Jo Fairley is one of the UK’s leading serial entrepreneurs, co-founder of Green & Black’s chocolate, author of many best-selling beauty books and, along with longtime collaborator Sarah Stacey, organiser of the annual Beauty Bible Awards. Here, Jo Fairley shares her day in the life with us, including what she loves watching on TV, what she eats for lunch and her meditation hacks…
I was always a lark, even as a schoolgirl, and love the peace of the early mornings. Like so many people, though, I was finding myself waking up, rolling over and scrolling through Instagram. I read a great article a few months ago (on the Penguin website, I think) about how the solution is to read a book in the morning before you do anything else, even if it’s for five minutes. Well, I found (as the article suggested I would) that the five minutes soon became half an hour, often more. I fall asleep reading books at night so my morning reading habit is really helping me work through my book stash (and I don’t hate myself for my social media habit – although I do still love Instagram!)
Before hitting my desk, I like to get out for a half-hour walk beside the sea in Hastings, where we live, come rain or shine. I spend at least ten minutes doing a walking meditation with calm.com, to clear my head for the day, but I also love to listen to podcasts and audio books – Holly Tucker’s Conversations of Inspiration is my must-listen. I only let myself listen to business podcasts during the working day, but I love listening to Dressed: A History of Fashion and about a dozen food podcasts, in my spare time.
Work time! No two days are the same but I spend a lot of time editing the Beauty Bible website and working on our annual Beauty Bible Awards, which help signpost beauty-hounds to the best products across almost 100 categories. I also do a lot of public speaking about my business journey, so quite often, I find myself writing on long-distance train journeys on my way to events; I find them fantastic for concentration – zero distractions!
Leftovers lunch. I am absolutely fanatical about avoiding waste, and lunch is almost always the remains of what we had last night: pasta, pie, salad…
A cup of Rare Tea Company Lapsang Souchong tea and a mini-bar of Green & Black’s chocolate. I definitely have a mid-afternoon slump, and this powers me through till 7 p.m. or beyond.
A few minutes pottering in the greenhouse while dinner is in the oven, to ground me after a day spent in my head! I like to batch-cook and we currently have a freezer full of Thai green curry sauce which we’ll have with tofu, veg, mushrooms, whatever. My husband Craig Sams, alternatively, might make one of his world-class omelettes.
I actually have a cushion that says ‘Please Leave By Nine’. In my family, I was known as ‘The Dormouse’ for my ability to fall asleep at the dinner table. I do really, really like to be in bed by 9.30, fully cleansed and be-creamed. Very, very occasionally we’ll watch TV; like pretty much everyone, Craig and I were addicted to Bridgerton and of course Downton Abbey, but I do think that passively watching whatever’s on is a terrible time bandit. My equivalent of a sleeping pill is to pick up a book. Never a night goes by when Craig doesn’t remove my book from my chest, my glasses from my nose and switch out my bedside light. It’s a simple fact: you can’t be a lark and an owl…
For more info on Jo Fairley, follow her on Instagram @jofairley or head to beautybible.com.