Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, has died. She was the first to truly inspire me with her revolutionary business idea: Make good things that are Good. That's it in a nutshell. Let her legacy live on.
I leave you with an interview with Dame Roddick from Waitrose.com....
Your kitchen is huge - what goes on in here?
Everything. We eat here, relax here - the French windows by the
sitting area open straight on to the garden, which is lovely. I even
invent products for The Body Shop here; I've just made the most
amazing body scrub from salt, olive oil and
aromatherapy oils. When my kids and grandkids
are here for the weekend this is the room. The kitchen, including the
table, was designed for me by Milanese kitchen designer Michela
You have some amazing things in here - where do they all come from?
All over the place. I collect outsider art, which is often made from
recycled materials, by people who haven't been trained. It's easier to
get hold of in
the States but I keep an eye out wherever I go. Those cupboards in the
shape of the New York
skyline, and the one shaped like a bottle, are from a guy in Santa
Barbara and the painted chairs, including the Marilyn Monroe one, are
from LA and New Orleans. There's a good shop in Percy Street, London,
where I also pick up bits, like my
wall-hanging that reads, 'I can't remembe'. I like quirky things; these
plaques, saying things like,
'too many wines spoil the cook,' make me smile.
What's your greatest extravagance?
Good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and entertaining; we
have big food bills. I love sitting round a table, surrounded by
friends, handing the wine around, chatting about the kids and eating
food that we've prepared ourselves.
What sort of things do you like cooking?
My husband Gordon does most of it and my real skill is setting the
table, but I do make the world's best tomato sauce and I'm great at
soups! I'm also an obsessive cleaner-upper - hence the three sinks, I
can't bear to let the sun set on a mess.
What are your favourite foods?
I love chocolate, especially Bounty bars, in fact, I'd steal my
grandchildren's chocolate. Apart from that, I love Botanicus products -
the caramelised onion chutney is sublime.
Do you eat organically?
Absolutely. We're so ignorant about pesticides and their effects
that I think it's necessary. We grow our own herbs and salad and make
wine from our
vineyard by the house. I don't use harsh chemical cleaners in the
kitchen either - vinegar, water and bicarbonate of soda are just as
Have you got any tips for people wanting to emulate the look of your kitchen?
Colour, use it. There's a trend at the moment for everything to be
vanilla, but it doesn't warm the heart. I look on every blank space as
an opportunity to fill it with something delightful. But, you do have
to be able to stop, and say, 'OK, enough is enough.'
What are your plans for the future?
To get through the next 20 years with as much
mischief as possible! There's a quote I identify with: 'A woman in
advancing old age is unstoppable by any earthly force.' More concretely
though, I want to spend time on child labour and sweatshop issues and
making human rights sexy.
Take it Personally by Anita Roddick and her autobiography, Business
as Usual, are published by Thorsons and are now available in paperback,
priced £7.99 and £12.99 respectively.