Dr Mariano Spiezia of Inlight organic skincare
"Organic status has been my choice to guarantee to our customers that we are using the best ingredients in order to create products without any harmful chemicals to promote health and wellbeing, safeguarding the environment."
A short history of how you got to where you are now, including why and when you 'went organic'?
I’ve been in the Organic Skincare business since 1999 and founded the first UK skincare company to be certified 100% organic which still carries my name. Due to my medical background - I am a medical doctor and herbalist - and previous experience in organic and humanitarian projects in Italy, when I moved to the UK in 1998 I decided to produce organic skincare both to honour nature and to protect people’s health. The organic status has been my choice to guarantee to our customers that we are using the best ingredients in order to create products without any harmful chemicals to promote health and wellbeing, safeguarding the environment.
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
Oh my goodness! Well after few hours of sleep and a long walk with Max, our lovely dog, I practise meditation and some yoga techniques, then enjoy my lovely breakfast starting with fruit (I’m a convinced vegetarian). I am lucky enough to walk to work (this doesn’t always happen as Cornwall isn’t always balmy) then meet with my happy team in the busy Lab. I spend all my time producing my fab Inlight products, researching, studying, writing articles and producing scientific research in collaboration with my Italian homeopathic scientific team. I am also part of a natural wellbeing centre – The Walsingham Clinic in Truro - where I see patients once a week doing my best to clear their health problems and sharing with them their stories trying to get to the cause of problems. Back home I have another good but short walk with Max and then with my lovely wife Loredana we cook and enjoy mostly Italian food….occasionally some veggie Cornish pasties too!! After dinner I generally answer emails and make some phone calls to our children, friends and patients, watch a bit of news (we should create a new News called Positive News!). I like to read a bit of Sherlock Holmes, Hercules Poirot and all sorts of light novels when I want to relax and scientific/spiritual books, so a bit of night reading and then just switch off ready for any night-time inspiration that might come.
Who are your customers and where are they?
Many of our customers are like minded people who seek health, wellbeing and are committed to the environment. We export to Italy where our sister company Cemon srl is based, and distribute our ‘beauty-full ‘products in several other European countries. We also sell of course in UK and are expanding in other parts of the world.
Organic principles – why do they matter?
I have been involved in the organic movement since the 80’s when still in Italy, studying the connection between food, disease and the environment. That was the key for me for choosing organic and vegetarian food for myself and my family. Organic is my way to be consistent with my life philosophy, my medical practice and my conscience.
What does the Soil Association mean to you?
I found the Soil Association the most representative organisation, trustworthy for their long standing commitment and passion and most of all in tune with my vision and philosophy on how to protect the environment and better live our life on this Planet. I am proud to be part of it.
What is your greatest achievement?
To share my life and vision with Lore, my wife, and my children Marco, Maria Chiara and Francesco as we are a great Team. To have helped people to be healthier, to have made my contribution, through my business, to expanding environmental awareness.
How do you plan to progress in the future?
What is your vision? I love the creative part of my work and I am studying and developing new products and lines. I also feel the urge to do more for the environment and I will write a book on my experience to show how it is possible to create a better world without compromising your vision. I would also like to involve much more children and primary schools and give the little ones the right information and a better understanding of nature’s rules. Children are the foundation of our future. If we start well we will finish well!
If you were starting all over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I have made my mistakes but I have learned a lot. Thanks to them I am what I am now.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Thanks to many experiences I have understood that people are all different and must be respected for what they are. The best way to do so is to respect oneself.
Who/what is your biggest inspiration?
Mother Earth is my first inspiration together with my father who taught me to love it, Ghandi who said ‘become the change we want to make’ and other spiritual Masters who taught me that there is no achievement unless whatever you do also benefits others.
What is the key to your success?
Passion and compassion, commitment and loyalty to my inner instinct. All of it goes into the products I create and to the people who use them.
What do you love most about what you do?
As Inlight formulator I love blending the herbs together and to smell their fragrances, while studying the “alchemy” of the new products I keep formulating. As a doctor, I love to see the sparkle in my patients’ eyes as a sign that they’ve understood how to make changes in their life and regain health.
What keeps you awake at night?
Worries in the past, new ideas now.
What single thing would most improve your life?
To have more fun!
How can the organic market be improved?
By increasing consumers’ awareness through all the conventional media channels.
How important is energy efficiency to you?
In all our bodies energy must work at its best to guarantee health and wellbeing for all our life. The same applies to all our technologies and choices.
What's the main benefit of being organic for you?
A healthy future for us, our children and our Planet.
What other organic ventures do you admire and why?
What I admire most are not the organic ventures, but the people behind them. Behind most organic ventures, sometimes only tiny businesses, there are people with great motivation and life stories that inspire others.
Supermarkets – good or bad?
They are not bad, not good. Supermarkets are the result of people’s choice. Local shops are to be supported though.
What is the biggest threat to what you do?
Lack of environmental and health consciousness.
What's the best thing about organic farms?
Respect for nature, for animals, for farmers. Organic farming is the only possibility to have the healthy source of essential nutrients we need.
What's the best thing about organic food?
Tastier and richer in nutrients and vital energy.
What are you doing during Organic September?
Promoting the organic movement through offers and newsletters to our customers. I am writing a blog post on the importance of living an organic life. Organic September is a good reminder for all.
What is your favourite meal?
I love an Italian dish called parmigiano di melanzane. Fried aubergine slices, mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil and ... a lot of parmesan (parmigiano) cheese!
If I was Prime Minister I would...
ban GM immediately.
The world would be a better place if...
we were as innocent as children and full of the wisdom that comes as you grow old.
I'd like to be remembered for...
My love and care for people and nature and for having created products that work – as I say – not only on but with the skin.
When were you happiest?
Watching my wife-to-be walking towards me on our wedding day.
What is your greatest fear?
What is your favourite word?
What would be your 'Desert Island' luxury?
To meet someone on the shore and play football!