Sasha Sabapathy founded London's most coveted wellness destination Glow Bar in 2018 with an ambition to revolutionise the way the modern working woman experiences self care. We spoke to Sasha about all entrepreneurship and the secrets of how to manage stress levels during this uncertain time.
How did you first become interested in wellness and what inspired you to found Glow Bar?
Sasha is originally from Malaysia and grew up around Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, using plants and food as natural remedies. Whilst living in New York she experienced cortisol fatigue and high levels of anxiety, and after refusing to take more intense western medicine to help solve this, she tried out a herb called Ashwagandha, which was recommended by a friend. This reignited her interest in herbs and healing, and when she moved back to London, she decided to try to make these techniques the norm by creating Glow Bar.
Are you aiming to bring natural remedies into mainstream culture?
Yes! Her aim is to take these ancient healing methods and make them fun and approachable, e.g. in their bestselling 'Moon Milk'. She wants to spark an interest in natural medicine in other people, just as she has experienced.
Did you use these kinds of herbs growing up and were these founded in your cultural traditions?
She explained that you mainly take these herbs as adults but yes, and she was definitely ridiculed about taking natural medicine as a child!
What is your go-to product to boost your mood whilst working from home?
Ashwagandha is her all-time favourite product - a "gateway drug to natural remedies". But currently she is benefitting from Shatavari, an Ayurvedic herb that helps to regulate female hormones. "Each herb simply helps to bring your body back to a normal equilibrium" through micro changes, taking 2-3 weeks to work.
How have you handled running your company during the pandemic?
Glow Bar was massively impacted by the pandemic, as with most retail businesses. They were forced to close multiple times but benefitted from the furlough scheme and adapted to the change. She explained that they focused on e-commerce and listening to their community, releasing a few new products and making their socials more interactive and educational.
How do you make sure your products are fairly priced?
As a high quality brand, this is not easy as the quality of a product impacts the price, but she explains that they have managed to reduce their prices over time by buying in bulk from their suppliers. And occasionally they have to refuse to sell through retailers as they would not get enough profit from those sales.
How much would you say the food that we eat affects our mood?
"100% - you are what you eat!" Although everyone likes to indulge in unhealthy foods, the key thing is to create a balance in your diet. "Our mind and gut are completely connected so food that is hard to digest leads to us feeling foggy, lacking concentration or having the blues." She recommends that you try to cook your meals yourself, have lots of veggies and make it taste delicious! It's important to make food that will make you feel happy.
How would you describe your personal style?
"I'm a creature of comfort!" She loves her loungewear, boyfriend jeans and gold hoops but also loves finding sustainable brands that allow her to feel trendy and comfortable.
If you could be a Harry Potter character who would it be?
"I would love to be Hermoine but sadly I'm probably more of a Neville Longbottom!"
If you could rent anyone's wardrobe - dead, alive or fiction, whose would it be?
Lucy Williams because she loves colourful, comfy clothes!