An interview with Alexandra Kay

An interview with Alexandra Kay

Alexandra Kay is the daughter of Green People’s founder, Charlotte Vøhtz, and has always been Charlotte’s inspiration. Here we talk to her about her story in being diagnosed with EDS and how it drove her to create her range of wellbeing products. 

By Hannah Mepham

8 Minute read

Alexandra Kay was the daughter of Green People’s founder, Charlotte Vøhtz, and has always been Charlotte’s inspiration.

alexandra kay and charlotte

About Alexandra Kay

Charlotte’s determination to relieve her daughter’s infanthood eczema was the reason why Green People came to exist in 1997. Charlotte created a range of soothing organic skin care to calm and care for Alexandra’s irritated skin and, with time, Alexandra’s eczema greatly improved.

However, while Alexandra Kay’s childhood eczema improved as she grew, her physical health deteriorated when she reached her teenage years. In her mid-twenties, after 13 years of searching for an answer to her many symptoms, ranging from dislocation of joints, chronic pain and fatigue to severe digestive issues, she was diagnosed with the debilitating connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos.

There is no cure for this syndrome but, over the years, Alexandra found physical and emotional relief from natural therapies such as massage, heat packs, warm soaks with Epsom salts and aromatherapy.

Despite her condition, Alexandra excelled in her school exams with A Levels in Chemistry, Biology, Photography and Art and achieved a degree in Fine Art Painting from Brighton University.

Determined to find light in difficult times, Alexandra Kay paired her personal experience of seeking comfort from natural wellness techniques with her own expertise in product development working for years alongside her mum to create a new range of natural wellbeing products. 

Sadly, Alexandra Kay passed away just months after her collection launched and, in her memory, we continue to help others by donating profits from the sales of our products to The Ehlers Danlos Support UK.

In one of her last interviews with us Alexandra Kay explained her motivation for creating her wellness range and outlined her hopes that this very personal wellbeing collection would help others by raising awareness of EDS.

Q&A with Alexandra Kay

What motivated you to create the Alexandra Kay wellness collection?

The range was inspired by my personal wellbeing journey which began when I was a teenager. I experienced years of exhaustion, muscle fatigue and pain, and I was eventually diagnosed with the connective tissue disorder Hypermobility Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (HEDS).

After discovering how essential oils helped my personal day-to-day wellbeing, I felt I wanted to help others with their wellness journeys and created this range to help soothe and revive mind body and soul with a moment of calm.

What is your favourite Alexandra Kay essential oil blend?

I particularly love the Time to Smile blend, it is zesty and uplifting, it never fails to improve my mood, raise my spirits, and balance my mind.

 time to smile

How do you prefer to use essential oils?

My favourite way to experience the benefits of my essential oils blends is by breathing them in. I love to add my uplifting Time to Smile essential oil blend to a diffuser or add a few drops to a warm bath. I use the soothing Time to Relax blend if I am feeling anxious or stressed.

At night, I mist Time to Sleep oil onto my pillow and inhale the comforting scent as I sleep. I mix a few drops into a mist bottle filled with 100ml of water and give it a good shake to create a calming sleep spritz. I tend to add around 20 drops and the soothing aroma instantly transforms my bedroom into a sleep sanctuary.

I also find a soak in the bath very comforting and love to inhale a calming Lavender scent as I bathe.

So that everyone can benefit from the therapeutic properties of the scent of Lavender in the bath, I made sure that my essential oil blends each feature a rubber dropper. This allows you to easily control how much essential oil you blend with your bath wash, body oil or body lotion.

Can you recommend any other natural wellness therapies?

Regular body massages with a therapist experienced with connective tissue disorder can, to a certain extent, alleviate sore and tight muscles and help manage pain. Suffering with chronic pain makes you feel uneasy and the constant discomfort interrupt your rest but deep tissue massage helps to release tension from the body and the mind.

Melt away muscle tension with these organic body and massage oils. Each bottle creates enough slip for around 25 neck and shoulder massages and 5 full body massages.

I also find art very therapeutic. I’m a graduate in fine art and my brushstrokes features on all the packaging in my new range. My genre is abstract and figurative abstract art. I have over the years exhibited in the UK, Denmark, Portugal and overseas.

Painting is my great passion and, when I’m well enough to paint, my mind is transported to my happy place!

That same happy feeling inspired my Time to Smile essential oil blend and it is often that blend that I have in the diffuser when I am working in my art studio.

Why does each product in the range feature a bespoke colour palette?

This was important to me because I am a big believer in colour therapy. The colours I chose for my packaging all have lot of meaning and reflect the properties of the essential oils featured in the different blends.

essential oil blends

Why was it so important to you that the range supports and raises awareness of the work that EDS UK do?

I want to help raise awareness of EDS and hopefully contribute to cutting the diagnostic time down to under a year.

Doctors sadly have little knowledge of this condition, and it was initially my Osteopath that pointed me in the direction of Ehlers-Danlos.

It took over twelve years to get diagnosed, during which time I was sent from one specialist to another. I was unable to eat without feeling incredibly sick. My digestive system failed and I was battling with constant pain and fatigue. I developed scoliosis, stretch marks and bruises. My skin also started to lose muscle and became stretchy.

I tried every therapy under the sun, going through many invasive tests and was not always treated kindly. Due to the gastro issues and dropping in weight, my family (except mum) thought I had an eating disorder. One doctor even called me an anorexic alcoholic.

Although my life is a constant struggle, I aim to stay positive and will keep fighting to raise awareness. The information and support that The Ehlers Danlos Support UK charity offers is invaluable.

EDS has such a broad range of non-specific symptoms that it can take over a decade to diagnose and, having spent many frustrating years managing my symptoms without a diagnosis.  I want to do what I can to help ensure that others get early access to the advice and support they need to manage their physical and emotional health and will be raising awareness of EDS symptoms by promoting the EDS UK message, ‘If you can’t connect the issues, think connective tissues.

 

The EDS Support UK is Green People’s charity of the year. For more information about The EDS UK, visit https://www.ehlers-danlos.org/.

 

The Alexandra Kay collection

Alexandra Kay’s mission was helping others and, with the permission of her family, we continue to fulfil this by donating a percentage of our net profits to The EDS Support UK.

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