Volt Café: Why did you decide on the name ‘Organic Pharmacy‘ for your beauty company? And what you understand by an Organic Pharmacy in beauty terms?

Margo Marrone: I have been a pharmacist all my life. 16 years ago I also became passionate about homeopathy and all things organic. I really wanted to open a pharmacy that specialised in organic herbs and homeopathic remedies with a proper dispensary where I could custom blend and dispense the remedies and medicinal herbal creams. I wanted everything in the pharmacy to be organic and so I thought the name ‘Organic Pharmacy’ would be perfect because we were organic and we were a pharmacy!

VC: What made you have homeopathic remedies in a beauty store and what is your definition of homeopathy?
MM: Primarily we are a homeopathic pharmacy and then a beauty store. However the core of everything we do – including our beauty products – is based on homeopathy. For the skin creams and body products I use herbs that are well known in homeopathy for their healing and repairing action. I also use the extracts at levels that are considered to be medicinal in homeopathic medicine so they are very active. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that uses the principles of cure ‘like with like’ to stimulate the body to bring about healing. What this basically means is that the unique energy of the remedy is matched to the unique energy of the disease and by administering a stronger dose, the body is fooled into thinking the disease has become stronger and thus stimulate its own defence mechanism to bring about cure. An example of this is when you cut an onion it causes the eyes to stream and the nose to run and the throat to itch. Because of this, the onion is one the main remedies in treating hay fever.

VC: What does beauty mean to you, and how would you define beauty?
MM: For me beauty is first and foremost how you feel about yourself; it’s about making the most of what you have, accepting your flaws and concentrating on your assets. If we feel beautiful we look beautiful! I’ve always taken the approach that great skin also comes from within, so a detox, the right supplements and the right skin care will transform how you feel and look.

VC: Everybody assumes that natural skincare and cosmetics is the way forward simply because the product is natural, but does this actually mean the product is better and if so, why is it actually better?
MM: Even within the natural and the organic there are variations on the level of naturalness and levels of quality. For me it’s always been about the best ingredients, the best formula and ultimately a product that has a wow factor. Our products have to perform and perform better than conventional ones for people to actually make the change and be pleasantly surprised; no one wants a smelly, poorly performing product that does nothing. In terms of health, the organic products are better for us because we absorb up to 60% of what is applied to our skin. Most mainstream products contain carcinogenic and oestrogenic compounds, it’s important to avoid these and this was my reason for going organic. I then became pregnant and naturally the thought of putting anything toxic on my baby was out of the question. I realised that there was nowhere that anyone could go that they could choose products that were organic and free form these chemicals. I was also so passionate about homeopathy that I really wanted to combine the two and bring old-fashioned service, with honest advice and professional knowledge to the public in a place where they could choose anything without having to worry.

VC: And you’ve created an organic fragrance in your Organic Glam range?
MM: Yes, the organic fragrance means that 85% of the ingredients are organic and the rest comes from a natural origin. It was the next natural extension of our line as many of our clients had allergies and reacted badly to the regular perfumes with symptoms such as headache, nausea, breathing difficulties and even mood swings.

VC: Talk to me about the type of services and treatments you have created, and which is the key product for this summer?
MM: From the start our stores had a clinic and beauty rooms. It was important for me that anyone coming to me could be helped to the best of our ability. In some cases it would mean boosting the immune system in the case of cancer and helping to speed up the recovery and the side effects from treatment, for others advice on how to treat their cold with herbs and homeopathy and for some a full health assessment was needed. The health assessment for me is the most life changing treatment and is the first step to achieving optimum health and as homeopathy can treat anything from acne, eczema, stress, depression, infertility etc, it means that we can get really great results. We also have some really active treatments like our slimming Green Coffee treatment, which gives great results or the Rose Crystal Facial, which is a head to toe experience. The key product for this summer for sure is our Antioxidant Face Firming Serum and Antioxidant Gel – they infuse the skin with antioxidants and plant nutrients with amazing results.

VC: What would you say the unique selling point is about Organic Pharmacy in comparison to other destinations like Space NK?
MM: I would say our USP is that everything we do comes from a health perspective. Our skin care is to improve the health of the skin and beautify it, our supplements to help the body function at its best, the homeopathy to help treat ailments and herbs to support the systems. Of course all this coupled with fantastic advice from my qualified professional team means that we have a solution to everyone’s problems.

VC: What is the next move for you and your Organic Pharmacy empire?
MM: I hope to continue to educate people so that they can make an informed choice. We have recently gone into The Four Seasons in Park Lane and Canary Wharf and will be going into Le Bristol in September – I hope to continue expand our services in this way and to continue to make our products and services available worldwide.

Words by Maryam Asadi
Photographs by Rui Faria

Tags

Four Seasons, Le Bristol, Margo Marrone, Organic Pharmacy,