Interview with Healthy Living Show’s Anna Dempsey

Boasting her own business emporium of high-end fashion, stylish interiors and luxury health products, Anna Dempsey speaks to SoGlos ahead of her first Healthy Living Show, taking place at Elmore Court this October.

Dedicated to discovering unique products and fashion through her successful websites, creator and designer Anna Dempsey’s latest venture, Events by Invitation, will encompass luxury showcases across the country, the first taking place at Elmore Court this spring.

SoGlos chats to the accomplished artist and businesswoman about the inaugural Healthy Living Show in October, with Anna revealing what visitors can expect, the inspiration behind the event, and what makes it unique.

Can you tell SoGlos readers a bit about yourself?

I have been interested in art and design since the age of 17, when I first went to the Victoria and Albert Museum; I went on to study a diploma course in fine arts and went to Rome to further my studies, where I found my first love for practical design and art.

I returned to the UK with a strong interest in gardening which I inherited from my aunt, a keen gardener and founder of the National Federation of Floral Artists, and with my background in gardening I became a botanic artist.

How did you start your own business?

After becoming a botanic artist, I went on to found my own brand, Anna Dempsey Designs in 2012. When I got a marketing consultant to help me develop the brand, we thought the website looked empty and so decided to develop it, inviting other artists onto the website and starting a collaboration scheme.

The scheme grew rapidly – so much so that we decided to keep Anna Dempsey Designs as a design brand, in addition to which we developed fashion website, Beyond the Galleries.

What is the ethos behind your businesses?

Our mandate is to help and develop small design businesses and craftspeople who are either starting up, or have been in the industry for some time and need some new incentive and development.

It is particularly a high-end user service with luxury products that are not usually found on the high street.

How did you develop Events by Invitation?

I developed Events by Invitation as a website which drives marketing for the Healthy Living Shows, which will be taking place at stately homes across the country. The purpose of this show is to explore the possibilities of preventative and alternative medicine.

What’s your connection with Gloucestershire?

Although I’m not based locally, I love Gloucestershire! The brother of one of my collaborators, Shibumi, owns Elmore Court and she suggested we approach him with the view to holding our first show there.

We’re also connected to Gloucestershire through one of our designers on Beyond The Galleries, a Tetbury-based girl who produces the most beautiful silk jackets and coats.

What is your inspiration behind the Healthy Living Show?

My daughter and I struggled with various illnesses before meeting consultant Nadia Brydon, who will appear at the Healthy Living Show. Nadia began treating us and our health was transformed, for the better, in a very short period of time. In particular, her green smoothie was amazing, and she’ll be speaking about it during the show.

We decided that healthy living is so important, not only for ourselves but for everyone in the UK; everyone knows someone who is affected by illness. Aside from helping people who are ill, we can also help to generate lifestyle changes that are preventative.

How did you select the speakers for Healthy Living Show?

I consulted with Nadia Brydon and she gracefully suggested all of her colleagues, for whom she has enormous respect. I’ve been guided by her because we need good professional advice from people who are very well trained, and not just a random selection of speakers.

Nadia’s disciplines encompass her nutritional expertise, and Sarah Lumley, who is also a nutritionist, can offer good diet advice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What can visitors expect at the show?

After purchasing a ticket, guests will receive a bespoke invitation through the post, which they must use to get into the event. The Healthy Living Show is split into two elements, full day shows and a Gala Night.

So we have given ticket holders the possibility of a gala night where they can see all of the retail we have on offer and they can meet and network with the healthy living consultants.

The next day, visitors can expect a full day consisting of half a day of lectures and half a day of retail with a lovely lunch set in gorgeous surroundings which make it quite a unique event. Speaking with healthy living consultants is great and they will be doing a workshop-style delivery of their lectures so that you can interact with them and even book appointments with them.

Who does the event appeal to?

I think it will appeal to a lot of people, people who have found they are already quite ill or, to people who know that they have to make changes to their lifestyle in order to attain good health. It is also appealing to people who are interested in finding out more about preventative and alternative therapies and of course those who are searching for that lovely product that they won’t find on the high street.

Would you consider yourself as an ambassador for healthy living?

Yes, definitely. I was brought up with a Mother who believed strongly in alternative medicine and I have most of my life been on alternative medicine of one kind or another, I do consider myself to be an ambassador. I would like to see alternative medicine rolled out to those who aren’t in a privileged position in our nation.

How does the event bring together all of your businesses?

It will include all aspects and we can’t do the show without them all being included, there’s the collaboration scheme from Beyond the Galleries which our show stallholders are from. Events by Invitation is the ticket-selling website and the organiser of these events and my own brand, Anna Dempsey Designs will be represented there on a stand. We have drawn together all the threads of our companies to bring you our best offering.

How do you go about choosing the designers which you showcase on Beyond the Galleries and at your show?

I go to a lot of fashion shows and I have a lot of people approaching me through social media and through contact with the websites asking if I can help develop their brand. I’m looking particularly for young designers or people starting up their own businesses who want to have guidance and help from experienced and international designers into how they should go about it.

It is not an easy process and it does take time but, we can help them avoid the pitfalls which often occur in start-up businesses. We are also very selective with who we put on to Beyond the Galleries with us because we want a brand that reflects the high-end user clients that we have.

What are your future plans for the Healthy Living Show?

Our intentions for 2018 are to take the show to the North and expand it on a larger scale. We also plan to have speakers talking about topical issues including overcoming addictions with the use of alternative therapies and other matters such as dealing with stress.

By Sophie Bird

© SoGlos
Tuesday 14 March 2017

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