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Meet Gillian Woods of Jane Darcy

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By Ina Yulo Stuve on 12th December 2022

Present, happy, and free-spirited. These three words are how Gillian Woods would describe the Jane Darcy woman.

Jane Darcy is Woods’ luxury lifestyle brand which sell home fragrances, candles, diffusers, 100% silk accessories and a bath and body line. I was able to test out a few of their products such as the Luxury Silk Sleep Set in a gorgeous champagne colour, which included the softest 22 momme 100% mulberry silk eye mask (I now use it every night!), pillow case, and hair scrunchies, making for the perfect gift for someone who deserves a relaxing night in. I also tried some items from their bath and body collection, formulated with natural organic olive extract, giving them a relaxing aroma and a rich velvety feel that soaks into the skin and moisturises without feeling tacky.

When I asked Woods about how she decides on which products to create, she turns to the same two people who inspired her brand’s name, her daughters (whose middle names are Jane and Darcy). “I created the silk scrunchies and pillowcases for their skin and hair and eye masks because my daughters don’t sleep unless it’s pitch dark,” she shares. Whilst her collection is perfect for anyone who, like her daughters, suffer from sensitive skin, Woods is passionate about how using her products makes her customers feel. “I wanted to encourage not just myself but the people around me to treasure the simple moments in life, the moments that matter the most,” she explains. “I wanted to create products that would encourage people to take time for themselves. We are all so busy these days so it’s more important than ever to take stock of the little moments. I want to change peoples’ lives for the better, one product at a time. Sounds cliché but it’s true.” On this edition of Women Who Launch, I speak with Woods about her go-to wellness ritual and why she’s never afraid to ask for help.

Did you always know you would be an entrepreneur?

I’m not sure I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I always looked up to my dad as an entrepreneur and knew I would do something really exciting myself one day, but I wasn’t quite sure what that would be. I have tried my hand at everything from singing, PR, business, marketing, and even philosophy and I truly believe that exploring every avenue led me to the right path. One thing I did always know is that whatever I ended up doing, I would have to make a difference in this world. I hope that through launching Jane Darcy I can change peoples’ everyday lives an encourage them to focus on the little moments in life. Those really special moments.


Is there a business skill you're currently trying to master?

Other than all of them? Haha! I am constantly trying to learn, grow, and better myself. I have set a goal this quarter of getting out to more events so that I can grow not just my network, but my knowledge. I recently attended an event at Meta in Dublin, where I learnt so much about finance and funding—the big F words that no one likes, but I plan to better my knowledge in the world of finance over the next year. 


Are there any entrepreneurs you look up to for inspiration?

Again, sounds cliché, but the one entrepreneur I look up to is very close to home: My dad. He is my inspiration and there is no one better at giving advice, whether I want to hear the advice or not. My dad is our go-to advisor at Jane Darcy.


Have you seen changing consumer behaviours over the past few years that you've had to adapt to?

Consumer behaviour is changing all the time and we are always trying to adapt and keep up. Over the last few years, during Covid, we have seen big changes in consumer behaviour, from online buying habits to how people want to be communicated with. We have had to completely change the way we communicate with the Jane Darcy customer. I have to say, I do believe the changes have all been for the better. Our customers are very clever and they know what they like and don’t like. They drag us along with them into the future and have shown us how to be more human, more real, and I for one love it. We are all human at the end of the day, and our customers have taught me that it’s important to show the real side of the brand, both the highs and the lows.


If there was one thing you wish you knew before deciding to start a business, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. I also wish I was told on day one to never be afraid to ask for help. People are amazing, there is always someone willing to help or give advice and I am lucky that someone very special in the industry taught me this early on. I am forever grateful to them for their advice and take it with me everywhere I go.

 

The pieces in the new collection are incredibly soft and luxurious. What was the process for sourcing the mulberry silk and coming up with the different products in the set?

Oh thank you so much! At Jane Darcy we pride ourselves in the quality of our silk products. Choosing the product line came quite easily to me as both my daughters have eczema so I am always looking for soft breathable materials. My eldest daughter also had a big problem with her hair tangling very badly at night, so selecting the right products was straight forward. Sourcing was a long process, as I wanted only the highest quality silk. We managed to find the most beautiful makers after a very long search. I don’t regret being so picky with our process as I know our products are the best 22-momme silk on the market and I am so proud of our product line.


Are you good at delegating or do you have trouble letting go?

I have to be honest, I used to be terrible at delegating—my husband will confirm that—but I have gotten much better. My growth in this area isn’t down to my own personal work however, it is down to the amazing people I work with. I am surrounded by amazing talent that I can trust and when I put a task in front of them, I know they can do it even better than I can. I was told to surround myself with people that are even better than I am, and so I have and that seems to work wonders. 


Your brand is all about treasuring the little moments and the new collection definitely helps to encourage that. What is your go-to ritual for winding down after a hectic day?

Yes indeed, at Jane Darcy we are all about treasuring the little moments, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to work at practicing being present every day. My go-to ritual is really simple, but I think all rituals have to be in order for you to practice them everyday. Every evening before I sit down for some me time, I light a candle. Once I strike that match I can feel myself relax and unwind. No matter how good or bad my day has been I make sure to light my candle and take time just for me. Time when I can be present and treasure the little moments in my day, big or small. I think that’s really important. 



 Luxury Silk Champagne set retails at £155

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