My 5th guest in the series is Lucy Bond. Lucy started off her career working for Harvey Nichols as a Beauty and Fragrance Buyer, before founding her company WELL following her own mental health journey.
Lucy was born in the UK but grew up in Australia where she attended high school. On returning to the UK after school she was classed as an international student which meant going to university was not a feasible option for her. Lucy dreamed of being a buyer, but found that most retailers required a degree to be considered for the role. She did her research and set about gaining relevant experience to help her be considered for a Buyer role. She didn't give up and was successful in securing a role at one of the biggest retailers Harvey Nichols where she worked for 7 years. She enjoyed her experience working there, in particular meeting family run perfumeries and being able to support their brands taking off.
During that time, Lucy went through her own mental health journey. She explains that in her 20s, wellbeing and mental health were not a top priority and therefore when she came across challenging times in her life she had no foundations in place to support her. Her own experience of going through and overcoming anxiety, panic attacks and burnout, motivated her to start her company WELL.
1 in 4 people suffer from ill mental health and Lucy recognised that so many people around her were also suffering. She felt really strongly that she wanted to do something to help.
In the early days of WELL Lucy created beautiful pods which she installed in companies where employees could take some time out from their day to meditate and recharge away from the busy office. In our discussion, she tells me all about the challenges of the early days in particular around partnerships and logistics, but also the success stories of her first events.
We discuss how the narrative around mental health in the workplace has shifted since the launch of WELL in 2018. Businesses are now looking for more preventative approaches to mental health. The pandemic has also brought her business online and has allowed her to reach more people. WELL offer support through their WELL Studio Subscription service; an online platform where employees can tune into live monthly workshops and a self-care library full of pre-recorded wellbeing sessions.
To hear more about Lucy and her advice to anyone launching their own business, watch the full interview on IGTV here.
To find out more about WELL go to: