Weekend Read 9 December 2023

Weekend Read 9 December 2023

It's another Saturday morning and today I would like to take a moment together to share some of my thoughts and feelings with you, which will culminate in a sharing event at the end of all of this.

The world has changed considerably over the past few years, the challenges are greater, respect has mostly disappeared together with values, so there really is a need to address the issues which affect so many of us.  It has never been easy, but I remain as determined as I ever have been in my support for each of you, and the niche brands we choose to support.

I am not sure if I have ever properly explained why I take the stance I do regarding niche brands, so I am taking this opportunity to tell you a little about it.  It is not the full story, it could never be unless I wrote a book, but this is how it all began.  Over and above all else, we are primarily a health site, and although we have launched some of the biggest beauty brands in the world, in the very early days we had just two skincare brands, one was Derma E and the other was This Works.  This Works because their founder, Kathy Phillips, was a friend and I wanted to support her as she was launching her brand.

At that time we were being featured each week in The Sunday Times What’s The Alternative column, where we were recommending pioneering natural health products as an alternative to allopathic medicine.  They were mad, crazy days because although natural medicine has of course been used for centuries, we were bringing it to the forefront in the mainstream media, which was so incredibly important at that time, and it still is if we are to take a considered and balanced viewpoint. 

A conversation I had with Kathy changed everything when she asked if we would do for beauty what we were doing for health. I started to jump up and down, I said yes (and yes again) and then I began to research.  It was rather a long process, but I knew it had to be a small curation and after researching extensively, I had a list of ten brands.  What happened next also changed everything, as every single brand I approached said no to me, I can accept rejection to a certain point, but I will not accept rejection when it is accompanied by aggression, rudeness and disrespect. I have never forgotten that experience and I have never forgotten those ten beauty brands.

Of course, these brands were represented on most of the other beauty sites that were around at that time, but as they deemed VH not good enough, I decided that they weren’t good enough either, most especially because I was not giving my money, or yours, to the brands who thought we were beneath them.  But there was, and still is, something else, we had to be the very best version of ourselves, rather than a bad version of everybody else.  And, in that moment, I knew we had to give a home to niche brands, the brands most others rejected because they didn’t conform to the requirements and disproportionate demands of the health and beauty industry. 

All of this brings me to now and to today specifically, as I want to revert to my words written in the Weekend Read of 18 November.  At that time I wrote that Black Friday was an extraordinarily difficult time for niche brands for several different reasons, so now I want to do something that will allow us to support those niche brands in another way, so this is what we are going to do.

We are offering a sitewide discount of 15%*, so ending at midnight GMT tomorrow, Sunday 10 December, we will be discounting all products listed on our site by 15%.  There are exceptions and these will be noted on the specific product pages.  Go wild if you want to, actually do whatever it is you want to do and we’ll do it in the name of niche brands, pioneering products and in celebration of being who and what we are together and the closeness we share as we continue to support each other.  Thank you.
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Let’s sing and there is nothing quite like a bit of ‘Come On Eileen’ early on a Saturday morning to get us in mode.
Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners; The VH Playlist

With love

Gill x


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*15% discount applies to all products with the exception of those in our sales and offers category, digital products including gift cards and membership, TEMPLE SPA and Dirtea. Any additional discount will not apply while this promotion runs.  VH Addicts membership is a digital product and therefore will be excluded from the basket value.  Some products are blocked from international shipping due to local limitations imposed based on the country destination.