setting Holistic Silk apart from others was not only Joanna's extensive knowledge gained alongside health practitioners, but also her textile degree combined with her natural design finesse. Borne out of this came Holistic Silk’s exquisite, tactile, vibrantly coloured designs that not only please the eye and soothe the soul but provide a fuss free beauty treatment with every use.
From the offset Joanna was determined to ensure that Holistic Silk worked as ethically as possible and continues to do so today. Holistic Silk has always used luxurious fabrics, responsibly sourced in the UK where possible and offers products that are hand finished to the highest quality. Remaining steadfast in her goal to avoid the lure of mass production, everything is made in small runs by highly skilled artisan workers both here in the UK and NGO’s in India. Joanna is proud and rightly so, that Holistic Silk has been working with the same Indian factory for 15 years.
Joanna selected this organization, as it was a long established, highly respected NGO whose ethics align closely with her own. Known as the Help Foundation, not only do they offer training and support to women and their communities, they provide practical and financial assistance to female start-up businesses, whilst at the same time delivering health drives, educational services and food distribution where needed in the community.
Striving to remain as eco-friendly as possible, with the current climate reminding us the importance of this, we have worked hard to reduce the Holistic Silk footprint. We use 40% less plastic in the packaging of our products now, sending everything out in re-useable Organza Bags where possible. We have encouraged all our retailers to switch to this and from this season, plastic packaging will only be available on request.
But this season we have taken “Eco” one step further and are proud to be launching our Eco Archive collection. We have opened up our archives and re-purposed our back catalogue of wonderful fabrics to produce a new range of Limited Edition Lavender Eye Masks. And as a way of giving back, we are donating 5% of all profits from these sales to the Help Foundation.
Joanna continues to design everything herself, incorporating the well documented properties of Lavender across her collections, to help soothe and relax. She then combines this with her handpicked fabrics for a feeling of pure indulgence. Designed to fit into your daily routine for maximum benefits with no real effort, Joanna’s designs include wellness, sleep and beauty tools which trail blaze Silk’s beauty benefits.
As Joanna is always proud to say – Holistic Silk creates beautiful, truly effective, long-lasting products that actually work, made with love and passion - not Landfill!