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Da Paolo’s Eatalian

May 2015 In my AA Editorial Services capacity I’ve recently been working with another client of Outset Swindon on web copy, press releases and marketing letters. My client’s business is called High Street Hero, the thrust of which is to give a superpower, or same-day delivery service, to independent retailers allowing them to offer a service that sets them apart on the high street.  When the client and I were working on the web copy we talked a lot about the whole shop local initiative and how it fits in with what he is trying to achieve.

Everyone wants a vibrant high street that is a place for socialising as well as shopping. But that doesn’t happen by magic. We all have the choice between using independent retailers and food outlets or the national and global ‘big -boys’. Sometimes one has to go to the ‘big-boys’ – but if we always do that then we’ve only ourselves to blame for high streets full of pound stores and charity shops.

And of course, in shopping locally you are supporting British entrepreneurs in all manner of ways. As this article in The Guardian says: ‘Artisan markets help foster the talents of the next generation of British designers and retailers. “[They] are hotbeds of innovation,” says Mike Cooksedge, founder of SeeMyLocalMarket. “There is a constant turnover of new products, and sellers listen to customers’ demands. If a certain pie filling is popular, for example, a pie company will respond to that and quickly supply more of them – and you can suggest things too, so you can even have a bit of influence over the products on sale.”

So of late I’ve been trying to shop locally myself where ever possible and use Swindon’s many independent coffee shops every chance I get. In recent months I’ve bought gifts from Catherine Jay and Pink & Green – two start-up artisan businesses that I’ve met via Outset Swindon and even, to get to the main focus of this blog post – Da Paolo’s Eatalian delicatessen on Commercial Road in Swindon.

As well as being a lovely deli from where I purchase luscious olives and tasty cheeses among other things, they also serve the most delicious coffee and at a fantastic price – I visit quite a lot for that alone! I have mentioned the place before in an overview post of Swindon’s coffee scene but doing the research on shopping locally prompted me to put this post together as Da Paolo’s is an embodiment of many of the espoused benefits of supporting independents. You get specialist knowledge of their goods and you get personal service and a relaxed shopping experience. And you can even have a coffee while you do it. This past Christmas I decided to purchase a hamper of Italian goodies as a gift for a friend. So, with delicious coffee in hand, together with Debbie (partner of Paolo) I selected an assortment of goodies to fit my budget. Then, shortly before Christmas, I collected my hamper all beautifully arranged and packaged with red ribbon. Now THAT’S what I call shopping.

“The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.”  ― Erma Bombeck

One of the many benefits of shopping locally is that our custom enables the businesses that we patronise to support the community in which they are based in various ways. Darkroom Espresso, one of Swindon’s fabulous independent coffee shops for example, supports local artists by holding exhibitions of their work. Da Paolo’s does what it can for charity. Its current charity of choice is Brighter Futures: which which supports the staff, patients and families of Great Western Hospital and community health services across Wiltshire.  So if the fab coffee and the delicious Italian groceries are not good enough reasons in themselves to hot foot it to Da Paolo’s then this surely is?


Are you walking insane?

May 2015

Julie Nicholls – Body-Mind coaching

Most if not all of the posts in this Swindon in business section have so come via other Outset Swindon clients. But this one is by way of a change. Julie Nicholls is someone who I’ve met via the women’s networking group Women Mean Biz that I attend in my AA Editorial Services capacity – and I figured there was no reason why I couldn’t open up this section of Born again Swindonian to other members of the group.

So before we get to the nitty-gritty of Julie’s post here’s some information about her:

Julie trained as a nurse in Belgium and then came to England to do here training in remedial massage. Julie moved to Swindon in 1993 and set up her practice she has helped hundreds of people with all manner of problems from headaches to back pain, RSI and even ME. Julie is passionate about treating people then teaching them how to look after themselves rather than have to rely on drugs having seen first hand the devastating side effects of allopathic medicine. For this reason she continued training in other therapies such as Trager and EMDR so that she could deal with the root causes of a problem rather than just the symptoms.

Should you have any questions Julie is more than happy for you telephone her. She’ll even offer a free thirty-minute taster session so you can be sure her treatment is right for you before you embark on a course of sessions. Because, in her own words: ‘what I do is unlike anything else you might have experienced.’

Julie Nicholls  Body~Mind Coach RGN, LCSP(Phys), CNHC

Treat the body, ease the mind, free the person, for health and happiness naturally!

Tel: 01793 495551

Address: Natural Therapy Centre, 5 Bibury Road, Swindon, Wilts  SN3 1DD

Visit my health coaching website

Read my well being blog

Watch my YouTube channel

Join me on Facebook, Linkedin

Natural Therapy Centre’s website

Products website


Bare Feet walking on grass

Feet – walking

 ‘According to Albert Einstein, the definition of  insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

 Yes it’s crazy, yet it’s much more common than you think. So many people would like to feel better but continue to do the things that are causing the problem.  Why? Often because they’ve just accepted that it’s age or that nothing can be done simply because the doctor has told them so.  Even if one side hurts and the other doesn’t and both sides are obviously the same age. 

Knee pain:

In some ways, it’s easier to accept that nothing can be done rather than face the fact that we could be doing something that is creating the problem and therefore can do something to help it.  Also, when people do feel something could be done then they have no idea how to go about changing it or think that it would take too much time and energy.

 In my experience this not the case – subtle and simple changes can make a huge difference especially when I teach clients how to walk differently. Putting their heel down first rather than their toes, allowing them to bend their knees or push off with their toes are small changes which can ease lower back, knee, ankle and foot pain and tension. 

Walking – treatment for painful hips: 

These are simple but knowing how to ease discomfort without the side effects of medication can change someone’s life.  Why such a big effect? Well, walking is not simply the act of getting from A to B: it also mirrors our state of mind.  You never see someone who is depressed walking with head held high or someone happy who is dragging their feet with round shoulders and their head low. 

As I walk around town I notice so many people whose way of walking could easily be having a detrimental effect upon their health – this saddens when I know it could be different for them.

For this reason I have set up a talk and demonstration on the 8th June and a workshop on the 20th June about feet, balance and walking so that more people can make some changes to their walking and improve their health and wellbeing without the time and cost of having private sessions.

 So next time you walk to your car or go and make a drink, notice how free and comfortable it feels and, as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it but if you are not getting a feeling you really like then it’s time to change or carry on being insane!

If you are ready to change and you want to find out more about these events, all the details are listed on my events page:

Junior Chamber International

21st May 2015

a logo for JCI Swindon

JCI logo

As a change from a post about an actual business this post is about a business networking group.  I attend various business networking groups myself in my AA Editorial Services hat and am a member of Women mean Biz. This group though is aimed at the younger entrepreneur and business owner: JCI Swindon.

A new network for Young professionals and entrepreneurs was launched earlier this year and is now in its fifth month. Swindon Junior Chamber, which is part of a broader network Junior Chamber International (JCI), was launched with the support of Business West Swindon. The chamber also has the support of local organisations such as Thamesdown Speakers.

Swindon Junior Chamber, or JCI Swindon, is a group for professionals and entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s who want to:

1) Build their leadership, business and presentation skills;

2) Raise their profile in Swindon and Internationally;

3) Create positive change in their community

4) Network professionally with like-minded individuals.

As a group they champion Swindon and its Businesses and Communities. They aim to create a special partnership with  local organisations in order to create a more positive Swindon. Since beginning they’ve had workshops in leadership skills, an interactive negotiation skills workshop, project meetings, and a presence at the local Business Show.

Opportunities are present nationally and internationally too. JCI UK has a number of flagship workshops in Leadership, Marketing and Public Speaking. With JCI’s strong links with the major organisations such as the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce, members can attend high-profile events at the United Nations in New York or the European Union in Brussels.

So, what are the forthcoming opportunities to potential members in Swindon? On top of gaining knowledge through workshops, JCI offers the opportunities for its members to develop essential leadership and business skills. Through organising events, members develop their project management, team building, leadership and negotiation skills. Members also build relationships with other individuals from other organisations, and hence develop long-lasting professional relationships with other professionals and entrepreneurs. We are currently planning some high profile projects, which will be around cultural and business partnership. If you or your business or community want to get involved, then we want to hear from you.

 If you are a professional or entrepreneur in your 20s or 30s, or you represent your business or communities, or even a coach, we want to hear from you. We meet at Jury’s Inn at 7pm on the 1st Thursday of each month. Feel free to come to our events and meetings. Otherwise, contact us on to find out more on our events and projects.

Find JCI on the web:

Find JCI on Facebook:

Find JCI on Twitter: @JCISwindon

Bonny Prim: Health and Wellbeing Coach

May 2015

Here we have yet another start-up business who has started out via the services of Outset Swindon. After many years caught in the yo-yo dieting trap Bonny sought help from her Doctor who helped her to understand how to eat and exercise properly. This epiphany led Bonny to study nutrition and life coaching which has equipped her with the skills and knowledge she needs for her work as a health and well-being coach.


Phone: 07725 811774



photograph of blonde woman

Bonny Prim

My journey to become a health and wellbeing coach started officially back in 2013, but, if I’m honest, I think most things that have happened in my life have led me to this point, so let me give you a bit of background.

 When I was at college, at the tender age of 16, I tried a well-known diet shake in my bid to lose a few pounds. After about three days I couldn’t stomach it for breakfast anymore and promptly gave up with that idea! So now let’s fast forward a few years. I’m twenty-four and  planning for my wedding. I try a weight loss group this time, but it’s not long before I’m completely lost and fed up with weighing food, counting points and paying to queue for an hour just to stand on the scales in front of someone. But I lost some weight for my wedding and was happy, but soon gave up again.

Then, through the rest of my 20’s and most of my 30’s I tried lots of different diets in my vain attempt to lose a few pounds quickly and easily – some of which worked but only for a while –  the weight soon goes back on again. I’m officially a yo-yo dieter!

Now we need to leap to 2011. By now my body had decided enough was enough and I found I could no longer lose weight by following one of these plans and exercising, so I went to my Doctor begging for help. I was at an all-time low – eating to make myself feel better, then feeling fed up because I had put more weight on. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing wrong, so I didn’t have a clue how to put it right. My Doctor was amazing and really supported me to understand how to eat properly (something that previous diets had never done) and do the right type of exercise as well. I’m so lucky to have had his help as I know not all GPs are so understanding.

 Soon, the weight started to drop off and I was feeling great; people were asking me how I did it and I started to share the knowledge I had gained through educating myself more about food and exercise. I loved it and loved helping others too. The weight has stayed off ever since and I’ve never looked back.

 In late 2013 I underwent planned surgery which unfortunately led to further unplanned surgery. it was these events that made me take stock of my life and what I really wanted to do. I’d already had about twenty years of experience coaching people in various jobs, and had enjoyed helping others by sharing what I’d learnt about food, but wanted to attain some certification to give credibility to what I knew and to demonstrate my expertise in the field.

So, to that end I studied as a nutritionist and life coach.  This has enabled me to build on my skills and knowledge and use them to help people like me. People who need to find a way to break out of the cycle of losing weight and then putting more back on, through a poor understanding of food, and the beliefs they’ve developed over time about themselves.  I’ve now gained a certificate in Nutrition and am currently working toward becoming a Nutritional Therapist. additionally I’m an accredited life coach with the Association for Coaching.

 I love working with my clients – it’s such an uplifting experience to see them achieve their goals and I’m so happy that they have all lost weight and made the lifestyle changes needed. They tell me they don’t feel as though they are depriving themselves of anything and are enjoying their new-found knowledge. I hear their families have benefitted too, so that can’t be a bad thing.

Coaching is offered one-to-one as a three-month package as it can take this long to get clients to work through any potential blocks they may have, and also educate them about their nutritional choices.  I take this time to look at current eating habits and make recommendations on how to make better choices. I give my clients recipes, nutritional advice and answer any questions as we go on the journey together. I also get my clients focused on their goal and the actions they need to get there at lightning speed, whilst dealing with the blocks that we will uncover along the way.

 I’m also about to launch the ‘Healthy Life Blueprint’ group coaching programme which will take place in Swindon for groups of up to 10 people as an 8 week programme, I’m really excited about this one! Contact me if you think this might be for you!

 You can see more about me and what I do on my website and Facebook page, or contact me via phone or email if you want to chat about how we can work together.’


Phone: 07725 811774



Bunny Pumpkin Boutique and The Emporium of Loveliness

Sunday 26th April 2015

Last Saturday, together with my good friend Sam (aka Little Miss Cakemaker) I attended the official opening of this delightful little shop. I rather fear that Madame Mayor and Miss Wiltshire will be feeling stalked by the pair of us as we were at another event (the official opening of Pappadams) also attended by them later in the week. It does rather seem that wherever they go we are sure to follow!

Anyway, back to business – in every sense of the word. This latest post in the Swindon in Business section of this blog is about the eponymous shop now open for business in unit 40, in the tented market in Swindon town centre – yet another business facilitated, along with my own AA Editorial Services and many others, into life by the wondrous Outset Swindon.

And isn’t that just the most fabulous name for a store? And indeed not only is it a lovely name it’s a lovely shop full of lovely things set up with a lovely aim: 20 percent of the takings from the Emporium of Loveliness will be donated to a charity called Empower the Gambia (Reg Charity: 1161200) to support their training and sourcing projects for the benefit of women and children in rural Gambia. The people behind this gorgeous shop hope they’ll be able to support more projects in the Gambia in the future. You can keep up with their news on:

Jo Heaven who set up the shop and the charity had been running pop up fashion events for the last three years at different venues across Swindon including The Spot, The Core and Harris + Hoole. More recently she teamed up with Jen Burton of Bunny Pumpkin Boutique to run a market stall at Oxford before realising a permanent shop was needed.

Bunny Pumpkin Boutique and The Emporium of Loveliness opened for trading on the 13 April and was officially opened by The Mayor Teresa Page and Miss Wiltshire Nicole Analise Cox on Saturday 18 April 2015. With beautiful new and cherished designer and unusual fashions and home ware our loyal supporters have been joined by lots of new fans of our fabulous stock. From evening wear, pretty dresses, outfits for the office and casual wear; hats, jewellery, hosiery and shoes;  retro furnishings and beautiful gifts; beauty products and make up – there is something for everybody. Children and men are also catered for and women’s sizes range from 6 to 26.
So not only can you browse and buy some fabulous things you can support a worthwhile venture into the bargain – and that has to be a bargain wouldn’t you say? From a personal viewpoint the location of the emporium is simply perfect being that it’s in the market, home of Eggelicious – one of my favourite eateries and only a hop across the road from the Italian deli , Da Paulo EatItalian, at the bottom of Commercial Road where the coffee is really quite lovely – and great value for money.
Find me – Angela Atkinson – AA Editorial services and Born again Swindonian:

Carry on camping with 4 Points Leisure

21st April 2015 Hello listeners, not for the first time we have a post about a business that has had life breathed into it by those fabulous facilitators of new business ventures – Outset Swindon. I was fortunate enough to be commissioned by Jo – one half of 4 Points Leisure – in my AA Editorial Services hat to write some copy and product descriptions for the Glamping section of their website. Now the closest I get to roughing it is a Travel Lodge so I’d never go camping in a million years but I had great fun writing about the funky products they sell that range from practical to frivolous –  but all of them interesting and attractive. Jo and Richard Rigden –  together are 4 Points Leisure.  Richard does the IT, building of display stands, and grounded advice,  while Jo does the rest!

Find and connect with them:

Twitter – @4pointsleisure

Google + –

Facebook –

So now, in order to find out more about Jo and Richard and their business 4Points Leisure and how it all began, we need to do a bit of wobbly wobbly timey wimey stuff…. It all started long, long ago…. Well in October 2013 actually.

Jo Rigden - one half of 4Points Leisure

Jo Rigden – one half of 4Points Leisure

Jo and Richard began with a dream to bring Glamping and camping together and add some festival accessories with it. Back in 2005, Jo left Zurich Financial services to join Brownhills Motorhomes in their aftersales service department: with a camper-van of their own it was ideal. Jo got to know the customers, camper-vans and tents together with what customers wanted from the whole camping experience. Which was a relaxing, chilled time away, with family and or friends but at the same time they wanted to be surrounded by quality, multi-tasking products which were compact and affordable. Anyone beginning to want the camper-van to look special had to make do with some bumper stickers! Or a few old fashioned cushions. Then life – as it does – jumped in and they started their family, carried on camping and adventuring over Europe but, come 2013, the idea of a glamping and camping business wouldn’t budge. Having done business plans for a couple of ideas, Christmas Jumpers anyone!? Jo and Richard kept coming back to their main love: camping in all its forms. Looking at existing camping equipment suppliers they couldn’t see the bunting, tealights or niceties and fripperies that they wanted to take with them in the camper van – thus a business gem was formed. But where to go next? Jo had started seeing Outset mentioned online, and then happened to meet Jane Pearce and Janet Theobald at the Stratton Winter Extravaganza.  Taking this as a sign, Jo signed up to their Business Start Up course and then the adventure really began. As Jo says: “Outset has helped us formulate our business from a woolly idea to a solid proposition, and have continued to support us to this day with our fantastic mentor, Geof Thornton. One great aspect of involvement with Outset has been the connections and support with and from other businesses – AA Editorial Services being one.  Angela wrote our copy for the Glamping section of the website, effectively getting these products to page 1 of Google Search Engine.

4 points leisure logo

4 points leisure logo

4 Points Leisure was born in June 2014 when we went live with our website, and we have grown slowly but surely since. However, it’s never been about just selling products, that’s definitely nice, but…the business has always been about information, meeting people, connecting, finding new places to go, alongside innovative products or ideas. Our website has a blog, Glamping places to go page, together with guides on Travelling in Europe, Getting Ready for Spring and EHIC Cards. The one page we are very proud of is the Festival Calendar, with over 270 events, for all genres of music – check it out and let me know if we’re missing an event. Our most innovative products to date are the Luci Inflatable Solar Powered lantern and the Feetz Pocket Wellies but we’re continually on the lookout for other ideas and concepts we can bring to the business. A selection of 4 Points leisure products:

With the summer looming, our next big step is getting the gazebo out and attending country shows and fairs. So far we are booked for Old Berks Countryside Day, Wanborough Show and Uffington White Horse Show and have more in the pipeline, getting out in the sun, (we hope), and meeting and chatting to anyone and everyone!” Come and visit us, get in touch and let us know what you’d like to see                   Twitter – @4pointsleisure Google + – Facebook –

Find your perfect blend @the Hub

Saturday 21st March 2015

@thehub – Fleet Street, Swindon

@the hub - cycles and coffee

@the hub – cycles and coffee

I recently published a post from and about the people @the Hub in the Swindon in Business section of this blog so there’s no need to say too much more about it.  So this post is by way of sharing a few more photographs of it as I popped in today for a coffee.

I love the sit-up-and-beg red bicycle. It’s a great colour and style. I can ride a bike – though haven’t done for years – but like confidence these days.

Born again Swindonian strikes a pose

Born again Swindonian strikes a pose! 🙂

A coffee shop with a twist, @The Hub you can watch sport on TV, drop your bike in for your repairs, pick up a puncture repair kit …. oh and have a coffee! It’s a place that’s full of beans!


Pedal power in a cup @thehub

@the hub - cycles and coffee

@the hub – cycles and coffee

Hello listeners. Here’s the latest post in the Swindon in Business section of Born again Swindonian. This time we hear from three ex-IT people who have made the move from Java software to Java beans via Outset Swindon – those splendid facilitators of new businesses in Swindon.  Thanks to the help of the Outset team the hub team of Steve, Chris and Kerry have been able to create the perfect blend of cycles and coffee, bikes and beans in their new coffee shop on Fleet Street: @thehub where they offer a cycle shop for youngsters and adults and a bike repair clinic – oh and coffee of course.

As it says on their Twitter feed: “Whether you want a new bike, to fix or upgrade your bike or just want to meet with friends over a cup of excellent coffee, just call in for a warm welcome.”

Find them on Faceboook: and make contact in the Twittersphere: @thehubswindon

Their website: – and read about them in the Swindon Advertiser.

So for all you cyclists out there this sounds like the place to be. Me personally? I prefer to keep my feet on terra firm and I have enough trouble with that as is evidenced the various losing arguments I have with pavements! 😦 However,  though I haven’t as yet been in to sample the coffee I’ll do so soon. And I’ll probably blog about it too in this section of Born again Swindonian:

Experience a professional, friendly service and taste great coffee in a unique environment new to Swindon.
Now – over to them:

“We are Steve, Chris and Kerry and @the hub is Swindon town centres first independent cycle cafe. We sell quality bicycles, parts and accessories and also service and repair. The shop also incorporates a quality coffee shop serving locally sourced snacks and sandwiches. Our aim is to  provide a place where people can meet in a relaxed and comfortable environment and have an opportunity to share passions in all things bike and beans (coffee) related.

 The three of us were colleagues at Zurich Insurance in excess of 10 years, and with over 60 years cumulative IT experience, who were then transferred to CSC when Zurich outsourced their IT to the global outsourcing company. From then it was just a matter of time until they off-shored our job roles. And indeed we we were made redundant at the beginning of 2014. 

 So at this point we decided to get out of the IT rat race and start our own business. We set about looking for opportunities in growth industries in sectors we were interested in, and decided a cycle cafe was the way forward. So here we are, a cycle cafe, keen to give a great service and grow our business.

We completed various courses provided by Outset, which gave us a great grounding (no pun intended) understanding, and self confidence, to progress our business idea into a feasible working model. All the staff members we came across very friendly, approachable and professional and they continued to give invaluable help and advice as we completed the courses and pushed forward with the business plan.
For three novices, we found many aspects of trying to get our business off the ground very challenging. We were self funding the entire project in an attempt to lower costs and this meant we had to control every step in the process.  Securing premises proved to be a very frustrating adventure, mostly due to estate agents and landlords seeming lack of interest and even getting a business bank account proved to be a long and painful process.
Outset helped us register and open the company, advised on recomended accountants and generally provided a shoulder to cry on when things weren’t going our way. As part of our 5 year plan, and as one of us is Welsh, we are aiming at a second store in Wales, probably around Newport.”

Catherine Jay: artisan jewellery

21st February 2015

Greetings listeners. Here we are with another Swindon in Business post. We recently had one from Carol Alpin, founder and owner of the Pink & Green range of organic skin care products. Now, in a natural link to that post, we have a post about Catherine Attewell and her business brand Catherine Jay.

Like me, Catherine is a product of Outset Swindon but we actually met independently of Outset at another business networking group. Catherine made for me a pair of fab earrings to go with a necklace I already had. And I truly absolutely love them and wear them loads so I can well believe that when she was making and selling earrings in her student days they proved to be popular. Catherine is co-operating with Carol Alpin of Pink & Green  to showcase their products together at The Works hair salon in Redhouse. Like Catherine, I too am a delighted user of the Pink & Green organic skin care products.

Catherine Jay was created in 2014 by designer/owner Catherine who, having made and sold jewellery locally for several years, had a desire to create a beautiful, quality handmade jewellery brand.

Back in 2011 and feeling the need to make some life changes, Catherine worked with a life coach – a process that was instrumental in helping her to identify those aspects that she most connected with – one of which was her passion for jewellery making.

 “I had successfully made and sold earrings when I was a student back in the early 90s. I didn’t realise back then that my love of that activity would end up being my self-employment! I recall people loving the earrings I made and being keen to buy them. The buzz I got from this lay dormant until I recently re-discovered it.”

In recent years Catherine made and sold her jewellery in and around Swindon at craft fairs, local events, the Outlet Centre and the West Swindon shopping centre. Her designs were popular and she recognised that there was a market for elegant, well made jewellery for ladies who appreciate something unique and the polar opposite of mass-produced high street products – something made by hand with loving care and attention.

In November 2014, Catherine committed herself to building her Catherine Jay jewellery brand by holding a formal launch event at Stanton House Hotel. Catherine worked hard to make the event special. It certainly showcased her work beautifully as these photographs show I think.

As well as some very nice canapés and a glass of fizz we were treated to luscious jewellery themed cupcakes – or buns as I prefer to call them –  from the kitchen of Little Miss Cakemaker.

Catherine Jay makes one-off pieces and limited editions. When you buy a piece of her jewellery you are buying something special, something made with her passion for design. Catherine says “it is the gorgeous look and texture of the beads and the infinite possibilities for unique designs that inspires me. Quality beads and materials are fundamental to my work. I use freshwater pearl, crystal, gemstones and quality glass beads because these natural products have a luxurious texture and look that is an essential part of every Catherine Jay piece.”

The Catherine Jay range includes bridal, everyday and gift pieces, and she is going to expand to offer further designs and ranges during 2015.

In December 2014 Catherine Jay was delighted to receive approval from The White Wed Directory, “the ultimate directory for savvy Wiltshire brides”. Catherine’s first choice for a copy expert to help her with the directory entry was me – AA Editorial Services! A savvy choice though I say it myself. 😉

Catherine goes on to say that: ‘One of the amazing things about being self-employed is the other interesting people you meet who also have a passion and have taken that big step to make it their livelihood. For instance, I really admire Carol Alpin and her Pink&Green brand for wonderful, ethical, skincare products. I am personally a customer for her facial oil for sensitive skin and am feeling the benefits of moisturised skin. So it was an absolute pleasure to find that Carol and I were given the opportunity to showcase our products alongside each other at The Works. We are looking at further opportunities to work together to offer some truly special quality gift products!’

Catherine on Facebook: – and her website:


Pink & Green

14th February 2015

Hello listeners and welcome to the latest post in this Swindon in Business section of Born again Swindonian. As is my wont, since entering the world of self-employment with my own business AA Editorial Services: via the support of Outset Swindon, I like to give a shout-out to some of the businesses I’ve come across via Outset Swindon. So this post then is about Carol Alpin – the founder and owner of Pink & Green – creator and purveyor of delicious organic skin care for women. If reading this makes you want to know more about Carol’s lovely products you can do so in these ways:

The Pink & Green website:


Twitter: @AplinCarol

Pink & Green: affordable, ethical, natural

Pink & Green products

Pink & Green products

Pink & Green came into being in April 2014 when holistic therapist Carol Aplin, from Swindon in Wiltshire, UK, decided to create a range of natural, organic oil-based skin care products.

Carol had been an holistic therapist for seven years when she identified that many of her clients were becoming increasingly stress. A stress which led to a physical effect on their skin. Some years earlier she’d learned how to formulate skin care products when she completed a course on using natural ingredients for the skin and body. At that time she toyed with the idea of creating her own skin care brand but didn’t take it any further at that stage.

At the beginning of 2014 she began running workshops showing people how to enjoy the benefits of essential oils and carrier oils. She identified the fact that many people simply didn’t know plants had benefits for the skin – something Carol had known and taken for granted throughout her life.

Carol also realised that people didn’t understand that oils can be used to clean your face nor that there are lots of chemicals and alcohols in facial cleansing which strips the skin and can actually lead to more skin problems. Natural oils cleanse the skin and provide balance. So, in 2014, she came up with the idea of providing high quality, ethical, natural and organic skin care products by post. Overnight the idea for Pink & Green came into being. Pink was chosen to represent women and green for the environment.

Carol then conducted extensive market research including surveying women, creating focus groups and sending out samples for people to try the products and test the look and feel of the brand Pink & Green. It was officially launched in November 2014.

Today, the products on offer include a range of five facial oils suitable for most skin types, a rose floral water for toning and refreshing the skin and the hair, and a peach kernel oil cleanser. Currently Carol is researching and preparing new body elixirs and bath oils for launch in March 2015. Later in the year she will be launching an eye serum and hand and foot oils.

Listen to Carol talking about her products:

The current best seller is the peach kernel oil cleanser. Many customers have found that this oil quickly makes their skin feel smoother, more plumped and radiant. It removes the tightness which can occur when using chemicals on a daily basis.

The raw ingredients for Pink & Green’s product range come from UK-based wholesalers certified by the Soil Association as being organic in their practices. The ethics of the supply chain is important to this brand – suppliers must care about the environment, their people and their products.

Behind the business today are Carol Aplin and her partner Steve Wells. Carol is the creator and founder of the business concentrating on the marketing and development of the products. Steve manages the day-to-day production and IT support.


Carol has recently collaborated with another Outset Swindon client, Catherine Attewell who is the power behind the Catherine Jay brand of artisanal jewellery – and there will be a blog post about her business soon. They’ve been working together to increase awareness of their brands locally and to support each other as budding entrepreneurs. They currently have a display of some of their products in The Works hair salon at Redhouse in Swindon.

I’m currently trying Carol’s products and can happily vouch for them. And I’m the proud owner of a fab pair of bespoke earrings designed and made by Catherine that I totally love and wear loads.

Catherine Jay:





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