Slow Ageing Part II: A Meeting of Minds

Name: Margot Lieber
CV: Pancha Karma Therapist, Yoga Teacher, ran Spa Illuminata

“In order to look your best on the outside, you have to feel your best on the inside.”  Margot Lieber, Founder – Slow Ageing Essentials

An advocate of healthy living and wellbeing “long before it became mainstream” at age 16 Margot chanced upon a yoga book in her father’s reading collection and it was this discovery she believes changed the course of her life. Later she moved to America and worked with Deepak Chopra at his Wellbeing Centre in San Diego, California, studying and training as a yoga teacher and ayurvedic health practitioner. Margot was able to develop her own personal mind/body mantra and channel this philosophy into her daily life, her Spa business (Spa Illuminata) and subsequently Slow Ageing Essentials.

Name: David Lieber
CV: Prolific owner of Health Club, Gym and Spa businesses

“Energy is everything – Slow Ageing Essentials optimises your skin’s natural ability to renew itself.”  David Lieber, Founder – Slow Ageing Essentials

With 40 years experience, David has been involved in health, beauty and wellbeing his entire life, a passion that saw him owning and running health clubs, gyms and spas. Trained in the Chinese holistic arts of Tai Chi and Qui Gong, David was at the forefront of changing the traditional concept of health spas, creating wholly holistic experiences for his clients. David was also the first to introduce beauty treatments into this environment. Subsequently, he became the distributor for the French aromatherapy skincare brand Decléor, helping to transform it into the global brand it is today and a top five skincare brand in the UK. In 2006, he sold his own company to Shisheido – which was also acquiring Decléor – and accepted a position as managing director for all their brands. In 2009, he retired telling everyone “if I ever wanted to go back into the beauty industry for someone to tie me to a chair until the idea went out of my head.

Describe how you met and your first impressions of each other?

Margot: I was working with Deepak Chopra in his Wellness Centre in San Diego. David visited as he was interested in opening an ayurvedic spa. I was a Pancha Karma therapist and gave David an introduction treatment. All the treatments are supposed to be done in silence but I remember David didn’t stop talking!

David: For me, honestly, I looked into Margot’s eyes and I felt she was the one for me. But Margot initially had other ideas and wanted to introduce me to her sister as she thought we would be a good match!

What came first the business idea or marriage?

Margot: What came first was a sharing of common interests and an outlook on life. It is this that is the foundation to our relationship, marriage and family. And it this, that is the foundation to our brand. But, to answer your question, it was love first.

What’s the best thing about working with Margot and having her as both your business partner and partner in life?

David: Apart from being a very beautiful woman, inside and out, she is completely trustworthy and we have very similar interests and outlook. It is great to be able to work with someone every day that you share this with. We love life and dedicate it to our family. And I’ve even convinced Margot to love our two furry friends, Rex and Sunny Boy.

What strengths do you each bring to the business?

Margot: Practically David brings his huge experience and business instinct to the brand. But also he is always ahead of his times. I see his foresight and perceptiveness as his true value.

David: Margot is incredibly astute and always ensures that we stay focused on the things that really matter to us and our clients. But I would say it is her deep calmness, amazing power of touch and her deep interest in the humanities that brings a unique perspective to our brand.

What has been the biggest reward with launching the Slow-Ageing business?

David: I love building companies from the ground upwards and, most importantly, having the right people working with you. If you believe in your business and you have passion, this can inspire the people working with you. For me, that is the most important element to making something successful.

What are the challenges of running a family business and being business partners as well as husband and wife?

Margot: We are a husband and wife team running the business day to day but our son and daughter always ensure we are fully up to date with latest trends particularly digitally and give us honest feedback. So, if anything we see it as an asset!

What keeps each of you awake at night?

Margot: David is never awake at night! We joke that if someone broke into our house David would comfortably sleep through.

David: Hate to say it but it is probably me snoring. I have been a Qi Gong and Tai Chi practitioner for 30 years and I practice five to six times a week. I do an evening sequence that I believe would give anyone a great night sleep.

What does legacy mean to you and what do you hope yours will look like?

Margot: We would like to be remembered as good people who enjoy life and dedicate it to their family.

Interview by Fritha Sutherland