An Interview with Co-Founders of ARDERE Nicole & Lauren Windas
Hi Nicole & Lauren, thank you so much for being involved in the Girl Gang Chat. Please can you introduce yourselves to the Girl Gang?
Hi Girl Gang! So we, Nicole and Lauren Windas are sisters and co-founders of a wellbeing self-care company, ARDERE. I, Nicole, am a certified health coach and Lauren is a registered Nutritionist and Naturopath. We specialise in self-care products and nutritional therapy.
Tell us about Ardere and how it started?
Lauren: ARDERE was born from our own personal journeys into the world of wellness. In 2012, I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (more commonly referred to as M.E. or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). After failing to find help through orthodox medicine I was determined to treat myself as naturally as possible and discovered that by making specific dietary and lifestyle changes, I was able to alleviate and overcome many of my symptoms.
Nicole: Similarly, I went on the journey with Lauren after suffering with stress and anxiety in my early twenties. We have experienced first-hand the power of clever lifestyle choices. Our
collective passion became sharing our knowledge with others. We began exploring techniques, products (including the use of essential oils) and recipes that not only promote a profound sense of physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, but also that can be used to support a variety of ailments and reduce your toxic load.
We realised that our all-encompassing message is that we wanted to ‘evoke people’s glow’ from the inside out, hence the name ARDERE came about which is a latin translation of ‘glow’. We decided to pool all of our knowledge over the last 8 years into ARDERE. Lauren trained as a Nutritionist and Naturopath so she could help people with similar issues to what she suffered, and I trained as a wellness coach and am an advocate of self-care through developing natural organic products.
What do you enjoy most about working together?
Nicole: Since we both grew up together and had a similar journey in terms of our
health, interests, travel experiences we both have exactly the same vision and what
we want to achieve with ARDERE which is so great and I think our joint passion
really shows through here.
Lauren: it’s also nice that since we’re sisters we can be completely open and honest
with each other as opposed to treading on eggshells in terms of our opinions when it
comes to making any business decisions.
Have you both always had a passion for wellness & nutrition?
Nicole: I would say we’ve always had an interest in wellness but I think it really took
speed when Lauren was diagnose with M.E/CFS in 2012, and particularly the
Nutrition side of things took hold.
Lauren: I actually used to be a pescatarian for 18 years and was an avid gym-goer
prior to becoming unwell, so nutrition and health had been on my radar, but definitely
more so as a result of experiencing chronic illness.
With all the pressures and stress life throws at us, how important is self care?
Nicole: It’s not just important, it’s a necessity. As soon as I get in from work, I signal leaving
work behind by cleansing my face, running a hot candle lit bath (I’m the biggest bath
person!) and I just let the working day wash away. We need time for ourselves to restore,
it’s proven that we are more productive in the long run with regular breaks and inspiration
flows much more easily.
We also know that exposing ourselves to constant micro and macro-stressors can lead to
chronic health problems. Whilst we’re not always in control of some stress, a large majority
of it we invite into our lives. E.g. shutting down your email after the working day is over is
one way to reduce your exposure to micro-stressors.
Lauren: I always say, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” If we don’t look after ourselves as
much as possible, the chances are that over-working ourselves will catch up with us and
make us ill. Schedule breaks in your calendar for rest and relaxation. It might be that you
schedule 10 minutes in your working day to do some meditation, which will make you
become more resilient against any stressors in your day.
How do you feel social media affects women who lack physical and mental wellbeing?
Nicole: Social media can be used both positively and also negatively. It very much
depends on the content creator along with the individual consumer. In some ways it
can be a great tool to educate and inspire as well as connect with those in a similar
position to yourself in terms of your health journey. However, seeing people so much
further along their journey ahead of you… perhaps they appear to be fitter, healthier
and just look like their exceeding at life can create an unrealistic idealised image of
where you should be at, and can lead to comparison and feelings of guilt.
Lauren: There are two sides to this, one of which is the comparison game and social
media triggering anxiety and low self-esteem, versus the other side which is about
building a positive online community, something that social media can offer us.
Community is a key player in health and wellbeing, and so it’s about striking a
balance between following the accounts that light you up and make you feel good,
versus avoiding the ones that trigger feelings of unease. I think we are still guinea
pigs to the whole social media game and at this stage we don’t have enough
evidence to uncover its cause and effect, so it’s about experimentation and finding
out what works for us as individuals.
Are there any resources or tools you recommend for women struggling with anxiety, stress or poor diet?
Nicole: Absolutely, on our website ardere.com we regularly provide blog articles on
all three of these subjects which are all backed up by clinical evidence.
Lauren: I frequently work with women in clinic who are struggling with mental health,
stress and trying to attain a healthier pattern of eating. We have plenty of resources,
articles and recipes on our website but if you want to go deeper into this subject I
would recommend booking in a consultation in my private clinic.
What are your future plans for Ardere?
Nicole: We are actually working on a few things for ARDERE. We often say that there is no
one avenue to achieving optimum health and that is why we cover low-toxic living in terms of
our self-care products whilst also offering nutrition and wellness advice.
Exclusive! You heard it here first, but I am in fact becoming a facialist to add to our service
offering. I’ve made no secret about that one day I desire to go into natural skincare
and more self-care products with ARDERE. No secrets kept under lock and key
here, I have too much excitement for that!
During the last few years I’ve been making my own skincare and bath products,
largely keeping them between myself, Lauren and my friends, with the hope that one
day I will be able to release some of them (when I’ve perfected them just so)! And
whilst I had an avid interest in skincare when I was a teenage, my passion for non-
toxic living in terms of self-care products and their benefits has taken over in recent
Lauren: I am also working on something exciting in the world of Nutrition over the
next year, but unlike Nicole, I know how to keep a secret!
Finally, what are your life mantras?
1. Treat others how you wish to be treated, so be kind always.
2. You don’t need to be a purest but making little switched to reduce your toxic load can do
wonders for your health.
Always do your best at whatever you set your mind to.
Perfection doesn’t exist. I always say this to myself at times when I can be hard on myself.