Connect: Zoë Lind van’t Hof of Wunder Workshop
Inspired by Ayurveda and her late mothers intuitive wisdom, Zoë Lind van’t Hof is the founder of functional food brand Wunder Workshop. Her Golden Mylk products utilise the anti-inflammatory and healing properties of organic turmeric, sourced directly from an independent farm in the heart of Sri Lanka, a country that has praised this ancient spice for its therapeutic benefits for centuries. Consciously designed to evoke our optimum state of wellbeing, Zoë hopes to educate society about the utilisation of food as a functional tool, seeking to change the global attitude from curing disease to preventing it. This week, we sat down with Zoë to learn more about her inspiring journey, inspirations and wellbeing rituals...
What was the catalyst that initially inspired your interest in wellbeing?
My late mother had been very passionate about health and wellbeing since her early twenties, so by the time I was born she had nearly 20 years of experience. This meant I was surrounded by interesting books about traditional medicine, the power of plants and how to create all kinds of natural remedies from an early age. I grew up eating organic and locally sourced vegetarian food, we grew many of our own vegetables ourselves and we used to go to very down-to-earth Ayurvedic health retreats in Sri Lanka. Since I can remember my mum practiced yoga every morning, so I naturally started following her footsteps and started practicing yoga in my mid-teens. She also ran a natural spa for many years before I started Wunder Workshop, so all in all I have been very lucky to have always been surrounded by health and wellbeing.
How did this translate into an interest in turmeric? What was it about this ancient spice that inspired you to embark on a new career path?
Again thanks to my mother, she used to cook a lot with turmeric and she often put turmeric in her nut-milks and in porridge making everything having a golden hue! When I went to university she would always send me “care-packs” with healthy treats and natural products which I couldn’t get hold of in Manchester and usually this would contain turmeric! But during all that time I wasn’t ever consciously aware that turmeric was going to become my choice of career path as I was studying Political Science at that time! Turmeric was just a very healthy ingredient that was part of my daily diet. It was only when I visited Sri Lanka for the first time and we were taught by Ayurvedic doctors about all the benefits of spices and traditional medicine, that turmeric really stood out to me as the one and only wunder spice! That’s when I first started to think about bringing this knowledge and spice to the Western world.
What are some of your favourite turmeric benefits and some interesting ways that you like to use it?
I consume turmeric daily in the form of a warming latte, mainly for its preventative powers, but when I have anything acute such as stomach cramps or a flu I double my dose. I also use it as a face mask to reduce any blemishes; I usually just use my turmeric honey for this and leave it on my face for 10min. It does leave me with a natural glow for a bit but I just embrace it as part of my Wunder look ;)
Fill us in on your favourite wellbeing ritual...
When I have the flat to myself and feel like I can do with a bit of extra nurturing and self-love I light my favourite Incausa incense, listen to Max Richter and just write down thoughts and ideas. I always feel very light and motivated after this. The busyness of London can sometimes make me feel stagnant or like I am going around in circles just because everything is always so fast-paced but actually quite unproductive. So getting myself to recharge this way is always beneficial for my personal wellbeing, and also for my brands as I feel inspired and often find solutions or new ideas.
Talk us through a typical day in the life of Zoe and Wunder Workshop…
I like to wake up with the light so in the summer that means around 6 am and in the winter around 8am. I am so grateful to be my own boss and be able to decide when my day starts. I usually start with writing in my gratitude journal or meditate, followed by getting ready for the day and making warming porridge or a smoothie.
I usually work from Soho House or from home depending where my meetings are and start working around 8-9am. I like walking around London as I always discover new things so I try and do that in between meetings. Every day is different so some days I will finish by 7pm and cook some food or go out and meet friends for drinks and dinner, but as I am more productive at night, I also like to work later at night. I would say that’s when I get all my creative work done. I will end the day with mapping my top 3 tasks I want to achieve the next day.
Who or what inspires you…
There are so many incredible people out there who I admire greatly, but in relation to my specific field Tero Isokauppila (founder of Foursigmatic) and Scott Linde (founder of SunPotion) are definitely at the top of my list. I love seeing the passion and integrity in their brands and products and how they are bringing ancient wisdom to a modern lifestyle.
My late mother, her strength and vulnerability, her passion and unconditional love, her eccentricity and humour. Even though she passed away I still always ponder first what she would have done in my situation and I therefore always feel guided and inspired by her wisdom.
Three books we would find on your bedside table...
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle - this book has shaped my whole outlook on life, it was the most enlightening moment reading his book and was the onset of my spiritual journey.
Farmageddon by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – deep down I am a little animal welfare activist and this well researched eye opening book has given me so much insight into food industry and increased my passion to keep raising awareness about the ‘true cost’ of food.
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield – very cliché but this fictional story has left a mark on my daily decision making and has led me to appreciate that we can always find a lesson/inspiration/connection in every encounter that we make with strangers and people we know.
How has you life changed since becoming an entrepreneur? What is your top piece of advice for emerging entrepreneurs in the wellbeing space?
The biggest change is constant uncertainty, which I discovered I thrive on and am not afraid of. Being fearless and adaptable to change are probably the top two pieces of advice I would give any emerging entrepreneur or generally anyone in life! In most cases what holds us back from success is often fear: fear of uncertainty, fear of an insecure income and most often fear of failure. But is so important to try to thrive on these aspects. Our time on this planet is so short and I think that is why we just need to make the most of all our dreams and desires and just go for it.