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Life is beautiful for Sauchen skincare specialist after life-changing health scare

Happy-go-lucky mum-of-three Jo Flett makes the most of every day as a holistic facial therapist after undergoing major surgery

Jo Flett has the magic touch when it comes to skincare. Photo by Wullie Marr, DC Thomson.
Jo Flett has the magic touch when it comes to skincare. Photo by Wullie Marr, DC Thomson.

Skin glowing as brightly as her positive personality, it’s hard to believe that vivacious mum-of-three and holistic facial therapist Jo Flett underwent emergency life-saving surgery not so long ago.

Always one to squeeze as much joy and happiness out of life as she possibly can, the 33-year-old’s world was turned upside down when she was rushed into hospital during lockdown.

Doctors discovered a large tumour filled cyst on her pancreas and all of sudden she was whisked into the operating theatre.

Mum-of-three Jo Flett has a new perspective on life after suffering a major health scare. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

“I hadn’t been feeling very well for a couple of years but it hadn’t been picked up upon,” says Jo from Sauchen.

“Doctors found a massive growth, a cyst with tumours attached to my pancreas, it was that big it was sticking out the front of my body.

“It was attached to my pancreas so if we hadn’t of got it out then I guess the pre-cancerous cells turn into cancer and I would’ve had pancreatic cancer.

“So I had the cyst removed plus my spleen and half of my pancreas.

“The whole life is too short phrase became very real for me.”

Embracing life

After going through such a traumatic ordeal, anyone would forgive Jo for wanting to take things slower.

Instead, the devoted mum is making the most of every day, channelling all her energy into her family, friends and her blossoming holistic skincare business, Rewild Beauty.

An effervescent entrepreneur, Jo has spent over 10 years planting, nurturing and watching Rewild Beauty bloom into what it is today – a relaxing rural retreat based in the Sauchen steading she shares with her family where people, through Jo’s healing hands as a holistic facial therapist, can escape the stresses of every-day life.

Jo Flett says her greenhouse is her happy place. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

“My facials are all about nourishing your skin, nourishing your mind, allowing yourself to have stillness, embracing relaxation and surrendering to it – letting everything go,” says Jo.

“I don’t think we do that enough, we’re busy all the time and we forget that it’s not selfish to take a moment for yourself so you can be the best version of yourself for those around you.”

Skincare and mental health

As a firm believer that skincare and mental health are inextricably linked, Jo starts every facial with a guided meditation.

“I want to give people a sense of stillness so I always do a guided meditation at the start of my facials,” says Jo.

“I want people to let their whole-body surrender to relaxation.

“It’s a whole-body experience and not just about their skin.”

Jo Flett has created her own skincare. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

Instagram following

Judging by the streams of positive comments and likes Jo garners on her Instagram page, it’s clear she has a certain alchemy when it comes to facials.

“I guess the type of massage I’m doing is different from other facials because I’m sculpting so the pressure can be deep but it’s very comfortable,” says Jo.

“Often people say things like “I’ve never had a facial like that before, I don’t know what you were doing but it felt amazing.”

Following her health scare, Jo also created her very first skincare product, Afterglow, an illuminating day oil which she posts out to customers across the UK.

Jo Flett has created her own skincare product, Afterglow, which she sells across the UK. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

“I studied with Formula Botanica which is a renowned online company and I came up with my own formula,” says Jo.

“I make it myself in small batches, normally about 20 to 40 bottles at a time.

“I use my products during the facials for the massage.

“I wanted to create something so that when people use it, it instantly takes them to that place of calmness.”

Healthy glow

Specially blended using a variety of cold pressed and organic plant oils loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids including evening primrose oil, joba joba oil and rosehip oil, the product branded as Rewild Skincare is designed to help lock in moisture and give people a healthy glow.

“I instruct people to drop some into their hands and then massage it into their hands and then cup their hands over their face and take a few inhalations.”

Since moving to their resplendent countryside steading last year, Jo, her husband Ally and their three-children seven-year-old Poppy, five-year-old Rupert and three-year old Mabel haven’t looked back.

Jo has the magic touch when it comes to holistic facials. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

“We decided last year that my husband would give up his job of almost 10 years in accounts so we could have a better balance between the two of us, I would work more full-time hours and he would work more part-time so he could see the children more because we re-evaluated what we wanted to do in life,” says Jo.

Grandpa Bill

Before moving into their new home, Jo sadly lost one of her biggest cheerleaders, her beloved grandpa Bill Peat.

In his memory she has dedicated a special place for him in their garden.

“My grandpa died before he got to see our house,” says Jo.

“He had left me money and told me to use it to buy a greenhouse when we moved in.

“My love of gardening came from my grandpa.

Family is everything to Jo Flett, pictured left, with her children Rupert, Poppy and Mabel and husband Ally. Photo supplied by Jo Flett

“When we eventually moved in my husband built it for me and we invited my grandma over for a little greenhouse opening party.

“It was very emotional as my grandma cut the ribbon and we made a cake.

“My husband also got me a slate sign which hangs outside the greenhouse which says Bill’s Greenhouse.

“So if I’m feeling like my energy is a bit low or I just want the quietness, this is where I am.”

New product

With plans to release another product imminently, Jo is also branching out a little with her business.

“I’ll soon be in Glasgow once a month working with the Instagram famous facialist Nicole Campbell-Watson,” says Jo.

“She has a studio in Glasgow called Face Space so I’ll be doing facials there and selling my product there as well.”

Jo’s product Afterglow is in demand. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson.

Reflecting on the past few years and what she has achieved despite everything life has thrown at her, Jo is filled with gratitude and wants to share it with others.

“I’m very grateful, I’ve got three beautiful, healthy children and a lovely husband so I feel very grateful to be alive I guess,” says Jo.

“I enjoy being the kind of person who is always there for people.

“Everyone needs someone to phone at any time day or night to say I’m sad, I would always want to be that person for anyone who needed me.”

Wellbeing check-in with Jo Flett, Sauchen skincare specialist

Jo Flett’s positivity is a breath of fresh air. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

What is your favourite way to relax and unwind?

My favourite way to relax is in my greenhouse. There is something about the soil on my hands and the noise of the birds singing that instantly calms me and makes me more present.

What are your top three tips for health and wellbeing?

1. Listen to your body to see what you really need.  I find it really useful to tune in to my body. I do this by trying to do something that makes me more present like being in my greenhouse, doing a meditation or going for a walk by myself. This allows me to notice small changes in my body. For example if my energy is high, or if I’m feeling a little depleted and tired then I know whether to spend some time doing something more grounding or uplifting to boost my mood.

2. Find your people. I believe that surrounding yourself with people who lift you up and you feel connected to has a huge benefit to our wellbeing. Once you start being your true self, indulging in activities that you enjoy and putting that energy out to the universe, you will find “your people”- and it feels amazing to be surrounded by people who you feel truly connected to.

3. Start removing the guilt from taking time for yourself to look after your health and wellbeing. Whether it be a solo walk, listening to a podcast, going to yoga or getting a holistic facial we need to remember that we will be a much better version of ourselves for those that we love around us if we ourselves are happier. So if you are offered, say yes to the help that allows you to have that time to do something for yourself and don’t feel bad about it. It’s not selfish, it’s a necessity.

You love to meditate, how does it make you feel afterwards?

I normally meditate last thing in my day, right before I go to sleep. This is because it’s the only time I can fit it into my day! I love the idea of meditating in the morning to set you up for the rest of the day but with three young children it’s just not realistic.
So a five to 10 minute meditation before I sleep is ideal for my life at the moment. After I meditate I feel calmer and more connected to my body and my mind, trusting that I am looking after myself in the best possible way. I am able to have a moment of stillness while still being awake, which always help me have a deeper sleep.

Do you incorporate health and wellbeing into your diet?

I am very interested in gut diversity. I have listened to talks from Professor Tim Spector and find gut microbiome such a fascinating topic. I think feeding and fuelling my body with as many different foods as possible helps me to stay as healthy as I can.

What about exercise, is that an important part of your life?

Exercise is a huge part of my life. I recently reconnected with Jase Donaldson, an old friend and online coach. Jase has been coaching me this year which has been a great support. Post operation I had lost a lot of muscle, and also lost confidence in my ability to be strong. I have always had an interest in moving my body to feel good but it really feels great to be taking back control of my body and getting strong again. I exercise when I can, often with my children surrounding me.

What are your favourite health and wellbeing products? 

At the moment I am loving supplementing with Lions Mane from Dirt Tea. It’s a powdered mushroom that I add to my coffee. I absolutely love the focus it gives me and I feel even more driven when I take it.
If you have never meditated before, a meditation app is a great tool to have, to guide you on this journey. There are so many out there, I especially like Calm and Headspace.

Find one that resonates with you, set yourself a target starting with five minutes a day for five days and see how you feel. Consistency is key. Meditation is such an empowering tool to have in your back pocket and one that you can tap into when life feels overwhelming or stressful.

Also, I absolutely love a good podcast, I find them so uplifting. My favourite to listen to is Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent these to clients. So thought provoking and full of knowledge. I’m yet to listen to one from Rangan that doesn’t resonate with me on some sort of level.

To find out more about Rewild Beauty, check out her Instagram page @rewildbeauty