Meet The Founder - The Restory
How was The Restory born?
"The idea for what would eventually become The Restory was initially seeded when a high-street cobbler unapologetically ruined the heels on my favourite power boots hours before an interview. And though less dramatic, some version of this same story kept happening every time I took my shoes in. I thought there must be an easier way, but I never found it. Eight years later I decided to create it myself."
Gatineau was also founded by an entrepeneurial woman back in 1930s Paris, so we are always fascinated to talk to similarly driven and successful businesswomen. What advice would you give to others with dreams to launch their own business?
"First, whatever your idea is, just start. Even if it’s on some rudimentary level because your idea will change and evolve and change in ways you can’t anticipate before you actually start.
"Next, I am a big believer in the minimum viable product (MVP) approach. Do as much as you can with as little as you can until you are sure you know what you’re doing.
"Finally, “protect the asset” – that’s you. Take care of your mind, your body, your environment – you will need the energy."
How much time do you dedicate to looking after your skin each day?
"Not as much as I should or would like to. I need to do as much as I can in the shortest amount of time. To the extent that my skin care regime can help me “protect the asset”, all the better.
With such a hectic schedule what are your go-to makeup and skincare products you can't live without?
"I usually use some sort of oil cleanser as I suffer dryness. I also suffer sallowness but I’ve recently discovered the Gatineau Peeling Expert Gommage which is BRILLIANT!
"You emulsify it with your hands and rub it into your skin until it clots up and falls off taking all the dirt and dead skin with it! And its gentle so I can use it almost every night in 5 minutes. Love.
"My make-up is a mixed bag of luxury foundations and concealers and eye shadows and cheap Maybelline mascara. I’ve been using the same one since I was 16."
What is your beauty secret?
"I never leave the house without my eye brow pencil, mascara and something moisturising on my lips."
How do you feel about getting older, and the pressure to 'fight' the ageing process?
"It’s a double-edged sword.
"I love the wisdom that comes with age but the physical part of it is not easy. I never thought I was a real head-turner or anything but there is something naturally sexy and radiant about youth that I personally didn't realise how much I leaned on. I also didn’t realise how much of it determined how the world related to me!
I do fight it but at the same time if you just have to embrace some of it too, else I think you’ll wind up looking fake. It’s not so dissimilar to the leather we look after. We restore it, but not to the extent that we compromise its touch and feel, its life or its integrity.
"Some skins are better than others, but they are flawed in the same way that we all are. It's life. It’s what makes us unique…and beautiful."
What's your favourite piece The Restory have worked on?
"There have been so many at this point that I can't pick a favourite. The most interesting ones are usually turned into case studies which can be found on our website. Stay tuned we’re always putting up new ones."
Tell us what wonderful fashion items are on your Christmas wish-list this year?
"Oh, this is a tough one. Maybe a Saint Laurent black and white hounds tooth jacket or a pair of Chanel winter snow boots."
Vanessa and The Restory are offering our readers a Christmas gift of £25 OFF your first restoration - just quote Gatineau25.
Get in touch with them if you have much-loved items that perhaps have seen better days, and see if they can help you, and remember they will even come and collect!