A memorable chance encounter with Body Shop’s Anita Roddick

We are all striving for improvement. Is not being open to change more important? Without change, there can be no improvement”.
This quote comes from “Collected Treasures” by Hanne Marquardt, the inspirational reflexologist who has challenged and changed reflexology practice for the better and to whom I dedicated my book,Vertical Reflexology for Hands.
In the mid-1970’s, I was walking through the little back streets of Brighton when I wandered into a new shop that had opened the day before. The young woman owner enthusiastically showed me the cosmetic and bathroom products she had made in her pressure cooker, bath and bowls and I bought a lovely pot of cucumber face cream. I admired the green trellis on the walls and she said that it was carefully arranged to stop the plaster falling off! She told me her opening had been challenging as 2 undertakers, whose premises were adjacent to her shop, accused her of disrespect for calling her enterprise: The Body Shop! However, their bigotry had given her much needed good publicity and support! I wished her well and became a frequent customer. Nearly 30 years later at a literary festival I again met up with the now Dame Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop empire, and we discussed our early meeting. She was delighted I had remembered the crumbling shop walls, wonky trellis and more than a little chaos of those early weeks. Her work to promote human rights, environmental issues and natural products continued until her untimely death in 2007. I recently found her signed book on my bookshelf. It simply said,
To Lynne, Challenge everything

May 2019