I was heading out of town for a few days by train. I had some time to kill at Liverpool Street station so I went in search of a gift for my kids. I spotted a Lush store, the current favourite among my girls because of its heady mix of colours, textures and intense fragrances. I walked towards it preparing myself to be approached by an over enthusiastic sales assistant waxing lyrical about the wonders of Lush. I was slightly over its’ marketing style, which prides itself on not paying for advertising but instead invests in the power of the brand – homespun, ethical and natural. Its exponential growth is proof that this approach is working. People come out of the store feeling like they have bought a piece of something pure and good and overlook the fact that a few small bath bombs have cost over twenty quid.
As I walked in the kid behind the counter gave me a big smile. And that was it. Not a smile and then a sales chat, just a smile. He was mixed race, clean-cut, a little on the skinny side with a big easy smile. I asked about the ingredients in a bath melt. He showed me the list and pointed out that they were made with all natural stuff. He was at ease. He was giving me space, so I bought more. He agreed things were a little pricey and then disarmed me with some of his own personal tips for doing things the natural way: “A squeeze of lemon under the armpits is a wicked alternative to deodorant. I tell my friends about it and they laugh as if it is some weird jungle talk, but I am tellin’ you that stuff works and you don’t need to spend money and put all those chemicals on your body. Mother nature has the answers”. He was a twenty something year old Londoner and he took the edge off my cynicism. I left feeling like I had come across something pure and good and it wasn’t the bath melt!